Configure SAML and SCIM with Microsoft Entra ID and IAM Identity Center - Amazon IAM Identity Center
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Configure SAML and SCIM with Microsoft Entra ID and IAM Identity Center

Amazon IAM Identity Center supports integration with Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 as well as automatic provisioning (synchronization) of user and group information from Microsoft Entra ID (formerly known as Azure Active Directory or Azure AD) into IAM Identity Center using the System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM) 2.0 protocol.

Objective

In this tutorial, you will set up a test lab and configure a SAML connection and SCIM provisioning between Microsoft Entra ID and IAM Identity Center. During the initial preparation steps, you'll create a test user (Nikki Wolf) in both Microsoft Entra ID and IAM Identity Center which you'll use to test the SAML connection in both directions. Later, as part of the SCIM steps, you'll create a different test user (Richard Roe) to verify that new attributes in Microsoft Entra ID are synchronizing to IAM Identity Center as expected.

Before you can get started with this tutorial, you'll first need to set up the following:

In this step, you will walk through how to install and configure your Amazon IAM Identity Center enterprise application and assign access to a newly created Microsoft Entra ID test user.

Step 1.1 >

Step 1.1: Set up the Amazon IAM Identity Center enterprise application in Microsoft Entra ID

In this procedure, you install the Amazon IAM Identity Center enterprise application in Microsoft Entra ID. You will need this application later to configure your SAML connection with Amazon.

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft Entra admin center as at least a Cloud Application Administrator.

  2. Navigate to Identity > Applications > Enterprise applications, and then choose New application.

  3. On the Browse Microsoft Entra Gallery page, enter Amazon IAM Identity Center in the search box.

  4. Select Amazon IAM Identity Center from the results area.

  5. Choose Create.

Step 1.2 >

Step 1.2: Create a test user in Microsoft Entra ID

Nikki Wolf is the name of your Microsoft Entra ID test user that you will create in this procedure.

  1. In the Microsoft Entra admin center console, navigate to Identity > Users > All users.

  2. Select New user, and then choose Create new user at the top of the screen.

  3. In User principal name, enter NikkiWolf, and then select your preferred domain and extension. For example, NikkiWolf@example.org.

  4. In Display name, enter NikkiWolf.

  5. In Password, enter a strong password or select the eye icon to show the password that was auto-generated, and either copy or write down the value that's displayed.

  6. Choose Properties, in First name, enter Nikki. In Last name, enter Wolf.

  7. Choose Review + create, and then choose Create.

Step 1.3

Step 1.3: Test Nikki's experience prior to assigning her permissions to Amazon IAM Identity Center

In this procedure, you will verify what Nikki can successfully sign into her Microsoft My Account portal.

  1. In the same browser, open a new tab, go to the My Account portal sign in page, and enter Nikki's full email address. For example, NikkiWolf@example.org.

  2. When prompted, enter Nikki's password, and then choose Sign in. If this was an auto-generated password, you will be prompted to change the password.

  3. On the Action Required page, choose Ask later to bypass the prompt for additional security methods.

  4. On the My account page, in the left nav, choose My Apps. Notice that besides Add-ins, no apps are displayed at this time. You'll add an Amazon IAM Identity Center app that will appear here in a later step.

Step 1.4

Step 1.4: Assign permissions to Nikki in Microsoft Entra ID

Now that you have verified that Nikki can successfully access the My account portal, use this procedure to assign her user to the Amazon IAM Identity Center app.

  1. In the Microsoft Entra admin center console, navigate to Identity > Applications > Enterprise applications and then choose Amazon IAM Identity Center from the list.

  2. On the left, choose Users and groups.

  3. Choose Add user/group. You can ignore the message stating that groups are not available for assignment. This tutorial does not use groups for assignments.

  4. On the Add Assignment page, under Users, choose None Selected.

  5. Select NikkiWolf, and then choose Select.

  6. On the Add Assignment page, choose Assign. NikkiWolf now appears in the list of users who are assigned to the Amazon IAM Identity Center app.

In this step, you'll walk through how to use IAM Identity Center to configure access permissions (via permission set), manually create a corresponding Nikki Wolf user, and assign her the necessary permissions to administer resources in Amazon.

Step 2.1 >

Step 2.1: Create a RegionalAdmin permission set in IAM Identity Center

This permission set will be used to grant Nikki the necessary Amazon account permissions required to manage Regions from the Account page within the Amazon Web Services Management Console. All other permissions to view or manage any other information for Nikki's account is denied by default.

  1. Open the IAM Identity Center console.

  2. Under Multi-account permissions, choose Permission sets.

  3. Choose Create permission set.

  4. On the Select permission set type page, select Custom permission set, and then choose Next.

  5. Select Inline policy to expand it, and then create a policy for the permission set using the following steps:

    1. Choose Add new statement to create a policy statement.

    2. Under Edit statement, select Account from the list, and then choose the following check boxes.

      • ListRegions

      • GetRegionOptStatus

      • DisableRegion

      • EnableRegion

    3. Next to Add a resource, choose Add.

    4. On the Add resource page, under Resource type, select All Resources, and then choose Add resource. Verify that your policy looks like the following:

      { "Statement": [ { "Sid": "Statement1", "Effect": "Allow", "Action": [ "account:ListRegions", "account:DisableRegion", "account:EnableRegion", "account:GetRegionOptStatus" ], "Resource": [ "*" ] } ] }
  6. Choose Next.

  7. On the Specify permission set details page, under Permission set name, enter RegionalAdmin, and then choose Next.

  8. On the Review and create page, choose Create. You should see RegionalAdmin displayed in the list of permission sets.

Step 2.2 >

Step 2.2: Create a corresponding NikkiWolf user in IAM Identity Center

Since the SAML protocol does not provide a mechanism to query the IdP (Microsoft Entra ID) and automatically create users here in IAM Identity Center, use the following procedure to manually create a user in IAM Identity Center that mirrors the core attributes from Nikki Wolfs user in Microsoft Entra ID.

  1. Open the IAM Identity Center console.

  2. Choose Users, choose Add user, and then provide the following information:

    1. For both Username and Email address – Enter the same NikkiWolf@yourcompanydomain.extension that you used when creating your Microsoft Entra ID user. For example, NikkiWolf@example.org.

    2. Confirm email address – Re-enter the email address from the previous step

    3. First name – Enter Nikki

    4. Last name – Enter Wolf

    5. Display name – Enter Nikki Wolf

  3. Choose Next twice, then choose Add user.

  4. Select Close.

Step 2.3

Step 2.3: Assign Nikki to the RegionalAdmin permission set in IAM Identity Center

Here you locate the Amazon Web Services account in which Nikki will administer Regions, and then assign the necessary permissions required for her to successfully access the Amazon Web Services access portal.

  1. Open the IAM Identity Center console.

  2. Under Multi-account permissions, choose Amazon Web Services accounts.

  3. Select the check box next to the account name (for example, Sandbox) where you want to grant Nikki access to manage Regions, and then choose Assign users and groups.

  4. On the Assign users and groups page, choose the Users tab, find and check the box next to Nikki, and then choose Next.

In this step, you configure your SAML connection using the Amazon IAM Identity Center enterprise application in Microsoft Entra ID together with the external IdP settings in IAM Identity Center.

Step 3.1 >

Step 3.1: Collect required service provider metadata from IAM Identity Center

In this step, you will launch the Change identity source wizard from within the IAM Identity Center console and retrieve the metadata file and the Amazon specific sign-in URL you'll need to enter when configuring the connection with Microsoft Entra ID in the next step.

  1. In the IAM Identity Center console, choose Settings.

  2. On the Settings page, choose the Identity source tab, and then choose Actions > Change identity source.

  3. On the Choose identity source page, select External identity provider, and then choose Next.

  4. On the Configure external identity provider page, under Service provider metadata, choose Download metadata file to download it on your system.

  5. In the same section, locate the Amazon Web Services access portal sign-in URL value and copy it. You will need to enter this value when prompted in the next step.

  6. Leave this page open, and move to the next step (Step 3.2) to configure the Amazon IAM Identity Center enterprise application in Microsoft Entra ID. Later, you'll return to this page to complete the process.

Step 3.2 >

Step 3.2: Configure the Amazon IAM Identity Center enterprise application in Microsoft Entra ID

This procedure establishes one-half of the SAML connection on the Microsoft side using the values from the metadata file and Sign-On URL you obtained in the last step.

  1. In the Microsoft Entra admin center console, navigate to Identity > Applications > Enterprise applications and then choose Amazon IAM Identity Center.

  2. On the left, choose Single sign-on.

  3. On the Set up Single Sign-On with SAML page, choose Upload metadata file, choose the folder icon, select the service provider metadata file that you downloaded in the previous step, and then choose Add.

  4. On the Basic SAML Configuration page, verify that both the Identifier and Reply URL values now point to endpoints in Amazon that start with https://<REGION>.signin.aws.amazon.com/platform/saml/.

  5. Under Sign on URL (Optional), paste in the Amazon Web Services access portal sign-in URL value you copied in the previous step (Step 3.1), choose Save, and then choose X to close the window.

  6. If prompted to test single sign-on with Amazon IAM Identity Center, choose No I'll test later. You will do this verification in a later step.

  7. On the Set up Single Sign-On with SAML page, in the SAML Certificates section, next to Federation Metadata XML, choose Download to save the metadata file to your system. You will need to upload this file when prompted in the next step.

Step 3.3 >

Step 3.3: Configure the Microsoft Entra ID external IdP in Amazon IAM Identity Center

Here you will return to the Change identity source wizard in the IAM Identity Center console to complete the second-half of the SAML connection in Amazon.

  1. Return to the browser session you left open from Step 3.1 in the IAM Identity Center console.

  2. On the Configure external identity provider page, in the Identity provider metadata section, under IdP SAML metadata, choose the Choose file button, and select the identity provider metadata file that you downloaded from Microsoft Entra ID in the previous step, and then choose Open.

  3. Choose Next.

  4. After you read the disclaimer and are ready to proceed, enter ACCEPT.

  5. Choose Change identity source to apply your changes.

Step 3.4 >

Step 3.4: Test that Nikki is redirected to the Amazon Web Services access portal

In this procedure, you will test the SAML connection by signing in to Microsoft's My Account portal with Nikki's credentials. Once authenticated, you'll select the Amazon IAM Identity Center application which will redirect Nikki to the Amazon Web Services access portal.

  1. Go to the My Account portal sign in page, and enter Nikki's full email address. For example, NikkiWolf@example.org.

  2. When prompted, enter Nikki's password, and then choose Sign in.

  3. On the My account page, in the left nav, choose My Apps.

  4. On the My Apps page, select the app named Amazon IAM Identity Center. This should prompt you for additional authentication.

  5. On Microsoft's sign in page, choose your NikkiWolf credentials. If prompted a second time for authentication, choose your NikkiWolf credentials again. This should automatically redirect you to the Amazon Web Services access portal.

    Tip

    If you are not redirected successfully, check to make sure the Amazon Web Services access portal sign-in URL value you entered in Step 3.2 matches the value you copied from Step 3.1.

  6. Verify that you see an Amazon Account icon displayed.

    Tip

    If the page is empty and no Amazon Account icon is displayed, confirm that Nikki was successfully assigned to the RegionalAdmin permission set (see Step 2.3).

Step 3.5

Step 3.5: Test Nikki's level of access to manage her Amazon Web Services account

In this step, you will check to determine Nikki's level of access to manage the Region settings for her Amazon Web Services account. Nikki should only have sufficient administrator privileges to manage Regions from the Accounts page.

  1. In the Amazon Web Services access portal, choose the Amazon Account icon to expand the list of accounts. After choosing the icon, the account names, account IDs, and email addresses associated with any accounts where you've defined permission sets appear.

  2. Choose the account name (for example, Sandbox) where you applied the permission set (see Step 2.3). This will expand the list of permission sets that Nikki can choose from to manage her account.

  3. Next to RegionalAdmin choose Management console to assume the role you defined in the RegionalAdmin permission set. This will redirect you to the Amazon Web Services Management Console home page.

  4. In the upper-right corner of the console, choose your account name, and then choose Account. This will take you to the Account page. Notice that all other sections on this page display a message that you don't have the necessary permissions to view or modify those settings.

  5. On the Account page, scroll down to the section Amazon Regions. Select a check box for any available Region in the table. Notice that Nikki does have the necessary permissions to Enable or Disable the list of Regions for her account as was intended.

Nicely done!

Steps 1 through 3 helped you to successfully implement and test your SAML connection. Now, to complete the tutorial, we encourage you to move on to Step 4 to implement automatic provisioning.

In this step, you will set up automatic provisioning (synchronization) of user information from Microsoft Entra ID into IAM Identity Center using the SCIM v2.0 protocol. You configure this connection in Microsoft Entra ID using your SCIM endpoint for IAM Identity Center and a bearer token that is created automatically by IAM Identity Center.

When you configure SCIM synchronization, you create a mapping of your user attributes in Microsoft Entra ID to the named attributes in IAM Identity Center. This causes the expected attributes to match between IAM Identity Center and Microsoft Entra ID.

The following steps walk you through how to enable automatic provisioning of users that primarily reside in Microsoft Entra ID to IAM Identity Center using the IAM Identity Center app in Microsoft Entra ID.

Step 4.1 >

Step 4.1: Create a second test user in Microsoft Entra ID

For testing purposes, you will create a new user (Richard Roe) in Microsoft Entra ID. Later, after you set up SCIM synchronization, you will test that this user and all relevant attributes were synced successfully to IAM Identity Center.

  1. In the Microsoft Entra admin center console, navigate to Identity > Users > All users.

  2. Select New user, and then choose Create new user at the top of the screen.

  3. In User principal name, enter RichRoe, and then select your preferred domain and extension. For example, RichRoe@example.org.

  4. In Display name, enter RichRoe.

  5. In Password, enter a strong password or select the eye icon to show the password that was auto-generated, and either copy or write down the value that's displayed.

  6. Choose Properties, and then provide the following values:

    • First name - Enter Richard

    • Last name - Enter Roe

    • Job title - Enter Marketing Lead

    • Department - Enter Sales

    • Employee ID - Enter 12345

  7. Choose Review + create, and then choose Create.

Step 4.2 >

Step 4.2: Enable automatic provisioning in IAM Identity Center

In this procedure, you will use the IAM Identity Center console to enable automatic provisioning of users and groups coming from Microsoft Entra ID into IAM Identity Center.

  1. Open the IAM Identity Center console, and choose Settings in the left navigation pane.

  2. On the Settings page, under the Identity source tab, notice that Provisioning method is set to Manual.

  3. Locate the Automatic provisioning information box, and then choose Enable. This immediately enables automatic provisioning in IAM Identity Center and displays the necessary SCIM endpoint and access token information.

  4. In the Inbound automatic provisioning dialog box, copy each of the values for the following options. You will need to paste these in the next step when you configure provisioning in Microsoft Entra ID.

    1. SCIM endpoint - For example, https://scim.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/11111111111-2222-3333-4444-555555555555/scim/v2/

    2. Access token - Choose Show token to copy the value.

  5. Choose Close.

  6. Under the Identity source tab, notice that Provisioning method is now set to SCIM.

Step 4.3 >

Step 4.3: Configure automatic provisioning in Microsoft Entra ID

Now that you have your RichRoe test user in place and have enabled SCIM in IAM Identity Center, you can proceed with configuring the SCIM synchronization settings in Microsoft Entra ID.

  1. In the Microsoft Entra admin center console, navigate to Identity > Applications > Enterprise applications and then choose Amazon IAM Identity Center.

  2. Choose Provisioning, under Manage, choose Provisioning again.

  3. In Provisioning Mode select Automatic.

  4. Under Admin Credentials, in Tenant URL paste in the SCIM endpoint URL value you copied earlier in Step 4.1. In Secret Token, paste in the Access token value.

  5. Choose Test Connection. You should see a message indicating that the tested credentials were successfully authorized to enable provisioning.

  6. Choose Save.

  7. Under Manage, choose Users and groups, and then choose Add user/group.

  8. On the Add Assignment page, under Users, choose None Selected.

  9. Select RichRoe, and then choose Select.

  10. On the Add Assignment page, choose Assign.

  11. Choose Overview, and then choose Start provisioning.

Step 4.4

Step 4.4: Verify that synchronization occurred

In this section, you will verify that Richard's user was successfully provisioned and that all attributes are displayed in IAM Identity Center.

  1. In the IAM Identity Center console, choose Users.

  2. On the Users page, you should see your RichRoe user displayed. Notice that in the Created by column the value is set to SCIM.

  3. Choose RichRoe, under Profile, verify that the following attributes were copied from Microsoft Entra ID.

    • First name - Richard

    • Last name - Roe

    • Department - Sales

    • Title - Marketing Lead

    • Employee number - 12345

    Now that Richard's user has been created in IAM Identity Center, you can assign it to any permission set so you can control the level of access he has to your Amazon resources. For example, you could assign RichRoe to the RegionalAdmin permission set you used earlier to grant Nikki the permissions to manage Regions (see Step 2.3) and then test his level of access using Step 3.5.

Congratulations!

You have successfully set up a SAML connection between Microsoft and Amazon and have verified that automatic provisioning is working to keep everything in sync. Now you can apply what you've learned to more smoothly set up your production environment.

The following are important considerations about Microsoft Entra ID that can affect how you plan to implement automatic provisioning with IAM Identity Center in your production environment using the SCIM v2 protocol.

Note

Before you begin deploying SCIM, we recommend that you first review Considerations for using automatic provisioning.

Attributes for access control

Attributes for access control is used in permission policies that determine who in your identity source can access your Amazon resources. If an attribute is removed from a user in Microsoft Entra ID, that attribute will not be removed from the corresponding user in IAM Identity Center. This is a known limitation in Microsoft Entra ID. If an attribute is changed to a different (non-empty) value on a user, that change will be synchronized to IAM Identity Center.

Nested Groups

The Microsoft Entra ID user provisioning service can't read or provision users in nested groups. Only users that are immediate members of an explicitly assigned group can be read and provisioned. Microsoft Entra ID doesn't recursively unpack the group memberships of indirectly assigned users or groups (users or groups that are members of a group that is directly assigned). For more information, see Assignment-based scoping in the Microsoft Entra ID documentation.

Dynamic Groups

The Microsoft Entra ID user provisioning service can read and provision users in dynamic groups. See below for an example showing the users and groups structure while using dynamic groups and how they are displayed in IAM Identity Center. These users and groups were provisioned from Microsoft Entra ID into IAM Identity Center via SCIM

For example, if Microsoft Entra ID structure for dynamic groups is as follows:

  1. Group A with members ua1, ua2

  2. Group B with members ub1

  3. Group C with members uc1

  4. Group K with a rule to include members of Group A, B, C

  5. Group L with a rule to include members Group B and C

After the user and group information is provisioned from Microsoft Entra ID into IAM Identity Center through SCIM, the structure will be as follows:

  1. Group A with members ua1, ua2

  2. Group B with members ub1

  3. Group C with members uc1

  4. Group K with members ua1, ua2, ub1, uc1

  5. Group L with members ub1, uc1

When you configure automatic provisioning using dynamic groups, keep the following considerations in mind.

  • A dynamic group can include a nested group. However, Microsoft Entra ID provisioning service doesn’t flatten the nested group. For example, if you have the following Microsoft Entra ID structure for dynamic groups:

    • Group A is a parent of group B.

    • Group A has ua1 as a member.

    • Group B has ub1 as a member.

The dynamic group that includes Group A will only include the direct members of group A (that is, ua1). It won’t recursively include members of group B.

  • Dynamic groups can’t contain other dynamic groups. For more information, see Preview limitations in the Microsoft Entra ID documentation.

If you are experiencing issues with Microsoft Entra ID users not synchronizing to IAM Identity Center, it might be due to a syntax issue that IAM Identity Center has flagged when a new user is being added to IAM Identity Center. You can confirm this by checking the Microsoft Entra ID audit logs for failed events, such as an 'Export'. The Status Reason for this event will state:

{"schema":["urn:ietf:params:scim:api:messages:2.0:Error"],"detail":"Request is unparsable, syntactically incorrect, or violates schema.","status":"400"}

You can also check Amazon CloudTrail for the failed event. This can be done by searching in the Event History console of CloudTrail using the following filter:

"eventName":"CreateUser"

The error in the CloudTrail event will state the following:

"errorCode": "ValidationException", "errorMessage": "Currently list attributes only allow single item“

Ultimately, this exception means that one of the values passed from Microsoft Entra ID contained more values than anticipated. The solution here is to review the attributes of the user in Microsoft Entra ID, ensuring that none contain duplicate values. One common example of duplicate values is having multiple values present for contact numbers such as mobile, work, and fax. Although separate values, they are all passed to IAM Identity Center under the single parent attribute phoneNumbers.

For general SCIM troubleshooting tips, see Troubleshooting IAM Identity Center issues.

Now that you have successfully configured SAML and SCIM, you can optionally choose to configure attribute-based access control (ABAC). ABAC is an authorization strategy that defines permissions based on attributes.

With Microsoft Entra ID, you can use either of the following two methods to configure ABAC for use with IAM Identity Center.

Method 1

Method 1: Configure user attributes in Microsoft Entra ID for access control in IAM Identity Center

In the following procedure, you will determine which attributes in Microsoft Entra ID should be used by IAM Identity Center to manage access to your Amazon resources. Once defined, Microsoft Entra ID sends these attributes to IAM Identity Center through SAML assertions. You will then need to Create a permission set in IAM Identity Center to manage access based on the attributes you passed from Microsoft Entra ID.

Before you begin this procedure, you first need to enable the Attributes for access control feature. For more information about how to do this, see Enable and configure attributes for access control.

  1. In the Microsoft Entra admin center console, navigate to Identity > Applications > Enterprise applications and then choose Amazon IAM Identity Center.

  2. Choose Single sign-on.

  3. In the Attributes & Claims section, choose Edit.

  4. On the Attributes & Claims page, do the following:

    1. Choose Add new claim

    2. For Name, enter AccessControl:AttributeName. Replace AttributeName with the name of the attribute you are expecting in IAM Identity Center. For example, AccessControl:Department.

    3. For Namespace, enter https://aws.amazon.com/SAML/Attributes.

    4. For Source, choose Attribute.

    5. For Source attribute, use the drop-down list to choose the Microsoft Entra ID user attributes. For example, user.department.

  5. Repeat the previous step for each attribute you need to send to IAM Identity Center in the SAML assertion.

  6. Choose Save.

Method 2

Method 2: Configure ABAC using IAM Identity Center

With this method, you use the Attributes for access control feature in IAM Identity Center to pass an Attribute element with the Name attribute set to https://aws.amazon.com/SAML/Attributes/AccessControl:{TagKey}. You can use this element to pass attributes as session tags in the SAML assertion. For more information about session tags, see Passing session tags in Amazon STS in the IAM User Guide.

To pass attributes as session tags, include the AttributeValue element that specifies the value of the tag. For example, to pass the tag key-value pair CostCenter = blue, use the following attribute:

<saml:AttributeStatement> <saml:Attribute Name="https://aws.amazon.com/SAML/Attributes/AccessControl:CostCenter"> <saml:AttributeValue>blue </saml:AttributeValue> </saml:Attribute> </saml:AttributeStatement>

If you need to add multiple attributes, include a separate Attribute element for each tag.