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Forums / Developing with Sitefinity / Mixing forms auth and SSO/Windows Auth

Mixing forms auth and SSO/Windows Auth

20 posts, 0 answered
  1. Jeff
    Jeff avatar
    15 posts
    Registered:
    13 Mar 2012
    26 Sep 2013
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    I am in the planning stages and wondering if it is possible/what it would take to setup the following configuration:

    1.
    One URL (an internal only URL) has SSO/integrated windows auth setup,
    so our content editors can seamlessly login without having to type a
    user name/password.

    2. A second URL (the public URL) has forms
    authentication setup, so public users can create accounts and interact
    with the site. It would auth against a SQL database.

    I'm assuming this would need to be setup on two different URLs. I would be using claims authentication.

    Just wondering what direction I would need to go to get this working.

    Thanks!
  2. Stefani Tacheva
    Stefani Tacheva avatar
    718 posts
    Registered:
    21 Nov 2016
    01 Oct 2013
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    Hi,

    Backend and Frontend users are the same. We do not have such separation. One just has a different permissions set. If a user logs in on the frontenr and it has permissions to access the backend, he will be able to navigate to the Dashboard without problems.

    Sitefinity cannot work in mixed mode. Authentication can be either Forms or Claims. The default mode for new projects is Claims. Upgraded projects will remain to work in Forms mode unless they are set manually after the upgrade.

    More information could be found in our Sitefinity documentation.

    Regards,
    Stefani Tacheva
    Telerik
    Do you want to have your say in the Sitefinity development roadmap? Do you want to know when a feature you requested is added or when a bug fixed? Explore the Telerik Public Issue Tracking system and vote to affect the priority of the items
  3. Jeff
    Jeff avatar
    15 posts
    Registered:
    13 Mar 2012
    02 Oct 2013
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    So do you have any recommendations on how to have some users authenticating against Windows Integrated Active Directory and other users authenticating against a manually typed in user name and password?

    It seems like I might need to code my own claims issuer that would:

    1) Determine if the user is coming from an "internal" IP block and challenge their browser for credentials and then authenticate them against AD.

    2) If they are coming from an external IP block, my issuer would provide a login form, let the users type a name and password, and auth them against a SQL database.

    Does this sound like I am heading down the right road?

    From reading the forums, it seems like this is a common scenario that prior to Sitefinity 5.x was accomplished by having multiple membership providers.

    Thanks!
  4. BoaMike
    BoaMike avatar
    51 posts
    Registered:
    25 Sep 2009
    13 Oct 2013 in reply to Jeff
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    When we were on 4.4 and Windows auth wasn't supported,  Our workaround  (as suggested by Telerik at the time) was to have 2 sites which we synced on a schedule.  One with Windows auth that was strictly for front end browsing, and another with Forms auth that was strictly for content edits (aka 'staging system').  The only caveat to that is you then have to manage syncing of the two sites.  This wasn't a big deal for us, but I'm not sure what your exact requirements are.  Could something like that work for you?  One site with Windows Auth/SSO/Claims for backend edits and another with Forms auth for front end browsing?
  5. Vince
    Vince avatar
    7 posts
    Registered:
    31 Aug 2012
    15 Oct 2013 in reply to Jeff
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    Hi Jeff,

    I am planning out our implementation and was considering the same approach that you outlined.

    What did you end up doing to solve your problem? Did you end up implementing a custom claims issuer or did you do something else?
  6. Jeff
    Jeff avatar
    15 posts
    Registered:
    13 Mar 2012
    15 Oct 2013 in reply to Vince
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    Vince,

    No solution yet, still a work in progress. I opened a support ticket with Sitefinity and their response was roughly "haven't tried that yet.. might work.. let us know how it goes".

    After further research, I'm thinking setting up a custom token issuer/STS may not be that difficult (I am going to try and use open source Techktecture IdentityServer. The bigger issue seems to be the Membership provider.

    I was hoping to use two membership providers, the LDAP provider for internal users (who would auth off the Sitefinity provided STS ) and a SQL Membership provider for external users (who would auth off a custom STS/possibly IdentityServer). I'm not sure if this can be done with one site though, since the relying party config in sitefinity settings has a single parameter to supply the membership provider. Since I only have one site (and thus one relying party), I'm not sure if I can use two membership providers with one site.

    The login form component in Sitefinity does have a parameter to supply the membership provider though, so that may be an avenue to get things working.

    As I figure things out, I will post back.
  7. BoaMike
    BoaMike avatar
    51 posts
    Registered:
    25 Sep 2009
    15 Oct 2013
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    Multiple membership providers aside, isn't the real issue not being able to have both Forms authentication and Claims based authentication enabled simultaneously?   I don't see how you could have one site that used either Claims or Forms... My understanding was you could use one or the other, but not both?
  8. Jeff
    Jeff avatar
    15 posts
    Registered:
    13 Mar 2012
    15 Oct 2013 in reply to BoaMike
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    Mike,

    That is true, but your ticket issuer is free to present a login form (or use other means) to authenticate the user. It's not using "ASP.NET forms authentication", but you can present the same end user experience using claims.
  9. BoaMike
    BoaMike avatar
    51 posts
    Registered:
    25 Sep 2009
    15 Oct 2013 in reply to Jeff
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    Gotcha... I'd be interested to hear what you come up with, particularly if you use Techktecture IdentityServer.   We've talked about using ADFS here, but I don't have much experience with that or similar offerings.  
  10. Vince
    Vince avatar
    7 posts
    Registered:
    31 Aug 2012
    15 Oct 2013 in reply to Jeff
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    Hi Jeff & BoaMike -

    Jeff, I think you're headed down the same path as I am. Particularly, I plan to implement the LDAP provider for backend users (using the Telerik-provided STS (i.e.: SitefinityStsWebApp_6.1.4700.0.zip)) and a SQL Membership provider for front end users.

    I realized this could be possible when I read this page:
    http://www.sitefinity.com/documentation/documentationarticles/creating-a-custom-membership-provider

    And the short video that is posted on that same page (direct link shown below):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tB6-fqdWeEQ

    Telerik's full explanation of how to hook it all up is here:
    http://www.sitefinity.com/documentation/documentationarticles/tutorial

    I have yet to implement it but plan to do so in the coming days. I will report back what I find. If you don't hear back from me in a  timely manner in this thread, feel free to post a reply asking for an update.

  11. Jeff
    Jeff avatar
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    13 Mar 2012
    15 Oct 2013 in reply to Vince
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    Vince,

    Thanks for all the great info, I hadn't seen all those articles yet.

    I'll take a look at those and also keep this thread updated as well.
  12. Dimitar
    Dimitar avatar
    19 posts
    Registered:
    17 Nov 2016
    16 Oct 2013
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    Hello Jeff,

    First of all we'll give you 2 more options just to make sure that we have them on the table when we consider the editing of the content in Sitefinity and it's synchronization with the live site.

    • The solution Michael proposed is a valid one. Thanks Michael!
    • If this doesn't work for you I'll suggest you a second option - for your content editors - Sitefinity's Digital Asset Management tool - it will really make their life easier.
    • And/Or Use Ldap provider (for content editors - in order to provide them access with their AD accounts but not automatically) and the Default provider - for the rest of the users.

    And now to consider the architecture you suggest to achieve automatic login for your content editors and entering password when someone outside the network access the site. In general you have described the major steps you should follow correctly.
    Let's dive deeper: Where this should happen? - In the Security Token Service (STS) you have to implement it by yourself in order to provide a valid token for Sitefinity. Then in Sitefinity you have to implement a custom Membership Provider that returns users from LDAP and the database. This is required because the site could have only one STS and it could be mapped to only one membership provider in Sitefinity.

    In short - it's possible but not so easy for implementation and setup and could have some drawbacks.

    Regards,
    DimBo
    Telerik
    Do you want to have your say in the Sitefinity development roadmap? Do you want to know when a feature you requested is added or when a bug fixed? Explore the Telerik Public Issue Tracking system and vote to affect the priority of the items
  13. Jeff
    Jeff avatar
    15 posts
    Registered:
    13 Mar 2012
    31 Oct 2013 in reply to Vince
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    Vince,

    After I read some of the links you posted, I tried setting up SSO claims auth with Sitefinity's STS and the built in LdapUsers membership provider. Then I created a login page including a login widget with the widget's "MembershipProvider" property set to "Default", hoping it would auth against Sitefinity's local user DB.

    The SSO claims auth with the LdapUsers membership provider worked fine. The login form with the Default membership provider didn't work though. After I used the login form, Sitefinity didn't seem to recognize that I was logged in, it kept sending me over to the STS for auth.

    If I turned off claims auth, I was able to create two login forms, each with a widget pointing at the LdapUsers membership provider and Default membership provider respectively. That worked fine. It seems this config would work OK and while the internal users could access one form, external the other form. Internal users still have to type their user name and password, but at least it still authenticates off Ldap and their password stays in sync. I am wondering if this is a good idea to use in a new implementation since it seems everything is moving towards claims auth and if the older non-claims auth would be phased out.
  14. Vince
    Vince avatar
    7 posts
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    31 Aug 2012
    31 Oct 2013 in reply to Jeff
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    Hi Jeff,

    I think that your interpretation of when and why to use a "form" to authenticate users is different than my interpretation. Some background, as I understand things. Forgive me if this is too much info but I thought it would be useful... :)

    I use the STS application for authenticating users in the backend only. The idea behind claims auth is that you have an application (Sitefinity) that doesn't know who the user is. To find out who the user is, Sitefinity redirects them to a trusted authentication provider: the STS website. In our case, the STS website use AD/LDAP to discover the identity of the user (in practice, under the hood the STS could look up the user in the database, make an OAuth call to Facebook, or whatever... it doesn't matter). The STS then redirects the user back to Sitefinity and includes an encrypted/hashed packet of information that Sitefinity opens up and sees the user's identity. Sitefinity now knows who the user is and trusts the STS to have provided this info (it trusts it because we configured Sitefinity to do so using the backend security settings). This process is seamless to the user ; they never see anything in their browser. This process, in effect, replaces the need for a login form.

    For the frontend, I do not use the STS. In my case the reason is because my frontend users don't have AD accounts. Therefore I need to authenticate those people differently. I chose to implement Forms Authentication. So, the user is given a form in a web page to fill in their user name and password. When their credentials are submitted, I look up their credentials in a custom database (that my company manages separately from Sitefinity; Sitefinity has nothing to do with it). If the login is successful then I set a Forms Auth cookie and redirect the user to the "homepage" of the frontend website. Sitefinity sees the Forms Auth cookie, verifies that it's legit... and that's that.

    So, you see, my authentication process for the backend and frontend are two completely different things.

    To your point/question about non-claims auth "going away", I'm not worried about that because it will never happen. Telerik would never take that away because the Forms Auth scenario that I describe above is almost certainly very common - lot's of people do it.

    Hopefully that makes sense and was useful.
  15. Jeff
    Jeff avatar
    15 posts
    Registered:
    13 Mar 2012
    31 Oct 2013 in reply to Vince
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    Hi Vince,

    Thanks for the detailed explanation. I think I understand what you're trying to do, which completely mimics what I am trying to do.

    Have you actually tried what you wrote?

    The reason I ask is that, based on my testing, it seems that once you turn on claims authentication, you can no longer auth the user by setting the Forms Auth cookie. Once you turn on claims, even if you are not using STS, if you are just using the out of the box Sitefinity login form (from /Sitefinity/Authenticate/SWT), it still issues you a ticket and sets a couple "FedAuth" cookies.

    It seems that once I turn on claims and set the ticket issuer (setting the microsoft.identityMode/service/federatedAuthentication/wsFederation@issuer web.config attribute), it will only accept tickets from that issuer. I have tried to create a login form in Sitefinity and point the "serviceUrl" to /Sitefinity/Authenticate/SWT, to hopefully be able to authenticate users with the out of the box ticket issuer (the Default membership provider) and that doesn't work. When the /Sitefinity/Authenticate/SWT URL is accessed, a HTTP response is returned that says:

    X-Authentication-Error: Missing configuration for the issuer of security tokens "http://domain.com/Sitefinity/Authenticate/SWT"

    and that request redirects over to my SSO STS (the URL I set on the issuer attribute in the web.config file).
  16. Jeff
    Jeff avatar
    15 posts
    Registered:
    13 Mar 2012
    31 Oct 2013 in reply to Jeff
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    OK, I'm a moron.

    I was able to get the login form working (along with keeping SSO/STS working) by changing the "ServiceUrl" on the login wiget to http://domain.com/Sitefinity/Authenticate/SWT and making sure in Sitefinity Settings > Advanced > Security > SecurityTokenIssuers, that an entry exists for http://domain.com/Sitefinity/Authenticate/SWT with a key that matches http://localhost's entry.

    I feel like I am throwing things against the wall to see what sticks, but this seems to be working and a viable option to having a SSO auth option for internal users and a form login for external users.
  17. Yavor Slavchev
    Yavor Slavchev avatar
    27 posts
    Registered:
    13 Sep 2016
    04 Nov 2013
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    Hi Jeff,

    I'm glad to hear that your login form is now working. If you have any other issues, do no hesitate to contact us again.

    Regards,
    Yavor Slavchev
    Telerik
    Do you want to have your say in the Sitefinity development roadmap? Do you want to know when a feature you requested is added or when a bug fixed? Explore the Telerik Public Issue Tracking system and vote to affect the priority of the items
  18. Vince
    Vince avatar
    7 posts
    Registered:
    31 Aug 2012
    06 Nov 2013 in reply to Jeff
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    Jeff, sorry for the delay in responding. I'm glad that you got it working. I ran into the same challenges too as I went about figuring it out. I agree that it's basically like throwing darts at a board; Telerik's documentation leaves a lot to be desired.

    Accessing and using Sitefinity's Forms Authentication cookie
    On a different note but related note, I have just started working on the next step in my development: accessing and decrypting Sitefinity's the Forms Auth cookie from a non-Sitefinity website on the same base domain. I've configured Sitefinty to set the domain on its cookie to use the base domain (i.e. mydomain.com) and I intend to access the cookie from mysubdomain.mydomain.com. Once decrypted, I would like to suck out whatever object or data that Telerik has injected into the cookie.

    My use case: my users will be logging into the Sitefinity front end using a custom MembershipProvider that I have built and hooked up (done!). Our company has many web apps already built that will continue to live alongside but separately from our Sitefinity installation. I want to use Sitefinity Authentication ticket to authorize users in my other applications; I don't want them to have to re-log in separately.

    Have you seen any examples or posts that describe how to go about doing this? Any heads up would be greatly appreciated.
  19. Yavor Slavchev
    Yavor Slavchev avatar
    27 posts
    Registered:
    13 Sep 2016
    06 Nov 2013
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    Hello Vince,

    Thank you for your additional question.

    What I could advise you is to read this article and see if this can help you for your use case.

    http://www.sitefinity.com/blogs/svetlayankova/posts/svetla-yankovas-blog/2013/07/02/single-sign-on-between-sitefinity-and-3rd-party-applications-part-2-using-wif

    Yo can also read and 'The basics' - part 1 if you are not familiar with some of the terms.

    I hope this information is useful.

    Regards,
    Yavor Slavchev
    Telerik
    Do you want to have your say in the Sitefinity development roadmap? Do you want to know when a feature you requested is added or when a bug fixed? Explore the Telerik Public Issue Tracking system and vote to affect the priority of the items
  20. Dinesh
    Dinesh avatar
    2 posts
    Registered:
    07 Mar 2014
    10 Apr 2014 in reply to Vince
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    Hey Vince,

    Did you ever figure out how to do the form authentication with sitefinity and other .net apps?

20 posts, 0 answered