Tutorial: Azure Active Directory integration with Canvas

In this tutorial, you learn how to integrate Canvas with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). Integrating Canvas with Azure AD provides you with the following benefits:

  • You can control in Azure AD who has access to Canvas.
  • You can enable your users to be automatically signed-in to Canvas (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. If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.

Prerequisites

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

  • An Azure AD subscription. If you don't have an Azure AD environment, you can get one-month trial here
  • Canvas single sign-on enabled subscription

Scenario description

In this tutorial, you configure and test Azure AD single sign-on in a test environment.

  • Canvas supports SP initiated SSO

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

To add Canvas from the gallery, perform the following steps:

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

    The Azure Active Directory button

  2. Navigate to Enterprise Applications and then select the All Applications option.

    The Enterprise applications blade

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

    The New application button

  4. In the search box, type Canvas, select Canvas from result panel then click Add button to add the application.

    Canvas in the results list

Configure and test Azure AD single sign-on

In this section, you configure and test Azure AD single sign-on with Canvas based on a test user called Britta Simon. For single sign-on to work, a link relationship between an Azure AD user and the related user in Canvas needs to be established.

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

  1. Configure Azure AD Single Sign-On - to enable your users to use this feature.
  2. Configure Canvas Single Sign-On - to configure the Single Sign-On settings on application side.
  3. Create an Azure AD test user - to test Azure AD single sign-on with Britta Simon.
  4. Assign the Azure AD test user - to enable Britta Simon to use Azure AD single sign-on.
  5. Create Canvas test user - to have a counterpart of Britta Simon in Canvas that is linked to the Azure AD representation of user.
  6. Test single sign-on - to verify whether the configuration works.

Configure Azure AD single sign-on

In this section, you enable Azure AD single sign-on in the Azure portal.

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

  1. In the Azure portal, on the Canvas application integration page, select Single sign-on.

    Configure single sign-on link

  2. On the Select a Single sign-on method dialog, select SAML/WS-Fed mode to enable single sign-on.

    Single sign-on select mode

  3. On the Set up Single Sign-On with SAML page, click Edit icon to open Basic SAML Configuration dialog.

    Edit Basic SAML Configuration

  4. On the Basic SAML Configuration section, perform the following steps:

    Canvas Domain and URLs single sign-on information

    a. In the Sign on URL text box, type a URL using the following pattern: https://<tenant-name>.instructure.com

    b. In the Identifier (Entity ID) text box, type a URL using the following pattern: https://<tenant-name>.instructure.com/saml2

    Note

    These values are not real. Update these values with the actual Sign on URL and Identifier. Contact Canvas Client support team to get these values. You can also refer to the patterns shown in the Basic SAML Configuration section in the Azure portal.

  5. In the SAML Signing Certificate section, click Edit button to open SAML Signing Certificate dialog.

    Edit SAML Signing Certificate

  6. In the SAML Signing Certificate section, copy the THUMBPRINT and save it on your computer.

    Copy Thumbprint value

  7. On the Set up Canvas section, copy the appropriate URL(s) as per your requirement.

    Copy configuration URLs

    a. Login URL

    b. Azure Ad Identifier

    c. Logout URL

Configure Canvas Single Sign-On

  1. In a different web browser window, log in to your Canvas company site as an administrator.

  2. Go to Courses > Managed Accounts > Microsoft.

    Canvas

  3. In the navigation pane on the left, select Authentication, and then click Add New SAML Config.

    Authentication

  4. On the Current Integration page, perform the following steps:

    Current Integration

    a. In IdP Entity ID textbox, paste the value of Azure Ad Identifier which you have copied from Azure portal.

    b. In Log On URL textbox, paste the value of Login URL which you have copied from Azure portal .

    c. In Log Out URL textbox, paste the value of Logout URL which you have copied from Azure portal.

    d. In Change Password Link textbox, paste the value of Change Password URL which you have copied from Azure portal.

    e. In Certificate Fingerprint textbox, paste the Thumbprint value of certificate which you have copied from Azure portal.

    f. From the Login Attribute list, select NameID.

    g. From the Identifier Format list, select emailAddress.

    h. Click Save Authentication Settings.

Create an Azure AD test user

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

  1. In the Azure portal, in the left pane, select Azure Active Directory, select Users, and then select All users.

    The "Users and groups" and "All users" links

  2. Select New user at the top of the screen.

    New user Button

  3. In the User properties, perform the following steps.

    The User dialog box

    a. In the Name field enter BrittaSimon.

    b. In the User name field type brittasimon@yourcompanydomain.extension
    For example, BrittaSimon@contoso.com

    c. Select Show password check box, and then write down the value that's displayed in the Password box.

    d. Click Create.

Assign the Azure AD test user

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

  1. In the Azure portal, select Enterprise Applications, select All applications, then select Canvas.

    Enterprise applications blade

  2. In the applications list, select Canvas.

    The Canvas link in the Applications list

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

    The "Users and groups" link

  4. Click the Add user button, then select Users and groups in the Add Assignment dialog.

    The Add Assignment pane

  5. In the Users and groups dialog select Britta Simon in the Users list, then click the Select button at the bottom of the screen.

  6. If you are expecting any role value in the SAML assertion then in the Select Role dialog select the appropriate role for the user from the list, then click the Select button at the bottom of the screen.

  7. In the Add Assignment dialog click the Assign button.

Create Canvas test user

To enable Azure AD users to log in to Canvas, they must be provisioned into Canvas. In the case of Canvas, user provisioning is a manual task.

To provision a user account, perform the following steps:

  1. Log in to your Canvas tenant.

  2. Go to Courses > Managed Accounts > Microsoft.

    Canvas

  3. Click Users.

    Users

  4. Click Add New User.

    Users

  5. On the Add a New User dialog page, perform the following steps:

    Add User

    a. In the Full Name textbox, enter the name of user like BrittaSimon.

    b. In the Email textbox, enter the email of user like brittasimon@contoso.com.

    c. In the Login textbox, enter the user’s Azure AD email address like brittasimon@contoso.com.

    d. Select Email the user about this account creation.

    e. Click Add User.

Note

You can use any other Canvas user account creation tools or APIs provided by Canvas to provision AAD user accounts.

Test single sign-on

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

When you click the Canvas tile in the Access Panel, you should be automatically signed in to the Canvas for which you set up SSO. For more information about the Access Panel, see Introduction to the Access Panel.

Additional Resources