Tutorial: Configure Box for automatic user provisioning

The objective of this tutorial is to show the steps you need to perform in Box and Azure AD to automatically provision and de-provision user accounts from Azure AD to Box.

Note

This tutorial describes a connector built on top of the Azure AD User Provisioning Service. For important details on what this service does, how it works, and frequently asked questions, see Automate user provisioning and deprovisioning to SaaS applications with Azure Active Directory.

Prerequisites

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

  • An Azure AD tenant
  • A Box Business plan or better

Note

When you test the steps in this tutorial, we recommend that you do not use a production environment.

To test the steps in this tutorial, 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.

Assigning users to Box

Azure Active Directory uses a concept called "assignments" to determine which users should receive access to selected apps. In the context of automatic user account provisioning, only the users and groups that have been "assigned" to an application in Azure AD is synchronized.

Before configuring and enabling the provisioning service, you need to decide what users and/or groups in Azure AD represent the users who need access to your Box app. Once decided, you can assign these users to your Box app by following the instructions here:

Assign a user or group to an enterprise app

Assign users and groups

The Box > Users and Groups tab in the Azure portal allows you to specify which users and groups should be granted access to Box. Assignment of a user or group causes the following things to occur:

  • Azure AD permits the assigned user (either by direct assignment or group membership) to authenticate to Box. If a user is not assigned, then Azure AD does not permit them to sign in to Box and returns an error on the Azure AD sign-in page.
  • An app tile for Box is added to the user's application launcher.
  • If automatic provisioning is enabled, then the assigned users and/or groups are added to the provisioning queue to be automatically provisioned.

    • If only user objects were configured to be provisioned, then all directly assigned users are placed in the provisioning queue, and all users that are members of any assigned groups are placed in the provisioning queue.
    • If group objects were configured to be provisioned, then all assigned group objects are provisioned to Box, and all users that are members of those groups. The group and user memberships are preserved upon being written to Box.

You can use the Attributes > Single Sign-On tab to configure which user attributes (or claims) are presented to Box during SAML-based authentication, and the Attributes > Provisioning tab to configure how user and group attributes flow from Azure AD to Box during provisioning operations.

Important tips for assigning users to Box

  • It is recommended that a single Azure AD user assigned to Box to test the provisioning configuration. Additional users and/or groups may be assigned later.

  • When assigning a user to box, you must select a valid user role. The "Default Access" role does not work for provisioning.

Enable Automated User Provisioning

This section guides through connecting your Azure AD to Box's user account provisioning API, and configuring the provisioning service to create, update, and disable assigned user accounts in Box based on user and group assignment in Azure AD.

If automatic provisioning is enabled, then the assigned users and/or groups are added to the provisioning queue to be automatically provisioned.

  • If only user objects are configured to be provisioned, then directly assigned users are placed in the provisioning queue, and all users that are members of any assigned groups are placed in the provisioning queue.

  • If group objects were configured to be provisioned, then all assigned group objects are provisioned to Box, and all users that are members of those groups. The group and user memberships are preserved upon being written to Box.

Tip

You may also choose to enabled SAML-based Single Sign-On for Box, following the instructions provided in Azure portal. Single sign-on can be configured independently of automatic provisioning, though these two features compliment each other.

To configure automatic user account provisioning:

The objective of this section is to outline how to enable provisioning of Active Directory user accounts to Box.

  1. In the Azure portal, browse to the Azure Active Directory > Enterprise Apps > All applications section.

  2. If you have already configured Box for single sign-on, search for your instance of Box using the search field. Otherwise, select Add and search for Box in the application gallery. Select Box from the search results, and add it to your list of applications.

  3. Select your instance of Box, then select the Provisioning tab.

  4. Set the Provisioning Mode to Automatic.

    provisioning

  5. Under the Admin Credentials section, click Authorize to open a Box login dialog in a new browser window.

  6. On the Login to grant access to Box page, provide the required credentials, and then click Authorize.

    Enable automatic user provisioning

  7. Click Grant access to Box to authorize this operation and to return to the Azure portal.

    Enable automatic user provisioning

  8. In the Azure portal, click Test Connection to ensure Azure AD can connect to your Box app. If the connection fails, ensure your Box account has Team Admin permissions and try the "Authorize" step again.

  9. Enter the email address of a person or group who should receive provisioning error notifications in the Notification Email field, and check the checkbox.

  10. Click Save.

  11. Under the Mappings section, select Synchronize Azure Active Directory Users to Box.

  12. In the Attribute Mappings section, review the user attributes that are synchronized from Azure AD to Box. The attributes selected as Matching properties are used to match the user accounts in Box for update operations. Select the Save button to commit any changes.

  13. To enable the Azure AD provisioning service for Box, change the Provisioning Status to On in the Settings section

  14. Click Save.

That starts the initial synchronization of any users and/or groups assigned to Box in the Users and Groups section. The initial sync takes longer to perform than subsequent syncs, which occur approximately every 40 minutes as long as the service is running. You can use the Synchronization Details section to monitor progress and follow links to provisioning activity logs, which describe all actions performed by the provisioning service on your Box app.

For more information on how to read the Azure AD provisioning logs, see Reporting on automatic user account provisioning.

In your Box tenant, synchronized users are listed under Managed Users in the Admin Console.

Integration status

Additional resources