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Security Overview for Duet Enterprise 2.0

Published: July 16, 2012

Summary: Understand how security works in Duet Enterprise 2.0.

Applies to:  Duet Enterprise for Microsoft SharePoint and SAP Server 2.0 

This article provides a high-level overview of how security works in Duet Enterprise for Microsoft SharePoint and SAP Server 2.0, including role synchronization (RoleSync).

Duet Enterprise security builds on top of the security capabilities of SharePoint Server 2013. If you’re not familiar with SharePoint security, you might want to read the security and authentication planning articles in Plan for SharePoint 2013.

Important Important:

This article discusses security within the context of a SharePoint Server farm. For a related discussion of how Duet Enterprise security works within the SAP environment, see the SAP Duet Enterprise Security Guide on the SAP Support Marketplace.

To find the guide on SAP Marketplace, in the left pane of the SAP Support Marketplace, expand SAP Business Suite Applications > Duet Enterprise > Duet Enterprise 2.0.)

How authentication works in Duet Enterprise 2.0

Duet Enterprise 2.0 stores all business processes and data in the SAP system while letting SharePoint users access the processes and data from SharePoint websites and Outlook 2013. Because SAP and SharePoint authenticate users differently, Duet provides a single sign-on authentication model that authenticates each user individually.

It’s helpful to understand the following things before you look at the overall authentication process.

  • A user logs on to SharePoint by using their SharePoint user identity. This can be either forms-based authentication or credentials stored in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS), but is typically associated with a user account stored in AD DS.

  • The SAP environment can't authenticate a user’s SharePoint identity. Instead, a Duet Enterprise component installed on the SharePoint Server 2013 farm swaps the user’s Windows credentials for a user certificate that SAP NetWeaver uses to authenticate the user. When Duet Enterprise 2.0 is installed, the SAP administrator creates a trust relationship with the DuetRoot Certificate (an X.509 Root Authority certificate), which is stored in the SharePoint Secure Store Service. This certificate is used to create a certificate for each individual user on the fly.

  • Information in an SAP environment can’t be secured with Windows credentials or SharePoint credentials (which in this case would be the user’s SharePoint identity). Instead, information is secured in SAP using SAP user accounts. When deploying Duet Enterprise 2.0, an SAP administrator maps each SharePoint user account to a unique SAP user. This way, a user who logs into a SharePoint website can access data that’s stored in SAP without getting an extra login prompt.

The following picture shows a high-level view of authentication flow in a Duet Enterprise 2.0 environment. It shows the steps that occur when a SharePoint user accesses SAP information from a SharePoint site.

Tip Tip:

To see this picture and the following list that describes the process without having to scroll, download the Authentication flow in Duet Enterprise 2.0 poster.

Figure: Duet Enterprise 2.0 authentication

Secure objects in SharePoint by using SAP roles

The following list describes the steps shown in the preceding picture. This picture assumes that a SharePoint user has requested data that’s stored in the SAP environment.

A.   A user logs on to a Duet Enterprise 2.0-enabled SharePoint website using his SharePoint user identity. Because the website contains an external list or Web Part that surfaces SAP data, the request is sent to the Business Connectivity Services runtime in the SharePoint farm.

B.   The Business Connectivity Services runtime invokes the Duet Enterprise 2.0 OData Extension Provider.

C.   The Duet Enterprise 2.0 OData Extension Provider gets the DuetRoot Certificate from the Secure Store.

D.   The Duet Enterprise 2.0 OData Extension Provider uses the DuetRoot Certificate to create an X.509 user certificate and sends the certificate to the Business Connectivity Services runtime.

E.   The Business Connectivity Services runtime sends the request with the user certificate to the SAP NetWeaver Gateway component of SAP NetWeaver in a request packet.

Tip Tip:

SAP NetWeaver with the SAP NetWeaver Gateway component installed is also known as SAP NetWeaver Gateway.

F.   Because SAP NetWeaver trusts the DuetRoot Certificate that was used to create the user certificate, SAP NetWeaver can authenticate the user and look up the SAP user who is mapped to the SharePoint user who is identified by the certificate.

G.   The SAP user account that's mapped to the SharePoint user is returned to SAP NetWeaver.

H.   SAP NetWeaver uses the SAP user account to request access to the requested information in the SAP system and, if the user is authorized to access the information, the requested information is sent to SAP NetWeaver Gateway.

I.   SAP NetWeaver Gateway sends the reply as a response packet to the Business Connectivity Services runtime on the on-premises SharePoint farm.

J.   The Business Connectivity Services runtime passes the information to the SharePoint user. In this case, to the website from which the user has requested the information.

note Note:

The two-way connection between the SharePoint Server farm and SAP NetWeaver is secured by using two Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates. One certificate is bound to a SharePoint web application and trusted by the SAP administrator. The other certificate is bound to SAP NetWeaver and trusted by the SharePoint administrator.

Using SAP roles to access SharePoint objects

In the enterprise, the tasks that a user does are usually related to that user’s role. Because of this, it’s handy to grant permissions to resources, such as list items, websites, and documents, based on SAP roles. Conceptually, SAP roles are like SharePoint groups except that they’re created and managed in SAP.

In SAP NetWeaver, users are assigned one or more roles, such as Sales Representative, Project Manager, Executive, and Human Resources Specialist. SAP roles can be broad, such as All Sales Managers, or narrow, such as Sales Managers Eastern Region. In Duet Enterprise 2.0, these SAP roles can be used to grant permissions in SharePoint Server. Anything you can set permissions on in SharePoint Server can be assigned permissions using SAP roles. This includes objects directly related to Duet Enterprise 2.0, such as SAP reports, external lists, actions on external content types, and any general and securable SharePoint Server objects, such as websites or document libraries. After a role is granted permissions to an object, any user who is assigned that role will then have permissions to use that object.

If you remember nothing else about RoleSync, remember that SAP NetWeaver admins assign SAP users to roles and they also assign SharePoint users to SAP users. This effectively assigns one or more SAP roles to SharePoint users.

Duet Enterprise 2.0 uses the Duet Enterprise Profile Synchronization Timer Job feature to bring the user role assignments from the SAP system into the SharePoint user profile store. Duet Enterprise 2.0 also uses the Duet Enterprise Claims Provider to help manage the role-based permissions to securable objects in SharePoint Server.

note Note:

Think of role synchronization as a one-way street. Users’ roles that are defined in the SAP system are brought into the SharePoint user profile store. No properties in the SharePoint user profiles are sent from SharePoint back to SAP.

During role synchronization, the set of SAP users is imported into the SharePoint user profile store by using Business Connectivity Services. For each SAP user who has a related user profile in SharePoint, all of the SAP roles assigned to that user are listed in the user profile store. Role synchronization connects from SharePoint Server to an external system on the SAP side named “SAPUsersService.” This external system sends the user-to-roles mappings to the SharePoint user profile store. After role synchronization is completed, you’ll see a new field, called SAP Roles at the bottom of the User Profile page. The SAP roles assigned to the user are separated by semicolons.

SAP Roles as seen on a User Profile page.

SAP Roles as seen on a User Profile page in SharePoint.

Role synchronization is typically scheduled to be run on a schedule by using the Duet Enterprise Profile Synchronization Timer Job. You decide how often to synchronize roles and how many users to import at a time.

After roles are synchronized with the SharePoint user profile store, users and administrators can grant access to SharePoint securable objects using the SAP roles. Before this capability is available, a SharePoint farm administrator needs to activate the Duet Enterprise SAP Roles Claims Provider feature at the farm level which makes the claims provider available.

note Note:

When a user’s role is changed in the SAP system, the change can take some time (up to 10 hours) to be propagated to the SharePoint system. This might temporarily prevent users from being authorized if their roles have changed since the last sync job.

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