Skip to main content

Single Sign-On SDL Web 8.5 CME and ADFS

In order to use SDL Web 8.5 and ADFS, we first have to enable SSO (Single Sign-On) on the SDL Web side.

The setup I have is:
  • SDL Web 8.5 installed in AWS (but it is the on-premise version of SDL Web)
  • Active Directory outside of AWS
  • ADFS outside of AWS, but somewhere close to AD
  • HTTPS access to SDL Web CME website
For this setup to work, we need to enable/configure a few things:
  • enable HTTPS access to the CME
  • enable/configure SSO on the CME
  • ADFS SAML Authenticator

Enable HTTPS

In PowerShell, run the script SetupHTTPS.ps1 from folder [SDLWebHome]\bin\Configuration Scripts. A very detailed explanation of this process is available at

A prerequisite of enabling HTTPS is obtaining and installing a SSL Certificate. This is beyond the scope of this blog post, but the PowerShell script above expects the 40 character certificate thumbprint as a parameter.

After running the PowerShell script, verify in IIS that the SDL CME website has a binding for port 443 (HTTPS) and that the SSL Certificate is configured for that binding.

Enable SSO

In PowerShell, run the script SetupSSO.ps1 from folder [SDLWebHome]\bin\Configuration Scripts. A very detailed explanation of this process is available at

The parameter UserNameHeader is an important one, because it defines the name of the request header that the HTTP Module SsoAgentHttpModule is reading in order to impersonate the CME user. This SsoAgentHttpModule is a module that comes out of the box with SDL Web and it is configured and enabled by the PowerShell script.

ADFS SAML Authenticator

This is a custom piece of software that bridges the ADFS server with the SDL SsoAgentHttpModule.

The authenticator performs the following tasks:
  • request a SAML token to the ADFS server
  • intercept POST back with SAML token from ADFS server
  • decrypt token
  • extract user name from token
  • put user name in a request header
The SsoAgentHttpModule can now use the user name from the request header in order to impersonate the CME user.

The ADFS SAML Authenticator is described in more detail in this blog post.


Popular posts from this blog

Running sp_updatestats on AWS RDS database

Part of the maintenance tasks that I perform on a MSSQL Content Manager database is to run stored procedure sp_updatestats . exec sp_updatestats However, that is not supported on an AWS RDS instance. The error message below indicates that only the sa  account can perform this: Msg 15247 , Level 16 , State 1 , Procedure sp_updatestats, Line 15 [Batch Start Line 0 ] User does not have permission to perform this action. Instead there are several posts that suggest using UPDATE STATISTICS instead: I stumbled upon the following post from 2008 (!!!), , which describes a way to wrap the call to sp_updatestats and execute it under a different user: create procedure dbo.sp_updstats with execute as 'dbo' as

Scaling Policies

This post is part of a bigger topic Autoscaling Publishers in AWS . In a previous post we talked about the Auto Scaling Groups , but we didn't go into details on the Scaling Policies. This is the purpose of this blog post. As defined earlier, the Scaling Policies define the rules according to which the group size is increased or decreased. These rules are based on instance metrics (e.g. CPU), CloudWatch custom metrics, or even CloudWatch alarms and their states and values. We defined a Scaling Policy with Steps, called 'increase_group_size', which is triggered first by the CloudWatch Alarm 'Publish_Alarm' defined earlier. Also depending on the size of the monitored CloudWatch custom metric 'Waiting for Publish', the Scaling Policy with Steps can add a difference number of instances to the group. The scaling policy sets the number of instances in group to 1 if there are between 1000 and 2000 items Waiting for Publish in the queue. It also sets the

Toolkit - Dynamic Content Queries

This post if part of a series about the  File System Toolkit  - a custom content delivery API for SDL Tridion. This post presents the Dynamic Content Query capability. The requirements for the Toolkit API are that it should be able to provide CustomMeta queries, pagination, and sorting -- all on the file system, without the use third party tools (database, search engines, indexers, etc). Therefore I had to implement a simple database engine and indexer -- which is described in more detail in post Writing My Own Database Engine . The querying logic does not make use of cache. This means the query logic is executed every time. When models are requested, the models are however retrieved using the ModelFactory and those are cached. Query Class This is the main class for dynamic content queries. It is the entry point into the execution logic of a query. The class takes as parameter a Criterion (presented below) which triggers the execution of query in all sub-criteria of a Criterio