Tutorial: Azure Active Directory integration with Citrix NetScaler

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

  • You can control in Azure AD who has access to Citrix NetScaler.
  • You can enable your users to be automatically signed-in to Citrix NetScaler (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 Citrix NetScaler, 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
  • Citrix NetScaler single sign-on enabled subscription

Scenario description

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

  • Citrix NetScaler supports SP initiated SSO

  • Citrix NetScaler supports Just In Time user provisioning

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

To add Citrix NetScaler 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 Citrix NetScaler, select Citrix NetScaler from result panel then click Add button to add the application.

    Citrix NetScaler 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 Citrix NetScaler 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 Citrix NetScaler needs to be established.

To configure and test Azure AD single sign-on with Citrix NetScaler, 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 Citrix NetScaler 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 Citrix NetScaler test user - to have a counterpart of Britta Simon in Citrix NetScaler 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 Citrix NetScaler, perform the following steps:

  1. In the Azure portal, on the Citrix NetScaler 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:

    Citrix NetScaler Domain and URLs single sign-on information

    a. In the Sign on URL text box, type a URL using the following pattern: https://<<Your FQDN>>/CitrixAuthService/AuthService.asmx

    b. In the Identifier (Entity ID) text box, type a URL using the following pattern: https://<<Your FQDN>>

    c. In the Reply URL (Assertion Consumer Service URL) text box, type a URL using the following pattern: https://<<Your FQDN>>/CitrixAuthService/AuthService.asmx

    Note

    These values are not real. Update these values with the actual Sign on URL and Identifier. Contact Citrix NetScaler 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.

    Note

    In order to get SSO working, these URLs should be accessible from public sites. You need to enable the firewall or other security settings on Netscaler side to enble Azure AD to post the token on the configured ACS URL.

  5. On the Set up Single Sign-On with SAML page, in the SAML Signing Certificate section, click Download to download the Federation Metadata XML from the given options as per your requirement and save it on your computer.

    The Certificate download link

  6. On the Set up Citrix NetScaler section, copy the appropriate URL(s) as per your requirement.

    Copy configuration URLs

    a. Login URL

    b. Azure AD Identifier

    c. Logout URL

Configure Citrix NetScaler Single Sign-On

  1. In a different web browser window, sign-on to your Citrix NetScaler tenant as an administrator.

  2. Make sure that the NetScaler Firmware Version = NS12.1: Build 48.13.nc.

    Configure Single Sign-On

  3. On the VPN Virtual Server page, perform the following steps:

    Configure Single Sign-On

    a. Set Gateway Settings ICA Only as true.

    b. Set Enable Authentication as true.

    c. DTLS is optional.

    d. Make sure SSLv3 as Disabled.

  4. A customized SSL Ciphers Group is created to attain A+ on https://www.ssllabs.com as shown below:

    Configure Single Sign-On

  5. On the Configure Authentication SAML Server page, perform the following steps:

    Configure Single Sign-On

    a. In the Name textbox, type the name of your server.

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

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

    d. In IDP Certificate Name, click the "+" sign to add the certificate which you have downloaded from the Azure portal. After it is uploaded please select the certificate from the dropdown.

    e. Following more fields need to be set on this page

    Configure Single Sign-On

    f. Select Requested Authentication Context as Exact.

    g. Select Signature Algorithm as RSA-SHA256.

    h. Select Digest Method as SHA256.

    i. Check Enforce Username.

    j. Click OK

  6. To configure the Session Profile, perform the following steps:

    Configure Single Sign-On

    a. In the Name textbox, type the name of your session profile.

    b. On the Client Experience tab, make the changes as shown in the screenshot below.

    c. Continue making the changes on the General tab as shown below and click OK

    Configure Single Sign-On

    d. On the Published Applications tab, make the changes as shown in the screenshot below and click OK.

    Configure Single Sign-On

    e. On the Security tab, make the changes as shown in the screenshot below and click OK.

    Configure Single Sign-On

  7. Make the ICA Connections connecting on Session Reliability Port 2598 as shown in the below screenshot.

    Configure Single Sign-On

  8. On the SAML section, add the Servers as shown in the screenshot below.

    Configure Single Sign-On

  9. On the SAML section, add the Policies as shown in the screenshot below.

    Configure Single Sign-On

  10. On the Global Settings page, go to the Clientless Access section.

    Configure Single Sign-On

  11. On the Configuration tab, perform the following steps:

    Configure Single Sign-On

    a. Select Allow Domains.

    b. In the Domain Name textbox, select the domain.

    c. Click OK.

  12. Make the StoreFront Settings on the Receiver for Web Sites as shown in the screenshot below:

    Configure Single Sign-On

  13. On the Manage Authentication Methods - Corp pop-up, perform the following steps:

    Configure Single Sign-On

    a. Select User name and password.

    b. Select Pass-through from NetScaler Gateway.

    c. Click OK.

  14. On the Configure Trusted Domains pop-up, perform the following steps:

    Configure Single Sign-On

    a. Select Trusted domains only.

    b. Click on Add to add your domain in Trusted domains textbox.

    c. Select Default Domain from your Default domain list.

    d. Select Show domains list in logon page.

    e. Click OK.

  15. On the Manage NetScaler Gateways pop-up, perform the following steps:

    Configure Single Sign-On

    a. Click on Add to add your NetScaler Gateways in NetScaler Gateways textbox.

    b. Click Close.

  16. On the StoreFront General Settings tab, perform the following steps:

    Configure Single Sign-On

    a. In the Display name textbox type your NetScaler Gateway name.

    b. In the NetScaler Gateway URL textbox type your NetScaler Gateway URL.

    c. Select Usage or role as Authentication and HDX routing.

    d. Click OK.

  17. On the StoreFront Secure Ticket Authority tab, perform the following steps:

    Configure Single Sign-On

    a. Click on Add button to add your Secure Ticket Authority URL's in the textbox.

    b. Select Enable session reliability.

    c. Click OK.

  18. On the StoreFront Authentication Settings tab, perform the following steps:

    Configure Single Sign-On

    a. Select your Version.

    b. Select Logon type as Domain.

    c. Enter your Callback URL.

    d. Click OK.

  19. On the StoreFront Deploy Citrix Receiver tab, perform the following steps:

    Configure Single Sign-On

    a. Select Deployment option as Use Receiver for HTML5 if local Receiver is unavailable.

    b. Click OK.

  20. On the Manage Beacons pop-up, perform the following steps:

    Configure Single Sign-On

    a. Select the Internal beacon as Use the service URL.

    b. Click Add to add your URL's in the External beacons textbox.

    c. Click OK.

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 Citrix NetScaler.

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

    Enterprise applications blade

  2. In the applications list, select Citrix NetScaler.

    The Citrix NetScaler 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 Citrix NetScaler test user

In this section, a user called Britta Simon is created in Citrix NetScaler. Citrix NetScaler supports just-in-time user provisioning, which is enabled by default. There is no action item for you in this section. If a user doesn't already exist in Citrix NetScaler, a new one is created after authentication.

Note

If you need to create a user manually, you need to contact the Citrix NetScaler Client support team.

Test single sign-on

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

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

Additional Resources