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Introduction

This project is a demonstration of how to add Okta as an identity provider for an existing application.

Rather than concoct an example, I wanted to use an existing sample application that more accurately represents what a real-world application would look like. To that end, the sample application that I selected is the MVC Music Store, which you're probably familiar with if you're a .NET developer.

The MVC Music Store is a sample application that is also an introduction to the open source ASP.NET web application framework.

In this document, I will show you how to modify a completed MVC Music Store application to use Okta for login, registration, Single Sign-on, as well as user and group management.

I suggest following this document from beginning to end, as each section builds upon the last.

Setup and Configuration

Before you get started, you'll need to install or set up the software and services below:

  1. Download and install Visual Studio Express 2013 for Web or Visual Studio Community 2015, along with SQL Server 2012 Express

    At the time that I write this (January 2015), Visual Studio 2015 is the most recent version of Visual Studio available.

  2. Sign up for Okta Developer Edition.

    You'll need an Okta organization of your own to use as you follow this gude.

  3. Optional: Sign up for a 30 day free trial of Zendesk.

    This isn't strictly required. If you want to see how Okta enables you to seamlessly integrate 3rd party applications, then I suggest signing up for Zendesk, which is the application I use to demonstrate seamless single sign-on in this guide.

  4. Optional: Sign up for a free trial of Microsoft Azure.

    This isn't required either. This guide assumes that you'll be following along using Visual Studio on your personal computer. However, if you want to host your code somewhere public-facing, then Azure is the easiest place to do that.

MVC 4 Music Store

This project builds upon the excellent MVC Music Store application. However this in this example I use "Visual Studio Express 2013 for Web" and ASP.NET MVC 4, not "Visual Web Developer 2010 Express SP1" and ASP.NET MVC 3 as is used in the MVC Music Store example. At the time that I write this (November 2014), Visual Studio Express 2013 for Web is the most recent freely available version of Visual Studio Express.

Although they were written for MVC 3, the MVC Music Store instructions still work with MVC 4, with a few key differences:

  • Your project must be created with the ASP.NET MVC 4 "Internet" project template. Not the "Empty" project template as the MVC Music Store instructions suggest for MVC 3.
  • MVC 4 no longer has the built-in "ASP.NET Configuration website", so you'll need to create the users and groups mentioned in "Part 7: Membership and Authorization" using a different technique.
  • You will need to add a [InitializeSimpleMembership] attribute after the [Authorize(Roles = "Administrator")] attribute mentioned in "Part 7: Membership and Authorization".

I cover these differences in more detail in the section below.

Building the MVC Music Store

Here is how to get set up on your own computer with Visual Studio Express 2013 for Web and a working version of the MVC Music Store for MVC 4:

  1. Download and install Visual Studio Express 2013 for Web.
  2. Except for the changes listed below, follow the MVC 3 Music Store instructions.
  3. If you don't want to spend the time to go through the MVC 3 Music Store instructions, a completed version of the project is included with this project.

Things to do differently when building the MVC Music Store for ASP.NET MVC 4

Here are the things that you'll need to do differently when building the MVC Music Store for MVC 4. The changes you'll need to make are grouped according to the part of the MVC Music Store instructions where you'll need to make the changes.

Changes needed in Part 1: Overview and File→New Project

This is the very first part of the MVC Music Store instructions, they cover what you'll be doing and how to get started. You'll need to make the following changes in this part of the instructions:

  1. In the section named "Installing the software":

  2. In the section named "Creating a new ASP.NET MVC 3 project":

    • You will be creating an "ASP.NET MVC 4 Web Application" project. I use the name "Mvc4MusicStore" in this document, but you can name your project whatever you want.

    • Very important: You must select "Internet Application" as the project template for your application.
      You'll run into issues in Part 7 if you don't!

      ![img](./Documentation/Images/new-mvc4-project.png "Creating a new ASP.NET MVC 4 Project with the "Internet Application" template selected")

Changes needed in Part 7: Membership and Authorization

This part of MVC Music Store instructions cover adding users and groups to the Music Store. This is the part of the instructions that change the most with MVC 4. You will run into a lot of issues here if you did not select "Internet" as the project template for your application!

The major difference here is that you'll need to create your user and "Administrator" group using different methods than are described in the MVC 3 Music Store instructions. The details for creating your user and "Administrator" group are below:

  1. In the section named "Adding an Administrative User with the ASP.NET Configuration site":

    Instead of creating a user with the ASP.NET Configuration website, you'll be creating a user directly from the Music Store application.

    Creating the "admin@example.com" user:

    • Run the code for your project and navigate to /Account/Register
    • Create a user using the webpage at /Account/Register. I suggest using the same values suggested by the instructions, username: "admin@example.com", password: "password123!"

    Manually adding the "Administrator" group:

    • From the "View" menu, select "Server Explorer"
    • Expand the "Default Connections" section
    • Expand "DefaultConnection"
    • Expand "Tables"
    • Right Click on "UserProfile", select "Show Table Data"
    • In the "dbo.UserProfile [Data]" window that opens up, make sure that the "UserId" is "1" for the "UserName" of "admin@example.com"
      img
    • In the "Server Explorer", right-click on "webpages_Roles" and select "Show Table Data"
    • In the "dbo.webpages_Roles [Data]" window that opens, up for Click on box that contains "NULL" in the "RoleName" column, type "Administrator" into that box.
      img
    • In the "Server Explorer", right-click on "webpages_UsersInRoles", and select select "Show Table Data"
    • In the "dbo.webpages_UsersInRoles [Data]" window that opens up, enter "1" into both the UserId and RoleId columns.
      img
  2. In the section named "Role-based Authorization":

    You'll only need to make two small changes in this section. In the StoreManagerController.cs file:

    • Add using Mvc4MusicStore.Filters; to the top of the file.
    • Add [InitializeSimpleMembership] under the [Authorize(Roles = "Administrator")] line.
      img

Setting up Okta

At this point, you should have your very own Music Store written in MVC 4.

In the sections that follow, I will show you how to use Okta as the identity store for the users and groups in the Music Store, how you can read extended Okta user properties from the Music Store, how you can manage your users and groups from inside of the Music Store, and how to add Single sign-on functionality to your Music Store using Okta.

Before we get started, you'll need to do a few things in the Okta organization that you created previously (if you haven't signed up for the Okta Developer Edition yet, you need to do that now).

Here's what you'll need to do:

  1. Log in as the administrator user for your Okta account and access your Okta Administrator Dashboard.
  2. Create a new Okta group called "Administrator".
  3. Add your administrator user to the "Administrator" group.
  4. Get an Okta API token for your Okta organization. Copy this token somewhere as you'll be using it soon.

Using Okta to authenticate your Music Store users

Now that you've finished setting up your Okta organization, we're ready to start integrating Okta into your Music Store.

We'll be starting off by adding Okta as a "drop-in" replacement for user authentication and authorization management. This is done by implementing the Membership and Role providers in ASP.NET.

By integrating Okta via the ASP.NET Membership and Role providers, a lot of template code in our application will "just work", for example: user registration, user authorization, and changing passwords.

Adding the Okta Membership and Role providers will lay the foundation that we'll build on in the rest of this guide.

These are the steps you'll need to take to add Okta to your Music Store:

  1. Install the Okta Providers project into your solution.

    • Download the code to the Okta Music Store.
    • Copy the entire "OktaProviders" sub-folder from Mvc4MusicStore folder the Okta Music Store code to the base folder of your Mvc4MusicStore project.
    • In the Solution Explorer window, right-click on the line that says "Solution 'Mvc4MusicStore'".
    • Select "Add", then "Existing Project…", select the OktaProviders folder your just copied, then select the "OktaProviders.csproj" file in that folder.
  2. Add a reference to the OktaProviders project.

    • In Solution Explorer window, expand the "Mvc4MusicStore" project, and right-click on "References".
    • Select "Add Reference…"
    • Click on "Solution" on the left side of the window.
    • Click on the checkbox next to "OktaProviders".
    • Click the "OK" button.
  3. Add the Okta SDK to the Mvc4MusicStore project from NuGet.

    • Right click on the Mvc4MusicStore in your Solution Explorer window and select "Manage NuGet Packages…"
    • Click on "Online" on the left side of the window.
    • Include Prerelease packages by changing the drop-down menu that says "Stable Only" to "Include Prerelease".
    • Use the search box on the right of the window to search for "Okta".
    • When you see the "Okta SDK" package, click on the "Install" button for that package.
    • When the Okta SDK installation completes, click the "Close" button on the "Manage NuGet Packages" window.
  4. Add the Okta SDK to the OktaProviders project from NuGet.

    • Follow the same steps above, but for the "OktaProviders" project.
  5. Edit the "Web.config" file in the Mvc4MusicStore project. Add the XML below inside of the <appSettings> tag.
    Make sure that you set the "okta:ApiToken" to the API token that you generated in "Setting up Okta" section and that you replace the "okta:ApiUrl" with the URL to your Okta organization.

    <add key="okta:ApiToken" value="01Abcd2efGHIjKl3m4NoPQrstu5vwxYZ_AbcdefGHi" />
    <add key="okta:ApiUrl" value="https://example.okta.com" />

    Remember to use real values for the okta:ApiToken and the okta:ApiUrl!

    Add the following inside of the <system.web> tag:

    <membership defaultProvider="SimpleMembershipProvider">
      <providers>
        <add name="SimpleMembershipProvider" type="OktaProviders.OktaMembershipProvider, OktaProviders" />
      </providers>
    </membership>
    <roleManager enabled="true" defaultProvider="SimpleRoleProvider">
      <providers>
        <add name="SimpleRoleProvider" type="OktaProviders.OktaRoleProvider, OktaProviders" />
      </providers>
    </roleManager>

Try it out: Log in to the Music Store using Okta

  1. Start the Music Store from Visual Studio using the "Play" button or by selecting the "DEBUG" menu and selecting "Start Debugging".
  2. Add "/Account/Create" to the end of the "localhost" URL in Internet Explorer. You should see a "Register" page similar to the one depicted below.
  3. Create a new user, for example: "alice@example.com". Note that Okta has different password requirements than the Music Store defaults. Your password will require at least one upper-case letter. I suggest using: "Password123!".
    img
  4. If everything works, you will see the normal Music Store homepage.

If you get an error

If you don't see the normal Music Store homepage, but instead see a something like the image below, it probably means that you forgot to configure the "okta:ApiToken" or "okta:ApiUrl" settings in your "Web.config" file.

img

Seeing what the code is doing

If you want to see how things are working in the code. Set a breakpoint on the var createdUser = okta.users.Add(userProfile); line in the "OktaMembershipProvider.cs" file located in the OktaProviders project. (You can set a breakpoint in Visual Studio by clicking in the left margin of the line where you want to set the breakpoint, in the area where you see the red dot in the image below)

img

Once you've set that breakpoint, follow the steps in the "Log in to the Music Store with Okta" section above. This time, when you click the "Register" button, you'll be taken into Visual Studio once your breakpoint is reached. Once you get to the breakpoint, step through the code by pressing the "Step Into" button img in the Visual Studio toolbar.

Accessing Okta user profile data from the Music Store

In the previous section, we integrated Okta into the Music Store and tested the integration by logging in to the Music Store with an Okta account.

In this section I will show you how to make use of the additional user attributes that Okta stores for every user.

The default Okta user profile object stores the following attributes: "login", "email", "firstName", "lastName", and "mobilePhone". Thanks to the features of the Okta Universal Directory, you can also extend the user profile for the users in your Okta organization to support your own organziation-specific custom attributes.

At a high level, here is what we'll need to do to enable the Music Store to make use of the "firstName", "lastName", and "mobilePhone" user attributes that Okta stores by default:

  • Extend the MembershipUser class to store those additional attributes.
  • Write our own implementation of the IIdentity interface that is also aware of the additional attributes.
  • Make our implementation of the IIdentity interface available to the to the rest of our code in "HttpContext.Current.User" by handling the "AuthenticateRequest" event in the ASP.NET Application Life Cycle. This is done by writing our own "Application_AuthenticateRequest" method.
  • Fix an issue with the template code in the Account controller that conflicts with the Okta membership provider.
  • Update the "Account/Manage.cshtml" view to display these additional attributes.
  • Require users to enter in their first name, last name, and phone number when they register for the Music Store.

You will not need to write the MembershipUser class or the implementation of the IIdentity interface because they are already part of the OktaProviders project we added to the Music Store in the previous section. The extended MembershipProvider class is called "OktaMembershipUser" and the implementation of the IIdentity interface is called "OktaIdentity".

With that code out of your way, here is how to give your Music Store code access to the extra Okta user profile attributes:

Handling the AuthenticateRequest event

In order to give the rest of the Music Store code access to the additional Okta use profile attributes, we need to change the type of the user object that MVC uses to represent users.

To do this, we will write a handler for the AuthenticateRequest event that will create a new OktaIdentity object and store it in "HttpContext.Current.User".

We make this change by updating the the "Global.asax.cs" file as follows:

Add using OktaProviders; and using System.Web.Security; to the top of the file with the other "using" statements.

Add this method to the "MvcApplication" class in the file:

protected void Application_AuthenticateRequest(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    if (Request.IsAuthenticated)
    {
        string loggedUser = HttpContext.Current.User.Identity.Name;
        var memberUser = (OktaMembershipUser)Membership.GetUser(loggedUser);
        var roles = Roles.GetRolesForUser(loggedUser);
        var identity = new OktaIdentity(memberUser.UserName, true)
        {
            FirstName = memberUser.FirstName,
            LastName = memberUser.LastName,
            PhoneNumber = memberUser.PhoneNumber,
            Apps = memberUser.apps,
        };
        var principal = new System.Security.Principal.GenericPrincipal(identity, roles);
        HttpContext.Current.User = principal;
    }
}

Here is what these changes should look like in Visual Studio:

img

Updating the Account controller

The first change that needs to be made is the the Account controller ("AccountController.cs"). We need to add using OktaProviders; to the top of the file with the other "using" statements.

Next, we need to remove all references to the "OAuthWebSecurity.HasLocalAccount" method from the Account controller. (This is because Okta uses strings to uniquely identify users and the "WebSecurity.GetUserId" method presumes that all MembershipUser objects are identified by integers).

Here are the changes you'll need to make:

  1. In the public ActionResult Disassociate(string provider, string providerUserId) method:
    Change:

    bool hasLocalAccount = OAuthWebSecurity.HasLocalAccount(WebSecurity.GetUserId(User.Identity.Name));

    to:

    bool hasLocalAccount = true;
  2. In the public ActionResult Manage(ManageMessageId? message) method:
    Change:

    ViewBag.HasLocalPassword = OAuthWebSecurity.HasLocalAccount(WebSecurity.GetUserId(User.Identity.Name));

    to:

    ViewBag.HasLocalPassword = true;
  3. In the public ActionResult Manage(LocalPasswordModel model) method:
    Change:

    bool hasLocalAccount = OAuthWebSecurity.HasLocalAccount(WebSecurity.GetUserId(User.Identity.Name));

    to:

    bool hasLocalAccount = true;
  4. In the public ActionResult RemoveExternalLogins() method:
    Change:

    ViewBag.ShowRemoveButton = externalLogins.Count > 1 || OAuthWebSecurity.HasLocalAccount(WebSecurity.GetUserId(User.Identity.Name));

    to:

    ViewBag.ShowRemoveButton = externalLogins.Count > 1;

Updating the Account/Manage view

Now that we added the handler for the AuthenticateRequest event and made the changes to the Account controller template code, we can update the Manage view for the Account controoler to show the extra attributes from the Okta user profile.

To this, you just need to update the "Views/Account/Manage.cshtml" file as follows:

Directly underneath this line:

<p>You're logged in as <strong>@User.Identity.Name</strong>.</p>

Add these lines:

<p>First Name: <strong>@(((OktaProviders.OktaIdentity)User.Identity).FirstName)</strong></p>
<p>Last Name: <strong>@(((OktaProviders.OktaIdentity)User.Identity).LastName)</strong></p>
<p>Phone Number: <strong>@(((OktaProviders.OktaIdentity)User.Identity).PhoneNumber)</strong></p>

Here is what it should look like in Visual Studio: img

Try it out: See the extra Okta user profile data in the Music Store

  1. Start the Music Store from Visual Studio using the "Play" button or by selecting the "DEBUG" menu and selecting "Start Debugging".
  2. Add "/Account/Login" to the end of the "localhost" URL in Internet Explorer. You should see a "Login" page similar to the one depicted below. img
  3. Log in using the user you orignally used to sign in to configure your Okta organization.
  4. Once you are logged in, add "/Account/Manage" to the end of the "localhost" URL in Internet Explorer.
  5. If everything works, you will see a page that looks like the one below. img

Adding extra user profile attributes to the Registration view

Now that you've verified that you can see access Okta user profile attributes from the Music Store, the last step in this section is to update the Registration page to accept some of those extra user profile attributes. To do this, we'll need to update the RegisterModel for accounts and update the Register view for the Account controller.

To update the RegisterModel for accounts, open the "Models/AccountModel.cs" file and add the following to the "RegisterModel" class:

[Required]
[Display(Name = "First Name")]
public string FirstName { get; set; }

[Required]
[Display(Name = "Last Name")]
public string LastName { get; set; }

[Required]
[Display(Name = "Phone Number")]
public string PhoneNumber { get; set; }

It should look like this:

img

Lastly, to update the Register view, open the "Views/Account/Register.cshtml" file and add the following just after the closing "

  • " tag for the UserName: ```xml

  • @Html.LabelFor(m => m.FirstName) @Html.TextBoxFor(m => m.FirstName)
  • @Html.LabelFor(m => m.LastName) @Html.TextBoxFor(m => m.LastName)
  • @Html.LabelFor(m => m.PhoneNumber) @Html.TextBoxFor(m => m.PhoneNumber)
  • \`\`\`

    It should look like this:

    img

    Try it out: Register for a user with extra user profile data

    1. Start the Music Store from Visual Studio using the "Play" button or by selecting the "DEBUG" menu and selecting "Start Debugging".
    2. Add "/Account/Register" to the end of the "localhost" URL in Internet Explorer. You should see a "Registration" page similar to the one depicted below. img

    Managing your users and groups from inside the Music Store

    While it is always possible to do user and group management from the administrator interface of your Okta organization, most of the time you will want to do those tasks directly from your application.

    In this section you will learn how to manage users and groups via the Music Store.

    For this section, imagine that you are working on "whitelabeling" the Music Store and that you'll want to be able to change the way that the Music Store looks depending on the user. An easy way to do this would be to add users to groups and change the look and feel of the Music Store based on what group the user is part of.

    To manage which user is part of which group, you'll need to add basic group management functionality to the Music Store. Thanks to the design of the Membership and Role providers, this will be pretty easy to do. The Membership and Role providers that you got working in the previous section already have support for managing users and groups (which are called "Roles" in ASP.NET), all that we need to do is add some UI on top of these providers.

    Following the same techniques and principles that are taught in the MVC Music Store instructions, I wrote some basic User and Group management code for the Okta Music Store. Since I expect that you've already learned how to build this sort of UI, let's just copy over the code so you can see how it works.

    Copying over the files

    In the Windows File Explorer, open folder for the Okta Music Store, navigate to the "Controllers" folder and copy the following two files into the "Controllers" folder for your project:

    1. "UserManagerController.cs"
    2. "GroupManagerController.cs"

    Next, navigate to the "Models" folder and copy the following two files into the "Models" folder for your project:

    1. "StoreUser.cs"
    2. "UserGroup.cs"

    Lastly, navigate to the "Views" folder and copy the following two folders into the "Views" folder for your project:

    1. "GroupManager"
    2. "UserManager"

    Try it out: Open the User Manager from the Music Store

    1. Start the Music Store from Visual Studio using the "Play" button or by selecting the "DEBUG" menu and selecting "Start Debugging".

    2. Add "/UserManager" to the end of the "localhost" URL in Internet Explorer. You should see a "Log in" page.

    3. Log in as the administrator user for your Okta account

    4. You should see a page that looks like this:

      img

    If you have trouble logging in to the UserManager page, check in your Okta organization and make sure that the user you are logging in with is part of the "Administrator" group.

    How it works

    Adding custom user and group management to the Music Store was fairly easy to do thanks to scaffolding in MVC and code that was already written in the Membership and Role providers.

    Most of the code is pretty simple. For example, here is the code from the Index method in the UserManager controller:

    // GET: /UserManager/
    public ActionResult Index()
    {
        var membershipUsers = Membership.GetAllUsers();
        var userList = from MembershipUser user in membershipUsers select user.Email.ToString();
        return View(userList);
    }

    As you can see, this code is pretty simple. The first line of the method users the GetAllUsers() method of the Membership provider to get all of the users. The next line uses a basic LINQ query to select the user's email address from the results of the GetAllUsers() method. The last line returns the list of email addresses to the Index view.

    Here is the code for the Index view:

    @model IEnumerable<string>
    @{
        ViewBag.Title = "Manage Users";
    }
    <h2>@ViewBag.Title</h2>
    <table>
        <tr><th>User Name</th><th></th></tr>
        @foreach (var userName in Model)
        {
            <tr>
                <td>@userName</td>
                <td>
                    @Html.ActionLink("Edit", "Edit", new { userName=userName })
                    |
                    @Html.ActionLink("Delete", "Delete", new { userName=userName })
                </td>
            </tr>
        }
    </table>

    This view is also pretty simple. It just takes series of usernames as strings, iterates over the usernames and creates a table with one username per row, adding "Edit" and "Delete" links for each username.

    Note: If you decide to read through the code in more detail, you will notice that the groups that this code uses are all prepended with the text "brand:" - this is done to distinguish the groups that are used by the Music Store from other groups in the Okta organization.

    Set up contextual navigation links to the Music Store

    At this point in the guide, we've added a lot of new features to the Music Store but none of those features are available through the site navigation.

    This is an easy thing to fix, we just need to change two files in the "/Views/Shared" folder: "_Layout.cshtml" and "_LoginPartial.cshtml":

    *Changes needed in "_LoginPartial.cshtml"*

    Replace the entire contents of the file with the code below:

    @if (Request.IsAuthenticated) {
        <li>
            @Html.ActionLink(User.Identity.Name, "Manage", "Account", routeValues: null, htmlAttributes: new { @class = "username", title = "Manage" })
        </li>
        if (Roles.IsUserInRole("StoreManager"))
        {
            <li>@Html.ActionLink("Manage Store", "Index", "StoreManager")</li>
            <li>@Html.ActionLink("Manage Users", "Index", "UserManager")</li>
            <li>@Html.ActionLink("Manage Groups", "Index", "GroupManager")</li>
        }
        foreach (OktaProviders.OktaAppLink app in ((OktaProviders.OktaIdentity)User.Identity).Apps)
        {
            <li><a href="@(app.linkUrl)">@(app.label)</a></li>
        }
        <li>
        @using (Html.BeginForm("LogOff", "Account", FormMethod.Post, new { id = "logoutForm" }))
        {
            @Html.AntiForgeryToken()
            <a href="javascript:document.getElementById('logoutForm').submit()">Log off</a>
        }
        </li>
    }
    else
    {
        <li>@Html.ActionLink("Register", "Register", "Account", routeValues: null, htmlAttributes: new { id = "registerLink" })</li>
        <li>@Html.ActionLink("Log in", "Login", "Account", routeValues: null, htmlAttributes: new { id = "loginLink" })</li>
    }

    *Changes needed in "_Layout.cshtml"*

    Replace this text:

    <li>
        <a href="@Url.Content("~/StoreManager/")">
            Admin
        </a>
    </li>

    With this this line:

    @Html.Partial("_LoginPartial");

    Try it out: Open the User Manager from the Music Store

    1. Start the Music Store from Visual Studio using the "Play" button or by selecting the "DEBUG" menu and selecting "Start Debugging".

    2. You should see the familiar home page, but with new navigation links, like below:

      img

    You'll notice that the link to the store manager is no longer visible. That is because the updated code will only show that link of the user is in the "Administrator" group.

    Optional: Adding Single-sign on to your Music Store

    At this point your Music Store will have all of the basics of user authentication and authorization working: Users can register, log in and log out, and change their passwords. Administrators get access to special sections of the website, can assign group membership and administration rights to other users.

    There are still quite a few features in the Okta API that we haven't covered, external directory integration, using CORS, and the Events API are a few examples.

    What I do want to cover is how to do Single sign-on from the Music Store.

    In this section, I will show you how to seamlessly integrate Zendesk into your application, this integration will allow Music Store users that are logged in to the Music Store to click on a "Support" link and be automatically logged in to a Zendesk application. Even though Zendesk is a completely seperate application, the Music Store users might not even notice. They will not need to enter a user name or password to log in to Zendesk, they will not even need to register a new account.

    Here is a high level overview of the steps required to enable your Music Store users to use Single sign-on to connect to Zendesk:

    • Add Zendesk to your Okta organization
    • Update the Music Store to support Okta Single sign-on

    Adding Zendesk to your Okta organization

    Before you get started, you'll need a Zendesk, if you don't have one already, sign up for a 30 day free trial of Zendesk.

    Once you've done that you'll need to configure your Okta organization to connect to your Zendesk.

    To configure Okta and Zendesk, you can either follow these instructions from Zendesk or this video from Okta

    Make sure you do the following when you set up Zendesk:

    From Okta:

    • Configure Zendesk to use the "SAML 2.0" sign on method
    • Enable provisioning features for Zendesk
    • Enable the "Create Users" provisioning feature
    • Assign Zendesk to the "Everyone" group

    From Zendesk:

    • Enable SAML SSO for End-users. This option is found in the "End User" tab on the "Security" page for Zendesk.

    Updating your Music Store to support Okta Single sign-on

    Once you've configured your Okta organization to single sign-on to Zendesk, all that you have left to do is update the Music Store for single sign-on.

    To enable single sign-on, we need to update the Music Store to not only authenticate the users with the Music Store, but with our Okta organization as well. In other words, instead of giving the Music Store an authentication cookies for just the Music Store domain, we need to have them get authentication cookies from Okta as well.

    To do this, we will make use of a "cookieToken" that we get from Okta when we use the Okta API to authenticate users. After successfully authenticting a Music Store user, we will redirect the user to Okta with their cookieToken to get them authenticated with Okta as well.

    Why do we need to do this? It's so that Okta can handle the single sign-on flow on our behalf, which is much preferrable to writing our own SAML implementation.

    Here is what you need to do to enable single sign-on in your Music Store:

    In the "Login" method of the AccountController, replace this line:

    return RedirectToLocal(returnUrl);

    With this code:

    if (HttpContext.Items.Contains(model.UserName))
    {
        // If we have a cookieToken, redirect the user to Okta so that they get a cookie from Okta too.
        var cookieToken = HttpContext.Items[model.UserName] as String;
        var oktaApiUrl = new Uri(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["okta:ApiUrl"]);
        var redirectUrl = this.Url.Action("Index", "Home", null, this.Request.Url.Scheme);
    
        var cookieTokenUrl = String.Format("{0}login/sessionCookieRedirect?token={1}&redirectUrl={2}",
            oktaApiUrl.AbsoluteUri,
            cookieToken,
            redirectUrl);
        return Redirect(cookieTokenUrl);
    }
    else
    {
        return RedirectToLocal(returnUrl);
    }

    Here is what it should look like:

    img

    Try it out: Single Sign-on to Zendesk

    1. Start the Music Store from Visual Studio using the "Play" button or by selecting the "DEBUG" menu and selecting "Start Debugging".
    2. When Internet Explorer opens, register for a new user by clicking on the "Register" link
    3. After being signed in to the Music Store as the new user, sign out, then log back in. Your browser should now have authentication cookies from both the Music Store and from your Okta organization.
    4. Click on the "Zendesk" link.
    5. You should be automatically logged in to Zendesk

    Closing

    In this document, you learned how to build the "MVC Music Store" project in ASP.NET MVC 4, and how to use Okta as an identity provider in an MVC 4 project.

    In particular, this document demonstrated how to do the following:

    • Use Okta to store, manage, and authenticate users.
    • Store and display extended user profile attributes in Okta.
    • Federate an Okta powered website with another website that supports SAML and automatic account provisioning.

    While this document does cover quite a bit of ground, it does not cover all the features of the Okta Developer API. A few examples of features that this document does not cover are:

    Learn more

    You can learn more about the Okta API by doing one or more of the following:

    • Read the source code for the Membership and Role providers in this project. The files for those providers are in the "OktaProviders" folder of this project.
    • Read the developer documentation for the Okta API.

    Lastly, if you're curious about how Membership and Role providers are implemented, here are the links that I found useful:

    Contact

    Updates or corrections to this document are very welcome. Feel free to send me pull requests with suggestions.

    Additionally, please send me comments or questions via email: joel.franusic@okta.com

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