Configuring LDAP authentication¶
- Connecting to a LDAP directory
- LDAP directory configuration templates
- Using secure LDAP connections
- Managing users
- Managing groups
LDAP authentication is a license-controlled feature.
Data Science Studio can authenticate users against an external LDAP directory in addition to its built-in user database. Most corporate directories provide LDAP authentication service, including Microsoft Active Directory. This enables integration of user and password management, as well as user rights assignment, with existing centrally-managed infrastructures.
To configure LDAP authentication, you first need to gather and provide technical information about your directory service (see Connecting to a LDAP directory):
- Basic connection information to your LDAP server (host name and port, credentials, connection security).
- A filter (LDAP query template) defining the subset of your directory corresponding to users authorized to access this DSS instance.
- Optionally, another filter defining the groups to which a given user belongs, in order to further restrict login authorization (only members of these groups being authorized to access this DSS instance) or to define user rights within DSS.
You can then choose to have Data Science Studio automatically import valid LDAP user accounts on first login, or disable this feature and create DSS accounts for specific LDAP users only (see Managing users):
- when automatic import is enabled (the default): once a DSS administrator has configured LDAP user mapping and authorization information as defined above, any LDAP user account matching the filter and authorization groups can access this DSS instance using his/her LDAP username and password, without further intervention of the administrator.
- if disabled: a DSS administrator configures LDAP user mapping and authorization information as defined above, and individually creates in DSS the user accounts which should be mapped to the LDAP directory. The corresponding users may then access this DSS instance using their LDAP username and password.
- In both cases, deleting or disabling an account in the LDAP directory automatically disables the corresponding DSS account.
It is possible to assign a user profile for newly imported user you can also set this parameter per group (see Managing groups)
You can finally define DSS groups which are automatically mapped to LDAP groups (see Managing groups), or add LDAP users to locally-defined DSS groups. These groups control user access to DSS administrative rights, as well as their access level to DSS projects (read-only, read-write, or no access). Changing group membership in the LDAP directory automatically updates the corresponding DSS access rights on next login.
When LDAP authentication is enabled, the login sequence to Data Science Studio is the following:
- A user enters his/her username and password on Data Science Studio login page.
- If the username is found in the DSS account database and is of type LOCAL, the provided password is validated against the local database password.
- If the username is found in the DSS account database and is of type LDAP, or if the username is not
found in the DSS account database and automatic account import is enabled, a corresponding LDAP
user is searched in the directory using the configured filter.
- if the LDAP user is found, its LDAP groups are searched in the directory using the configured group filter if any. Access is denied if the user is not found, or if authorization groups are configured and the user is a member of none.
- the provided password is validated against the LDAP directory.
- a new DSS account for this user is created if needed, initialized with information from the directory. Otherwise, DSS group membership information for this user is updated as needed to reflect current LDAP group membership for this user.
To configure the connection to the LDAP directory:
- Go to the “Administration > Settings” page.
- Select “LDAP” on the left hand column.
- Activate the “LDAP authentication” check box on top of the settings page.
- Configure the required parameters as described below.
- You can test these parameters at any time using the “Test” button.
- Click on the “Save” button at the bottom of the left-hand column when done, or navigate out of the settings page to cancel.
- Optionally, configure DSS groups mapped to LDAP groups (see Managing groups).
- Optionally, manually configure DSS users mapped to LDAP users (see Managing users).
You must be logged to DSS with administrator privileges.
|LDAP server URL||
Defines the LDAP server to query, using syntax:
This parameter is mandatory.
Use StartTLS command to secure LDAP connection.
Valid for ldap url only, not ldaps.
If the LDAP server requires authentication, specifies the DN to use for queries.
If empty, DSS queries the LDAP server using anonymous bind.
If the LDAP server requires authentication, specifies the password to use for queries, along with the Bind DN above.
Mandatory if a Bind DN is specified.
- The scheme of the server URL may be ldap:// to query the server using LDAP, or ldaps:// to query the server using LDAP over SSL (see Using secure LDAP connections).
- The HOST part of the server URL specifies the hostname or IP address of the server to query. This part is mandatory.
- The PORT part of the server URL specifies an optional non-default network port. Default is 389 for ldap:// URLs and 636 for ldaps:// URLs.
- The BASE part of the server URL specifies the search base DN (Distinguished Name) to use for user and group queries. This part is mandatory.
A valid URL would be for example:
- If “Use TLS” is enabled, the connection to the server will be secured using TLS encryption before sending queries. The server must support the “Start TLS” extension (see Using secure LDAP connections).
- If the LDAP server allows anonymous binding, you can leave the “Bind DN” and “Bind password” fields empty. Otherwise, they specify credentials that DSS should use to authenticate with the LDAP server before sending queries.
- Note that DSS uses simple bind authentication when talking to the LDAP server, both to authenticate itself using the above credentials, and to verify user passwords. To avoid clear-text passwords being sent on the network, it is strongly suggested to use a secure channel between DSS and the LDAP server. Additional setup may be necessary in this case, see Using secure LDAP connections.
LDAP query template to use when searching a given username in the directory.
This field is mandatory, and should be a valid LDAP query where the name to search is represented by
Upon success, this query should return exactly one LDAP object, representing the user in the directory.
|Display name attribute||
Optional attribute containing the user’s full name (First Last) in the directory.
If specified, this attribute is retrieved to initialize the full name field of the DSS user account when a LDAP account is automatically imported.
Optional attribute containing the user’s email in the directory.
If specified, this attribute is retrieved to initialize the email field of the DSS user account when a LDAP account is automatically imported.
- Refer to LDAP directory configuration templates for typical values of the above parameters in common setups.
|Enable group support||When enabled, DSS fetches the list of groups that the user belongs to from the directory using the parameters below. Otherwise, group-based authorization and LDAP group mapping are disabled.|
LDAP query template to use when searching the list of groups for a given user in the directory.
This field is mandatory when group support is enabled. It should be a valid LDAP query where
the user being looked up is represented by the
This query should return the list of LDAP group objects of which the user is a member.
|Group name attribute||
Name of the group object attribute containing the group name in the directory.
This field is mandatory when group support is enabled. It is the value of this attribute which is then subsequently matched to the “Authorized groups” access list below, or when mapping LDAP groups to DSS groups.
If this field is non-empty, it should be a comma-separated list of LDAP group names, as returned by the “group filter” query fetching the “group name attribute” above. Only users which are member of one of these groups are then authorized to connect to this DSS instance.
If this field is empty, no group-based authorization is performed. All LDAP users returned by the “User filter” query above can connect to this DSS instance.
- Refer to LDAP directory configuration templates for typical values of the above parameters in common setups.
|Automatically import users||
When this parameter is enabled, all valid LDAP users authorized by the “User filter” and optional “Authorized groups” parameters above can connect to DSS. If a user does not already have a DSS account, a new one is automatically initialized using attribute values returned by the directory for this user.
When this parameter is disabled, LDAP users can only connect to DSS if their DSS account already exists.
In both cases, DSS users mapped to LDAP accounts can be added / edited / deleted using the user management dialog described in Managing users. Note however that if the automatic import of users is enabled, deleting a DSS account does not prohibit a user to connect, as his/her account will be recreated on next login.
The following tables show reference configuration templates for LDAP connection parameters in common setups.
This is the most frequently encountered case when connecting to Unix-based LDAP directories:
Starting with Windows 2003 SP2, Active Directory servers can also resolve nested group membership using the following query for the group filter:
These servers also expose a RFC2307bis-compatible view of the directory in the LDAP subtree rooted at “cn=accounts”.
Except in configurations where you closely control the network path between DSS and the LDAP server (or in configurations where DSS and the LDAP server are installed on the same host), it is highly recommended to use secure connections to the LDAP server, to avoid clear-text passwords being exposed to potential network eavesdroppers.
Depending on your LDAP server, there are two possible ways to configure this:
use the non-standard but widely available LDAPS protocol (LDAP over SSL) where the client connects to the server on a network port dedicated to secure connections (default port: 636).
DSS uses this connection mode when you configure an URL with scheme ldaps://.
use the “Start TLS” standard protocol extension, where the client connects to the server using a normal (clear-text) LDAP connection on the standard port (default port: 389) but negotiates the establishement of a secure SSL channel over this connection before sending sensitive data through it.
DSS uses this connection mode when you configure an URL with scheme ldap:// and check the “Use TLS” checkbox.
In both cases, this secure connection is only established if the LDAP client (here: Data Science Studio) can validate the identity of the LDAP server, to avoid sending sensitive user passwords to a rogue server. In particular, the Java runtime system used by Data Science Studio must be configured to trust the certificate of the LDAP server.
If your LDAP server certificate has been signed by a well-known certificate authority such as Verisign, you have nothing to do since the certificate authority’s root certificate is already in the default truststore used by the Java runtime. Otherwise, you will need to obtain the root certificate of the certificate authority which issued the certificate of your LDAP server, and add it to the truststore of the Java runtime used by DSS, using one of the procedures documented at Adding SSL certificates to the Java truststore.
When LDAP integration is enabled, the Data Science Studio account database contains both local users and users imported from the LDAP directory.
You can manage both type of accounts using the “Users” management page, accessible from the “Administration” menu (you must be logged to DSS with administrator privileges).
- When editing a LDAP-based user entry, the password fields are not available as the user password is only managed and stored by the LDAP server.
- A local user entry can only be a member of local groups. A LDAP-based user can be a member of local groups as well as LDAP-based groups, but only the local group membership list can be edited. The LDAP-based group membership list for a user is dynamically read from the LDAP directory on each login.
- You can create a LDAP-based user account before the user’s first connection, or configure DSS to automatically create it on the user’s first connection. In the latter case, the user account is created with “Display name” and “email” attributes taken from the directory entry, if the corresponding attribute is configured and exists, and with an empty local group membership list. These fields can be adjusted by a DSS administrator after automatic account creation if needed.
When LDAP integration is enabled, the Data Science Studio account database contains both local DSS groups and DSS groups mapped to groups in the LDAP directory.
You can manage both type of groups using the “Groups” management page, accessible from the “Administration” menu (you must be logged to DSS with administrator privileges).
A LDAP-based DSS group is defined by specifying a comma-separated list of LDAP group names. Upon login, a LDAP-based DSS user u will be assigned to a LDAP-based DSS group g whenever the LDAP user account for u is a member of any of the LDAP groups underlying g in the directory.
Both LDAP- and local-based DSS groups can convey DSS administrator privileges, and DSS projects access rights, to a LDAP-based DSS user account.
If the “automatic import user” option is enabled, you will be able the define user profile for any LDAP group . This profile will only be applied for newly imported user and if a user belongs to many groups with a profile assigned the highest profile will be applied.