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Domino SingleSignOn - Level 1 - LDAP Authentication

Thomas Hampel
 13 February 2017

Based on a recent discussion with a customer it seems there still is not enough information on how to simplify authentication for Notes/Domino users.
This is the first post our of a series of blog posts describing how to move from password based to seamless authentication.

Level 1 – LDAP Authentication

Main goal of this level is to provide users with the ability to authenticate with Domino internet protocols such as HTTP using LDAP (e.g.Active Directory) credentials. The Notes Client authentication remains unchanged.
When using a web browser to access a Domino server, users will be prompted for username and password.
This authentication dialog looks like one of the following examples:
Image:Domino SingleSignOn - Level 1 - LDAP AuthenticationImage:Domino SingleSignOn - Level 1 - LDAP Authentication
Credentials entered here will be forwarded to Active Directory for authentication.
Within this process username and password will be sent over the network, so it is highly important to secure the transmission using SSL/TLS.

Pros and Cons

+ Lost/forgotten passwords on a monday morning are no longer your problem. The AD guys have to take care :)
+ No need to manage HTTP passwords and no need to sync HTTP and Notes passwords
- All authentication requests will be forwarded to LDAP/AD, entering wrong passwords multiple times -depending on your policy- will lock out your AD account.

Prerequisites:

In order for Active Directory authentication to work, the Notes user name must be stored within Active Directory (or the AD name must be stored in Domino). This is required to map Active Directory user name to a Notes user name.
  • Within Active Directory, each user object must have a (custom) attribute storing the Notes User name in DN format. This format is described as the full canonical user name of the Notes user (e.g. “CN=Firstname Lastname,OU=Department,O=Company”) where any slash (“/”) is replaced by a comma (“,”)
  • The name of this (custom) attribute of the user object in Active Directory can be any name of your choice, I will be using “mailNickname”, but you can use any other attribute you like.
    This attribute is recommended to be included in the AD Index for performance reasons. For details how to do this, please refer to this article which relates to an older version of AD but is still valid.
  • Synchronization from Domino Directory to Active Directory is done on a regular basis, e.g. by using TDI (which is free for Domino customers) with some AssemblyLines for Domino
  • A non-expiring Active Directory User account is required that will be used by Domino for Single SignOn purposes.
How to...
reconfigure Domino HTTP authentication to use Active Directory for authentication of browser sessions?
If not already done:
  • Import the trusted root certificate of the LDAP server into the key ring file of the Domino server.
    Please note that Domino will be the client for the LDAP session in this case, so the *.kyr file that is being used is the one in the server document!
  • Create a Directory Assistence (DA) database
  • Add the DA to your Domino server document
    Image:Domino SingleSignOn - Level 1 - LDAP Authentication

okay, whats next:
  1. Within the Directory Assistance database, add a new document and configure it like shown below:
    Image:Domino SingleSignOn - Level 1 - LDAP Authentication
    Of course you are supposed to supply your correct Kerberos realm name. If in doubt, ask your AD admin.
  2. Set "Trusted for Credentials" to Yes
    Image:Domino SingleSignOn - Level 1 - LDAP Authentication
  3. Configure how to connect to the LDAP (­) server.
    Image:Domino SingleSignOn - Level 1 - LDAP Authentication
  4. Save & close

Now restart the Domino server and check if LDAP is being shown in the list of directories.
Issue the command "Show xdir" at the server console for details.

Troubleshooting:

Apache LDAP Studio is your friend. Make sure your LDAP credentials are correctly working and that your Base DN is providing the expected results before setting up Directory Assistence towards AD.
Some more hints:
  • You can specify multiple LDAP servers, they will be used one after the other based on the search order you have supplied
  • Search order in the Directory Assistance document must be unique. You can not use the same "Search order" twice.
  • Domino will be the client for the LDAP session in this case, so the *.kyr file that is being used is the one in the server document!
    If you are using Internet sites, then Edit the server document, disable internet sites (without saving) and specify the *.kyr file there. When done, switch back to the basics tab and re-enable Internet Sites.
    The file specified will still be used for all outbound connections, the kyr file specified in the internet sites is used for inbound connections only!
    Image:Domino SingleSignOn - Level 1 - LDAP Authentication
  • Thes Notes.ini variables will increase the log level for further debugging
    debug_directory_assistance=1
    debug_namelookup=1

Result:

When prompted for username/Password you can now use your Active Directory username and AD Password.
Transitioning from Domino HTTP passwords to AD passwords is seamless because users can still use the Domino HTTP password even if LDAP authentication has been configured.
Once the transition is completed you should clear the HTTP password field from the person document.
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