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Azure Active Directory and SilverStripe

Marcus Nyeholt

Posted 8 Oct 2018


If you're developing webapps for business customers, chances are at some point you'll come across a requirement to provide authentication against Active Directory, Microsoft's domain management system. This used to be a case of figuring out LDAP settings and figuring out all sorts of gnarly LDAP tree queries - now, it's a much simpler OAuth model that doesn't require deepdiving into LDAP. 

Side note - for development, Azure has quite a few always-free services, Active Directory included. Check out  

Once you've got an AD account, you'll need to set up a few pieces

Register a new App in your Azure AD; this should be of type Web app / API

From this, you'll need the Application ID, which is the Client ID from oauth's perspective. 

After clicking "Settings", you can create a new Password from the "Keys" section that comes up - this is the oauth "secret" parameter. The name isn't important, just make sure you copy the key down before navigating away

Next, you'll need to set the "Reply URLs". This is how AD knows that the auth request is sending the user back to a known source. 

Lastly, you'll need the Directory ID from the Azure AD properties (this becomes the tenant ID)

SilverStripe configuration

First, add a couple of modules to your project; in composer.json, add to your requirements list

    "bigfork/silverstripe-oauth-login": "dev-master#5cb417589d4b066207d57aa41e63530b1b7a1d2c",
    "thenetworg/oauth2-azure": "~1.3.0"

and run composer update bigfork/silverstripe-oauth-login

Next up, the configuration;

Name: azure_auth
        'Sharepoint': '%$AzureProvider'
    class: 'TheNetworg\OAuth2\Client\Provider\Azure'
        # Taken from the "Application ID" ; Azure AD => App Registrations => {App}
        clientId: 'the-application-id'
        # Create from Azure AD => App registrations => {App} => Settings => Keys 
        clientSecret: 'from the keys section'
        # From Azure AD => Properties => Directory ID
        tenant: 'the azure AD directory id'
        # Add in Azure AD => App registrations => {App} => Reply URLs
      name: 'Sharepoint'
      scopes: ['email profile']

Note: The redirectUri here must match that created in the Reply URLs section above. And while the OAuth module states that it automatically detects this, if you are running on HTTPS it will not correct identify it as such because the URL detection happens before the request object is created by the framework, thus it's unable to correctly determine whether we're on https.

And, to ensure values are properly mapped to the user objects that get created,

Name: oauth_properties

      'Email': 'email' 
      'FirstName': 'given_name'
      'Surname': 'family_name'

Docker-based SilverStripe Projects

Marcus Nyeholt

Posted 17 Jun 2018


We're moving a lot of our projects these days over to using docker for defining the development environment, where each project has its own docker-compose.yml definition file to provide an identical development environment for all devs on the project.

Take a look at the project over on Github - this contains the docker-compose file (and related helper scripts) along with the underlying docker image definitions. Our definition defines the following core services.

  • apache
  • php-fpm
  • php-cli
  • mysql
  • node

Along with, specifically for development -

  • selenium
  • mailhog
  • adminer

And then optional images for third party services

A visualisation of this is below

docker-compose services for Symbiote's base PHP docker projects

Along with the docker-compose file, the project provides two helper scripts

  • - a docker-compose up wrapper that allows the listing of just the needed services for the project, which sets some default environment variables if not already set elsewhere
  • - a wrapper around docker exec for performing actions on containers, so that running commands such as composer are straight forward; ./ composer update my/module

Most importantly, docker-compose is defined in such a way as to be directly usable on Gitlab CI. That configuration is for another post... 

New sites, new digs

Marcus Nyeholt

Posted 1 May 2018


It's been a busy time here at Symbiote; not only are we growing to the point of needing to find a new office (stay tuned for office warming info!), but we've got a new PTV site in the pipeline. 

Built with React and making use of a an AWS backend, the beta site is a taste of things to come with a full release later this year. Of course, under the covers is SilverStripe managing the core content delivery and initial data presentation. 

PTV's beta website
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