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SAML Single Sign On (SSO) Into Crowd Using Shibboleth3

Crowd SAML app gives the ability to enable SAML Single Sign-On for JIRA, Confluence, Bitbucket, Bamboo, Fisheye, and other connected applications from any SAML Identity Providers. Here we will go through a guide to configure SSO between Crowd and Identity Provider. By the end of this guide, your users will be able to SSO into Crowd.


To configure your Identity Provider integration with Crowd SAML SSO, you need the following items:

    • Crowd should be installed and configured.
    • Admin credentials are set up in Crowd.

Pre-configurations to make SSO work

    • Navigate to Applications->Crowd->Directory and Group and make sure user is allowed to authenticate (This is not needed in the premium plugin).
    • Navigate to Application->Crowd->Remote address and make sure Crowd server's IP Address is configured here.
    • If you are using Crowd Server/Datacenter version 4.3.0 and above, please navigate to Applications->Crowd->Options. Select Allow to generate user tokens option and Save it.

Download And Installation

  • Log into your Crowd instance as an admin.
  • Navigate to the Administration menu and Click Manage Apps.
  • Click Find new apps or Find new add-ons from the left-hand side of the page.
  • Locate SAML Single Sign-On for Crowd via search and click on install.
  • SAML Single Sign On (SSO) into Crowd, Install Crowd Add-On through manage apps menu
A. License and Plugin Download

    • Login to miniOrange Admin console.
    • Navigate to License > Manage License > Release and Download .
    • Download the jar file from the Download link.
    • Now, click on the View License button to get the license key.
B. Installation

    • Log in to the Crowd Admin console.
    • Navigate to Administration > Manage Apps.
    • Click on the Upload App and upload the jar file.
    • Now, click on the Configure button. You will be asked to verify the miniOrange credential and license key.

Plugin Activation

C.a Plugin Activation with Online License

    • Navigate to Crowd Admin Console → Manage Apps.
    • Click on the Configure button of the miniOrange Crowd SAML SSO plugin.
    • Log in with your miniOrange account. Once authenticated, you will be prompted to enter the license key.
    • Enter the license key and click on the verify button.
C.b Plugin Activation with Offline License

    • You will be provided license for activation.
    • Navigate to Crowd Admin Console → Manage Apps.
    • Click on the Configure button of the miniOrange Crowd SAML SSO plugin.
    • Click on Choose File button under the Upload your license File here section.
    • Upload the license key and click on the Verify button.

Step 1: Setup Shibboleth3 as Identity Provider

      • In conf/idp.properties, uncomment and set 'idp.encryption.optional' to true.
           eg. idp.encryption.optional = true
      • In conf/metadata-providers.xml, configure Service Provider like below.
      • <MetadataProvider xmlns:samlmd="urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:metadata"
          id="miniOrangeInLineEntity" xsi:type="InlineMetadataProvider" sortKey="1">
          <samlmd:EntityDescriptor ID="entity" entityID="<SP-EntityID / Issuer from Service Provider Info tab in plugin.>"
            <samlmd:SPSSODescriptor AuthnRequestsSigned="false" WantAssertionsSigned="true"
            <samlmd:AssertionConsumerService Binding="urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:bindings:HTTP-POST"
            Location="<ACS (AssertionConsumerService) URL from Step1 of the plugin under Identity Provider Tab.>"
              index="1" />

      • In conf/saml-nameid.properties, uncomment and set default NameID as Email Address like this
      • idp.nameid.saml2.default=urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:1.1:nameid-format:emailAddress

      • In conf/saml-nameid-xml, search for shibboleth.SAML2NameIDGenerators. Uncomment the shibboleth.SAML2AttributeSourcedGenerator bean and comment all other ref beans.
      • <!-- SAML 2 NameID Generation -->
        <util:list id="shibboleth.SAML2NameIDGenerators">
          <!--<ref bean="shibboleth.SAML2TransientGenerator" /> -->
          <!-->ref bean="shibboleth.SAML2PersistentGenerator" /> -->
          <bean parent="shibboleth.SAML2AttributeSourcedGenerator"
          p:attributeSourceIds="#{ {'email'} }" />

      • Make sure you have defined AttributeDefinition in conf/attribute-resolver.xml.
      • <!-- Note: AttributeDefinitionid must be same as what you provided in attributeSourceIds in conf/saml-nameid.xml -->
        <resolver:AttributeDefinitionxsi:type="ad:Simple" id="email" sourceAttributeID="mail">
          <resolver:Dependency ref="ldapConnector" />
          <resolver:AttributeEncoderxsi:type="enc:SAML2String" name="email" friendlyName="email" />
        </resolver:AttributeDefinition >

        <resolver:DataConnector id="ldapConnector" xsi:type="dc:LDAPDirectory" ldapURL="%{idp.authn.LDAP.ldapURL}"
          baseDN="%{idp.authn.LDAP.baseDN}" principal="%{idp.authn.LDAP.bindDN}"
            <!-- Define you User Search Filter here -->
            <![CDATA[ (&(objectclass=*)(cn=$requestContext.principalName)) ]]>


      • Make sure you have AttributeFilterPolicy defined in conf/attribute-filter.xml.
      • <afp:AttributeFilterPolicy id="ldapAttributes">

      • Restart the Shibboleth server.
      • You need to configure these endpoints in the miniOrange plugin.
      • IDP Entity ID https://<your_domain>/idp/shibboleth
        Single Login URL https://<your_domain>/idp/profile/SAML2/Redirect/SSO
        Single Logout URL https://<your_domain>/idp/shibboleth
        X.509 Certificate The public key certificate of your Shibboleth server

Step 2: Setup Crowd as Service Provider

Configuring Single IDP

With the information you have been given by Your IDP team, you can configure IDP settings in 2 ways:

A. By Metadata URL

  • Click on Import from Metadata in Configure IDP tab
  • Give IDP Name that you want to.
  • Enter IDP metadata URL: Enter your metadata URL
  • Click Import

SAML Single Sign On (SSO) into Crowd, Import IDP through Metadata URL

B. Manual Configuration

Go to Configure IDP tab and enter the following details

  • IDP Entity ID
  • Single Sign On URL
  • Single Logout URL
  • X.509 Certificate
SAML Single Sign ON (SSO) into Crowd, Configure IDP Manually
Configure New IDP

If you already have one IDP & you are looking to add Second IDP then you can do it by performing the following steps.

  • Navigate to Configure IDP tab.
  • Click on Add new IDP.
  • It will present a blank form & you can configure new IDP using steps from Single IdP Setup.
SAML Single Sign On (SSO) into Crowd, Add second IDP into Crowd

Configure multiple IDPs

If you have configured more than two IDPs then it will show you the list of IDP that you have configured with Crowd.

Click on Add new IdP button for adding new IDP on Crowd. The steps for adding new IDP will remain the same.

SAML Single Sign On (SSO) into Crowd, Add multiple IDP into Crowd
An operation that you can perform with List of IdPs page.

  • Add / delete Identity Provider.
  • Test Connection between Crowd & IdP by click on Test button for respective IDP.
  • Edit the IdP configuration by clicking on the Edit button.
  • You can allow an only specific set of users to access Crowd by using Domain Mapping.

Single Sign-On with Multiple Identity Provider(IDP)

Select your IdP from the list. It will redirect you to selected IdP login page.

SAML Single Sign On (SSO) into Crowd, login buttons on login page for multiple IDP

Step 3: Setting up Crowd user profile attributes

    We will be setting up user profile attributes for Crowd. If your users are stored in a directory that is Read Only, please check Disable Attribute Mapping in User Profile tab and follow steps given in Matching a User.

    SAML Single Sign On (SSO) into Crowd, User profile Settings

    a. Finding correct attributes

  • Go to Configure IDP tab. Scroll down and click on Test Configuration.
  • You will see all the values returned by your IDP to Crowd in a table. If you don't see value for First Name, Last Name, Email or Username, make the required settings in your IDP to return this information.
  • Once you see all the values in Test Configuration, keep the window open and go to User Profile tab.
  • b. Setting profile attributes

  • In this tab, fill the values by matching the name of the attribute. For instance, if the Attribute Name in the Test Configuration window is NameID, enter NameID against Username
  • Setting up both Username and Email is required if you want to let users register. If you want existing users to only login, configure the attribute using which you will match the user in Crowd.
  • c. Matching a User

    When the user logs into Crowd, one of the user's data/attribute coming in from the IDP is used to search the user in Crowd. This is used to detect the user in Crowd and log in the user to the same account.
    You can configure it using steps given below:
  • Go to User Profile tab
  • Select Username or Email for Login/Search Crowd user account by
  • Enter the attribute name from IDP which corresponds to Username or Email using Finding Correct Attributes

Step 4: Assigning groups to users

    We will be setting up user group attributes for Crowd. If your users are stored in a directory that is Read Only, please check Disable Group Mapping in User Groups tab and skip to Setting default group.

    a. Setting default group

  • Select the users' Default Group in the tab User Groups. If no group is mapped, users are added by default to this group.
  • You can enable default groups for All Users or New Users using the option. Select None if you don't want to assign any default group to SSO users, using the option Enable Default Groups for.
  • SAML Single Sign On (SSO) into Crowd, Default groups in group mapping

    b. Finding Group Attribute

  • Just like we found Attribute Name for User Profile attributes, we find group attribute.
  • Go to Configure IDP tab. Scroll down and click on Test Configuration.
  • You will see all the values returned by your IDP to Crowd in a table. If you don't see value with groups, make the required settings in your IDP to return group names.
  • Once you see all the values in Test Configuration, keep the window open and go to User Groups tab.
  • Enter the Attribute Name of group against Group Attribute.
  • Check Disable Group Mapping option if you don't want to update groups of existing users.
  • c. Group Mapping

    Group Mapping can be done in following way:

    Manual group mapping: If the names of groups in Crowd are different than the corresponding groups in IDP, you should use Manual group mapping

  • Check Restrict User Creation Based on Group Mapping option if you want new users to be created only if at least one of the user's IDP groups is mapped to a group in the application.
  • For mapping, first select a Crowd group from the dropdown which lists all groups present in Crowd and then enter the name of the IDP group to be mapped in the textbox beside
  • For example, if you want all users in 'dev' group in IDP to be added to app-user, you will need to select app-user from the dropdown and enter 'dev' against app-user.
  • Use '+1' and '+10' buttons to add extra mapping fields.
  • Use '-' button next to each mapping to delete that mapping.
  • SAML Single Sign On (SSO) into Crowd, Manual group mapping

Step 5: SSO Settings

    The settings in SSO Settings tab define the user experience for Single Sign On.

  • Go to SSO Login Template. Design your own login template that will be used to initiate SSO.
  • SAML Single Sign On (SSO) into Crowd, Custom login Settings
  • Set redirect URL after login using Relay State. Keep this empty for coming back to the same page user started from
  • Enable Auto-redirect to IDP if you want to allow users to login only using IDP. Enable backdoor for emergency

Step 6: Crowd Connectors

The Crowd SSO connector expands the SAML SSO functionality from Crowd to its connected Atlassian applications where it allows users to login to their applications such as Jira, Confluence, Bitbucket, Bamboo, Fisheye while maintaining the users in Crowd.

Note: Click on the icons to view the SSO Connector guide for the application.

Crowd Troubleshooting

If you encounter any difficulties while setting up miniOrange Crowd add-ons, please refer to this Crowd troubleshooting page for assistance.

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