Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Enable User Authentication for AEM Websites — Azure AD B2C | SAML Application with Azure AD B2C

Enable User Authentication for AEM Websites — Azure AD B2C | SAML Application with Azure AD B2C

Azure AD(Active Directory) B2C provides business-to-customer identity as a service. The end users can use preferred social, enterprise, or local account identities to get single sign-on access to your applications and APIs.Azure AD B2C is a separate service from Azure Active Directory (Azure AD).

It is built on the same technology as Azure AD but for a different purpose. It allows businesses to build customer-facing applications, and then allow anyone to sign up for those applications with no restrictions on the user account.

You can customize the entire user experience with your brand so that it blends seamlessly with your web and mobile applications. Customize every page displayed by Azure AD B2C when your users sign up, sign in, and modify their profile information. Customize the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in your user journeys so that the Azure AD B2C experience looks and feels like it’s a native part of your application. Azure AD B2C uses standards-based authentication protocols including OpenID Connect, OAuth 2.0, and Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML).

Refer to for more details on Azure Active Directory B2C

The Active Directly SAML integration can be directly used if the requirement is just enabling the SAML integration(Author integration)without the need to have a more custom signup/sign-in/profile edit UI’s

In this post, let us discuss how to enable AD B2C service to enable user signup/sign in for AEM websites.

As a first step create an Azure portal account through the “free” or “pay as you go” service.

Please note “albinsblog” referred across this post is the Initial domain name configured while creating the Azure AD B2C tenant through Azure portal.

Azure AD B2C Configurations:

Azure Active Directory B2C tenant:

Before your applications can interact with Azure Active Directory B2C (Azure AD B2C), they must be registered in a tenant that you manage.

Refer to for more details on configuring B2C tenants.

SSL Certificate — Obtain/Upload SSL Certificate:

If the CA-signed certificate is not obtained then Self Signed certificate can be used but Self Signed Certificate will not provide guaranteed security as the CA-signed SSL certificate.

Refer to (the SSL certificate can be generated through other tools like OpenSSL) for obtaining the SSL certificate and uploading it to Azure AD B2C tenant.

Signing and encryption keys for Identity Experience Framework:

As a next step, Create the signing and encryption keys

Refer to for more details on enabling Signing and encryption keys for Identity Experience Framework.

Register Identity Experience Framework applications:

Azure AD B2C requires you to register two applications that it uses to sign up and sign in users with local accounts: IdentityExperienceFramework, a web API, and ProxyIdentityExperienceFramework, a native app with delegated permission to the IdentityExperienceFramework app. Your users can sign up with an email address or username and a password to access your tenant-registered applications, which creates a “local account.” Local accounts exist only in your Azure AD B2C tenant.

Refer to for more details on registering identity experience framework applications.

Custom Policies:

As a next step to enable the required custom policies, the starter pack can be downloaded from, I am going to enable SAML with a Local account.

Customized LocalAccount/SAML policies to enable SignIn/SignUp/Profile Edit can be downloaded from

Update the tenant name references in TrustFrameworkBase.xml, TrustFrameworkExtensions.xml, TrustFrameworkLocalization.xml, SignUpOrSigninSAML.xml, and ProfileEdit.xml

Replace ProxyIdentityExperienceFrameworkAppId and IdentityExperienceFrameworkAppId values in TrustFrameworkExtensions.xml.

Enable any custom claims required — Modify the TrustFrameworkExtensions.xml, SignUpOrSigninSAML.xml, and ProfileEdit.xml files(Refer to the custom City field configurations in the policy files for your reference)

Change the IssuerUri value in the TrustFrameworkExtensions.xml file — the issuer URL is the same as Entity Id, this will be configured in the AEM SAML auth handler.

Now upload the policies to Azure AD B2C “Identity Experience Framework” in the below order


SAML App Setup:

Register a SAML app through the Azure portal, refer to for steps.

Specify the redirect URL as AEM SAML URL — e.g https://localhost/saml_login (replace with real website domain). The redirect URL should be enabled based on the content path specified in the AEM SAML auth handler. If the path is root(/) the redirect URL going to be https://localhost/saml_login, if the path is /content/wknd/us/en, the redirect URL going to be https://localhost/content/wknd/us/en/saml_login(the /saml_login should be appended to the content path specified while enabling the SAML Auth handler in AEM.

Enable identifierUris, replyUrlsWithType, and logout URL through the SAML App(SAMLApp1) manifest file.

The same identifierUris value should be defined as Entity id in the AEM SAML auth handler.

replyUrlsWithType — Enable the AEM return URL, the URL should end with /saml_login, also the URL must be enabled through HTTPS(replace with the real AEM URL).

"url": "https://localhost/saml_login",
"type": "Web"
"logoutUrl": "https://localhost/system/sling/logout.html"

The IdentifierUris property must use a verified domain of the organization or its subdomain, by default subdomain is enabled e.g, custom verified domains can be enabled by following the steps specified in the following document —

The SAML configuration details, including the SSL certificate(to be configured in AEM), can be reviewed through the SAML metadata endpoint.<<policy-name>>/Samlp/metadata

<policy-name> — Replace with the policy name specified in the SignUpOrSigninSAML.xml,

Let us now enable the AEM configurations:

AEM Configurations:

Enable SSL for AEM servers:

The saml_login URL should be enabled through HTTPS, even for local testing the HTTPS is mandatory(some functionalities may not work as expected with HTTP)

Refer to for enabling the SSL for AEM server( the same self-signed certificate can be downloaded for testing, I have modified the default AEM SSL port to 443 ”

SSL Certificate/Trust Store/KeyStore:

Copy the X509Data from SAML metadata URL — and add it to a file with crt extension, wrap the content between


As a next step enable the AEM trust store and upload the above SAML SSL certificate

Tools → Security → Trust Store

Create TrustStore, enter TrustStore password

Now upload the certificate file

Copy the certificate Alias — this should be configured in SAML Auth Handler

Now configure the Key Store

Tools → Security →Users, Look for “authentication-service” user

Create Key store, enter key store password

Enable SAML Authentication Handler:

Let us now enable the SAML authentication handler, update the Entiry ID, cert alias,login/logout URL, attribute mappings etc — the meta data can be fetched from Azure AD B2C metadata URL e.g


Apache Sling Referrer Filter:

Enable referrer filter to allow B2C tenent URL


CORS Policy:

Enable the CORS policy to allow Cross Origin POST Request from B2C tenant.


Apache Sling Authentication Service(AEM Publishers):

By default anonymous access is enabled for content in AEM publisher, enable the Authentication Requirements for required content paths through “Apache Sling Authentication Service”


Now the users will be directed to Azure AD B2C login page while accessing any page under /content/we-retail/us, the users will be be able to sigin or signup to the website.

Profile Edit:

To edit the profile for a logged in user, the SAML auth request should be posted to SAML login endpoint with SAML edit profile e.g

Created a Custom JavaFilter to handle the profile edit scenario, the filter sends the profile edit request to Azure AD B2Cif the URL contains “operation=profileedit” parameter.

Refer the custom java filter here —

Now the loggined users(if not users will be directed to login page first) will be send to the Profile edit page while accessing the URL with “operation=profileedit” e.g http://localhost:4503/content/we-retail/us/en.html?operation=profileedit

You can now create a small component to display the login status in the web page, the logged in user details can be fetched through a AJAX service call to https://localhost/libs/granite/security/currentuser.json

Log out URL — https://localhost/system/sling/logout.html

Profile Edit URL — http://localhost:4503/content/we-retail/us/en.html?operation=profileedit

The “Sign In/Sign Up/Profile Edit” UI branding and the view can be customized based on the project need, also custom DNS can be enabled to support the company specific login URL — e.g

CUG(Closed User Group):

Another option is using CUG to enable the authentication for specific pages, the authentication will be requiested while user acessing that specific page and child pages. The CUG can be enabled through Page Properties — Advanced tab.

Configure the required users groups that will have the access under permissions tab, I am enabling the administrators group for demo, enable a group with required permissions for real demo(add the user to the corresponding group on successful login)

Now the user will be redirected to the Azure AD B2C login page while accessing the CUG enabled pages and child pages.

Multi Site Support:

To handle multple sites, enable SAML handler for individual sites

Modify the Path — site path and the and the Entity ID — site specific unique entity ID.

The enabled authentation handelers can be reviewd from http://localhost:4503/system/console/slingauth

Enable site specific SAML Apps in Azure AD B2C, modify the manifest with the site specific values

"url": "",
"type": "Web"
"logoutUrl": ""

As discussed earlier, identifierUris can be a site specific custom domains(for demo I am using the default domain with unique context path).

Now the authentication is enabled for two different sites —

Encapsulated Token/HMAC key synchronization:

To make the authentication stateless across multiple publisher instances, enable Encapsulated Token also sync the HMAC key across all the publishers . Refer to for more details on Encapsulated Token and the steps to enable Encapsulated Token and to sync the HMAC keys.

Users synchronization

When multiple publishers are used to serve the content in a load balance setup, the user created in one of the publisher should synced to rest of the publisher for seamless authentication.

Refer to for more details on enableing user sync through Slign Distribution.

Dispatcher/CDN Configurations:

Add the following rule to the dispatcher website farm configuration /filter section

/0100 {  /method "POST" /url "*/saml_login" }

Also, ensure “login-token” cookie is whitelisted from CDN

Logger Configuration: