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Secure a Web App Using Okta

About 3 min


In this Okta tutorial, we will use the Datawiza Access Proxy (DAP) to enable SSO and granular access control for a header-based web App. The IdP we will use is Okta. We will use DAP's side deployment mode, which means DAP and this app are running on the same server.

  • The application will run on localhost:3001.
  • The DAP will run on localhost:9772, which means the traffic to the app will reach DAP (running on port 9772) first and then be proxied to the application (running on port 3001).
  • We will provide the docker images of the DAP and this header-based application.

Part I: Okta Configuration

You will need to register an application in the Okta developer console and get the following values for this application:

  • Client ID
  • Client Secret
  • Okta Org
  • (Optional) Okta API Token

These values will later be used to set up Datawiza Access Proxy in Datawiza Cloud Management Console. Please follow IdP Configuration Guide: Okta instructions on how to get those keys/values.

Part II: Create Application on Datawiza Cloud Management Console (DCMC)

You need to create an application and generate a keypair of (PROVISIONING_KEY, PROVISIONING_SECRET) for this app on the DCMC.

Please follow Step2 : Datawiza Cloud Management Console to configure.

Part III: Run DAP With a Header-Based Application

You can use either Docker or Kubernetes to run DAP. The following is an example docker-compose.yml file. You may need to login to our container registry to download the images of DAP and the header-based app. See Step3 : Configure DAP and SSO Integration for more details or Deploy DAP with Kubernetes for Kubernetes-specific instructions.

version: '3'

    container_name: datawiza-access-proxy
    restart: always
      - "9772:9772"
      PROVISIONING_KEY: #############################
      PROVISIONING_SECRET: #############################

    container_name: ab-demo-header-app
    restart: always
      - "3001:3001"

After executing docker-compose -f docker-compose.yml up, the header-based app should have SSO enabled with Okta. Open a browser and type in http://localhost:9772/. You should see the Okta login page as follows. Note that if you are already logged in with Okta in your browser, you may need to logout to see the login page. Web App Okta SSO | DAP with Okta

Part IV: Pass User Attributes to the Header-Based App

DAP gets user attributes from IdP and can pass the user attributes to the application via header or cookie.

Please follow the instructions of Step4 : Pass User Attributes to pass the user attributes to the header-based app, which is expecting:

  • email
  • firstname
  • lastname

If you want to get user's groups, you need to add groups in custom claim. You can see Add Claims in ID Token and Create Claimsopen in new window for more details.

After successfully configuring the user attributes and adding groups in Okta claim and DCMC configuration, you should see the green check sign for each of the user attributes as follows. Web App Okta SSO | Okta with DCMC attributes

Part V: Achieve Granular Access Control

You can configure access control to an application based on user's attributes (e.g., groups, department) and other metadata of a request (e.g., URL, IP, http method, access time).

Please reference Step5 : Achieve Granular Access Control for detailed instructions on how to set up access rules. You can practice the rule configuration using the following example.

A Rule Example

  1. Create a user in Okta, put the user in hr group, and then assign this person to your application on Okta.

  2. Create the following two rules:

    • hr path can only be accessed by hr group.
    • sales path can only be accessed by sales group.
  3. Verify that the user you created can only access hr page in the header-based app, but cannot access sales page. Trying to access the header-based application on localhost:9772 in your browser, you should get something similar to the following screenshots.

Web App Okta SSO | Okta ExampleWeb App Okta SSO | Okta Example Access Forbidden