XWiki Active Directory Application - connect XWiki to your organization directory

Sep 06 2019

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What is Active Directory (AD)?

Active Directory is a directory services implementation developed by Microsoft that provides a hierarchical structure for storing information. Additional functionalities include authentication, user and group management and a framework to deploy related services (Lightweight Directory Services, Certificate Services, Federation Services, and Rights Management). For example, the directory service Active Directory Domain Services (commonly known as AD DS or AD) stores information about user accounts from your organization (names, passwords, phone numbers, etc) and enables other authorized users on the same network to access this information.
The Active Directory service supports the LDAP1 and the Kerberos as protocols2 which act like guidelines to send and receive information.3

Key benefits for using Active Directory:

  • Hierarchical structure to store information regarding your organization.
  • Allows Single-SignOn (SSO) and works well on an intranet environment and over VPN
  • The ability to access and modify AD DS from multiple points of administration
  • A single point of access to network resources.
  • Ability to communicate with external networks running previous versions of Active Directory including Unix.

How can you connect XWiki to Active Directory?

The XWiki team has built an Active Directory application that allows to easily connect your Active Directory server to XWiki using a visual editor.

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User and group management is one of the most used features of the Active Directory application allowing XWiki to be integrated with users and groups from your existing AD organization directory. For example:

  • Active Directory users will be able to authenticate in the wiki and a dedicated XWiki user will be created automatically at the first login.
  • User synchronization: update different user properties (e.g. first name, last name, email, etc)  including the photo.
  • The Active Directory groups can be mapped to XWiki groups which will store as members the users belonging to an Active Directory group.
  • The groups will be synchronized on every authentication of a user.

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Key benefits of using the Active Directory application:

  • Reuse the information from an existing Active Directory server.
  • Provides a visual editor inside the wiki Administration section to ease configuration 
  • Allows you to make changes without restarting the application server
  • Instant access to new features and bug fixes upon update 
  • Support

How can you get the Active Directory application?

To try it out, search for Active Directory application in your wiki's Extension Manager, then install the app and get the trial.

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The Active Directory application offers an easy way to connect your XWiki and you can purchase it directly from the Extension Manager, or with other XWiki services:

  • You can request a free license if you are a Silver+ Support customer (XWiki On Premise or XWiki Cloud)
  • It is included with the XWiki Pro package, a full set of supported apps that will extend the standard platform to improve productivity

1 LDAP is an open computer network authentication protocol supported by many different directory services and access management solutions.
2 Kerberos is a computer network authentication protocol for websites and Single-Sign-On implementations across platforms. It uses strong cryptography and third-party ticket authorization.
3 Source: https://www.varonis.com/blog/the-difference-between-active-directory-and-ldap

Oana Florea - Customer Support Manager @XWiki