Tutorial: Azure Active Directory integration with FreshDesk

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

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

Scenario description

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

  • FreshDesk supports SP initiated SSO

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

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

    FreshDesk 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 FreshDesk 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 FreshDesk needs to be established.

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

  1. In the Azure portal, on the FreshDesk 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:

    FreshDesk 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>.freshdesk.com or any other value Freshdesk has suggested.

    b. In the Identifier (Entity ID) text box, type a URL using the following pattern: https://<tenant-name>.freshdesk.com or any other value Freshdesk has suggested.

    Note

    These values are not real. Update these values with the actual Sign on URL and Identifier. Contact FreshDesk 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. FreshDesk application expects the SAML assertions in a specific format, which requires you to add custom attribute mappings to your SAML token attributes configuration. The following screenshot shows an example for this. The default value of Unique User Identifier is user.userprincipalname but FreshDesk expects this to be mapped with the user's email address. For that you can use user.mail attribute from the list or use the appropriate attribute value based on your organization configuration.

    image

  6. In the User Claims section on the User Attributes dialog, edit the claims by using Edit icon or add the claims by using Add new claim to configure SAML token attribute as shown in the image above and perform the following steps:

    Name Source Attribute
    Unique User Identifier user.mail

    a. Click Add new claim to open the Manage user claims dialog.

    image

    image

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

    c. Leave the Namespace blank.

    d. Select Source as Attribute.

    e. From the Source attribute list, type the attribute value shown for that row.

    f. Click Ok

    g. Click Save.

  7. On the Set up Single Sign-On with SAML page, in the SAML Signing Certificate section, click Download to download the Certificate (Base64) from the given options as per your requirement and save it on your computer.

    The Certificate download link

  8. Open Command Prompt and run the following commands:

    a. Enter certutil.exe -dump FreshDesk.cer value in the command prompt.

    Note

    Here FreshDesk.cer is the certificate which you have downloaded from the Azure portal.

    b. Copy the Cert Hash(sha256) value and paste it into the Notepad.

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

    Copy configuration URLs

    a. Login URL

    b. Azure Ad Identifier

    c. Logout URL

Configure FreshDesk Single Sign-On

  1. In a different web browser window, log into your Freshdesk company site as an administrator.

  2. Select the Settings icon and in the Security section, perform the following steps:

    Single Sign On

    a. For Single Sign On (SSO), select On.

    b. Select SAML SSO.

    c. In the SAML Login URL textbox, paste Login URL value, which you have copied from the Azure portal.

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

    e. In the Security Certificate Fingerprint textbox, paste Cert Hash(sha256) value which you have obtained earlier.

    f. Click Save.

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 FreshDesk.

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

    Enterprise applications blade

  2. In the applications list, type and select FreshDesk.

    The FreshDesk 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 FreshDesk test user

In order to enable Azure AD users to log into FreshDesk, they must be provisioned into FreshDesk.
In the case of FreshDesk, provisioning is a manual task.

To provision a user accounts, perform the following steps:

  1. Log in to your Freshdesk tenant.

  2. In the menu on the top, click Admin.

    Admin

  3. In the General Settings tab, click Agents.

    Agents

  4. Click New Agent.

    New Agent

  5. On the Agent Information dialog, perform the following steps:

    Agent Information

    a. In the Email textbox, type the Azure AD email address of the Azure AD account you want to provision.

    b. In the Full Name textbox, type the name of the Azure AD account you want to provision.

    c. In the Title textbox, type the title of the Azure AD account you want to provision.

    d. Click Save.

    Note

    The Azure AD account holder will get an email that includes a link to confirm the account before it is activated.

    Note

    You can use any other Freshdesk user account creation tools or APIs provided by Freshdesk to provision Azure AD user accounts to FreshDesk.

Test single sign-on

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

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

Additional resources