Seamless Sign On, what is it and why would you want to use it
Well, good questions. Seamless Sign On is a fairly new feature in Azure ADConnect, that allows users to have that “Single Sign On” experience, you get from using ADFS, but without the huge infrastructure. I can’t really see a lot of large companies using this feature, but for smaller / midsize businesses it makes a lot more sense. Why? Make it as easy for your users as possible, they would only need to remember 1 password, and you, as and admin, are in control of your users ID’s and passwords, from within your local AD (which in return will give you more time to enjoy your )
So, lets get to it and start looking at the configuration. It doesn’t matter if you already have Azure ADConnect installed, or its a new installation. Its the same settings for both scenarios.
First of, start the AADConnect wizard. If you install AADConnect for the first time, the below is what you need to configure.
If you already have AADConnect running, this is what you need to configure.
On a side note, I would always recommend using OU filtering, so that you only synchronize what you need, and not all objects from AD. It will only look messy and confusing.
After configuration is done, you need a little more work on the client side. You need to set up GPO’s to allow Azure to receive the Kerberos tickets for Authentication before it works. So you need your browser to trust some sites.
For IE users (the few left ), you need to add some URL’s to the local intranet zone. Preferably done by GPO. These are the 2 addresses you need to add:
For Chrome users, there is a little more work, but it pays of. First of, download the Google ADMX files and add them to your AD, so that you are able to configure Chrome with GPO’s. Afterwards go to the Google Extension store. Search for “Windows 10 accounts”
Right click on the the logo and copy the link address.
Paste it to notepad
Copy the “app id”, from the last dash, to the questionmark, and paste it on a new line. Now you need to format the address for the Chrome GPO.
Separate the 32 character ID, with the default Google store address ;https://clients2.google.com/service/update2/crx, so that it looks like this
Find the correct Computer GPO setting for Chrome extensions
Open up “Configure the list of force-installed apps and extensions”
Enable –> show, and paste the above ID address we created a few seconds ago
Save the GPO and link it to the OU where your computers are located, and you’re in business.
Try and click on it , or just go to https://portal.office.com.
I have not tested it with other browsers. Edge browser isn’t supported, go figure
Pros and cons
I my opinion this as an awesome feature. Some of the smaller customers that I have helped, would definitely have benefited from this, instead of an ADFS infrastructure, but that’s just me . I will list my view on pros and cons here.
- Users, need only to remember their AD password, and get easy access to your Office 365 tenant
- Easy configuration, no need for expensive certificates, or a larger infrastructure as with ADFS
- If browsers are configured correctly, the Seamless Sign On is as close to the Single Sign On, as you can get
- The AADConnect / service is really stable. I have yet to see it crashing, or break down
- Low footprint in your infrastructure. With installation on Domain Controllers being supported, or maybe your file server / application server, you don’t need dedicated HW / VM to run add extra costs
- If the service is down, users can’t login. It’s possible to make the solution High available, but for that you will need one more local server to install an agent on
- hmm… not sure I can find any more cons, but if i do, I’ll be sure to update
Have fun, and enjoy.