Tutorial: Azure Active Directory integration with Blackboard Learn

In this tutorial, you learn how to integrate Blackboard Learn with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD).

Integrating Blackboard Learn with Azure AD provides you with the following benefits:

  • You can control in Azure AD who has access to Blackboard Learn
  • You can enable your users to automatically get signed-on to Blackboard Learn (Single Sign-On) with their Azure AD accounts
  • You can manage your accounts in one central location - the Azure portal

If you want to know more details about SaaS app integration with Azure AD, see what is application access and single sign-on with Azure Active Directory.

Prerequisites

To configure Azure AD integration with Blackboard Learn, you need the following items:

  • An Azure AD subscription
  • A Blackboard Learn single sign-on enabled subscription

Note

To test the steps in this tutorial, we do not recommend using a production environment.

To test the steps in this tutorial, you should follow these recommendations:

  • Do not use your production environment, unless it is necessary.
  • If you don't have an Azure AD trial environment, you can get a one-month trial here.

Scenario description

In this tutorial, you test Azure AD single sign-on in a test environment. The scenario outlined in this tutorial consists of two main building blocks:

  1. Adding Blackboard Learn from the gallery
  2. Configuring and testing Azure AD single sign-on

To configure the integration of Blackboard Learn into Azure AD, you need to add Blackboard Learn from the gallery to your list of managed SaaS apps.

To add Blackboard Learn from the gallery, perform the following steps:

  1. In the Azure portal, on the left navigation panel, click Azure Active Directory icon.

    Active Directory

  2. Navigate to Enterprise applications. Then go to All applications.

    Applications

  3. To add new application, click New application button on the top of dialog.

    Applications

  4. In the search box, type Blackboard Learn.

    Creating an Azure AD test user

  5. In the results panel, select Blackboard Learn, and then click Add button to add the application.

    Creating an Azure AD test user

Configuring and testing Azure AD single sign-on

In this section, you configure and test Azure AD single sign-on with Blackboard Learn based on a test user called "Britta Simon."

For single sign-on to work, Azure AD needs to know what the counterpart user in Blackboard Learn is to a user in Azure AD. In other words, a link relationship between an Azure AD user and the related user in Blackboard Learn needs to be established.

This link relationship is established by assigning the value of the user name in Azure AD as the value of the Username in Blackboard Learn.

To configure and test Azure AD single sign-on with Blackboard Learn, you need to complete the following building blocks:

  1. Configuring Azure AD Single Sign-On - to enable your users to use this feature.
  2. Creating an Azure AD test user - to test Azure AD single sign-on with Britta Simon.
  3. Creating a Blackboard Learn test user - to have a counterpart of Britta Simon in Blackboard Learn that is linked to the Azure AD representation of user.
  4. Assigning the Azure AD test user - to enable Britta Simon to use Azure AD single sign-on.
  5. Testing Single Sign-On - to verify whether the configuration works.

Configuring Azure AD single sign-on

In this section, you enable Azure AD single sign-on in the Azure portal and configure single sign-on in your Blackboard Learn application.

To configure Azure AD single sign-on with Blackboard Learn, perform the following steps:

  1. In the Azure portal, on the Blackboard Learn application integration page, click Single sign-on.

    Configure Single Sign-On

  2. On the Single sign-on dialog, select Mode as SAML-based Sign-on to enable single sign-on.

    Configure Single Sign-On

  3. On the Blackboard Learn Domain and URLs section, perform the following steps:

    Configure Single Sign-On

    a. In the Sign-on URL textbox, type a URL using the following pattern: https://<subdomain>.blackboard.com/

    b. In the Identifier textbox, type a URL using the following pattern: https://<subdomain>.blackboard.com/auth-saml/saml/SSO/entity-id/SAML_AD

    Note

    These values are not real. Update these values with the actual Sign-On URL and Identifier. Contact Blackboard Learn Client support team to get these values.

  4. Blackboard Learn application expects the SAML assertions in a specific format. Configure the following claims for this application. You can manage the values of these attributes from the User Attributes section on application integration page. The following screenshot shows an example about it.

    Configure Single Sign-On

  5. In the User Attributes section on Single sign-on dialog, configure SAML token attributes as shown in the image and perform the following steps. We have mapped the Userprincipalname as the unique user attribute here but you can map it to the appropriate value, which uniquely distinguishes the user in the organization and that maps to Blackboard Learn username field.

    Attribute Name Attribute Value
    urn:oid:1.3.6.1.4.1.5923.1.1.1.6 user.userprincipalname

    a. Click Add attribute to open the Add Attribute dialog.

    Configure Single Sign-On

    Configure Single Sign-On

    b. In the Name textbox, type the attribute name shown for that row.

    c. From the Value list, type the attribute value shown for that row.

    d. Click Ok.

  6. On the SAML Signing Certificate section, click Metadata XML and then save the XML file on your computer.

    Configure Single Sign-On

  7. Click Save button.

    Configure Single Sign-On

  8. On the Blackboard Learn Configuration section, click Configure Blackboard Learn to open Configure sign-on window. Copy the SAML Entity ID from the Quick Reference section.

    Configure Single Sign-On

  9. To configure single sign-on on Blackboard Learn side, you need to send the downloaded Metadata XML and SAML Entity ID to Blackboard Learn support.

Tip

You can now read a concise version of these instructions inside the Azure portal, while you are setting up the app! After adding this app from the Active Directory > Enterprise Applications section, simply click the Single Sign-On tab and access the embedded documentation through the Configuration section at the bottom. You can read more about the embedded documentation feature here: Azure AD embedded documentation

Creating an Azure AD test user

The objective of this section is to create a test user in the Azure portal called Britta Simon.

Create Azure AD User

To create a test user in Azure AD, perform the following steps:

  1. In the Azure portal, on the left navigation pane, click Azure Active Directory icon.

    Creating an Azure AD test user

  2. To display the list of users, go to Users and groups and click All users.

    Creating an Azure AD test user

  3. To open the User dialog, click Add on the top of the dialog.

    Creating an Azure AD test user

  4. On the User dialog page, perform the following steps:

    Creating an Azure AD test user

    a. In the Name textbox, type BrittaSimon.

    b. In the User name textbox, type the email address of Britta Simon.

    c. Select Show Password and write down the value of the Password.

    d. Click Create.

Creating a Blackboard Learn test user

In this section, you create a user called Britta Simon in Blackboard Learn.

Blackboard Learn application support just in time user provisioning. Make sure that you have configured the claims as described in the section Configuring Azure AD Single Sign-On

Assigning the Azure AD test user

In this section, you enable Britta Simon to use Azure single sign-on by granting access to Blackboard Learn.

Assign User

To assign Britta Simon to Blackboard Learn, perform the following steps:

  1. In the Azure portal, open the applications view, and then navigate to the directory view and go to Enterprise applications then click All applications.

    Assign User

  2. In the applications list, select Blackboard Learn.

    Configure Single Sign-On

  3. In the menu on the left, click Users and groups.

    Assign User

  4. Click Add button. Then select Users and groups on Add Assignment dialog.

    Assign User

  5. On Users and groups dialog, select Britta Simon in the Users list.

  6. Click Select button on Users and groups dialog.

  7. Click Assign button on Add Assignment dialog.

Testing single sign-on

In this section, you test your Azure AD single sign-on configuration using the Access Panel.

When you click the Blackboard Learn tile in the Access Panel, you should get automatically signed-on to your Blackboard Learn application. For more information about the Access Panel, see Introduction to the Access Panel.

Additional resources