Add ADFS as a SAML identity provider using custom policies in Azure Active Directory B2C


In Azure Active Directory B2C, custom policies are designed primarily to address complex scenarios. For most scenarios, we recommend that you use built-in user flows.

This article shows you how to enable sign-in for an ADFS user account by using custom policies in Azure Active Directory B2C (Azure AD B2C). You enable sign-in by adding a SAML technical profile to a custom policy.


  • Complete the steps in Get started with custom policies in Azure Active Directory B2C.
  • Make sure that you have access to a certificate .pfx file with a private key. You can generate your own signed certificate and upload it to Azure AD B2C. Azure AD B2C uses this certificate to sign the SAML request sent to your SAML identity provider.
  • In order for Azure to accept the .pfx file password, the password must be encrypted with the TripleDES-SHA1 option in Windows Certificate Store Export utility as opposed to AES256-SHA256.

Create a policy key

You need to store your certificate in your Azure AD B2C tenant.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. Make sure you're using the directory that contains your Azure AD B2C tenant. Select the Directory + subscription filter in the top menu and choose the directory that contains your tenant.
  3. Choose All services in the top-left corner of the Azure portal, and then search for and select Azure AD B2C.
  4. On the Overview page, select Identity Experience Framework.
  5. Select Policy Keys and then select Add.
  6. For Options, choose Upload.
  7. Enter a Name for the policy key. For example, SamlCert. The prefix B2C_1A_ is added automatically to the name of your key.
  8. Browse to and select your certificate .pfx file with the private key.
  9. Click Create.

Add a claims provider

If you want users to sign in using an ADFS account, you need to define the account as a claims provider that Azure AD B2C can communicate with through an endpoint. The endpoint provides a set of claims that are used by Azure AD B2C to verify that a specific user has authenticated.

You can define an ADFS account as a claims provider by adding it to the ClaimsProviders element in the extension file of your policy.

  1. Open the TrustFrameworkExtensions.xml.

  2. Find the ClaimsProviders element. If it does not exist, add it under the root element.

  3. Add a new ClaimsProvider as follows:

      <DisplayName>Contoso ADFS</DisplayName>
        <TechnicalProfile Id="Contoso-SAML2">
          <DisplayName>Contoso ADFS</DisplayName>
          <Description>Login with your ADFS account</Description>
          <Protocol Name="SAML2"/>
            <Item Key="WantsEncryptedAssertions">false</Item>
            <Item Key="PartnerEntity">https://your-ADFS-domain/federationmetadata/2007-06/federationmetadata.xml</Item>
            <Item Key="XmlSignatureAlgorithm">Sha256</Item>
            <Key Id="SamlAssertionSigning" StorageReferenceId="B2C_1A_ADFSSamlCert"/>
            <Key Id="SamlMessageSigning" StorageReferenceId="B2C_1A_ADFSSamlCert"/>
            <OutputClaim ClaimTypeReferenceId="issuerUserId" PartnerClaimType="userPrincipalName" />
            <OutputClaim ClaimTypeReferenceId="givenName" PartnerClaimType="given_name"/>
            <OutputClaim ClaimTypeReferenceId="surname" PartnerClaimType="family_name"/>
            <OutputClaim ClaimTypeReferenceId="email" PartnerClaimType="email"/>
            <OutputClaim ClaimTypeReferenceId="displayName" PartnerClaimType="name"/>
            <OutputClaim ClaimTypeReferenceId="identityProvider" DefaultValue="" />
            <OutputClaim ClaimTypeReferenceId="authenticationSource" DefaultValue="socialIdpAuthentication"/>
            <OutputClaimsTransformation ReferenceId="CreateRandomUPNUserName"/>
            <OutputClaimsTransformation ReferenceId="CreateUserPrincipalName"/>
            <OutputClaimsTransformation ReferenceId="CreateAlternativeSecurityId"/>
            <OutputClaimsTransformation ReferenceId="CreateSubjectClaimFromAlternativeSecurityId"/>
          <UseTechnicalProfileForSessionManagement ReferenceId="SM-Noop"/>
  4. Replace your-ADFS-domain with the name of your ADFS domain and replace the value of the identityProvider output claim with your DNS (Arbitrary value that indicates your domain).

  5. Save the file.

Upload the extension file for verification

By now, you have configured your policy so that Azure AD B2C knows how to communicate with ADFS account. Try uploading the extension file of your policy just to confirm that it doesn't have any issues so far.

  1. On the Custom Policies page in your Azure AD B2C tenant, select Upload Policy.
  2. Enable Overwrite the policy if it exists, and then browse to and select the TrustFrameworkExtensions.xml file.
  3. Click Upload.


The Visual Studio code B2C extension uses "socialIdpUserId." A social policy is also required for ADFS.

Register the claims provider

At this point, the identity provider has been set up, but it’s not available in any of the sign-up or sign-in screens. To make it available, you create a duplicate of an existing template user journey, and then modify it so that it also has the ADFS identity provider.

  1. Open the TrustFrameworkBase.xml file from the starter pack.
  2. Find and copy the entire contents of the UserJourney element that includes Id="SignUpOrSignIn".
  3. Open the TrustFrameworkExtensions.xml and find the UserJourneys element. If the element doesn't exist, add one.
  4. Paste the entire content of the UserJourney element that you copied as a child of the UserJourneys element.
  5. Rename the ID of the user journey. For example, SignUpSignInADFS.

Display the button

The ClaimsProviderSelection element is analogous to an identity provider button on a sign-up or sign-in screen. If you add a ClaimsProviderSelection element for an ADFS account, a new button shows up when a user lands on the page.

  1. Find the OrchestrationStep element that includes Order="1" in the user journey that you created.

  2. Under ClaimsProviderSelections, add the following element. Set the value of TargetClaimsExchangeId to an appropriate value, for example ContosoExchange:

    <ClaimsProviderSelection TargetClaimsExchangeId="ContosoExchange" />

Now that you have a button in place, you need to link it to an action. The action, in this case, is for Azure AD B2C to communicate with an ADFS account to receive a token.

  1. Find the OrchestrationStep that includes Order="2" in the user journey.

  2. Add the following ClaimsExchange element making sure that you use the same value for the ID that you used for TargetClaimsExchangeId:

    <ClaimsExchange Id="ContosoExchange" TechnicalProfileReferenceId="Contoso-SAML2" />

    Update the value of TechnicalProfileReferenceId to the ID of the technical profile you created earlier. For example, Contoso-SAML2.

  3. Save the TrustFrameworkExtensions.xml file and upload it again for verification.

Configure an ADFS relying party trust

To use ADFS as an identity provider in Azure AD B2C, you need to create an ADFS Relying Party Trust with the Azure AD B2C SAML metadata. The following example shows a URL address to the SAML metadata of an Azure AD B2C technical profile:

Replace the following values:

  • your-tenant with your tenant name, such as
  • your-policy with your policy name. For example, B2C_1A_signup_signin_adfs.
  • your-technical-profile with the name of your SAML identity provider technical profile. For example, Contoso-SAML2.

Open a browser and navigate to the URL. Make sure you type the correct URL and that you have access to the XML metadata file. To add a new relying party trust by using the ADFS Management snap-in and manually configure the settings, perform the following procedure on a federation server. Membership in Administrators or equivalent on the local computer is the minimum required to complete this procedure.

  1. In Server Manager, select Tools, and then select ADFS Management.

  2. Select Add Relying Party Trust.

  3. On the Welcome page, choose Claims aware, and then click Start.

  4. On the Select Data Source page, select Import data about the relying party publish online or on a local network, provide your Azure AD B2C metadata URL, and then click Next.

  5. On the Specify Display Name page, enter a Display name, under Notes, enter a description for this relying party trust, and then click Next.

  6. On the Choose Access Control Policy page, select a policy, and then click Next.

  7. On the Ready to Add Trust page, review the settings, and then click Next to save your relying party trust information.

  8. On the Finish page, click Close, this action automatically displays the Edit Claim Rules dialog box.

  9. Select Add Rule.

  10. In Claim rule template, select Send LDAP attributes as claims.

  11. Provide a Claim rule name. For the Attribute store, select Select Active Directory, add the following claims, then click Finish and OK.

    LDAP attribute Outgoing claim type
    User-Principal-Name userPrincipalName
    Surname family_name
    Given-Name given_name
    E-Mail-Address email
    Display-Name name

    Note that these names will not display in the outgoing claim type dropdown. You need to manually type them in. (The dropdown is actually editable).

  12. Based on your certificate type, you may need to set the HASH algorithm. On the relying party trust (B2C Demo) properties window, select the Advanced tab and change the Secure hash algorithm to SHA-256, and click Ok.

  13. In Server Manager, select Tools, and then select ADFS Management.

  14. Select the relying party trust you created, select Update from Federation Metadata, and then click Update.

Create an Azure AD B2C application

Communication with Azure AD B2c occurs through an application that you create in your tenant. This section lists optional steps you can complete to create a test application if you haven't already done so.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. Make sure you're using the directory that contains your Azure AD B2C tenant by selecting the Directory + subscription filter in the top menu and choosing the directory that contains your tenant.
  3. Choose All services in the top-left corner of the Azure portal, and then search for and select Azure AD B2C.
  4. Select Applications, and then select Add.
  5. Enter a name for the application, for example testapp1.
  6. For Web App / Web API, select Yes, and then enter for the Reply URL.
  7. Click Create.

Update and test the relying party file

Update the relying party (RP) file that initiates the user journey that you created.

  1. Make a copy of SignUpOrSignIn.xml in your working directory, and rename it. For example, rename it to SignUpSignInADFS.xml.
  2. Open the new file and update the value of the PolicyId attribute for TrustFrameworkPolicy with a unique value. For example, SignUpSignInADFS.
  3. Update the value of PublicPolicyUri with the URI for the policy. For example,
  4. Update the value of the ReferenceId attribute in DefaultUserJourney to match the ID of the new user journey that you created (SignUpSignInADFS).
  5. Save your changes, upload the file, and then select the new policy in the list.
  6. Make sure that Azure AD B2C application that you created is selected in the Select application field, and then test it by clicking Run now.