Friday, June 8, 2018

Best practices for Oracle Access Manager deployment


It is very important to follow best practices for OAM deployment for either single DC setup, or MDC setup or HA functionality etc., Some of the best practices are mentioned below and I will keep updating this post based on comments/feedback.

  1. Verify the certification matrix for OAM deployment before beginning installation.
  2. Use the latest Java, WebLogic Servers based on certification matrix.
  3. Use the same path for Weblogic Home, Oracle Home and Oracle Common Home across environments.
  4. For WebServers, use environment specific instance names rather than default names. For eg., while installing and configuring OHS instances, the default instance name is ohs1. It is suggested to use name denoting environment name and server name such as DEV_OHS1 or PROD_OHS1. 
  5. For WebServers in HA, if you are installing OHS on multiple boxes then it is suggested to use different OHS instance names. For eg., PROD_OHS1 (on 1st box), PROD_OHS2 (on 2nd box). This will help associating OHS instances with unique instance names in EM console for monitoring purpose. 
  6. Ensure that Non-Prod (or QA) and Prod environments identical for all IAM components in order to reproduce Production issues and make future deployments easier and better for operations.
  7. Ensure to configure OMSM, Policy Manager and OAM servers in different clusters during initial WebLogic domain configuration.
  8. Use load balancers for backend LDAP servers for user store. 
  9. Use custom authentication plugins only as per needs. Custom Plugins have maintenance nightmares for Ops team. 
  10. Schedule regular backups for oam-config.xml, policy exports and partners export along with DB backups.
  11. While configuring user store, specify Referral policy as FOLLOW. Also, specify Min/Max pool size and timeout parameters as per load testing results. 
  12. Selectively configure required audit events only.  
  13. Avoid creating sample cgi or server side pages that would print headers information. For eg., cgi-bin/printenv script is a common script that's protected through OAM for validation purpose. After Production go-live, remove those test pages. 
  14. Exclude images, css files and other static contents in policies instead of using Unprotected policies. 
  15. Try to update WebLogic CPU patches and JDK CPU patches based on sensitivity of the fixes. Thorough testing is required before pushing these patches to Production. Sometimes these patches may break OAM functionality. 
  16. Use similar RCU versions across environments.
  17. Use certain security headers X-XSS-Protection, Strict-Transport-Security etc., in Login WebGate WebServers for better protection. 
  18. Use Log rotation for OAM and other WebLogic servers to prevent complete disk usage. 
  19. Ensure that only required firewall ports are opened to and from OAM servers instead of opening it through entire subnets. This is to provide better security.
  20. Use WebGate CERT mode only if needed otherwise it will degrade performance. 
  21. Use SSL at Node Manager and WebLogic Servers are only as needed. 
  22. Ensure that Login WebGate has SSL enabled.
  23. Ensure that 3rd party cert is used for OAM deployment in Prod and non-prod environments. 
  24. Do periodic rolling restarts of OAM server for better system performance.
  25. Associate OHS and OAM components with EM 12c for performance and system alerts.
  26. Use Min / Max Heap size for OAM tuning. 
  27. Use appropriate number of processes, sessions etc., parameters in OAM DB schema.
  28. If there are more IAM components in the architecture, it is suggested to use separate DB for OAM component since OAM uses APS for MDC synchronization where as other products requires DG or GG.
  29. Ensure to grant admin privileges to LDAP users for OAM console instead of giving generic administrative access to all users.  

 That's it for today. Happy reading!! 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Enabling Multi factor Options for application in Okta

Okta is a simple product to use and it is capable of integrating with more than 5800 applications for Single Sign-On purposes with added security benefits.

In this post I would like to quickly talk about enabling Multi Factor capabilities for an application that is already integrated into Okta. In this case, SalesForce is integrated with Okta using SAML 2.0 protocol.

Follow the below steps to enable MFA capabilities for salesforce application (or this would apply for any other application)

  1. Login to Okta Admin Console as admin user.
  2. Goto Applications.
  3. Goto Sign On Policy section.
  4. Click Add Rule.
  5. Specify Rule Name, Conditions (users /group rule assignment), Location . 
  6. Specify Actions. Select the option to allow or deny the access after conditions are met. For this exercise I would choose Allow. Select MFA frequency such as prompting MFA every login or once a day etc.,
  7. Click on Multifactor Settings.
  8. Select the desired authenticators. 
  9. Click Save. 

Now the desired configuration changes are completed. It is time to test. 

  1. Login to Okta application console. 
  2. Click on SalesForce application.
  3. User is redirected to MFA page for setup (if its already setup, this page is not seen). In this case, I have selected Google Authenticator setup. Click Setup.
  4. Select device Type. Install app on mobile device. Click Next.
  5. Specify the code generated on mobile device here. Click Verify.
  6. User is redirected to salesforce application. 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

PasteConfig failed in OAM MDC

Do you have OAM, OMSM and Policy Manager servers in your environment? Are they all tied to same OAM WebLogic cluster or different clusters?

Well, the recommended approach is to tie respective weblogic server to respective cluster. Therefore, OAM servers should be associated with OAM Cluster, OMSM servers should be with OMSM cluster and so are Policy manager servers.

This post will explain about an issue that you may come across when WLS servers are associated in their respective cluster.

I will skip the steps for T2P commands on the Master DC as they are not relevant to this post. After running script on Clone DC, it generates moveplan.xml which is the basis for pushing configurations into Clone DC and creating weblogic domain.

moveplan.xml contains server details and cluster details etc., for OAM servers, OMSM servers and Policy Manager servers.

The default xml template would look like as shown below.

With this moveplan.xml, pasteConfig is failed.

After commenting out the omsm and policy manager server definitions in moveplan.xml, pasteConfig has worked.

Also, the weblogic domain was created for omsm and policy manager servers even though it was commented in moveplan.xml.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Specifics of Multi Data Center using Oracle Access Manager


This is a very generic post for understanding some specifications of designing and implementing Multi Data Center solution using Oracle Access Manager.

  • If you are designing an IAM solution in a single Production data center involving multiple IAM products, then it is mandated for separate Database for OAM component alone. This is because OAM uses Automated Policy Synchronization feature to sync artifacts/policies from Master to Clone DCs without the need of database replication unlike OIM and OAAM etc., Therefore, if OAM and other products are using same database then OAM database should be separated before deploying a new OAM data center. 
  • In a typical IAM deployment, login pages are either served from OAM or through DCC. In both case, front end web server is employed with WebGate. It is preferred to use Global LBR for OHS data center along with load VIP. Therefore, a global LBR will also be assigned as OAM server hostname. If N number of data centers are added in the future, a new local LBR can be assigned to Global LBR without changing the OAM hostname.
  • It is advised to employ Global LBR for OAM servers (default 5575 TCP port) for WebGates to OAM server connections. 
  • Server affinity and sticky session is mandatory for all Global LBRs in a MDC solution. 
  • OAM to database connection should have direct connection instead of Global LBR for all databases since each OAM talks to its respective DC database.
  • In the event of using Virtual Host concepts at web server layers, it is advised to have Global LBR with sticky session and server affinity for OAM server 14100 port too. 
  • OAM LBR for 5575 port should be TCP and OAM LBR for 14100 port should be HTTP.
  • If mod weblogic plugin is used in the deployment for MDC, it is advised to use OAM LBR for 14100 port using WebLogicCluster parameter. Some of the nuances of using WebLogicHost and WebLogicCluster for mod weblogic plugin will be explained in detail in separate post.
  • Before running T2P commands on Master DC, it is mandated to remove IAMSuite agent password and mark Embedded LDAP as system /default stores.
  • In an MDC solution, Primary DC OAM is designated as Master thus allowing write operations only in this OAM server. All the policy updates from Master DC will be pulled into Clone DCs using APS feature.
  • When a new DC to be brought into the existing MDC deployment, perform T2P on master DC to generate binaries rather than using old T2P binaries because something might have changed since initial T2P deployment. 
  • Ensure to run pasteConfig and pasteBinary only on Administrator node of OAM component and use pack/unpack for other OAM nodes.
  • It is usually recommended to have single Middleware on a host to avoid jar conflicts etc., even though we had seen OAM and OUD binaries co-existing on same Middleware. 
  • It is always advised to add a new OAM server on separate host instead of adding OAM server on an existing OAM host as this would provide better CPU and server performance. However, this can be decided after thoroughly analyzing performance metrics. 
  • Attain due diligence with Transformation rules as incorrect rules or incomplete rules will result in abnormal behaviors and corrupt the Clone DC environment in the worst scenarios. Thus, thorough testing with APS is required.
  • Session control parameters define the user behavior during run time in an MDC deployment. Therefore, thoroughly test the MDC solution using these parameters. Below parameter values allow users to access SSO protected applications even though the sessions are created in Remote OAM DCs by creating local sessions in the event of session retrieval failures. 

  • Designing Global LBRs at every component OHS, OAM and LDAPs will provide 100% high availability and failover even when one of the component in a data center fails. 
  • Ensure that firewall connectivity is open from one DC component layer to all other DCs as cross over functionality.
  • Perform the load testing in MDC deployment before going live as this will provide the SLAs and response time for each and ever component and its LBR to fail over to other available local VIP.  
  • There is no MDC support for OAM OAuth tokens. Therefore oauth access token generated in one data center is not validated by remote DC. 

As always, TEST, TEST , TEST the component MDC solution. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Automated Policy Synchronization for Federation


Today I would like to discuss specifics about Automated Policy Synchronization feature for Federation. As you might know APS feature has been introduced in 11g for syncing agents, policies and other OAM artifacts from Master to Clone data center in Multi Data center deployment.
However the federation topics were not documented properly from APS perspective. When a new SAML partner is created in Master DC, the partner details will be updated in oam-config.xml (be it an IDP or SP) along with federation partner profiles.
In order to sync federation artifacts for proper functioning of partner application in Clone DC, ensure that below lines are added in transformation rules XML.
  1. <changes-to-include entity-path="/config/NGAMConfiguration/DeployedComponent/Federation/IdentityProvider"/>
  2. <changes-to-include entity-path="/config/NGAMConfiguration/DeployedComponent/Federation/ServiceProvider"/>
  3. <changes-to-include entity-path="/config/NGAMConfiguration/DeployedComponent/Server/NGAMServer/Profile/STS/fedattributeprofiles"/>
  4. <changes-to-include entity-path="/config/NGAMConfiguration/DeployedComponent/Server/NGAMServer/Profile/STS/serverconfig"/>
Failing to sync all the necessary artifacts to Clone will result in NullPointerException in Clone OAM logs (pertaining to Token Policy issue only) as shown below when partner application is accessed.

[2018-04-13T12:31:28.871-04:00] [oam_server1] [WARNING] [OAMSSA-06364] [oracle.oam.engine.policy] [tid: [ACTIVE].ExecuteThread: '1' for queue: 'weblogic.kernel.Default (self-tuning)'] [userId: ] [ecid: d543f813b7c4a66e:75fed341:162bf95f333:-8000-000000000000257f,0] [APP: oam_server#] No Token Issuance Policy found for "Type: TokenServiceRP Operation: ISSUE Name: null URL: GoogleApps Host: null Port: 0".

Friday, May 22, 2015

Recommendations while using custom federation

Suppose you are the Service Provider using COTS federation product and your partner is Identity Provider using custom federation solution. Here are some personal recommendations for achieving SAML Single Sign-On in a smooth manner.

  1. Identify the features you are implementing with your partner upfront such as HTTP Binding, Signing, encryption, logout, Query Attributes, Account Linking etc., 
  2. Discuss and agree the certificate, private key, encryption algorithms etc., 
  3. Setup local environment to do proof of concept with COTS products and make sure you implement all the agreed features.
  4. Make sure your partner having custom federation solution has done POC so that you are sure that they are adhering to SAML standards. 
  5. If your partner has not done any POC in their local environment then you will need to validate the metadata manually before importing it to Service Provider.
  6. When partner metadata is validated and make sure it is imported in your Service Provider properly. Be heedful of syntactical errors. 
  7. If your partner has SAML response tested by dummy client, then ask for SAML response. If the response is encoded, use a SAML decoder and verify if all the elements are present. This is where we ended up wasting lot of time while running the test and identifying each and every element missing in SAML response. 
  8. It is always suggested to test the basic federation without Signing/Encryption/Attribute Query etc.,
  9. Once basic federation is tested, signing is next step.
  10. Then test the encryption. failed to connect in SSL

We have enabled SSL for WebLogic Admin Server and disabled the non-SSL port. We wanted to run some WLST commands and ran from
While trying to connect to with SSL port to admin server, the connection failed. I've tried various combinations of hosts with/without domain name and localhost too. See the below screenshot.

The actual fix is to add parameter in script. This parameter will essentially disable the hostname verification and required for stand alone clients connecting to weblogic server.

Restarted the WebLogic servers after making the script changes and connection worked with SSL.