This documentation is for WSO2 Identity Server 5.4.0. View documentation for the latest release.
Configuring SAML 2.0 Web SSO - Identity Server 5.4.0 - WSO2 Documentation
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In a single sign-on (SSO) system there are two roles; Service Providers and Identity Providers. The important characteristic of an SSO system is the pre-defined trust relationship between the service providers and the identity providers. Service providers trust the assertions issued by the identity providers and the identity providers issue assertions based on the results of authentication and authorization of principles which access services on the service provider's side.

SAML 2.0 web browser-based single-sign-on profile is defined under the SAML 2.0 Profiles specification. In a web browser-based SSO system, the flow can be started by the user either by attempting to access a service at the service provider, or by directly accessing the identity provider itself.

To navigate to the federated authenticators configuration section, 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 Identity Providers.
    For more information, see Adding and Configuring an Identity Provider.  
  3. Fill in the details in the Basic Information section. 


Expand the SAML2 Web SSO Configuration form. The following appears.

SAML configuration information can be entered through one of the following ways:

Manual Configuration

  1. Select the Manual Configuration. (selected by default)
  2. Fill in the following fields where relevant. The * indicates required fields.
FieldDescriptionSample value
Enable SAML2 Web SSOSelecting this option enables SAML2 Web SSO to be used as an authenticator for users provisioned to the Identity Server.Selected
DefaultSelecting the Default check box signifies that SAML2 Web SSO is the main/default form of authentication. This removes the selection made for any other Default checkboxes for other authenticators.Selected
Service Provider Entity Id

This is the entity Id of the Identity Server. This can be any value but when you configure a service provider in the external IDP you should give the same value as the Service Provider Entity Id.


NameID format

This is the NameID format to be used in the SAML request. By default, it has 'urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:1.1:nameid-format:unspecified',But you can change this as per the identity provider.

Select ModeSelect the mode to decide the input method for SAML configuration. You can have a manual configuration or Metadata data configuration where an .xml metadata file is uploaded.Manual configuration (is selected by default)
Identity Provider Entity Id

This is basically the <Issuer> value of the SAML2 response from the identity provider you are configuring. This value must be a unique string among identity providers inside the same tenant. This information should be taken from the external Identity Provider.

In order to enable the <Issuer> validation in the SAML2 response from the IdP, add following configuration to <IS_HOME>/repository/conf/identity/application-authentication.xml

<AuthenticatorConfig name="SAMLSSOAuthenticator" enabled="true">
    <Parameter name="VerifyAssertionIssuer">true</Parameter>
SSO URLThis is the URL that you want to send the SAML request to. This information should be taken from the external Identity Provider.


Enable Authentication Request SigningSelecting this checkbox enables you to sign the authentication request. If this is enabled, you must sign the request using the private key of the identity provider.Selected
Enable Assertion EncryptionThis is a security feature where you can encrypt the SAML2 Assertions returned after authentication. So basically, the response must be encrypted when this is enabled.Selected
Enable Assertion Signing

Select Enable Assertion Signing to sign the SAML2 Assertions returned after the authentication. SAML2 relying party components expect these assertions to be signed by the Identity Server.

Enable LogoutSelect Enable Single Logout so that all sessions are terminated once the user signs out from one server.Selected
Logout URL
If the external IDP support for logout you can select Enable Logout. Then you can set the URL of the external IDP, where you need to send the logout request, under Logout URL. If you do not set a value for this it will simply return to the SSO URL.
Enable Logout Request SigningSelecting this checkbox enables you to sign the logout request.Selected
Enable Authentication Response Signing

Select Enable Authentication Response Signing to sign the SAML2 responses returned after the authentication.

Signature Algorithm

Specifies the ‘SignatureMethod’ algorithm to be used in the ‘Signature’ element in POST binding and “SigAlg” HTTP Parameter in REDIRECT binding. The expandable Signature Algorithms table below lists the usable algorithms and their respective URIs that will be sent in the actual SAMLRequest.

Default value is RSA with SHA1.
Digest Algorithm

Specifies the ‘DigestMethod’ algorithm to be used in the ‘Signature’ element in POST binding. The Digest Algorithms table below lists the usable algorithms and their respective URIs that will be sent in the actual SAMLRequest.

Default value is SHA1.
Attribute Consuming Service IndexSpecifies the ‘AttributeConsumingServiceIndex’ attribute.By default this would be empty, therefore that attribute would not be sent unless filled.
Enable Force AuthenticationEnable force authentication or decide from the incoming request. This affects ‘ForceAuthn’ attribute.Default value is As Per Request.
Include Public CertificateInclude the public certificate in the request.Selected by default.
Include Protocol BindingInclude ‘ProtocolBinding’ attribute in the request.Selected by default.
Include NameID PolicyInclude ‘NameIDPolicy’ element in the request. Selected by default.
Include Authentication ContextInclude a new ‘RequestedAuthnContext’ element in the request, or reuse from the incoming request.Default value is Yes.
Authentication Context Class

Choose an Authentication Context Class Reference (AuthnContextClassRef) to be included in the requested authentication context from the Identity Server which specifies the authentication context requirements of authentication statements returned in the response. Authentication Context Class table below lists the usable classes and their respective URIs that will be sent in the SAMLRequest from the Identity Server to trusted IdP.

Default value is “PasswordProtectedTransport”.
Authentication Context Comparison Level

Choose the Requested Authentication Context ‘Comparison’ attribute to be sent which specifies the comparison method used to evaluate the requested context classes or statements.

  • If Comparison is set to "exact" or omitted, then the resulting authentication context in the authentication statement MUST be the exact match of at least one of the authentication contexts specified.
  • If Comparison is set to "minimum", then the resulting authentication context in the authentication statement MUST be at least as strong (as deemed by the responder) as one of the authentication contexts specified.
  • If Comparison is set to "better", then the resulting authentication context in the authentication statement MUST be stronger (as deemed by the responder) than any one of the authentication contexts specified.
  • If Comparison is set to "maximum", then the resulting authentication context in the authentication statement MUST be as strong as possible (as deemed by the responder) without exceeding the strength of at least one of the authentication contexts specified.
 Default value is “Exact”.
SAML2 Web SSO User Id LocationSelect whether the User ID is found in 'Name Identifier' or if it is found among claims. If the user ID is found among the claims, it can override the User ID Claim URI configuration in the identity provider claim mapping section.User ID found among claims
HTTP BindingSelect the HTTP binding details that are relevant for your scenario. This refers to how the request is sent to the identity provider. HTTP-Redirect and HTTP-POST are standard means of sending the request. If you select As Per Request it can handle any type of request.HTTP-POST
Response Authentication Context ClassSelect As Per Response to pass the AuthnContextClassRef received from the configured identity provider to the service provider. Select Default to pass the default AuthnContextClassRef instead.

The AuthnContextClassRef specifies how the user has been authenticated by the IdP (e.g. via username/password login, via certificate etc.)
As Per Response

Additional Query Parameters

This is necessary if you are connecting to another Identity Server or application. Sometimes extra parameters are required by this IS or application so these can be specified here. These will be sent along with the SAML request.

If you want to send query parameters that can be dynamically updated with each SAML request, you need to apply the WUM update for WSO2 IS 5.4.0, released on the 21st of February 2018.
When you apply the WUM update, you can define a dynamic value within parenthesis, and this value should be the key of the query parameter sent in the SAML request URL. For example, locale={lang}

You can also define multiple query parameters by specifying the parameters separated using the & character. For example, locale={lang}&scope=openid email profile

You can deploy a WUM update into production only if you have a paid subscription. If you do not have a paid subscription, you can use this functionality when the next version of WSO2 IS is released.

 Click here to expand for more information on security algorithms.

The following table lists out the security algorithms and their respective URI.

 Click here to expand for more information on digest algorithms.

The following table lists out the digest algorithms and their respective URI.

 Click here to expand for more information on authentication context classes.

The following table lists out the authentication context classes and their respective URI.

Authentication context class nameAuthentication context class URI
Internet Protocol urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:InternetProtocol
Internet Protocol Password urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:InternetProtocolPassword
Mobile One Factor Unregistered urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:MobileOneFactorUnregistered
Mobile Two Factor Unregisteredurn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:MobileTwoFactorUnregistered
Mobile One Factor Contract urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:MobileOneFactorContract
Mobile Two Factor Contracturn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:MobileTwoFactorContract
Password Protected Transporturn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:PasswordProtectedTransport
Previous Session urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:PreviousSession
Public Key X.509urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:X509
Public Key PGP urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:PGP
Public Key SPKI urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:SPKI
Public Key XML Digital Signatureurn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:XMLDSig
Smartcard urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:Smartcard
Smartcard PKIurn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:SmartcardPKI
Software PKI urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:SoftwarePKI
Telephony (Nomadic)urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:NomadTelephony
Telephony (Personalized) urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:PersonalTelephony
Telephony (Authenticated) urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:AuthenticatedTelephony
Secure Remote Password urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:SecureRemotePassword
SSL/TLS Certificate­Based Client Authenticationurn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:TLSClient
Time Sync Token urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:TimeSyncToken

Metadata File Configuration

About Metadata upload

When configuring a service provider (SP) or federated Identity Provider (Federated IdP), the user is required to enter configuration data to facilitate exchanging authentication and authorization data between entities in a standard way. Apart from manual entering of configuration data, the Identity Server 5.3.0 provides the facility to upload configuration data using a metadata xml file or referring to metadata xml file located in a predetermined URL. These two methods of uploading configuration data enables faster entry of configuration data because it allows the user to use the same metadata xml file for multiple instances of entity configuration. In addition to SAML metadata upload, IS also supports SAML metadata download for resident Identity providers using Management Console and URL.

  1. Select Metadata File Configuration

    The following screen appears:
  2. Choose the correct IdP metadata file and click Register.

     Click here to view a sample Identity provider metadata configuration xml file
    Service provider metadata file
    <KeyDescriptor use="signing">
    <KeyInfo xmlns="">
    -----END CERTIFICATE-----
    <KeyDescriptor use="encryption">
    <KeyInfo xmlns="">

Configure ACL URL in a production environment

The default assertion consumer URL that is sent with the SAML request includes the local domain and default port. In a production environment, you may need to change the assertion consumer URL. To do this, follow the steps given below:

  1. Open the application-authentication.xml file found in the <IS_HOME>/repository/conf/identity folder.
  2. Add the following property and update the assertion consumer URL as required.

    <AuthenticatorConfig name="SAMLSSOAuthenticator" enabled="true">
    	<Parameter name="SAMLSSOAssertionConsumerUrl">https://localhost:9443/commonauth</Parameter>

Configuring hostname verification

In previous releases, SAML Single-Logout (SLO) requests for service providers were initiated without hostname verification which can impose a security risk. From IS 5.2.0 release onwards, certificate validation has been enforced and hostname verification is enabled by default. If you want to disable the hostname verification, configure the following property in the <IS_HOME>/repository/conf/identity/identity.xml file under the Server\SSOService tag. 


Note: If the certificate is self-signed, import the service provider's public key to the IS client trust store to ensure that the SSL handshake in the SLO request is successful. For more information on how to do this, see Managing Keystores with the UI in the WSO2 Product Administration Guide.

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