This documentation is for WSO2 API Manager 2.6.0. View documentation for the latest release.

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You can configure the API Manager for SAML SSO by following the instructions below.

Step 1 - Configure the Carbon Console for SSO

This step is done in order to have SSO between the API Manager's and Identitiy Server's management consoles.

Open the <API-M_HOME>/repository/conf/security/authenticators.xml file and give the configurations as shown below.

  • Set disabled attributes in the <Authenticator> element to false.
  • ServiceProviderID: The issuer name of the service provider. 

  • IdentityProviderSSOServiceURL: The URL of the IDP. In this example, it is the URL of the Identity Server.

    A Service Provider (SP) is an entity that provides web services. A service provider relies on a trusted Identity Provider (IdP) for authentication and authorization. In this case, the Identity Server acts as the IdP and does the task of authenticating and authorizing the user of the service provider. 

    For instructions on how you can configure WSO2 API Manager with IdPs, see Step 4.

<Authenticator name="SAML2SSOAuthenticator" disabled="false">
            <Parameter name="LoginPage">/carbon/admin/login.jsp</Parameter>
            <Parameter name="ServiceProviderID">carbonserver</Parameter>
            <Parameter name="IdentityProviderSSOServiceURL">https://localhost:9444/samlsso</Parameter>
           	<Parameter name="NameIDPolicyFormat">urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:1.1:nameid-format:unspecified</Parameter>

Make sure the <priority> element of the SAML2SSOAuthenticator is less than that of the BasicAuthenticator handler. For more information see the FAQ.


Service provider and Identity Provider usually communicate with each other about a subject. That subject should be identified through NAME-ID. It should be in some format so that it is easy for the other party to identify it based on the format. The possible values for the NameIDPolicyFormat are as follows:

  • urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:1.1:nameid-format:unspecified [default]
  • urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:1.1:nameid-format:emailAddress
  • urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:nameid-format:persistent
  • urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:nameid-format:transient

In this scenario use urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:1.1:nameid-format:unspecified, which is the default NameIDPolicyFormat. However, the value of the NameIDPolicyFormat is totally based on the entities that you wish to implement. For more information on NameIdentifiers, refer to section 8.3 in SAML Core.

If there are many WSO2 products in your environment, you can configure SSO for the management consoles to gain one-time access to all of the consoles without repeated authentication. You can do this by changing the SAML2SSOAuthenticator configuration in the <PRODUCT_HOME>/repository/conf/security/authenticators.xml file as shown above.

Step 2 - Configure Publisher/Store for SSO

To configure SSO for the API Publisher, open the <API-M_HOME>/repository/deployment/server/jaggeryapps/publisher/site/conf/site.json file and give the configurations as shown below.

Note that following parameters should be matched with the Service Provider configurations of Identity Server that you are configuring.

ssoConfiguration" : {
        "enabled" : "true",
        "issuer" : "API_PUBLISHER",
        "identityProviderURL" : "https://localhost:9444/samlsso",
        "keyStorePassword" : "",
        "identityAlias" : "wso2carbon",
        "keyStoreName" :"",
        "signRequests" : "true",
	    "assertionEncryptionEnabled" : "false",
        "idpInit" : "false",
        "idpInitSSOURL" : "https://localhost:9444/samlsso?spEntityID=API_PUBLISHER",
enabledSet this value to true to enable SSO in the application.
issuer API_PUBLISHER. This value can change depending on the Issuer value defined in WSO2 IS SSO configuration above.
identityProviderURL https://localhost:9444/samlsso. Change the IP and port accordingly. This is the redirecting SSO URL in your running WSO2 IS server instance.
keyStoreNameThe keystore of the running IDP. As you use a remote instance of WSO2 IS here, you can import the public certificate of the IS keystore to the APIM and then point to the APIM keystore. The default keystore of the APIM is <API-M_HOME>/repository/resources/security/wso2carbon.jks. Be sure to give the full path of the keystore here.
keyStorePasswordPassword for the above keystore. The default keyStorePassword is wso2carbon.

By default, in the ssoConfiguration in site.json described above signRequests parameter decide whether to sign the AuthRequest or not. We have enabled it by setting the value true in default configuration so that, all the AuthRequests passing will be signed.

The identityAlias parameter is set to wso2carbon in the above example. You can configure an external server by importing the certificate of the IdP to APIM, and changing the identityAlias parameter value according to the certificate. To configure an IDP initiated SSO, you have to include the following additional parameters in the ssoConfiguration section.

	"idpInit" : "true",
	"idpInitSSOURL" : "https://localhost:9444/samlsso?spEntityID=API_PUBLISHER",
	"externalLogoutPage" : "https://localhost:9444/samlsso?slo=true"

To configure SSO for the API Store, open the <API-M_HOME>/repository/deployment/server/jaggeryapps/store/site/conf/site.json file and change the ssoConfiguration section similarly. This allows users to gain access to the Store applications directly, if they are authenticated against the Publisher.

idpInitSSOURL consists of <SAML2.IdPURL> and <SAML2.SPEntityId>.

SAML2.IdPURL= https://localhost:9443/samlsso The URL of the SAML 2.0 Identity Provider
SAML2.SPEntityId=API_PUBLISHERA unique identifier for this SAML 2.0 Service Provider application

The SAML2.SPEntityId should be the value of issuer you specify under ssoConfiguration in the <API-M_HOME>/repository/deployment/server/jaggeryapps/store/site/conf/site.json, which uniquely identifies your SAML identity provider. Therefore, it differes between the Store and Publisher according to the issuer that you configure.

Step 3 - Configure the API Store for SSO in passive mode

If the passive mode is disabled and Single Sign-On (SSO) is enabled, it redirects the user to the SSO login page. Therefore, as the WSO2 API Store allows anonymous access, passive mode is enabled by default, so that irrespective of whether SSO is enabled or not it directs the user to the API Store URL, and enables the SSO work flow only when the Sign In button is clicked.

To disable the passive mode, set the property named passive to false in the <API-M_HOME>/repository/deployment/server/jaggeryapps/store/site/conf/site.json file.

"ssoConfiguration" : {
        "passive" : "false",

By enabling passive mode in SSO Configuration, WSO2 API Manager enables Passive Authentication on Single Sign On.

From the two fundamental authetication models which are active and passive, active authentication is based on WS-Trust protocol on which a relying party is resposible of issuing the security token associated with the user credentials. But in passive authentication which is based on SAML 2.0 and WS-Federation protocols, the relying party does not control the login logic and relies on the IdP to issue the credentials.

Step 4 - Configure an Identity Provider

You can configure WSO2 Identity Server as the IdP. For instructions on how to configure, see Configuring Identity Server as IdP for SSO.

You can also opt to configure an external identity provider. For instructions on how to configure, see Configuring External IdP through Identity Server for SSO.

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