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SAML integration between Microsoft Azure portal and SAP Business Intelligence Platform

What is Azure Portal?

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure created by Microsoft for building, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers. Users can manage Azure services using the Web-based Azure portal (sometimes referred to as the Azure Resource Manager (ARM) portal). The portal allows users to browse active resources, modify settings, launch new resources, and view basic monitoring data from active virtual machines and services.

Prerequisites

Before accessing the portal, you must first have a valid email address and Microsoft Azure password.

Business Objects Intelligence Platform 4.2 SP05 and above

What is Azure AD connect

The Azure Active Directory Connect synchronization services (Azure AD Connect sync) is a main component of Azure AD Connect. It takes care of all the operations that are related to synchronize identity data between your on-premises environment and Azure AD. Azure AD Connect sync is the successor of DirSync, Azure AD Sync, and Forefront Identity Manager with the Azure Active Directory Connector configured.

 

Microsoft Azure Portal Configuration

  1. Access and login into Azure portal

https://portal.azure.com/#

  1. Goto Azure Active Directory –> Enterprise Applications –> All Applications

 

  1. New Application – In the All Applications window, click on New Application

  1. New Application – As SAP Business Intelligence application is not available in Microsoft Apps gallery, we need to add as Non-Gallery Application.

Provide application name and click on Add.

 

  1. All Application – After adding the application, it will be listed in all applications.

 

  1. SAML – click on the newly added applicaton ex – SAP Business Objects, it will open the SAP Business Objects application properties.

Click on Single sign-on for enabling SAML for this application.

Select SAML-based Sign-on from the Single Sign-0n Mode as shown below.

 

 

Provide the parameters required ex – identifier, Reply URL as shown above and save.

Click on Show advanced URL settings and in Sign on URL provide the URL where users can login and access the application

 

  1. Download IDP metadata.

Download IDP metadata (Azure portal) from SAML Signing Certificate.

Save this file we need it when configuring SAP BI.

 

  1. Save the configuration.

These are the steps required from Azure portal for SAML configuration with SAP BI.

 

SAP BI Configuration

Unlike other Web Application servers WebSphere, NetWeaver, Tomcat does not come with inbuilt Service Provider, we have to implement our own Service Provider for Tomcat.

We will be using Spring SAML Security Assertion Service Provider for Tomcat.

Adding Tomcat Service Provider Jars

  1. The Spring SAML Service Provider Jars are available inside <BOE Install  Dir> \SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\SAMLJARS, Copy these jars <BOE  Install  Dir>\tomcat\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF\lib
  2. Stop Tomcat, delete tomcat work directory from <BOE Install  Dir>\tomcat
  3. Start Tomcat

Configure Tomcat for HTTPS SSL

  1. Create a certificate keystore by executing the following command.

keytool -genkey -alias <create_AliasName> -keyalg RSA -keystore <path_and_create_KeystoreFilename> -keysize 2048

  1. This command will prompt for the attributes, enter all the attributes for the certificate.
  2. Configuring your SSL Connector.

Before Tomcat can accept secure connections, you need to configure an SSL Connector.

a. In a text editor, open the Tomcat server.xml file.

The server.xml file is usually located in the conf folder of your Tomcat’s home directory.

b.Locate the connector that you want to use the new keystore to secure.

Usually, a connector with port 443 or 8443 is used, as shown in step 4.

c.If necessary, uncomment the connector.

To uncomment a connector, remove the comment tags (<!– and –>).

d.Specify the correct keystore filename and password in your connector configuration.

4.When you are done, your connector should look something like this:

<Connector port=”8443″ maxHttpHeaderSize=”8192″ maxThreads=”150″ minSpareThreads=”25″ maxSpareThreads=”75″ enableLookups=”false” disableUploadTimeout=”true” acceptCount=”100″ scheme=”https” secure=”true” SSLEnabled=”true” clientAuth=”false” sslProtocol=”TLS” keyAlias=”server” keystoreFile=”/home/user_name/your_site_name.jks” keystorePass=”your_keystore_password” />

 

Enabling SAML for required Web Applications Properties

SAML authentication has to be enabled for the different web applications. This can be done by uncommenting the respective endpoint in securityContext.xml and also edit saml.enabled in customproperties files of the respective applications.

In this we will be enabling SAML for Old BI Launchpad BOE/BI

  1. Changes in securityContext.xml file

In the securityContext.xml under<BOE  Install  Dir>\tomcat\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF , there is a section for the SAML entry endpoints.

By default, only the SAML entry endpoint for Classic BI Launchpad is enabled.

 

2. SAML Authentication can also be enabled for other applications Opendocument, Fiori                          Launchpad by uncommenting <security:intercept line of that particular application.

3. Also in case SAML authentication has to be enabled only for one application ex – BI Launchpad alone, the <security:intercept-url pattern=”/BI” access=”IS_AUTHENTICATED_FULLY”/> has to been uncommented, comment the entry points for Opendocument, Fiori Launchpad

 

Changes in BILaunchpad.properties

Create BILaunchpad.properties file in the <BOE  Install  Dir> \SAP BusinessObjects\tomcat\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF\config\custom assuming custom properties file does not exist. If it is already does, only need to add the property saml.enabled=true

 

Configurations in the deployment descriptor – web.xml

Enabling SAML in the SP configuration

Activate the SAML context configuration

a.Open the <BOE Install  Dir>\tomcat\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF\web.xml file in a text editor.

b.Remove the lines (<!—and –>) that comment out the contents of the START SAML / END  SAML comments.

A new filter has been introduced for SAML, the relevant section in the web.xml will be kept commented by default.

Enabling filters in web.xml of BOE webapps by uncommenting the SAML sections.

Web.xml file path –  <BOE  Install  Dir>\tomcat\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF\web.xml

Note: SAML authentication enablement is done the web application level, I.E., BOE itself and not in individual webpath bundles.

Update IDP metadata in SP

The IDP metadata has to be downloaded from the respective IDP (in our case Azure Portal).

Rename the file to idp-meta-downloaded.xml

Copy the Azure Portal IDP idp-meta-downloaded.xml file which we downloaded in step 7 above to
<BOE  Install  Dir>\tomcat\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF

In Case if BOE is deployed on a Linux machine (non -windows)  the path separators in file path to the idp metadata under the bean FilesystemMetadataProvider should be changed in securityContext.xml under <BOE  Install  Dir>\tomcat\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF.

i.e  <value type=”java.io.File”>/WEB-INF/idp-meta-downloaded.xml</value> has to be changed to <value type=”java.io.File”>\WEB-INF\idp-meta-downloaded.xml</value> for Linux

For windows, it looks like

 

SAML keystore generation
SAML exchanges involve usage of cryptography for signing and encryption of data.

You can generate your own self-signed key using the Java utility keytool by following steps

Navigate to <BOE  Install  Dir>\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\win64_x64\sapjvm\bin and run the following command to generate certificate.

keytool -genkey -alias <aliasname> -keypass <Password> -keystore <sampleKeystore.jks> -keyalg RSA      -validity <numberofdays>

aliasname – certificate alias name, Password -password of your choice, numberofdays – number of the days during which the self-signed certificate is valid, sampletestKeystore.jks is name of the keystore file.

Example – keytool -genkeypair -alias Testkey -keypass Password1 -keystore sampletestKeystore.jks -validity 735

The generated keystore file has to be copied from bin folder  and  pasted under <BOE  Install  Dir>\tomcat\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF and the references of the new aliasname, Password, keyStore file name has to be changed in securityContext.xml file

 

 

The first argument (sampleKeystore.jks) points to the used key store file,
second contains password (Password1) for the keystore which you enter in command prompt after entering the keystore generation command,
third then map with passwords for private keys with alias-password value pairs(Password1). Alias of the default certificate is the last parameter.(Testkey).

Note: SP metadata has to be generated everytime this keystore file is changed.

After making all the above changes, Restart tomcat.

 

 

Configure Trusted Authentication for Tomcat with Web session

  1. Add the global.properties file under <BOE Install  Dir>\tomcat\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF\config\custom and make the below changes

sso.enabled=true

trusted.auth.shared.secret=MySecret

trusted.auth.user.param=MyUser

trusted.auth.user.retrieval=WEB_SESSION

  1. Goto CMC –> Authentication –> Enterprise
  2. Enable Trusted Auhentication
  3. Set validity and download the shared secret key TrustedPrincipal.conf
  4. Click Save, and save the TrustedPrincipal.conf file to the following directories:

<INSTALLDIR>\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\win64_x64\

<INSTALLDIR>\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\win32_x86\

 

Create the IDP user in BOE

The IDP user has to be created in BOE or imported through some SDK script or export using CSV option in CMC.

The SAML based authentication relies on TrustedAuth from the web-server to the CMS. For this, the IDP users will have to be created in BOE as Enterprise users.

Import the bulk users into BI Platform:

https://blogs.sap.com/2013/05/16/bi-40-sp6-how-to-import-users-in-bulk-from-central-management-console/

Locate the custom.jsp file inside the web folder in the com.businessobjects.webpath.InfoView.jar file at C:\Program Files (x86)\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\warfiles\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF\eclipse\plugins\webpath.InfoView\web\custom.jsp

Make the following changes to the custom.jsp file in the

<\!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN”  “http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd”>

<%@ page language=”java” contentType=”text/html;charset=utf-8″ %>

<% //custom Java code

 

%>

Restart Tomcat.

 

Validation

There are two ways to access SAML application SSO.

  1. SP Initiated SSO
  2. IDP Initiated SSO

SP Initiated SSO

SP initiated SSO is starting / accessing app using application URL (in our case SAP BI).

https://boehost:port/BOE/BI

User will be redirected to IDP login page for authentication. Enter the user credentials of your email id login for azure

 

It will get logged in automatically once credentials are validated.

 

IDP initiated

For accessing app using IDP initiated SSO, the following change / attribute should be added, click on Show advanced URL settings checkbox and add https://boehost:port/BOE/BI in the Sign on URL of SAP Business Intelligence

 

Save the configuration.

For accessing app using IDP initiated SSO, go to Apps in azure portal using below URL and click on SAP Business Intelligence

https://account.activedirectory.windowsazure.com/r#/applications

 

 

If all the SAML configuration is correct, user will be automatically gets logged into SAP BI.

 

 

 

Blog by:Dhrubajyoti Paul
Mohammed Ashraf

 

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6 Comments

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  1. Chenghao Huang

    I have a short question here:

    1: In BI4.2 PAM,  there is no MS Azure in supported Portal Server list, does that mean SAP doesn’t support SAML SSO between Azure and BI officially?

     

    2. For BI, the authentication from Azure portal is Windows AD or others? I mean if check the CMC > Sessions, it will display secWinAD or others?

    Regards,
    Chenghao

    (0) 
    1. Former Member Post author

      That is because Trusted Authentication is used for SSO.

      With Trusted Authentication you will always get SecEnterprise session  in Sessions not SecwinAD.

      You can refer to Admin guide for the same

      (0) 
  2. Former Member Post author

    IDP SAML is supported from BI 4.2 SP05 onwards.Initially it was certified with HCP.Now Azure has also been certified.The SSO happens through trusted authentication .In sessions it will reflect as SecEnterprise

     

    (1) 
    1. Ivan Yin

      Hi Paul,

      It would be great to add the information about what kinds of IdP are supported by BI4.2 SP5 in PAM so that the customers can get a clear idea about it.

      Regards,

      Ivan

      (0) 
      1. Former Member Post author

        The Official line is SAML is supported with BO.
        An IDP supporting SAML should work with Business Objects.

        There will not be a separate list for that in PAM as of now

         

        (0) 
  3. Ranjit Shankar

    Hey Paul, this is really a great post and helpful information! Thanks much for sharing step by step process and guide for configuring Microsoft azure and the detailed guidance about SAP BI configuration. Also, the links for reference that you’ve provided in between are very much useful.

    Best Regards
    Ranjit

    (0) 

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