Enable your organization to use a SAML identity provider, also called single sign-on, to import users and groups from a SAML identity provider and allow imported users to sign on to the organization with the credentials established in the SAML identity provider.


  • This operation requires the rights included in the predefined Organization Administrator role or an equivalent set of rights.

  • Verify that you have access to an SAML 2.0 compliant identity provider.
  • Verify that you receive the required metadata from your SAML identity provider. You must import the metadata to vCloud Director either manually or as an XML file. The metadata must include the following information:
    • The location of the single sign-on service
    • The location of the single logout service
    • The location of the service's X.509 certificate

    For information on configuring and acquiring metadata from an OpenAM or Active Directory Federation Services SAML provider, consult the documentation for your SAML provider.

  • The system extracts these attributes from the SAML token (if available) and uses them for interpreting the corresponding pieces of information about the user that is attempting to log in.
    • email address = "EmailAddress"
    • user name = "UserName"
    • full name = "FullName"
    • user's groups = "Groups"
    • user's roles = "Roles" (this attribute is configurable)

    Group information is necessary if the user is not directly imported but is expected to be able to log in by virtue of membership in imported group(s). A user may belong to multiple groups and, as a result, can have multiple roles during a session.

    If an imported user or group is assigned the Defer to Identity Provider role, the roles are assigned based on the information gathered from the Roles attribute in the token. If a different attribute is used, this attribute name can be configured using API only and only the Roles attribute is configurable. If the Defer to Identity Provider role is used, but no role information can be extracted, the user can log in but not have any rights to perform any activities.


  1. Click Administration.
  2. In the left pane, select Settings > Federation.
  3. Specify an Entity Id.

    The Entity Id uniquely identifies your organization to your Identity Provider. You can use the name of your organization, or any other string that satisfies the requirements of your SAML IDP.


    Once an Entity Id has been specified, it cannot be deleted. If you must change the Entity ID, it requires a full SAML reconfiguration for your organization. For more information on Entity Ids, see Assertions and Protocols for the OASIS Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0.

  4. Review the Certificate Expiration date and If necessary, click Regenerate to regenerate the certificate used to sign federation messages.
    The certificate is included in the SAML metadata, and is used for both encryption and signing. Either or both of these might be required depending on how trust is established between your organization and your SAML IDP.
  5. To download the SAML metadata for your organization, click the Metadata link.
    This metadata must be provided as-is to your IDP.
  6. Select Use SAML Identity Provider.
  7. Copy and paste the SAML metadata you received from your IDP into the text box, or click Browse to insert it from a file.
  8. Click Apply.

What to do next

  • Configure your SAML provider with vCloud Director metadata. See your SAML provider's documentation and the vCloud Director Installation and Upgrade Guide.
  • Import users and groups from your SAML provider.