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Setup MindTouch SAML SSO

MindTouch implementation services can enable a SAML single sign-on (SSO) integration, allowing users to sign in to a MindTouch-powered site from your organization's centralized sign in portal.

Terminology

When speaking about SAML SSO, there are terms and jargon commonly used. The most important terminology is as follows:

  • Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) is a preferred single sign-on (SSO) authentication protocol that allows users to access multiple applications at a single point of authentication.
  • Single sign-on (SSO) is an authentication process that allows users to use one set of login credentials to log into multiple applications.
  • An identity provider (IdP) is a service for creating, managing and storing a user‘s authentication credentials (i.e. username, password, group assignments, roles, etc.)
  • The service provider (SP) is the owner or provider of the application the user wants to access (e.g. MindTouch).
  • An Authentication request is an HTTP request from the SP to the IdP, made on behalf of the user after they initiate a sign-on session. MindTouch initiates the sign-on when a user clicks the Sign in link or attempts to visit a protected resource such as a private page or file attachment.
  • An Assertion is an XML document, either part of an IdP response to an authentication request or an IdP unsolicited request to sign a user into an SP that contains the metadata required to sign on or create a user on the SP.

Why is SAML SSO recommended for authentication?

  • Security. Since SAML provides a single point of authentication at a secure identity provider (IdP), user credentials never leave the firewall boundary and the many applications used throughout your company do not have to store and synchronize identities, minimizing potential breach points.
  • Improved online user experience. SAML allows users to securely access multiple applications with a single login, simplifying the everyday workflow.
  • Platform neutrality. The SAML protocol interoperates with any system independent of implementation, reducing interoperability issues associated with vendor-specific approaches.
  • Reduced administrative costs for service providers. The burden of authentication users across multiple applications is transferred to the IdP with a single act of authentication, reducing the account management costs.
  • Risk transference. SAML can act to push responsibility for proper management of identities to the identity provider, which is more often compatible with its business model than that of a service provider.

Prerequisites

SAML SSO sessions can occur behind existing VPN or IP-restrictions if enabled for your MindTouch site. See our technical SAML SSO notes for more information on additional security measures.

Collect information from your IdP

To configure the most basic SAML SSO integration, you need the following information from your identity provider (IdP):

  • Entity ID (required). The unique identifier for your IdP. MindTouch accepts SAML assertions from this ID only.
  • Single sign-on service (required). The SSO endpoint that MindTouch sends authentication requests to.
  • Single logout service (recommended). The SLO endpoint that MindTouch sends logout requests to.
  • Public X.509 certificate (required). MindTouch uses this certificate to establish trust with your IdP and to validate incoming SAML assertions from the IdP.

Contact your MindTouch Account Manager

Your account manager will introduce you to the team providing SAML SSO integration services. Based on the complexity of your integration, you may need to only supply the IdP data described above, or you may work with them on more advanced integrations. The latter may require more involvement with your IdP maintainer or vendor, and additional information.

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