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Version: 4.19.x.x RR

SAML Integration


nevisAdmin 4 supports secure authentication with SAML. This is the recommended setup for enterprises that want to control access to nevisAdmin 4 in a centralized way, or enable second factor authentication.

When SAML is configured, nevisAdmin 4 creates users in its database as soon as they log in. During the login process, nevisAdmin 4 also updates the user's group memberships and attributes within the database.

The main steps to integrate SAML are as follows:

  1. Prepare the Identity Provider to integrate with nevisAdmin 4. See the Azure AD setup as an example.
  2. Follow the steps below.

Change the Configuration

The settings below are configured in /var/opt/nevisadmin4/conf/nevisadmin4.yml.

Restart nevisAdmin 4 after making changes to the nevisadmin4.yml file:

nevisadmin4 stopService
nevisadmin4 startService

Enable SAML Authentication

Enable saml profile.

profiles: jpa,mariadb,saml,health

Apply the below settings to enable authentication against an Identity Provider. These properties can be found in the default configuration file /var/opt/nevisadmin4/conf/nevisadmin4.yml.

private-key: file:/var/opt/nevisadmin4/keys/saml.key
certificate: file:/var/opt/nevisadmin4/keys/saml.crt

Create service provider key material

openssl req -nodes -x509 -newkey rsa:4096 -keyout saml.key -out saml.crt -sha256 -days 3650

Default admin group

In SAML authentication the login with local users are not allowed, therefore the local admin user neither can login.

Enabling the saml profile automatically creates a group named __admin on start-up. This group has the same permissions as the local admin user.

The __admin group can be assigned to users via assertion attributes. See it in the next chapters.

Synchronization During Login

nevisAdmin 4 creates users in its database as soon as they login. Based on the provided attribute mappings, nevisAdmin 4 then extracts the following user attributes during login:

  • userKey
  • groupKeys
  • email
  • first name
  • last name

The default mappings can be overwritten with nevisadmin.saml.attribute.* properties.


Supported SAML Properties

See nevisadmin.saml.* properties at Configuration Properties in the nevisadmin4.yml File.



To debug your SAML setup, perform the following steps:

  1. Add the lines from the next code block to the logback.xml file. You find this file at /var/opt/nevisadmin4/conf/logback.xml.

    <logger name="" level="debug" additivity="false">
    <appender-ref ref="STDOUT" />
    <appender-ref ref="FILE" />

    <logger name="" level="debug" additivity="false">
    <appender-ref ref="STDOUT" />
    <appender-ref ref="FILE" />

    <logger name="" level="debug" additivity="false">
    <appender-ref ref="STDOUT" />
    <appender-ref ref="FILE" />

    <logger name="" level="debug" additivity="false" >
    <appender-ref ref="STDOUT" />
    <appender-ref ref="FILE" />

    Configuration is automatically synchronized every 5 seconds.

  2. Try to log in with a SAML account.

  3. Check the nevisAdmin 4 log file, which you find at /var/opt/nevisadmin4/logs/nevisadmin4.log.

Identity Provider metadata change

If the Identity provider's metadata value is changed then nevisAdmin 4 has to be restarted to pick up the new configuration on startup.

For example: when the Identity Provider's certificate expires and needs be renewed.

Azure AD setup


  1. Sign in to your Azure Account through the Azure portal.
  2. Select Azure Active Directory.

Create an application with Azure AD

  1. Select Enterprise applications.

  2. Select New application.

  3. Select Create your own application.

Create Application Roles

  1. Select App registrations.

  2. Navigate to All applications > nevisadmin4 > App roles.

  3. Select Create app role.

  4. Create Admin role with value __admin (double-underscore). The __admin group is available by default in nevisAdmin 4 and must be used for initial setup.

Assign Users and Roles

  1. Navigate to Enterprise applications > nevisadmin4 > Users and groups.

  2. Select Add user/group.

  3. Choose users then click Select.

  4. Select Roles

Enable Single sign-on

  1. Navigate to Enterprise applications > nevisadmin4 > Single sign-on > SAML.

  2. Edit the Basic SAML Configuration.

    Url templates:

  3. Copy the App Federation Metadata Url and set it as nevisadmin.saml.idp.metadata-uri in the nevisadmin4.yml file.

Custom userKey attribute (optional)

By default the email address is used as userKey in nevisAdmin 4.

There are multiple ways to customize it.

  1. See the official Azure documentation about how to customize claims issued in the SAML token for enterprise applications.
  2. Use your own attribute extension. See below.

Create Attribute extension

Run Windows PowerShell as administrator

#Install AzureAD module if not available yet
Install-Module AzureAD
Import-Module AzureAD

#Set TenantId
$TenantId = "xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxxx"

#Connect to your Azure AD tenant
Connect-AzureAD -TenantId $TenantId

#Search for the nevisadmin4 application to determine the ObjectId
Get-AzureADApplication -SearchString "nevisadmin4"

#Set Application ObjectId
$AppObjectId = "xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxxx"

#Create "userKey" extension property
New-AzureADApplicationExtensionProperty -ObjectId $AppObjectId -Name "userKey" -DataType "String" -TargetObjects "User"

#Set ExtensionName
$ExtensionName = "extension_xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx_userKey"

#List users in your tenant to determine the ObjectId for your user

#Set User ObjectId
$UserObjectId = "xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxxx"

#Set a value for the extension property on the user.
Set-AzureADUserExtension -ObjectId $UserObjectId -ExtensionName $ExtensionName -ExtensionValue "your-custom-user-key"

#Verify that the attribute was added correctly.
Get-AzureADUser -ObjectId $UserObjectId | Select -ExpandProperty ExtensionProperty

Configure optional claims

  1. Navigate to App registrations > All applications > nevisadmin4 > Token configuration.

  2. Select Add optional claim.

Define attribute mapping

nevisadmin4.yml snippet