Administer > System security > SAML Single Sign-On > Overview of Service Manager SAML SSO

Overview of Service Manager SAML SSO

This section provides an overview of how the SAML SSO solution works for Service Manager (SM).

SP-initiated web browser SSO

The following diagram illustrates the web browser SSO process of Service Manager. In this process, the IdM service acts as an SP to the IdP.

  • Use the standalone version of the IdM service released with Service Manager if you are not using Service Manager Service Portal; otherwise use the built-in IdM service in Service Manager Service Portal.
  • Currently, only Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) is supported as an IdP. Additionally, ADFS must be configured to authenticate users stored in an LDAP server.

The SM client (Web Tier, SRC, or Mobility Client) uses a built-in IdM client as a filter to obtain an "IdM access token" from the IdM service and then passes the token to the SM Server. The SM Server then validates the IdM access token.

Note LDAP authentication is replaced by IdM; however, the LDAP data mapping is retained in the SM Server.

The following table further explains each step in this process.

Step Description
1 When the user launches the SM client (Web Tier, SRC, or Mobility Client) web URL in the browser, the IdM Client embedded in the SM client sends a request to the IdM service for a request token.
2 The IdM service returns a response along with a request token to the built-in IdM client of the SM client (SM Web Tier, SRC, or Mobility Client).
3 The IdM client redirects the request to the IdM service along with that token, and the IdM service then redirects it to the IdP login page with a SAML request.

The user enters a user name and password to log in to SM from the IdP login page.

Note Users log in to Service Manager through the IdP page, and their IdP login name is determined by the IdP. That is, users need to enter their login name using the format required by the IdP. For example, when ADFS is used as the IdP, the login name must be either "userPrincipalName" ( or "domain\samAccountName".


The IdP redirects the request to the IdM service with a SAML response, and then the IdM service redirects the request to the SM client (Web Tier, SRC, or Mobility Client) along with an "Access Token". Additionally, the IdM service writes a cookie named LWSSO_COOKIE_KEY to the browser.

6 The SM client (Web Tier, SRC, or Mobility Client) logs in to the SM Server with that "Access Token".

The user is logged in to SM.

Web browser single logout

The SAML SSO solution supports single logout for legacy legacy HPE web applications that leverage Micro Focus Identity Manager (IdM). Once logged out of one application, the user is automatically logged out of the rest of the applications. This single logout behavior applies to the SM Web Tier, SRC, and Mobility Client.

Non-browser login

The SM Windows client, web service clients, and the SRC tablet are not browser-based applications. Login to SM from these clients is referred to as "non-browser login", which does not support SAML. These clients log in to the SM Server through either a password or a token. The token is an LW-SSO token when using the legacy LW-SSO solution or an IdM token when using the IdM solution.

  • For password login, the login logic is the same as before. That is, the login process does not involve IdM.
  • For LW-SSO token login, the SM Server provides a new interface for third- party applications to log in to SM using an IdM access token. The SM Server adds a new http header named “X-Idm-Token”, which contains the string value of the IdM access token.

Users must enter their login name that is determined by the LDAP field mapping on the SM side. For example, if the name field in the SM operator table is mapped to the samAccountName field in ADFS, users must enter their samAccountName value as the login name.

Compatibility with legacy LW-SSO

The SAML SSO solution is compatible with the legacy LW-SSO solution.

  • Do not enable both SAML SSO and LW-SSO in the Service Manager Web Tier, SRC, or Mobility Client. The <idm-service>\WEB-INF\hpssoConfig.xml file already includes LW-SSO settings (domain, initString, and lwsso tenant) for compatibility with LW-SSO. For more information about these settings in the IdM service, see Install and configure the standalone IdM service.
  • The Service Manager Server can have both SAML SSO and LW-SSO enabled if needed. This allows other Micro Focus applications to access the SM Server through LW-SSO when necessary.


If SAML SSO is enabled in Service Manager, and another legacy HPE application has legacy LW-SSO enabled (or vise versa), users can access either product from the other product without the need to enter a user name and password.

Note For LW-SSO compatibility, the following limitations apply:

  • Legacy HPE applications using legacy LW-SSO must share an LDAP server with Service Manager.
  • Legacy HPE applications using legacy LW-SSO and Service Manager (Server, Web tier, SRC, and Mobility) must be in the same domain as IdM. This is because IdM needs to read the cookie written by the applications)

To provide LW-SSO compatibility, the login name in the LW-SSO token must be the same as the login name that is carried in the SAML assertion. This can be achieved by applying the following configuration:

  • The login name in the LW-SSO token can be configured in the legacy LW-SSO application. For example, in SM, map the name field in the operator table to the samAccountName field in ADFS.
  • The login name that is carried in the SAML assertion can be configured in the IdP. For example, in ADFS, click Edit Rule, and map the NameId field to samAccountName. For detailed steps, see SAML SSO setup.

If a user logs in to a legacy LW-SSO application first before logging in to SM, a user object for the user may not already exist in IdM. IdM requires a user object to exist before a user can log in to it through LW-SSO. In this case, the user needs to log in to the IdP first, and then a user object is created in IdM. Once a user object is created in IdM, the user does not need to enter the password again.

If a legacy LW-SSO application uses a dedicated integration user to log in to SM, the integration user must already exist in IdM. You can either add the integration user to the LDAP directory service or add the user to the IdM database directly.

SM Collaboration

In standard mode, SM Collaboration requires LW-SSO to be enabled for the Service Manager Server, web tier, and Chat Server.

If SAML SSO is enabled for the Service Manager Server and web tier, you must enable LW-SSO only for the SM Server and Chat Server. Do not enable LW-SSO for the SM web tier.

Caution You must not enable both SAML SSO and LW-SSO in the web tier. However, you can enable both in the Service Manager Server if needed.

For details, see Install Service Manager Collaboration.

Service Manager Service Portal

Service Manager Service Portal requires LW-SSO to be enabled in both the Service Manager Server and Service Manager Service Portal, whether the Server is running in standard mode or SAML SSO mode. For more information, see SAML SSO setup.

Compatibility with FIPS mode

When FIPS mode is enabled in Service Manager (including the Server, web tier, SRC, and Mobility Client), you need to enable FIPS mode for the IdM service before you can use SAML SSO. In FIPS mode, SAML SSO works correctly using a FIPS compliant data encryption algorithm and Java security provider. 

For information about how to enable FIPS mode for the IdM service, see Configure FIPS mode in the IdM Service.

Related topics

Configure SAML SSO in Service Manager (using standalone IdM)

Configure SAML SSO in a single Service Portal instance