SAMPL and OAuth2 Authentication

1)SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) is an open standard for exchanging authentication information between a service provider and an identity provider (IdP). A third-party IdP is used to authenticate users and to pass identity information to the service provider in the form of a digitally signed XML(Extensible Mark-up language) document. Tableau Server is a service provider. Examples of IdPs include PingOne and OneLogin.SAML is designed for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions.

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Single sign-on (SSO) is a session and user authentication service that permits a user to use one set of login credentials (e.g., name and password) to access multiple applications. The service authenticates the end user for all the applications the user has been given rights to and eliminates further prompts when the user switches applications during the same session. On the back end, SSO is helpful for logging user activities as well as monitoring user accounts.Some SSO services use protocols such as Kerberos and the security assertion markup language (SAML).

The three main components of the SAML protocol:

  • Assertions – Most common are the following 2 SAML assertions:
    • Authentication assertions are used to make people prove their identities.
    • Attribute assertions are used to generate specific information about the person, for example their phone number or email address.
  • Protocol – This defines the way that SAML asks for and gets assertions, for example, using SOAP over HTTP.
  • Binding – This details exactly how SAML message exchanges are mapped into SOAP exchanges.

Protocol defines how SAML asks for and receives assertions. Binding defines how SAML message exchanges are mapped to Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) exchanges. SAML works with multiple protocols including Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and also supports SOAP, BizTalk, and Electronic Business XML (ebXML). The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) is the standards group for SAML.

2)OAuth 2

OAuth, which was first released in 2007, was conceived as an authentication method for the Twitter application program interface (API). In 2010, The IETF OAuth Working Group published OAuth 2.0. Like the original OAuth, OAuth 2.0 provides users with the ability to grant third-party access to web resources without sharing a password. Updated features available in OAuth 2.0 include new flows, simplified signatures and short-lived tokens with long-lived authorizations.OAuth 2 is an authorization framework that enables applications to obtain limited access to user accounts on an HTTP service, such as Facebook, GitHub, and DigitalOcean. It works by delegating user authentication to the service that hosts the user account, and authorizing third-party applications to access the user account. OAuth 2 provides authorization flows for web and desktop applications, and mobile devices.

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OAuth defines four roles:

  • Resource owner (the User) – An entity capable of granting access to a protected resource. When the resource owner is a person, it is referred to as an end-user.
  • Resource server (the API server) – The server hosting the protected resources, capable of accepting and responding to protected resource requests using access tokens.
  • Client – An application making protected resource requests on behalf of the resource owner and with its authorization. The term client does not imply any particular implementation characteristics (e.g. whether the application executes on a server, a desktop, or other devices).
  • Authorization server – The server issuing access tokens to the client after successfully authenticating the resource owner and obtaining authorization.

OpenID Connect is an open standard published in early 2014 that defines an interoperable way to use OAuth 2.0 to perform user authentication. In essence, it is a widely published recipe for chocolate fudge that has been tried and tested by a wide number and variety of experts. Instead of building a different protocol to each potential identity provider, an application can speak one protocol to as many providers as they want to work with. Since it’s an open standard, OpenID Connect can be implemented by anyone without restriction or intellectual property concerns.

OpenID Connect is built directly on OAuth 2.0 and in most cases is deployed right along with (or on top of) an OAuth infrastructure. OpenID Connect also uses the JSON Object Signing And Encryption (JOSE) suite of specifications for carrying signed and encrypted information around in different places. In fact, an OAuth 2.0 deployment with JOSE capabilities is already a long way to defining a fully compliant OpenID Connect system, and the delta between the two is relatively small.

QAuth Grants:

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  • Hari Teja

    very nice explaination