Configuring single sign-on for portlets with SAM and SPNEGO

Configure HCL Connections portlets to use single sign-on with IBM Security Access Manager and SPNEGO.

About this task

Single sign-on (SSO) enables users to log in to an HCL Connections application and switch to other applications within the product without having to authenticate again.

There are several different ways to configure SSO. This procedure describes an approach that uses the Kerberos authentication protocol. This authentication method allows Security Access Manager and users web browsers to prove their identities to one another in a secure manner. After users sign in to their Active Directory Windows™ client systems, they are automatically signed into both Security Access Manager and HCL Connections.

Configuring HCL Connections and HCL Portal to share a single deployment manager saves on administration time by combining administration tasks for the two applications. Establishing a single-sign on environment benefits the users by creating a more seamless environment between the two applications.


  1. Before federating Portal as a managed node of the deployment manager of HCL Connections, make sure the realms match between HCL Connections deployment manager and Portal.
    If you must change the realm names so they match, follow the steps in Changing the realm name.
  2. Complete the following steps to collect files from the primary node and copy them to the deployment manager:
    1. From the wp_profile_root/ConfigEngine directory of the primary node, run this task: ConfigEngine.bat collect-files-for-dmgr -DWasPassword=password .
      This task creates a compressed file that contains all the files, which must be copied to the deployment manager. The compressed file, named, is placed in the wp_profile_root/filesForDmgr directory.
    2. Stop the deployment manager.
    3. Expand each of the files in the file into the correct location on the deployment manager based on the directory names within the compressed file. The directory names in the compressed file are based on the typical default directory names. The directory that is called AppServer/profiles/Dmgr01 is used to identify the deployment manager profile root, and the AppServer directory is used to identify the deployment manager installation root directory. If the deployment manager was installed into the default directory (AppServer) and the profile was created in the default directory (AppServer/profiles/Dmgr01), then the compressed file can be expanded directly into the directory above the AppServer directory.
      For example, /IBM/WebSphere
    4. Start the deployment manager.
  3. To augment a deployment manager profile, run the following command from the AppServer_root/bin directory:
    manageprofiles.bat -augment -templatePath  c:/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/profileTemplates/management.portal.augment -profileName Dmgr01
  4. Restart the deployment manager.
  5. Add the same Portal administration group as an administrators group on the HCL Connections deployment manager.
  6. Run the following command from the wp_profile_root/bin directory to federate the primary node:
    addNode.bat dmgr_hostname dmgr_port -includeapps -includebuses
    -username was_admin_user
    -password was_admin_password
    For example:
    addNode.bat 8879 -includeapps -includebuses -username adminuser -password adminpwd
  7. On the Portal server, run syncNode.bat and then restart the deployment manager and all node agents.
  8. To configure the IBM® HTTP Server with single sign-on, delete and readd the web server on the WebSphere® Application Server Integrated Solutions Console. This configuration remaps all applications, including Portal, and imports the Portal certificate into IBM HTTP Server.
  9. Skip this step if you are deploying on Portal 8. To configure the same SPNEGO single sign-on for Portal and Connections:
    1. Create user for Portal host server on AD
    2. Create keytab file for Portal server on AD:
      ktpass -out path_to_keytab –princ SPN
      -mapuser account_name -mapOp set –pass account_password
      • path_to_keytab is the file path where you want to store the generated keytab file.
      • SPN is the Kerberos service principal name.
      • account_name is the service account name.
      • account_password is the password that is associated with the service account.
      For example:
      ktpass -princ HTTP/ -out c:\portal.keytab -mapuser portaluser -mapOp set -pass Passw0rd
    3. Merge the portal keytab into the merged Connections keytab by running the ktab command with the following switch:
      -m source_keytab_name destination_keytab_name
      • source_keytab_name is the name of the keytab file on the source system.
      • destination_keytab_name is the name of the keytab file on the destination system.
      For example:
      c:\IBM\WebSphere\AppServer\java\jre\bin>ktab.exe -m y:\SPNEGO\portal.keytab y:\SPNEGO\merged.keytab
    4. Re-create the krb5.conf file with the new merged keytab file:
      $AdminTask createKrbConfigFile
      -krbPath appserver\java\jre\lib\security\krb5.conf
      -realm REALM
      -kdcHost kdc_hostname
      -dns dns_hostname
      -keytabPath path_to_keytab
      For example:
      wsadmin.bat -user adminuser -password adminpwd
      $AdminTask createKrbConfigFile {-krbPath y:\SPNEGO\krb5.conf -realm CN.IBM.COM -kdcHost -dns -keytabPath y:\SPNEGO\merged.keytab}
    5. Enable SPNEGO single sign-on by configuring Kerberos in the WebSphere Application Server Integrated Solutions Console, following the steps in the Enabling single sign-on for Security® Access Manager with SPNEGO topic.
    6. Synchronize the node and restart the deployment manager node.
      If you cannot manage the Portal node on the WebSphere Application Server Integrated Solutions Console, manually synchronize the node and restart the deployment manager node.
  10. Configure Security Access Manager on the Portal server, following the directions in the Configuring Security Access Manager article that corresponds to your Portal server.
    Note: For the connections integration with the portlets, it is important that WebSEAL session cookies are sent to the junction server. This action can be defined by adding the -k option to the commands that create a junction.
    For example, on Portal 7:
    server task create -t ssl -b filter -A -F C:\WASLTPA.key 
    -Z password -h -c all -f -k -j -J trailer /wpsv70
    ConfigEngine.bat run-svrssl-config
    ConfigEngine.bat validate-pdadmin-connection -DWasPassword=password
    ConfigEngine.bat enable-tam-all -DWasPassword=password
  11. Configure the ACL for WebSEAL to allow HTTP PUT requests by adding an ACL to the Portal junction.
    1. Create a default HCL Connections ACL to override the default WebSEAL ACL by running the following commands:
      acl create lc3-default-acl 
      acl modify lc3-default-acl set user sec_master TcmdbsvaBRlrx
      acl modify lc3-default-acl set any-other Tmdrx
      acl modify lc3-default-acl set unauthenticated T
      acl modify lc3-default-acl set group iv-admin TcmdbsvaBRrxl
      acl modify lc3-default-acl set group webseal-servers Tgmdbsrxl
    2. Attach the default ACL to application root URLs:
      acl attach /WebSEAL/tam_server-WebSEAL_instance/app_root lc3-default-acl
      • tam_server is the host name of the Security Access Manager server
      • WebSEAL_instance is the name of the instance of the WebSEAL server that is configured to manage HCL Connections. For example: default
      • app_root is the root path to the HCL Connections applications, including /activities, /blogs, /cognos, /communities, /dogear, /files, /forums, /homepage, /news, /metrics, /mobile, /moderation, /profiles, /search, and /wikis.
      • lc3-default-acl is the access control list (ACL) that you defined. For example: acl attach /WebSEAL/ example-default-acl. In this case, the command is acl attach /WebSEAL/ example-default-acl.