Last updated on June 10, 2015

Single Sign On (SSO) for Single-Tenant Deployments


Appspace 5.2 introduces our single sign on (SSO) integration feature for on-premise deployments. With SSO, Appspace allows users to seamlessly and securely connect to Appspace using a single set of credentials, simplifying username and password management.

This guide is based on ADFS being the Identity Provider and Appspace being the Service Provider. As this will be a complicated configuration/installation guide, we’ll break it down into smaller sections:

Section 1: Requirements

Active Directory Server

  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • SSL configured
  • Windows Server Administrator credentials

Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)

  • Can be installed on the Active Directory Server
  • Version 2.0 for Windows Server 2008 R2
  • SSL configured
  • Windows Server Administrator credentials


  • All servers must belong to the same domain or sub domain

Appspace Server

  • Version 5.2 and above
  • SSL configured
  • Windows Server Administrator credentials
  • Appspace Portal Administrator, Account Administrator or Account Owner role
  • All users created on the Appspace server needs to have an email (can be used as the login as well)

Section 2: How SSO Works

A user starts by trying to log into Appspace. Upon accessing the login page, the user will be redirected to an SSO login page. The user will then have to authenticate his/her login credentials against the Identity Provider. Upon successful authentication, the Identity Provider will send a SAML assertion to Appspace via the web browser to allow the user to log into Appspace.

Section 3: Installing ADFS


This can be performed on the AD server or on a separate server.

  1. Start by downloading Active Directory Federation Services 2.0. To do so, navigate to and click Continue.

  2. Choose the version based on your Windows Server version and click Next to start the download.


    RTW/W2K8R2/amd64/AdfsSetup.exe – This is for Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

    RTW/W2K8/amd64/AdfsSetup.exe – This is for Windows Server 2008 R1 SP2 64bit

    RTW/W2K8/x86/AdfsSetup.exe – This is for Windows Server R1 SP2 32bit

  3. Once the download is complete, locate the .exe file and double click it.

  4. Click Run.

  5. Click Next.

  6. Check the checkbox to agree to the EULA followed by the Next button.

  7. Select the Federation server option and click Next.

  8. Click Next.

  9. Select the option to start the ADFS 2.0 Management snap-in when this wizard closes and click Finish.

  10. On the AD FS Server configuration wizard select the Create a new Federation Service option and click Next.

  11. Select the Stand-alone federation server option.

  12. The wizard will automatically detect your SSL certificate. The details of the SSL certificate and the Federation Service name will be populated automatically if your SSL certificate is valid. Click Next to proceed.

  13. Click Next.

  14. Wait for the configuration to finish and click Close.

Section 4: Enabling and Configuring SSO

  1. To begin, we will need to download the Identity Provider (ADFS) metadata. Open a browser and key in the URL https://<ADFS FQDN or IP>/FederationMetadata/2007-06/FederationMetadata.xmlto download the metadata.


    This metadata is used by the Identity Provider (ADFS) to recognize the Service Provider (Appspace). This process involves downloading the metadata in xml format, uploading to and re-downloading from Appspace and finally re-uploading it to the Identity Provider (ADFS).

  2. From the extensions drop-down menu, select System > Configuration.


    You’ll have to be a Portal Administrator to access system settings.

  3. Click Authentication.

  4. Upon enabling SSO globally, the SSO configuration menu will be visible.

  5. If the Appspace server has a valid SSL certificate installed , the SSL Certificate section will be populated automatically.

  6. Select Single Tenancy.

  7. You will be given three SSO authentication options: OFF, Optional or Required. We’ll be selecting Optional in this example.


    • Optional – Users can select between using their Appspace login credentials or via SSO (AD credentials)
    • Required – Users can only login via SSO (AD credentials)
  8. You will be given two SSO binding options; Redirect or POST. We’ll be using POST in this example.


    • Redirect – Users will be redirected to the Identity Provider. SSO details will be passed in a query string with “?SAMLRequest=……” as part of the URL.
    • Post – SSO details will not be passed through a query string but will be passed using the POST method. For this method to work, you must ensure that the Identity Provider has direct access to the Appspace Server.
  9. You will be given two Identity Provider (IdP) configuration methods; Use IdP Metadata or Manual. We’ll be using Use IdP Metadata in this example.

  10. Upon selecting the Use IdP Metadata option, you’ll need to upload the metadata xml file downloaded in Step 1. Click browse and locate that file. Click Open to upload the metadata file to the Appspace server.

  11. The upload path will be displayed. You can now skip to Step 17.

  12. To use the Manual configuration method, you will need to fill in the SSO URL as well as the X.509 certificate.

  13. Fill in the URL of the ADFS server with https://<ADFS server’s FQDN/IP>/adfs/ls/

  14. To fill in the X.509 certificate, locate the downloaded FederatedMetadata.xml in Step 1 and open it in a browser.

  15. Locate the line <X509Certificate> and copy its associated text.

  16. Paste the text in the X509 Certificate textbox.

  17. You will finally be given the option to enable or disable Metadata Signing. Click Change to show the options. We’ll be disabling this feature in this example.


    • Enabled – The SP metadata file will be generated in an ‘Encrypted’ format.
    • Disabled – The SP metadata file will be generated in a ‘Plain text’ format.
  18. Click Save.

  19. Click Yes.

  20. Click the Click Here link.

  21. Fill in your Windows server administrator credentials and click Apply.

  22. Click Yes.

  23. Allow some time for the Appspace to restart.

  24. From the Authentication tab, click Download to download the Service Provider’s metadata file. Transfer the file to your Identity Provider (ADFS).

Section 5: Configuring ADFS Relying Party Trust


This section is performed on the Identity Provider (ADFS) server.

  1. On the ADFS server launch AD FS 2.0 Management.

  2. Expand the Trust Relationship folder and select the Relying Party Trusts folder. To add a Relying Party trust click Add Relying Party Trust under the Actions pane.

  3. Click the Start button.

  4. Select the “Import data about relying party a file” option and click Browse.

  5. Locate and select the metadata file that was downloaded from the Appspace server and click Next.

  6. Give the Relying Party trust a name and click Next.

  7. Select the “Permit all users to access this relying party” option and click Next.

  8. Click Next.

  9. Ensure that the checkbox for “Open the Edit Claim Rules dialog for this relying party trust when the wizard closes” is ticked.

  10. On the Edit Claim Rule window, click Add Rule.

  11. Select the “Send LDAP Attributes as Claims” option and click Next.

  12. Name the Claim Rule and select Active Directory as the attribute store. Refer to the screenshot below for the Mapping of LDAP attributes to outgoing types value. Click Finish when done.


    This step mandates that all Appspace users (authenticating via SSO) are required to have email addresses (can be used as the usernames as well).

  13. Click Add Rule and select “Transform an Incoming Claim” followed by the Next button.

  14. Name the Claim rule and configure the rest of the fields as what is shown on the screenshot below. Click Finish when done.

  15. Click Apply.

  16. Click OK.

  17. Click Relying Party Trusts and select your display name.

  18. Click Advanced and select SHA-1 as the secure hash algorithm. Click Apply when done.

Section 6: Logging in with SSO

  1. Login with your username. (This should be an email). You will be redirected to the SSO login page provided by your Identity Provider.


    You must use HTTPS for SSO to work.

  2. Enter your credentials. Upon successful authentication, you will be redirected back to your Appspace Dashboard.