In my org today, we use the following:

  1. W2K8 R2 - Active Directory
  2. Google Apps for Enterprise
  3. Salesforce Enterprise version

Each of these has it's abilities for SSO connectivity. I would like to connect them, so my users will have a single password instead of 3 to remember ( I urge them to replace all 3 every month - they don't listen - I do).

What should be the correct procedure? easiest?

  • Google Apps support - SAML, Federated Login with OpenID and 3rd party OAuth. - I can use their google directory sync to sync my domain to the google service.
  • Salesforce support the following enter image description here

    • Where does the Active Directory fit in the picture?

My question is where does SF security fit here? Whom should be the delegate/federated entity? Should I look for a 3rd party? (I think that only adds to the complexity - or not?)

note: I am NOT looking for a step-by-step here. I can't figure the scheme of which entity will hold what position in the SSO authentication process.

  • You want ADFS 2.0, which can "speak" SAML 2.0 for these webapps. Setting it up is not terribly easy... – Chris S Oct 31 '12 at 13:24

I would recommend using SAML to provide SSO to both Google Apps and Salesforce.com. These would be acting in the "service provider" role of the SAML federation model. Once Google Apps and SF.com are configured for this, users that try to access either one directly (e.g. via bookmarks or emailed URLs) will be redirected to an "identity provider". The IdP is responsible for interacting with the user to validate their identity. The IdP would be configured to use your Active Directory as the user repository - this is the only place where user passwords would actually need to be managed. The IdP would then send the user back to the SP with a SAML response that contains identity claims about the user. The SP verifies the authenticity of the response, then uses the claims to map the AD user to the appropriate Google Apps or SF.com account.

Incidentally, we use this exact model internally with our PortalGuard product as the IdP for both Google Apps and SF.com. You could also use ADFS, OpenAM or Ping in this role, but PortalGuard provides other features such as two factor/stronger authentication, self-service password management and password synchronization.

The only other caveat here is that you need to have at least the Enterprise edition of SF.com to support SP-initiated SSO (where the user accesses SF first). Google Apps supports SP-initiated SSO just fine.

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