SAML allows an organization to create a single source of truth for user identity management and communicate this information with other applications. The user identity source is referred to as the Identity Provider (IdP) which communicates with Service Providers (SP). In this context, Content Controller is the Service Provider and an application like Active Directory would be the Identity Provider.

The following steps will describe how to integrate your Identity Provider with Content Controller.



Before starting the configuration of SAML on the Content Controller side of things, first you must obtain a metadata XML file from your identity provider and place it in the ContentController_PublicDeploy/roles/saml/files directory and name it idp-metadata.xml.

Next if you do not already have one, you will need to generate a keystore for all signature and encryption operations. Execute the following commands, replacing {keypass} and {storepass} with strong passwords. Keep track of these two passwords as they will be added to the Content Controller configuration later.

keytool -genkeypair -alias pac4j-demo \
  -keypass {keypass} -keystore samlKeystore.jks \
  -storepass {storepass} -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 3650

This command will output a file named samlKeystore.jks. This file should be moved into the ContentController_PublicDeploy/roles/saml/files directory.

To integrate Content Controller with your IDP server, you will need to provide a service provider metadata file. This file is used to configure your IDP so that it knows how to communicate with Content Controller. You can generate this document using the endpoint /api/saml/metadata. It will return an XML document that you can save to the file system. Then, provide it to your IDP in the appropriate fashion. This may vary depending on which IDP you are using; refer to that product's documentation or support team).

Content Controller Configuration

With these files now in the proper place, open your .yml configuration file in ContentController_PublicDeploy/host_vars and add the following four lines at the bottom

enable_saml: true
keystore_password: demo-passwd
private_key_password: demo-passwd
maximum_auth_lifetime: 3600

maximum_auth_lifetime is the maximum age in seconds that Content Controller will allow for a user. If a token older than this lifetime is used in a request, then CC will reject it. The value configured in CC should be shorter than or equal to the same value in your IDP server.

With these settings in place, execute the normal ansible upgrade command, and the playbooks will take care of moving files into the correct location and enabling SAML SSO authentication.


Once enabled, Content Controller user accounts will still need to be created and managed in the Content Controler admin panel. However, a new SSO button will appear on the login page that will redirect the user to your Identity Provider login page. Once authentication with the IdP is successful, the user will be redirected back to Content Controller and issued a valid authentication token.

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