Adding Single Sign-on Authentication with AD FS and SAML

Adding AD FS Authentication
with AD FS and SAML

TechSmith supports single sign-on (SSO) authentication through SAML 2.0. A SAML 2.0 identity provider (IdP) can take many forms, one of which is a self-hosted Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) server. AD FS is a service provided by Microsoft as a standard role for Windows Server that provides a web login using existing Active Directory credentials.


To use AD FS to log into a TechSmith service like Knowmia (formerly TechSmith Relay), you will need the following components:

  1. An Active Directory instance where all users have a uniquely specified username attribute.
  2. An Active Directory instance where all users have an email address attribute.
  3. A server running Microsoft Server 2012 or 2008. This guide uses screenshots from Server 2012R2, but similar steps should be possible on other versions.
  4. A SSL certificate to sign your AD FS login page and the Signing Certificate for that certificate.
  5. An installed certificate for hosted SSL.

After meeting these basic requirements, you must have AD FS installed on your server. Instructions for configuring and installing AD FS can be found here. ( Instructions can also be found here .)

In your AD FS installation, please note the value for the 'SAML 2.0/W-Federation' URL in the AD FS Endpoints section. If you chose the defaults for the installation, this will be '/adfs/ls/'.

If you're already comfortable setting up and configuring AD FS, go ahead and skip ahead to Step 4 - Configuring TechSmith ID to work with AD FS .

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Step 1 - Adding a Relying Party Trust

At this point you should be ready to set up the AD FS connection with TechSmith. The connection between AD FS and TechSmith is defined using a Relying Party Trust (RPT) .

Select the Relying Party Trusts folder from AD FS Management , and add a new Standard Relying Party Trust from the Actions sidebar. This starts the configuration wizard for a new trust.


  1. In the Select Data Source screen, select the last option, Enter Data About the Party Manually .


  2. On the next screen, enter a Display Name that you'll recognize in the future, and any notes you want to make.


  3. On the next screen, select the AD FS FS profile radio button.


  4. On the next screen, leave the certificate settings at their defaults unless you would like to choose a certificate in which case you'll have to provide your public key later.


  5. On the next screen, check the box labeled Enable Support for the SAML 2.0 WebSSO protocol . The service URL will be . Note that there's no trailing slash at the end of the URL.


  6. On the next screen, add a Relying party trust identifier of .


  7. On the next screen, you may configure multi-factor authentication but this is beyond the scope of this guide.
  8. On the next screen, select the Permit all users to access this relying party radio button.
  9. On the next two screens, the wizard will display an overview of your settings. On the final screen use the Close button to exit and open the Claim Rules editor.

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Step 2 - Creating claim rules

Once the relying party trust has been created, you can create the claim rules and update the RPT with minor changes that aren't set by the wizard. By default the claim rule editor opens once you created the trust.


  1. To create a new rule, click on Add Rule . Create a Send LDAP Attributes as Claims rule.
  2. On the next screen, using Active Directory as your attribute store, do the following:
    1. From the LDAP Attribute column, select E-Mail Addresses .
    2. From the Outgoing Claim Type , select E-Mail Address .
  3. Click on OK to save the new rule.
  4. Create another new rule by clicking Add Rule , this time selecting Transform an Incoming Claim as the template.
  5. On the next screen:
    1. Select [ A unique, un-changing value] as the Incoming Claim Type .
    2. For Outgoing Claim Type , select Name ID .
    3. For Outgoing Name ID Format , select Name ID .
  6. Leave the rule to the default of Pass through all claim values.
  7. Finally, click OK to create the claim rule, and then OK again to finish creating rules.

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Step 3 - Adjusting the trust settings

You still need to adjust a few settings on your relying party trust. To access these settings, select Properties from the Actions sidebar while you have the RPT selected.

  1. In the Endpoints tab, click on add SAML to add a new endpoint.
  2. For the Endpoint type , select SAML Logout .
  3. For the Binding , choose POST .
  4. For the Trusted URL , create a URL using:
    1. The web address of your AD FS server
    2. The AD FS SAML endpoint you noted earlier
    3. The string ?wa=wsignout1.0
  5. The URL should look something like this:
    https:// sso.yourdomain.tld /ADFS/ls/?wa=wsignout1.0.
  6. Confirm you changes by clicking OK on the endpoint and the RPT properties. You should now have a working RPT for TechSmith.

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Step 4 - Configuring TechSmith ID to work with AD FS

The claim types that can be configured for use within Knowmia are the following:

  1. Email (required)
  2. User ID (required and must be globally unique in your IDP)
  3. First Name
  4. Last Name
  5. Display Name (recommended)

After setting up AD FS, you need to configure your TechSmith instance to authenticate using SAML. To do this you will need to create a basic TechSmith ID (if you don't already have one) and login to .

Through a conversation with TechSmith personnel, you must be granted access to your organization's setup of your Identification provider. When this is done, you will see an Admin link at the top of the page.


Click the Add Provider button. Choose SAML 2 from the dropdown list. You'll use your full AD FS server URL with the SAML endpoint as the SSO URL, and the login endpoint you created as the logout URL. The signing certificate will be of the certificate installed in your AD FS instance.

Following the saving of data in this page you will be presented with the following information from TechSmith:

  1. Provider Name
  2. Issuer
  3. Assertion Consumer URL



Step 5 - Test the Integration

Test the integration by attempting to login to the application and confirm that the application recognizes your user and has the right attributes/claims associated.

You should now have a working AD FS SSO implementation for your Knowmia instance.

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