From Microsoft Marketing, ADFS 2.0 is:

Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 helps IT enable users to collaborate across organizational boundaries and easily access applications on-premises and in the cloud, while maintaining application security. Through a claims-based infrastructure, IT can enable a single sign-on experience for end-users to applications without requiring a separate account or password, whether applications are located in partner organizations or hosted in the cloud.

So, it’s a Token Service plus some.  In a previous post I had said:

In other words it is a method for centralizing user Identity information, very much like how the Windows Live and OpenID systems work.  The system is reasonably simple.  I have a Membership data store that contains user information.  I want (n) number of websites to use that membership store, EXCEPT I don’t want each application to have direct access to membership data such as passwords.  The way around it is through claims.

The membership store in this case being Active Directory.

I thought it would be a good idea to run through how to install ADFS and set up an application to use it.  Since we already discussed how to federate an application using FedUtil.exe, I will let you go through the steps in the previous post.  I will provide information on where to find the Metadata later on in this post.

But First: The Prerequisites

  1. Join the Server to the Domain. (I’ve started the installation of ADFS three times on non-domain joined systems.  Doh!)
  2. Install the latest .NET Framework.  I’m kinda partial to using SmallestDotNet.com created by Scott Hanselman.  It’s easy.
  3. Install IIS.  If you are running Server 2008 R2 you can follow these steps in another post, or just go through the wizards.  FYI: The post installs EVERY feature.  Just remember that when you move to production.  Surface Area and what not…
  4. Install PowerShell.
  5. Install the Windows Identity Foundation: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=eb9c345f-e830-40b8-a5fe-ae7a864c4d76&displaylang=en
  6. Install SQL Server.  This is NOT required.  You only need to install it if you want to use a SQL Database to get custom Claims data.  You could also use a SQL Server on another server…
  7. Download ADFS 2.0 RTW: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=118c3588-9070-426a-b655-6cec0a92c10b&displaylang=en

The Installation

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Read the terms and accept them.  If you notice, you only have to read half of what you see because the rest is in French.  Maybe the lawyers are listening…these things are getting more readable.

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Select Federation Server.  A Server Proxy allows you to use ADFS on a web server not joined to the domain.

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We already installed all of these things.  When you click next it will check for latest hotfixes and ask if you want to open the configuration MMC snap-in.  Start it.

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We want to start the configuration Wizard and then create a new Federation Service:

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Next we want to create a Stand-alone federation server:

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We need to select a certificate for ADFS to use.  By default it uses the SSL certificate of the default site in IIS.  So lets add one.  In the IIS Manager select the server and then select Server Certificates:

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We have a couple options when it comes to adding a certificate.  For the sake of this post I’ll just create a self-signed certificate, but if you have a domain Certificate Authority you could go that route, or if this is a public facing service create a request and get a certificate from a 3rd party CA.

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Once we’ve created the certificate we assign it to the web site.  Go to the website and select Bindings…

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Add a site binding for https:

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Now that we’ve done that we can go back to the Configuration Wizard:

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Click next and it will install the service.  It will stop IIS so be aware of that.

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You may receive this error if you are installing on Server 2008:

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The fix for this is here: http://www.syfuhs.net/post/2010/07/22/ADFS-20-Windows-Service-Not-Starting-on-Server-2008.aspx

You will need to re-run the configuration wizard if you do this.  It may complain about the virtual applications already existing.  You two options:

  1. Delete the applications in IIS as well as the folder C:\inetpub\adfs;
  2. Ignore the warning.

Back to the installation, it will create two new Virtual Applications in IIS:

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Once the wizard finishes you can go back to the MMC snap-in and fiddle around.  The first thing we need to do is create an entry for a Relying Party.  This will allow us to create a web application to work with it.

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When creating an RP we have a couple options to provide configuration data.

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Since we are going to create a web application from scratch we will enter in manual data.  If you already have the application built and have Federation Metadata available for it, by all means just use that.

We need a name:

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Very original, eh?

Next we need to decide on what profile we will be using.  Since we are building an application from scratch we can take advantage of the 2.0 profile, but if we needed backwards compatibility for a legacy application we should select the 1.0/1.1 profile.

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Next we specify the certificate to encrypt our claims sent to the application.  We only need the public key of the certificate.  When we run FedUtil.exe we can specify which certificate we want to use to decrypt the incoming tokens.  This will be the private key of the same certificate.  For the sake of this, we’ll skip it.

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The next step gets a little confusing.  It asks which protocols we want to use if we are federating with a separate STS.  In this case since we aren’t doing anything that crazy we can ignore them and continue:

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We next need to specify the RP’s identifying URI.

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Allow anyone and everyone, or deny everyone and add specific users later?  Allow everyone…

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When we finish we want to edit the claim rules:

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This dialog will allow us to add mappings between claims and the data within Active Directory:

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So lets add a rule.  We want to Send LDAP Attributes as Claims

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First we specify what data in Active Directory we want to provide:

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Then we specify which claim type to use:

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And ADFS is configured!  Lets create our Relying Party.  You can follow these steps: Making an ASP.NET Website Claims Aware with the Windows Identity Foundation.  To get the Federation Metadata for ADFS navigate to the URL that the default website is mapped to + /FederationMetadata/2007-06/FederationMetadata.xml.  In my case it’s https://web1.nexus.internal.test/FederationMetadata/2007-06/FederationMetadata.xml.

Once you finish the utility it’s important that we tell ADFS that our new RP has Metadata available.  Double click on the RP to get to the properties.  Select Monitoring:

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Add the URL for the Metadata and select Monitor relying party.  This will periodically call up the URL and download the metadata in the event that it changes.

At this point we can test.  Hit F5 and we will redirect to the ADFS page.  It will ask for domain credentials and redirect back to our page.  Since I tested it with a domain admin account I got this back:

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It works!

For more information on ADFS 2.0 check out http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/ad-fs-2-overview.aspx or the WIF Blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/card/

Happy coding!

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