Docebo for SAML – Standard Configuration

For those using SAML in Docebo before February 25, 2020

Last Updated

October 21st, 2020

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8 min

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This article outlines how to configure the integration between Docebo and SAML using the standard configuration process,  which is the default option for those activating the SAML app in their existing platform before February 25, 2020. Further information on the available options for configuring the SAML integration with Docebo

By activating the SAML app in Docebo, you can allow users to log into their learning platforms using credentials from active sessions of other web platforms. This article will give you a step-by-step process of how to activate and configure the app using the Standard Configuration process.

Configuring SAML using Google, OKTA, Microsoft Azure and OneLogin

If you are configuring SAML to work in conjunction with OKTA, Microsoft Azure or OneLogin, have a look at the step-by-step configuration from our Solution Deployment Managers

Also, when configuring SAML, remember to set the Assertion Encryption to Unencrypted.

Activating the SAML App

To activate the app, log in to your platform as the Superadmin. Access the Admin Menu from the gear icon in the header, then press the Add New Apps button. Select the Third Party Integrations tab from the tab menu. Find the SAML 2.0/ADFS Integration app in the list of apps in this tab, then press the Contact Us button in the app’s row.

You will be redirected to the platform Communication Center where you will be able to contact us in order to activate the SAML app on your behalf. Once it’s activated, you can begin the configuration. Please refer to the following section to learn more.

Configuring the SAML App with the Standard Configuration Process

To begin the configuration for this app, access the Admin Menu by scrolling your mouse over the gear icon. Then, find the SAML Settings section in the Admin Menu, and press the Settings subitem. You will then be redirected to the settings page. Begin by selecting the Standard Configuration option and flag the checkbox in the Active section.  B By default, this setting is not flagged when you first activate the app on your platform. You will need to enable this switch to begin configuring the app on your platform.

Then, insert your identity provider ID, XML metadata (without white-spaces and comments), and username attribute into the corresponding text boxes on this page. Please note that these are mandatory fields. You should ask your IT manager to provide you with this information, as necessary.

You also need to flag which encryption algorithm (SHA-1 vs SHA-256) to use to validate IDP. For new configurations, the default value will be SHA-256. If you already have a valid configuration in your platform, the default value will be SHA-1. Since SHA-1 has been deprecated in 2011, for security reasons SHA-256 is highly recommended.

Lastly, can also flag the option to enable a service provider certificate. Some Identity Providers or Federations may require that Service Providers hold a certificate. If you enable a certificate for your Service Provider, you will be able to sign requests and responses sent to the Identity Provider. If you flag this option, press the Choose File buttons that will appear below to upload your Private Key File and your Certificate File.

You cannot upload only one of these files. You must upload both the private key file and the cert file. Please note that neither file can have any additional information (one can only have the private key, and the other can only have the cert), or you will receive an error when trying to configure the app. Example of a cert in PEM format, and example of a private key file in PEM format.

If you want to make changes to the configuration and turn off the Enable Service Provider Certificate flag, before saving the configuration please make sure you have the certificates with you, because they will be automatically deleted after saving.

Now, you have configured all of the mandatory fields. If you do not want to configure the unique field, SSO behavior, logout behavior, or user provisioning, you can simply press Save Changes. Now you can download the XML file and import it inside of your Identity Provider in order to set up the related authorization and complete the process.

If you would like to configure the unique field, SSO behavior, logout behavior, and/or user provisioning, then do not press Save Changes yet. You can refer to the sections below to learn more about each function.

Username Attribute

In the Username Attribute section, select one of the options that are auto-provided by the Identity Provider. The attribute that you select will be the username for your users in Docebo. When making your selection, make sure that the selected attribute is populated for all your users in the Identity Provider. Please note that the selected attribute must be a unique identifier. For example, if you select Family Name as username attribute, you must be sure that none of your users have the same family name. We suggest selecting Email as Username Attribute.

Also remember that if you selected the First Name and Last Name are required in order to register option in the Self Registration tab of the Advanced Settings section of Docebo Admin Menu, the Identity Provider must provision the users’ first and last names for a proper registration to the platform.

Now, you have configured all of the mandatory fields (Issuer, SSO URL and X509). If you do not want to configure the unique field, SSO behavior, logout behavior, or user provisioning, you can simply press Save Changes. Once you press the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page, you should then copy the Login URL and the Logout URL that you see in the SAML 2.0 SP Metadata section to pass to your identity provider.

If desired, you can press the Download button in the SAML 2.0 SP Metadata section to download the metadata file, but the only mandatory fields that you need to pass are the Login URL and Logout URL provided in the same section.

If you would like to configure the logout behavior, SSO Behavior, and/or User Provisioning, then do not press Save Changes yet. You can refer to the sections below to learn more about each function.

Unique Field

By configuring this field, you are able to select a shared identifier, adding more SSO flexibility, when configuring SAML and Docebo. By default, the selected attribute is Username, but you can flag the UUID (Unique User ID) or Email attribute, depending on your preferences. We suggest using the Username as unique field.

Please note that when the selected Unique Field is Email, in case multiple user accounts in your platform have the same email address, when one of the user accounts is logging into the platform via SAML, the most recently created user account will be the account that is logged into the platform.

You are not able to create new users via SAML if you flag the UUID attribute, as the UUID does not exist until a user is created in the platform.

SSO Behavior

To configure the SSO behavior, you can choose between two different options. Choose whether you want to show the standard platform login page, or if you want to automatically redirect to the Identity Provider. If you flag the first option, you can then flag whether you want to show the SSO button on your platform’s login page.

If you flag the option for an Automatic redirect to Identity Provider, you can set a specific logout landing page when your users log out of the platform instead of keeping the standard logout page. Use the text box to type in the URL of the logout landing page.

Logout Behavior

In the Logout Behavior section, you can flag the option for the user to automatically be logged out of the Identity Provider when he or she logs out of the platform. In order for the logout request to be accepted by an Identity Provider, typically the logout request must be signed. This means you will need to upload your public and private key to the Service Provider Certificate section if you would like to use the Logout Behavior. 

User Provisioning

This section allows you to instantly create a user who is present in your Identity Provider but is not yet present in the platform database. Begin by flagging the Enable option. You can also flag the option to lock provisioned user fields, meaning that users cannot edit details in their user profiles that have been created via SAML. When editing the user profile, the options will be greyed out.

If you have users that already exist in both databases, you should flag the option to update the user information for the existing users. Please note that not flagging these options result in needing to manually register (enable option) or update your users (update information) in the platform.

Now, you need to specify which additional fields you want to associate between your Identity Provider and Docebo, then match the names of the fields in Docebo with the name of the fields in the Identity Provider (attribute statement).

Each field must be unique, meaning that you cannot apply the same claim to multiple fields. In the text box, type in the name of the additional field in the platform, then press the Add button. The additional field will appear in a list below, with the field name and field category automatically filled in by your platform. Insert your Identity Provider  attribute statement into the corresponding text box.

You can define the language for the users created in the platform via SAML using the Language field. In doing this, once a user is created, the platform of said user will be in the language set via the SAML claim that you configured. Once you’ve added the Language field, insert the same string into the Attribute Statement textbox that you inserted into the field in your identity provider that you’re matching.

In your language field in your identity provider, the string must use the one of the codes that the platform uses to identity languages (en = English, de = German, etc.). Full list of language codes. If the code given for this field for a specific user does not match any of the language codes of the platform, the user will be given the set default language of the platform upon activation.

When you’re finished, press Save Changes. Now you can download the XML file and import it inside of your Identity Provider in order to set up the related authorization and complete the process.

Best Practices for this App

In order to make the most of this integration, you should set up groups that are auto-populated, then use Docebo’s Enrollment Rules App to automatically enroll these groups into courses or learning plans. Thus, when a new user is created, you do not have to manually assign them to groups, courses or learning plans. Please note in order to correctly pair newly added SAML fields and newly added platform additional fields and use them to auto-populate groups, you must always log out of both the platform and the identity provider. Therefore, please make sure you’ve enabled the option in the Logout Behavior section. Without flagging this option, this user provisioning process will not occur.

For certain SAML Identity providers, the standard SAML endpoints provided by the XML metadata are not allowed. In this case, Docebo has simplified endpoints. Docebo has SAML 2.0 metadata without the query string part available, thus making it acceptable by OpenSAML:

  • http(s)://
  • http(s)://

If the custom domain needs to be configured after SSO has already been configured, please follow these steps:

    • Setup up the custom domain in your Docebo platform
    • Log into the custom domain site you created in your Docebo platform
    • Access the Admin Menu from the gear icon in the top right corner of the page
    • Select the Manage option in the SAML section
    • On the SAML settings page, download SAML 2.0 Metadata by selecting the Download button in the SAML 2.0 SP Metadata section
    • Once the download is complete, log into your Identity Provider account
    • Access Existing Relying Party Trust
    • Import the metadata that you downloaded in that section

Tips and Tricks

– Depending on the user fields you wish to import, you can choose whether to import users via CSV, via SAML, or via Automation App. Comparison of the fields you can import via Automation or via SAML SSO.

– When determining your provisioning strategy, consider whether you want to monitor your users or send notifications prior to go live. If you do, you will need to preload these users.

AWS Certification

Please note Docebo available in the AWS SSO Catalog.