Sunday, December 18, 2011

Configuring AD LDS-Claims Based Authentication in SharePoint 2010 - Step by Step

SharePoint 2010 provides you with the ability to setup multiple authentication providers, to provide clients or other external parties such as vendors, affiliates etc access to your SharePoint Sites without having to provide them with a Windows Active Directory Account.  

This article walks through with step by step instructions on how this can be easily achieved using Windows 2008 R2 Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS).
Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) for SharePoint Extranet 

      Executing this implementation guide will help in: Setting up CBA (Claims based authentication) with AD LDS in SharePoint 2010 extranet environment.


      1.              Adding  AD LDS Server Role
   a.       Creating AD LDS Instance
   b.      Validate AD LDS instance is running
   c.       Un-Install the AD LDS Instance
2.              Connecting to AD LDS Server using ADSI Edit
   a.       Adding a User Object &  Setting Mandatory user properties & password
3.              Configure CBA for the web application
4.              Modifying web.config files of:
   a.       Central Administration
   b.      Web Application which uses CBA
   c.       Security Token Service (STS)
5.              Grant access to AD LDS users to SharePoint Sites.
6.              Unit Testing

1. Add “Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services” Server Role
Open the Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Manager, click Roles in the navigation pane, and then click Add Roles link.
Add Roles in Windows 2008 R2Click “Next” button
Check the box for Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services, and then click Next button
Add Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services Role

Click the Next button on introduction page.
Verify the Confirmation Installation Settings, and then click Install button.
Installing Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services Role
See the installation in progress.
Installing Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services Role
When the installation has completed, click Close.
completed Installing Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services Role

1(a).  Create a New Instance of AD LDS

Create and AD LDS instance by clicking Start > Administrative Tools > Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services Setup.  The setup wizard screen appears.  Click Next.

Create and AD LDS instance

We can create a new unique instance, or we can replicate an existing instance also. Here we are going with the first option. Select “A unique instance” and then click on Next.

Create a Unique AD LDS instance
Type the Instance Name. The instance name will help you to identify and differentiate it from other instances that you may have installed on the same server.

Name AD LDS instance
Specify the LDAP port numbers and then click Next.  Note that these numbers cannot be in use by any other application on the same server.

Click “Next” and select the option “Yes, create an application directory partition” and enter the partition name. I have used “CN=LDAP,DC=SharePoint,DC=COM”.   Note: It has no relation with your machine name or Active directory. This can be any new domain.
AD LDS Application directory partition
Select the File Locations.  Click Next.

Select Network service account.  This should be sufficient in most cases.  Select Next.
AD LDS Service Account
Select your administrator account.  Click Next.
AD LDS Administrator account
Make sure the Application Pool account has been added in the AD LDS Administrator Role. (Go to “Roles” node property, scroll to “Members” attribute and add the application pool account. Otherwise user accounts will not be resolved in SharePoint!!!

Click on the below options.  This will be needed for extranet users’ accounts.  Click Next
AD LDS LDIF Files Selection

Click on Next
Install AD LDS LDIF Files
Click Finish

1(b). Validate AD LDS instance is running

If everything configured correct then you will see the service running under Administrative Tools > Services.

Varify AD LDS instance in Services Console

1(c)  Uninstall AD LDS Instance (In case if you want to uninstall existing instance):

Go to Control Panel > Programs and Features > you will see the AD-LDS instance installed.

Uninstall AD LDS Instance
Select the AD LDS Instance and click on “Uninstall” to uninstall the particular AD LDS Instance.

2.  Connecting to AD LDS Server using ADSI Edit

Now that our instance is complete, we are required to connect to this instance via ADSI Edit MMC snap in.  Click on Start > Administrative Tools > ADSI Edit.  Once the MMC is loaded, right click on the ADSI Edit Node and select Connect to…

Connect to AD LDS Server using ADSI Edit
Enter the connection Properties and click OK
Connect to AD LDS Server using ADSI Edit - Properties
On successful connection, this will lead to AD LDS Server view as shown in the below screen.
AD LDS Server in ADSI Edit

2(a).  Creating new users in AD LDS Instance:

We now need to create a container to store our users.  This is equivalent to an Organizational Unit in Active Directory.  Right Click on CN entry and select New > Object and select the class as container.  Click Next.
How to Create user Container in AD LDS
Type Users as the value, click Next and Finish
Now you will see “Users” container. We can now create our users in the “Users” container that we have just created.
users Container in AD LDS
Right Click on CN=Users and select New > Object, and select class as user.
How to Create new users in AD LDS
Type in a user name and then click Next and Finish.
New user creation in AD LDS
Once the user is created we have to set:
·         Reset Password
·         msDS-UserAccountDisabled to False (its True by default)
·         Important: Set attributes like “cn” and other properties as required by membership provider setting – otherwise users without CN attribute set will not pick by SharePoint.

Reset Password
Right click on user and select “Reset Password”.
Reset Password in AD LDS

Right Click on your newly created user object and select properties.
Scroll down and locate the msDS-UserAccountDisabled attribute and set it to False.
Enable msDS-UserAccountDisabled attribute
PowerShell Script to List the users in AD LDS instance:
$Dom = "LDAP://,CN=LDAP,DC=SharePoint,DC=COM"
$Root = New-Object DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry $Dom

# Create a selector and start searching from the Root of AD
$selector = New-Object DirectoryServices.DirectorySearcher
$selector.SearchRoot = $root
# Filter the users with -like "CN=Person*". Note the ForEach loop
$adobj= $selector.findall() | where {
$ -like "CN=Person*"
foreach ($person in $adobj)
Write-host "First name: $($prop.givenname) Surname: $($ User: $($"
Write-host "There are $($adobj.count) users in the $($ domain" 
read-host  # just to keep the screen stay open

3. Configure CBA for the web application

For new web application:
  • Go to Central Administration > Application Management
  • Click on Manage Web Applications
  • Click New
  • Select Claims Based Authentication
  • Check the Enable Windows Authentication box
  •  Check the Enable ASP.NET Membership and Role Provider checkbox
              * In the Membership provider name edit box, type LDAPMembershipProvider          * In the Role provider name edit box, type LDAPRoleManager LDAP Role Provider
For existing web applications:
  • Go to Central Administration > Application Management
  • Click on Manage Web Applications
  • Select the target web application and click on authentication providers in ribbon
  • Enter the above authentication settings
 Once Successful configuration, on hitting the SharePoint site, you should get:
Claims Sign-in Page

4. Modifying web.config files

Important: Take the backup of web.config files before making any change
We have to change 3 web.config files totally.
1.       To get the users from ADLDS to central administration site we have to change web.config of Central Administration site.
2.       To get the users from ADLDS to the web application which we created to work CBA, we have to change its web.config.
3.       To login to the site using claims based authentication, it uses security token service application. So, we have to change its configuration file.

4(a). Update Central Administration site’s web.config:

  • Open the Central Administration site's web.config file
  • Find the <system.web> entry
  • Paste the following XML directly below it ( or just before:  </system.web>  <system.webServer>)









Double check whether the <membership> and <rolemanager> entries only exist ones. Delete any double entries.

Update the  <PeoplePickerWildcards> entry with below  code:
      <clear />
      <add key="AspNetSqlMembershipProvider" value="%" />
     <add key="LdapMembershipProvider" value="*"/>
     <add key="LdapRoleManager" value="*"/>

4(b). Update Web application’s web.config:

Update the web.config with the below code



Update the <PeoplePickerWildcards> as below:
      <clear />
      <add key="AspNetSqlMembershipProvider" value="%" />
<add key="LdapMembershipProvider" value="*"/>
<add key="LdapRoleManager" value="*"/>

4(c). Update security token service’s web.config:

·         Open the Internet Information Services Manager
·         Expand the Sites, and then SharePoint web Services, explore SecurityTokenServiceApplication to edit its web.config file

Pate the below code between <system.web>  and </system.web> </configuration>



5.  Add users to SharePoint site

After completing all the above steps, we have to grant access to the users to SharePoint site.
Set the Web application level user policy:
·         Navigate to Central Administration > Application Management  > Manage web applications
·         Select the target extranet web application and click on “User Policy” from ribbon

Click on Add users
·         Click Next
·         In the add users window, click on address book
·         Enter the user name, make sure the LDAP names are retrieved
AD LDS Users in People Picker

6. Unit Test: Verify LDAP Authentication works

Create a user in LDAP, Grant access to a SharePoint site, Open the SharePoint Site; enter the LDAP user name and password.

Make sure you are successfully logged-in into SharePoint site.

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  1. Awesome Man, this was super easy.
    Thanks alot....

  2. Wow! You made it pretty simple. Thank you sooooooooooo much!

  3. How would one setup OpenID for CBA in SharePoint 2010 using, say as the provider?

  4. Man you are the Best. It solves my lot of issues. Thanks for explaining this Authentication step by step

  5. I am new to SharePoint, and found this is a great article!

  6. I get error:

    The configuration section 'rolemanager' cannot be read because it is missing a section declaration.

    1. Please Verify your changes with the above provided!

    2. I have the same problem.. 'rolemanger cannot be read because it is missing a section declaration

    3. roleManager is case sensitive, the M must be capitalized

  7. TO get this to work using this article:
    1. Watch case, improper case used in web.config files.
    2. Using ADSIEdit, add the web app service account to the Administrative Role (the portion highlighted in yellow, you do it way later)
    3. STS website, you need to ADD the after the (it doesn't exist) and add the roleProvider and membership.

    1. Thanks, This article is posted as step by step with exact configurations implemented, verified & worked of course!

  8. It's really a nice post , but I cann't see the config entries.

    1. There is a Format applied on XML and other codes in this blog. In case you dont get it, Just select the code sections by click and drag!

  9. HI,
    Nice article. Followed all steps and made all necessary modifications in the SharePoint instance installed on my Windows 7 machine. When I try adding users under user policy I do not see my AD LDS users. I am also not able to view any other local Windows 7 users. I am able to view only the All Authenticated Users.

    Kindly Advise.

    1. Kesari,

      You have to provide values for: cn, sn, givenName attributes if user object.


  10. hi
    thanks a lot,I did all the steps with sharepoint 2010 on win server 2008 but When I try adding users under user policy I cant find users in search partition.I also provide values for sn and given name and cant solve it and other way I clean these attributes from code but was not successful.
    also in one part state :PowerShell Script to List the users in AD LDS instance
    I skip this step, is this necessary?

    please help that is very important

    1. Hi there,

      PowerShell script to list users in ADLDS is optional.

      Looks like your application pool account doesnt has access to ADLDS. Can you check ti once?


  11. Why do you uninstall the LDS instance you just created?

    1. Anony,

      Uninstall procedure is given for reference! That doesn't mean you have to uninstall AD LDS during setup!!

  12. Took me a couple hours to figure out that proper casing is a must for the membership and role provider.

    For example, usercontainer != work. userContainer == work.

  13. Hello Sal commend you on nice posting and thanks for your time that you took up to post this. The question (or confirmation rather) is instead of using the above model I can set up the LDS instance in DMZ instead of setting it up internally right? If I want to eliminate opening any ports on firewall to talk to DMZ instead?

    1. Yes! You can place the LDAP server in DMZ and open port 389 (or any other port you configured)!!

  14. Hi Sal - thanks for posting this. We have got it set up but have one issue. Users, when added to Sharepoint groups can go in fine. Issue is that when we add an AD group to ours sharepoint group and add users in ADLDS to that AD group they dont have access.


  15. There are other blogs that give a more complete solution -- when done properly you will not have to add users via the Web Application user policy. You will be able to use the people picker at any level within the site collection or site to pick users... The web configs at the CA, STS and Web Application need to be set as well as setting the role and membership provider on the web application.. -- I'll come back a post a better link...

    1. Hi Guy,

      Can you provide the link for the more complete solution?

      Thanks and regards

  16. If performed properly you should be able to add the LDAP users to the regular SharePoint Groups without having to resort to adding them via User Policy on the WebApplication.. Using the User Policy really limits the usefulness of ADLDS - especially if there are multiple site collections on the WebApplication.

  17. has the complete "school" solution..


    Pay attention to the capitalization and the syntax on the LDAP filters -- they are different for the 3 separate configurations errors here will affect the operation of the PeoplePicker control.


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