SAML setup with Azure AD

Configuring OpenVPN Cloud user authentication to use SAML

The administrator can configure OpenVPN Cloud to authenticate access to User Portal, download of VPN profile, and VPN connections using a SAML 2.0 compliant Identity Provider.

The administrator needs to follow the steps below. The steps below use Azure Active Directory as the Identity Provider. Basic configuration guides for some of the other popular Identity as a Service (IDaaS) providers are provided separately.

  1. Login to OpenVPN Cloud Administration portal and do the following:

    1. Navigate to Settings section and click on the User Authentication tab.

    2. Click on the Edit button positioned on the top right

    3. Click on the Configure button under the SAML option

    4. The SAML Configuration webpage opens in a new browser window/tab and show the information needed to configure OpenVPN Cloud as a Service Provider in your Identity Provider.

  2. Login to the administration console of the Identity Provider to configure OpenVPN Cloud as a SAML Service Provider. The steps for Azure Active Directory are below:

    1. On the Active Directory main page click on Enterprise application option.

    2. Click on the New applicationbutton

    3. Select the non-gallery application option in the Add your own app section

    4. Provide name for your app and click Add. On the home page of your app, select the Set up single sign onoption.

    5. Then choose SAML option. On the Set up Single Sign-On with SAML page click on the Edit icon and:

      • Enter the Issuer Name displayed in the SAML Configuration webpage of OpenVPN Cloud into Identifier (Entity ID) input field of Azure Active Directory

      • Enter the SSO URL displayed in the SAML Configuration webpage of OpenVPN Cloud into the Reply URL (Assertion Consumer Service URL) input field of Azure Active Directory

    6. Scroll down the page to SAML Signing Certificate section. In this section you can copy the link shown in the App Federation Metadata URL field this will be needed later

    7. Azure Active Directory will only provide the NameID value to the Service Provider by default which OpenVPN Cloud will map to the username of the User. If you want OpenVPN Cloud to have more information about the user and to use the value of a specific user attribute to map the user into an OpenVPN Cloud User Group, you need to configure parameters to be sent from Azure Active Directory to App. You can do that by filling in the User Attributes & Claims section of your App

      • You can also configure Azure AD to send groups using Active Directory attributes synced from Active Directory instead of Azure AD objectIDs. Only groups synchronized from Active Directory will be included in the claims. For example, you can send the Mail-Enabled Security Groups synchronized from Office 365. See, Microsoft Documentation on how a group claim can return the ‘Security group’ for the ‘Group ID’ Source attribute.
    8. Now that OpenVPN Cloud has been setup as an application, you need to provide applicable users access to OpenVPN Cloud application by doing the following:

      1. Go to the Enterprise applicationmenu, choose your created app and select Assign users and groups

      2. Click on Add user

      3. Click on Users, then choose the user you want to assign to application and click on the Select button.

      4. Then at the bottom of the page you will find active Assign button, click on it. The user should appear among the list of assigned users.

  3. Go back to the browser tab/window displaying the OpenVPN Cloud and take the following actions:

    1. Click on the Next button

    2. Provide an IdP Name, Select IdP Metadata URL, and do the paste the App Federation Metadata URL value copied earlier in step ‘2.f’ into the IdP Metadata URL text field

    3. If earlier in step ‘2.g’ you had setup additional parameters to map into OpenVPN Cloud User information, do the following or else click on the Next button:

      1. Expand the Advanced settings section

      2. In the Attribute Mapping section provide the Identity Provider parameter names corresponding to the OpenVPN Cloud User information fields that you want to be populated with information from the Identity Provider’s parameters (SAML attributes) and click on the Next button when done

    4. Click on the Finish button after reviewing the SAML configuration

    5. Now that the SAML configuration is done, we need to enable SAML as the user authentication method by clicking on the Edit button in the User Authentication tab

    6. Select the SAML option

    7. If earlier in step ‘2.g’ you had setup an additional parameter with the intention to map the value of that parameter to OpenVPN Cloud User Group, do the following or else click on the Update Settings button:

      1. Click on the Add Rule button

      2. Enter in SAML IdP User Group(s) field one or more of the values that will present in the IDP provided parameter that you had mapped to the Group attribute in step ‘3.c.ii’and select the corresponding you want those values to map into. For example, the IdP user’s department value of ‘DEV’ could map to OpenVPN Cloud User Group ‘Dev’ which has been configured to provide access to resources for developers. Repeat the step to add more rules as desired and click on the Update Settings button when done

      3. If you are passing attributes synced from Active Directory instead of Azure AD objectIDs as mentioned in step 2.g.i, you need to find the value of the EnternalDirectoryObjectID that will be sent accross. For example to find the EnternalDirectoryObjectID for an Office 365 Security Group named ‘Dev’, you would use PowerShell to connect and signin to Exchange Online and run the command below and use the value returned for EnternalDirectoryObjectID to map to OpenVPN Cloud User Group ‘Dev’
        Get-DistributionGroup "Dev" | Format-List Name,ExternalDirectoryObjectID
    8. Click the Confirm button on the confirmation dialog

    9. SAML is now enabled

Sign in to the User Portal

Now that SAML is enabled for the VPN when a User wants to sign in to the User Portal to download Connect Client or manage devices etc., the user will sign in using SSO credentials. When the user visits the User Portal (for example, at, the user will see the Identity Provider’s login screen

On successful first authentication, the Administrator will see the user details show up in the administration portal.

In the screenshot above, you can see that the user1 has been added after SAML authentication because the Auth Source is shown as SAML.