This documentation is for WSO2 Identity Server 5.2.0 . View documentation for the latest release.
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

The responsibility of the inbound authenticators component is to identify and parse all the incoming authentication requests and then build the corresponding response. A given inbound authenticator has two parts.

  • Request Processor
  • Response Builder

For each protocol supported by the WSO2 Identity Server, there should be an inbound authenticator. The Identity Server includes inbound authenticators for SAML 2.0, OpenID, OpenID Connect, OAuth 2.0, Kerberos KDC, WS-Trust STS and WS-Federation (passive). The responsibility of the SAML 2.0 request processor is to accept a SAML request from a service provider, validate the SAML request and then build a common object model understood by the authentication framework and handover the request to it. The responsibility of the SAML response builder is to accept a common object model from the authentication framework and build a SAML response out of it.

Both the request processors and the response builders are protocol aware, while the authentication framework is not coupled to any protocol. See Architecture for more information on the complete flow where inbound authenticators come into play.

To register a service provider, do the following.

  1. Sign in. Enter your username and password to log on to the Management Console
  2. Navigate to the Main menu to access the Identity menu. Click Add under Service Providers.
  3. Fill in the Service Provider Name and provide a brief Description of the service provider. Only Service Provider Name is a required field.
  4. Click Register to add the new service provider.

You can configure the following for inbound authentication.

 SAML2 Web SSO Configuration

  1. Expand the SAML2 Web SSO Configuration and click Configure.
  2. Fill in the form that appears.
  3. Click Register.

The following points should be taken into consideration when filling the above New Service Provider form.

FieldDescriptionSample value
IssuerSpecify the Issuer. This is the <saml:Issuer> element that contains the unique identifier of the service provider. This is also the issuer value specified in the SAML Authentication Request issued by the service provider. When configuring single-sign-on across Carbon servers, ensure that this value is equal to the ServiceProviderID value mentioned in the <IS_HOME>/repository/conf/security/authenticators.xml file of the relying party Carbon
Assertion Consumer URLsSpecify the Assertion Consumer URLs. This is the URL to which the browser should be redirected to after the authentication is successful. This is the Assertion Consumer Service (ACS) URL of the service provider. The identity provider redirects the SAML2 response to this ACS URL. However, if the SAML2 request is signed and SAML2 request contains the ACS URL, the Identity Server will honor the ACS URL of the SAML2 request. It should have this format: https://(host-name):(port)/acs. You can add multiple assertion consumer URLs for the service provider by entering the URL and clicking the Add button.http://localhost:8080/
Default Assertion Consumer URL

Since there can be multiple assertion consumer URLs, you must define a Default Assertion Consumer URL in case you are unable to retrieve it from the authentication request.

Tip: In a service provider initiated single sign-on setup, the following needs to be considered.

  • If no ACS URL is given in the <AuthnRequest>, the Identity Server sends the response to the default ACS URL of the service provider (whether the request is signed or not).
  • If the ACS URL in <AuthnRequest> matches with one of the registered URLs, the Identity Server sends the response to the matched one. 
  • If the ACS URL in <AuthnRequest> does not match any of the registered ACS URLs and if the request is signed, the Identity Server sends the response to the ACS URL in the request only if the signature is valid. Alternatively, the <AuthnRequest> is rejected.

In an identity provider initiated single sign-on setup, the following needs to be considered.

  • If the “acs” query parameter is not present in the request, the Identity Server sends the response to default ACS URL of the service provider.
  • If the "acs” parameter is present and the value of that parameter matches with any of the registered ACS URLs of the service provider, then the Identity Server sends the response to the matched one.
NameID format

Specify the NameID format. This defines the name identifier formats supported by the identity provider. The service provider and identity provider usually communicate with each other regarding a specific subject. That subject should be identified through a Name-Identifier (NameID) , which should be in some format so that It is easy for the other party to identify it based on the format. Name identifiers are used to provide information regarding a user. 


Certificate Alias

Select the Certificate Alias from the dropdown. This is used to validate the signature of SAML2 requests and is used to generate encryption. Basically the service provider’s certificate must be selected here. Note that this can also be the Identity Server tenant's public certificate in a scenario where you are doing a tenant specific configuration.

Response Signing Algorithm

Specifies the ‘SignatureMethod’ algorithm to be used in the ‘Signature’ element in POST binding. The default value can be configured in the <IS_HOME>/repository/conf/identity.xml file, in the SSOService element with SAMLDefaultSigningAlgorithmURI tag. If it is not provided the default algorithm is RSA­SHA 1, at URI ‘­sha1.­sha1
Response Digest Algorithm

Specifies the ‘DigestMethod’ algorithm to be used in the ‘Signature’ element in POST binding. The default value can be configured in the <IS_HOME>/repository/conf/identity.xml file, in the SSOService element with SAMLDefaultDigestAlgorithmURI tag. If it is not provided the default algorithm is SHA 1, at URI ‘
Enable Response SigningSelect Enable Response Signing to sign the SAML2 Responses returned after the authentication process.Selected
Enable Signature Validation in Authentication Requests and Logout Requests Select Enable Signature Validation in Authentication Requests and Logout Requests if you need this functionality configured. This specifies whether the identity provider must validate the signature of the SAML2 authentication request and the SAML2 logout request that are sent by the service provider. Selected
Enable Assertion EncryptionEnable Assertion Encryption, if you wish to encrypt the assertion.Selected
Enable Single LogoutSelect Enable Single Logout so that all sessions are terminated once the user signs out from one server. If single logout is enabled, the identity provider sends logout requests to all service providers. Basically, the identity provider acts according to the single logout profile. If the service provider supports a different URL for logout, you can enter a SLO Response URL and SLO Request URL for logging out. These URLs indicate where the request and response should go to. If you do not specify this URL, the identity provider uses the Assertion Consumer Service (ACS) URL. Selected
Enable Attribute Profile Select Enable Attribute Profile to enable this and add a claim by entering the claim link and clicking the Add Claim button. The Identity Server provides support for a basic attribute profile where the identity provider can include the user’s attributes in the SAML Assertions as part of the attribute statement. Once you select the checkbox to Include Attributes in the Response Always, the identity provider always includes the attribute values related to the selected claims in the SAML attribute statement.Selected
Enable Audience RestrictionSelect Enable Audience Restriction to restrict the audience. You may add audience members using the Audience text box and clicking the Add button.Selected
Enable Recipient Validation Select this if you require validation from the recipient of the response.Selected
Enable IdP Initiated SSOSelect the Enable IdP Initiated SSO checkbox to enable this functionality. When this is enabled, the service provider is not required to send the SAML2 request. Selected
Enable IdP Initiated SLOSelect the Enable IdP Initiated SLO checkbox to enable this functionality. You must specify the URL.Selected

Additional configurations

Related Topics

See SAML 2.0 Web SSO for more information on SAML2 single-sign-on and see the following topics for samples of configuring single-sign-on using SAML2.

See Using the SAML2 Toolkit for support on debugging issues with SAML2 configurations.

 OAuth/OpenID Connect Configuration

To enable OAuth support for your client application, you must first register your application by providing an application name. For code and implicit grant types, you have to provide a callback URL. Follow the instructions below to add a new application.
  1. Expand the OAuth/OpenID Connect Configuration and click Configure.
  2. Fill in the form that appears. For the Allowed Grant Types you can disable the ones you do not require or wish to block.

    When filling out the New Application form, the following details should be taken into consideration.

    OAuth Version

    Selecting OAuth Version as 1.0a removes all the configurable Allowed Grant Types. This is because this version of OAuth does not support grant types.

    Callback Url

    This is the exact location in the service provider's application where an access token would be sent. This is a required field (if the grant type is anything other than 'Code' or 'Implicit') and it is important to configure, as it is imperative that the service provider receives the access token. This is necessary for security purposes to ensure that the token is not compromised.

    Configure multiple callback URLs

    From IS 5.2.0 onwards, regex based consumer URLs are supported when defining the callback URL.This enables you to configure multiple callback URLs for one application by entering a regex pattern as the value for the callback URL field.
    For example, if you have two service providers that use the same application, you can now define a regex pattern which will work for both callback URLs instead of having to configure two different applications for the two service providers. Assume the two callback URLs for your two service providers are as follows:

    To configure the callback URL to work for both of these URLs, set it using a regex pattern as follows:


    You must have the prefix 'regexp=' before your regex pattern. To define a normal URL, you can specify the callback URL without this prefix.

    You can also configure a regex pattern that contains dynamic values as seen below.

    Allowed Grant Types - The following are the grant types that are used to get the access token:

    Entering the username and password required at the service provider will result in a code being generated. This code can be used to obtain the access token.


    This is similar to the code grant type, but instead of generating a code, this directly provides the access token.


    This authenticates the user using the password provided and the access token is provided.

    Client CredentialThis is the grant type for the client key and client secret. If these two items are provided correctly by the service provider, the access token is sent.
    Refresh Token This will enable the user to obtain an access token by using the refresh token once the originally provided access token is used up.

    This uses SAML as the grant type to obtain the access token.

    IWA-NTLMThis is similar to the password grant type, but it is specific to Microsoft Windows users.
    PKCE MandatoryCheck this if you are using the Code grant type. PKCE is a recommended security measure used to mitigate a code interception attack. See Mitigating Authorization Code Interception Attacks for more information.
    Support PKCE 'Plain' Transform AlgorithmCheck this if you are using PKCE.
  3. Click Add. The following information is added for your service provider.

    • OAuth Client Key - This is the client key of the service provider, which will be checked for authentication by the Identity Server before providing the access token.
    • OAuth Client Secret - This is the client secret of the service provider, which will be checked for authentication by the Identity Server before providing the access token. Click the Show button to view the exact value of this.

      Tip: The OAuth client key and client secret are stored in plain text. To encrypt the client secret, access token and refresh token, do the following:

      Open the identity.xml file found in the <IS_HOME>/repository/conf/identity directory and change the <TokenPersistenceProcessor> property as follows:

Related Topics

See Configuring OpenID Connect Single Logout to configure single logout or session management with OpenID Connect.

See Delegated Access Control for more information on working with OAuth2/OpenIDConnect. See the following topics for samples of configuring delegated access control:

 OpenID Configuration

Deprecated Feature!

OpenID 2.0 has been deprecated in this release (WSO2 Identity Server 5.2.0) as it is now an obsolete specification and has been superseded by OpenID Connect. It will be removed from the base product in the next release (WSO2 Identity Server 5.3.0) and will be moved to the store. Alternatively, we recommend that you use OpenID Connect instead.

  1. Expand the OpenID Configuration.
  2. Enter the identifier for the OpenID Realm as specified in the form below. This identifier need to be specified as identification when the service provider reaches out to the Identity Server. 

 WS-Federation (Passive) Configuration

WSO2 Identity Server's passive security token service (Passive STS) is used as the WS-Federation implementation. The Passive STS is capable of issuing SAML 1.1 and 2.0 security tokens.

To request a SAML 2.0 security token, the Request Security Token (RST) should be sent to the passive STS endpoint with the TokenType 'SAMLV2.0' when sending the token request. If there is no RST specified, the WSO2 Identity Server will issue a SAML 1.1 token by default.

Configuring passive STS

  1. See here for details on adding a service provider. 
  2. Expand the Inbound Authentication Configuration followed by the WS-Federation (Passive) Configuration section and provide the following values. See Configuring WS-Federation (Passive) for more information.
    • Passive STS Realm - Provide the same realm name given to the web app you are configuring WS-Federation for. 
    • Passive STS WReply URL - Provide the URL of the web app you are configuring WS-Federation for. This endpoint URL will handle the token response.


      If you want to configure an expiration time for the security token, you need to add the following configuration in the <IS_HOME>/repository/conf/carbon.xml file, under the <Server> element:


      Here, the expiration time should be specified in milliseconds.

  3. Expand the Claim Configuration section and map the relevant claims. See Configuring Claims for a Service Provider for more information. 
  4. Click Update to save changes. 

Currently the signing algorithm used for passive STS by default is rsa-sha1 and the digest algorithm used is sha1. To change the default algorithms, add the following configuration under the <security> tag in the carbon.xml file found in the <IS_HOME>/repository/conf directory. The example given below sets the signing algorithm to rsa-sha256 and the digest algorithm to sha256.


To configure this, apply the 4665 WUM update to WSO2 IS 5.6.0 using the WSO2 Update Manager (WUM). To deploy a WUM update into production, you need to have a paid subscription. If you do not have a paid subscription, you can use this feature with the next version of WSO2 Identity Server when it is released. For more information on updating WSO2 Identity Server using WUM, see Getting Started with WUM in the WSO2 Administration Guide.

Related Topics

 WS-Trust Security Token Service Configuration

WSO2 Identity Server's security token service (STS) is used as the WS-Trust implementation. The STS is capable of issuing SAML 1.1 and 2.0 security tokens and has a SOAP/XML API for token issuance. This API can be secured with the UserNameToken or with any other WS-Security mechanism.

Configuring STS

STS is configured under the Resident Identity Provider section of the Identity Server Management Console. Use the following step to do the configurations.

  1. Configure the Resident Identity Provider. See here for more detailed information on how to do this.
  2. In the Resident Identity Provider page, expand the Inbound Authentication Configuration section along with the Security Token Service Configuration section.
  3. Click Apply Security Policy.
  4. Select Yes in the Enable Security? dropdown and select UsernameToken under the Basic Scenarios section.
  5. Click Next.
  6. In the resulting page, select the admin checkbox and click Finish.
  7. Click Ok on the confirmation dialog window that appears and click Update to complete the process.

Now STS is configured and secured with a username and password. Only users with the Admin role can consume the service.

The next step is to add a service provider to consume the STS.

Adding a service provider for the STS client

  1. See here for details on adding a service provider. 
  2. Expand the Inbound Authentication Configuration section and the WS-Trust Security Token Service Configuration section. Click Configure.
  3. In the resulting screen, enter the Endpoint Address. This must be used as the service URL and the token is delivered by the STS client.
  4. Click Update to save the changes made to the service provider.
Related Topics
  • After configuring the service provider, you need to run the STS client. See Running an STS Client to try out a sample STS client.

Related Topics

See Single Sign-On for details on configuring single sign-on for service provider using inbound authentication. See the following topics for samples of configuring single sign-on:

  • No labels