In this post, We will be dicussing how to setup Federated SAML based Authentication in Salesforce.
SAML stands for “Security Assertion Markup Language” and it is Open standard for exchanging Authentication and Authorization between Systems. SAML based authentication is supported by all editions of Salesforce.
User Validation can be initiated by any one of below two types:
- Service Provider Initiated SSO
- Identity Provider (IDp) initioated SSO
We are going to use Identity Provider Initiated SSO in this article. Means User will Login from Outside(IDp) and will be redirected to Salesforce (Service Provider). Identity Provider must follow Federated Authentication (SAML) standard which should be deployed to DMZ (URL should be publicly accessible on Internet) layer of your Organization. As a Salesforce developer you should assume that you will always get IDp URL which implements SSO and implements valid SAML response. To Quickly start with this tutorial assume that your organization already deployed SAML based Authentication endpoint and for that we will be using great Heroku app available freely as open source named “AXIOM“.
AXIOM is java based heroku application which implements SAML and can be used for testing purpose to check whether SSO is working properly or not.
IDp Initiated Single Sign On :
In IDp Initiated SSO, User Directly logins to Identity provider and IDp redirects user to proper Salesforce Instance with SAML assertion in request (Service Provider). If SAML assertion is valid then Salesforce validates that user successfuly.