Configure Okta

Okta is a Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)-compliant identity provider (IDP). You can configure it as your IDP for SAML logins in ArcGIS Online. The configuration process involves two main steps: registering your SAML IDP with ArcGIS Online and registering ArcGIS Online with the SAML IDP.


To ensure that your SAML logins are configured securely, review the best practices for SAML security.

Required information

ArcGIS Online requires certain attribute information to be received from the IDP when a user signs in using SAML logins. The NameID attribute is mandatory and must be sent by your IDP in the SAML response to make the federation with ArcGIS Online work. Since ArcGIS Online uses the value of NameID to uniquely identify a named user, it is recommended that you use a constant value that uniquely identifies the user. When a user from the IDP signs in, a new user with the user name NameID_<url_key_for_org> will be created by ArcGIS Online in its user store. The allowed characters for the value sent by NameID are alphanumeric, _ (underscore), . (dot), and @ (at sign). Any other characters will be escaped to contain underscores in the user name created by ArcGIS Online.

ArcGIS Online supports the inflow of a user's email address, group memberships, given name, and surname from the SAML identity provider. It's recommended that you pass in the email address from the SAML IDP so the user can receive notifications. This helps if the user later becomes an administrator. Having an email address in the account entitles the user to receive notifications regarding any administrative activity and send invitations to other users to join the organization.

Register Okta as the SAML IDP with ArcGIS Online

  1. Verify that you are signed in as an administrator of your organization.
  2. At the top of the site, click Organization and click the Settings tab.
  3. Click Security on the left side of the page.
  4. In the Logins section, under SAML login, click the Set up SAML login button, and select the One identity provider option. On the Specify properties page, type your organization's name (for example, City of Redlands). When users access the organization website, this text displays as part of the SAML sign-in option (for example, Using your City of Redlands account).

    Selecting the One identity provider option allows you to register one SAML IDP for your ArcGIS Online organization. To authenticate users with SAML logins from multiple IDPs, register a SAML-based federation instead of a single IDP.

  5. Choose Automatically or Upon invitation from an administrator to specify how users can join the organization. Selecting the first option allows users to sign in to the organization with their SAML login without any intervention from an administrator; their account is registered with the organization automatically the first time they sign in. The second option requires the administrator to invite the necessary users to the organization. When the user receives the invitation, they can sign in to the organization.
  6. Provide metadata information for the IDP using one of the options below:
    • File—Download or obtain a copy of the federation metadata file from Okta and upload the file to ArcGIS Online using the File option.
    • Parameters specified here—Choose this option if the URL or federation metadata file is not accessible. Enter the values manually and supply the requested parameters: the login URL and the certificate, encoded in the BASE 64 format. Contact your Okta administrator to obtain these.
  7. Configure the advanced settings as applicable:
    • Encrypt Assertion—Enable this option to encrypt the Okta SAML assertion responses.
    • Enable signed request—Enable this option to have ArcGIS Online sign the SAML authentication request sent to Okta.
    • Propagate logout to Identity Provider—Enable this option to have ArcGIS Online use a logout URL to sign out the user from Okta. Enter the URL to use in the Logout URL setting. If the IDP requires the logout URL to be signed, Enable signed request needs to be turned on.
    • Update profiles on sign in—Enable this option to automatically synchronize account information (full name and email address) stored in ArcGIS Online user profiles with the latest account information received from the IDP. Enabling this option allows your organization to verify, when a user signs in with a SAML login, whether the IDP information has changed since the account was created and, if so, to update the user's ArcGIS Online account profile accordingly.
    • Enable SAML based group membership—Enable this option to allow organization members to link specified SAML-based enterprise groups to ArcGIS Online groups during the group creation process.
    • Logout URL—The IDP URL to use to sign out the currently signed in user.
    • Entity ID—Update this value to use a new entity ID to uniquely identify your ArcGIS Online organization to Okta.
  8. When finished, click Save.
  9. Click Download service provider metadata to download the organization's metadata file. Information in this file will be used to register the organization as the trusted service provider with Okta.

Register ArcGIS Online as the trusted service provider with Okta

  1. Log in to your Okta organization as a member with administrative privileges.
  2. On the Applications tab, click the Add Application button.
  3. Click Create New App and select the SAML 2.0 option. Click Create.
  4. In General Settings, enter an App Name for your organization deployment and click Next.
  5. On the Configure SAML tab, do the following:
    1. Enter the value for Single sign on URL, for example, https://[org name] This value can be copied from the service provider metadata file downloaded from your organization.
    2. Enter the value for the Audience URI. The default value is set to [org name] This value can be copied from the service provider metadata file downloaded from your organization.
    3. Leave the Name ID format as Unspecified.
    4. Under Advanced Settings, change the Assertion Signature option to Unsigned.
    5. In the Attribute Statements section, add these attribute statements:

      givenName set to user.firstName

      surname set to user.lastName

      email set to

  6. Click Next and click Finish.
  7. You will now see the Sign On section of your newly created SAML application. To get the Okta IDP metadata, click the Sign On tab and click the Identity Provider metadata link.
  8. Right-click the People tab and configure which Okta authenticated users will have access to in your organization.