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Partner employee access using claims

Published: October 21, 2010

Updated: July 31, 2012

Applies To: Unified Access Gateway

This topic describes the Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) 2.0 topology when partner employees access applications published by Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) using claims-based authentication. In this topology, partner employees authenticate to both the Forefront UAG trunk and to the back end application using claims-based authentication. This topology enables you to manage user identities in a single location; that is, on the AD FS 2.0 server. It also allows you to define authorization rules for published applications in Forefront UAG that are based on the incoming claims.

Topology description

The following diagram shows the main components in the system.

AD FS 2.0 claims only topology

In this topology:

  • Forefront UAG is configured as a relying party of the corporate AD FS 2.0 server (Resource Federation server in the diagram).

  • A separate Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) server is used within the corporation; however, you can configure AD FS 2.0 to run on your AD DS server.

  • The corporate AD FS 2.0 server is configured to trust the partner federation server (Account Federation server). This trust is a federated trust, not a domain trust.

  • The server running SharePoint Products and Technologies is configured as a relying party of the corporate AD FS 2.0 server using the external SharePoint URL.

  • A SharePoint application has been published through Forefront UAG.

    noteNote:
    A SharePoint server is used in this topology as an example. Any application that supports the WS-Federation protocol is supported in this topology.

Sign-in flow

When users from the partner organization attempt to access the published SharePoint application, the following simplified flow occurs:

  • The partner users attempt to access the published SharePoint application using claims-based authentication in one of two ways: by accessing the Forefront UAG portal and then clicking the published SharePoint application or by accessing the published SharePoint application directly using the SharePoint alternate access mapping name.

  • Forefront UAG redirects the web browser request to the Resource Federation server to authenticate the user.

  • The Resource Federation server shows the home realm discovery page to users on which they must choose the organization to which they belong; in this case, the partner organization.

  • The Resource Federation server redirects the web browser to the Account Federation server where users authenticate using their own credentials, after which they receive a security token. Some authentication schemes prompt for credentials.

  • Users are silently redirected several times and automatically authenticated using the security token created by the Account Federation server to the Resource Federation server and then to Forefront UAG. If they attempted to access the published SharePoint application directly, they are silently redirected to the SharePoint site, after which the SharePoint site appears. If they first accessed the Forefront UAG portal, they must click the SharePoint application to view the SharePoint site.

    noteNote:
    JavaScript must be enabled on the client browser.

  • After the first successful connection to the SharePoint site, the Resource Federation server stores a cookie on the user’s computer. The cookie is stored by default for 30 days; the duration is configurable in the web.config file on the Resource Federation server. During this time, users are not required to answer identification questions on the home realm discovery page; that is, choosing the organization to which they belong.

Deployment tasks

 
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