Tutorial: Azure AD SSO integration with Zendesk

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to integrate Zendesk with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). When you integrate Zendesk with Azure AD, you can:

  • Control in Azure AD who has access to Zendesk.
  • Enable your users to be automatically signed-in to Zendesk with their Azure AD accounts.
  • Manage your accounts in one central location - the Azure portal.


To get started, you need the following items:

  • An Azure AD subscription. If you don't have a subscription, you can get a free account.
  • Zendesk single sign-on (SSO) enabled subscription.

Scenario description

In this tutorial, you configure and test Azure AD SSO in a test environment.

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

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal using either a work or school account, or a personal Microsoft account.
  2. On the left navigation pane, select the Azure Active Directory service.
  3. Navigate to Enterprise Applications and then select All Applications.
  4. To add new application, select New application.
  5. In the Add from the gallery section, type Zendesk in the search box.
  6. Select Zendesk from results panel and then add the app. Wait a few seconds while the app is added to your tenant.

Configure and test Azure AD SSO for Zendesk

Configure and test Azure AD SSO with Zendesk using a test user called B.Simon. For SSO to work, you need to establish a link relationship between an Azure AD user and the related user in Zendesk.

To configure and test Azure AD SSO with Zendesk, perform the following steps:

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

Configure Azure AD SSO

Follow these steps to enable Azure AD SSO in the Azure portal.

  1. In the Azure portal, on the Zendesk application integration page, find the Manage section and select single sign-on.

  2. On the Select a single sign-on method page, select SAML.

  3. On the Set up single sign-on with SAML page, click the pencil icon for Basic SAML Configuration to edit the settings.

    Edit Basic SAML Configuration

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

    a. In the Sign on URL text box, type a URL using the following pattern: https://<subdomain>.zendesk.com

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

    c. In the Reply URL text box, type a URL using the following pattern: https://<subdomain>.zendesk.com/access/saml


    These values are not real. Update these values with the actual Sign on URL, Identifier and Reply URL. Contact Zendesk 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. Zendesk application expects the SAML assertions in a specific format. There are no mandatory SAML attributes but optionally you can manage from the User Attributes section on application integration page. On the Set up Single Sign-On with SAML page, click Edit button to open User Attributes dialog.

    Screenshot shows User Attributes with the Edit icon selected.


    You use extension attributes to add attributes that are not in Azure AD by default. Click User attributes that can be set in SAML to get the complete list of SAML attributes that Zendesk accepts.

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

    Edit SAML Signing Certificate

  7. In the SAML Signing Certificate section, copy the Thumbprint Value and save it on your computer.

    Copy Thumbprint value

  8. On the Set up Zendesk section, copy the appropriate URL(s) based on your requirement.

    Copy configuration URLs

Create an Azure AD test user

In this section, you'll create a test user in the Azure portal called B.Simon.

  1. From the left pane in the Azure portal, select Azure Active Directory, select Users, and then select All users.
  2. Select New user at the top of the screen.
  3. In the User properties, follow these steps:
    1. In the Name field, enter B.Simon.
    2. In the User name field, enter the username@companydomain.extension. For example, B.Simon@contoso.com.
    3. Select the Show password check box, and then write down the value that's displayed in the Password box.
    4. Click Create.

Assign the Azure AD test user

In this section, you'll enable B.Simon to use Azure single sign-on by granting access to Zendesk.

  1. In the Azure portal, select Enterprise Applications, and then select All applications.
  2. In the applications list, select Zendesk.
  3. In the app's overview page, find the Manage section and select Users and groups.
  4. Select Add user, then select Users and groups in the Add Assignment dialog.
  5. In the Users and groups dialog, select B.Simon from the Users list, then click the Select button at the bottom of the screen.
  6. If you are expecting a role to be assigned to the users, you can select it from the Select a role dropdown. If no role has been set up for this app, you see "Default Access" role selected.
  7. In the Add Assignment dialog, click the Assign button.

Configure Zendesk SSO

  1. To automate the configuration within Zendesk, you need to install My Apps Secure Sign-in browser extension by clicking Install the extension.

    Screenshot shows the Install the extension button.

  2. After adding extension to the browser, click on setup Zendesk will direct you to the Zendesk application. From there, provide the admin credentials to sign into Zendesk. The browser extension will automatically configure the application for you and automate steps 3-6.

    Setup configuration

  3. If you want to setup Zendesk manually, open a new web browser window and sign into your Zendesk company site as an administrator and perform the following steps:

  4. In the Zendesk Admin Center, Go to the Account -> Security -> Single sign-on page and click Configure in the SAML.

    Screenshot shows the Zendesk Admin Center with Security settings selected.

  5. Perform the following steps in the Single sign-on page.

    Single sign-on

    a. Check the Enabled.

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

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

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

    e. Click Save.

Create Zendesk test user

The objective of this section is to create a user called Britta Simon in Zendesk. Zendesk supports automatic user provisioning, which is by default enabled. You can find more details here on how to configure automatic user provisioning.

Test SSO

In this section, you test your Azure AD single sign-on configuration with following options.

  • Click on Test this application in Azure portal. This will redirect to Zendesk Sign-on URL where you can initiate the login flow.

  • Go to Zendesk Sign-on URL directly and initiate the login flow from there.

  • You can use Microsoft My Apps. When you click the Zendesk tile in the My Apps, this will redirect to Zendesk Sign-on URL. For more information about the My Apps, see Introduction to the My Apps.

Next steps

Once you configure Zendesk you can enforce session control, which protects exfiltration and infiltration of your organization’s sensitive data in real time. Session control extends from Conditional Access. Learn how to enforce session control with Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps.