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Prepare your SCIM API service

This guide teaches you how to prepare a SCIM-compliant API server to host your SCIM service, and test it to make sure it is working correctly.

Preparation

The first step in delivering your SCIM integration is preparing a SCIM-compliant API server to host your SCIM service.

Okta supports lifecycle provisioning using either Version 2.0 and Version 1.1 of the SCIM protocol.

If your service already supports the SCIM protocol, it is important that you review the Okta SCIM reference documentation to understand the specifics of how Okta implements the SCIM protocol:

If you haven't yet implemented SCIM, Okta recommends that you use Version 2.0 of the SCIM protocol.

Features

Another important part of the planning process is determining which Okta provisioning features your SCIM API can or should support. At a minimum, Okta requires that your SCIM Version 2.0 API implements the following features.

API endpoints

The API endpoint for your SCIM API must be secured using the Transport Layer Security (opens new window) protocol. Connections through this secure layer are routed by using the https:// prefix for your URL.

You must support the URL structure described in the "SCIM Endpoints and HTTP Methods" section of RFC7644 (opens new window).

Authentication

Your SCIM API must be secured against anonymous access.

Okta supports authentication against SCIM APIs using any one of the following methods:

If you are using OAuth 2.0, then after successfully authorizing Okta to use your SCIM API, your application's authorization server redirects the user back to Okta, with either an authorization code or an access token.

If you are going to publish your integration to the OIN catalog, Okta requires that all SCIM applications support all of the following redirect URIs (opens new window):

  • https://system-admin.okta.com/admin/app/cpc/${appName}/oauth/callback
  • https://system-admin.okta-emea.com/admin/app/cpc/${appName}/oauth/callback
  • https://system-admin.oktapreview.com/admin/app/cpc/${appName}/oauth/callback
  • https://system-admin.trexcloud.com/admin/app/cpc/${appName}/oauth/callback
  • http://system-admin.okta1.com:1802/admin/app/cpc/${appName}/oauth/callback

where the ${appName} is a unique identifier provided to you after your integration is submitted and processed by Okta. If, for any reason, your unique ${appName} identifier isn't provided to you after the initial review, send an email to oin@okta.com.

Base URL

You can choose any Base URL for your API endpoint. Note that a Base URL can't contain the underscore _ character.

If you are implementing a new SCIM API, we suggest using /scim/v2/ as your Base URL. For example: https://example.com/scim/v2/.

If you have multiple Okta orgs using your service, you can use the same SCIM server for all of them. To do so, one way is to implement a 1:1 client to tenant subdomain for each org running on the SCIM server. For example, if you have three Okta orgs:

  • company-a.okta.com
  • company-b.okta.com
  • company-c.okta.com

You can pass a Base URL containing the name of the org:

  • https://company-a.example.com/scim/v2
  • https://company-b.example.com/scim/v2
  • https://company-c.example.com/scim/v2

On your SCIM server, you can read which subdomain the request is coming from and route the request to the appropriate tenant for the Okta org.

Basic user schema

Okta requires that your SCIM implementation be able to store the following four user attributes:

  • User ID: userName
  • First Name: name.givenName
  • Last Name: name.familyName
  • Email: emails

Note: Keep your User ID value distinct from the user's email address. Many systems use an email address as a user identifier, but this isn't recommended, as email addresses often change. Using a distinct User ID to identify user resources prevents future issues.

Note that Okta supports more than those four user attributes. However, these are the base attributes that you must support. The full schema of user attributes supported by SCIM 2.0 is described in section 4 of RFC 7643 (opens new window).

If your integration supports user attributes beyond those four base attributes, you can add support for additional attributes to your SCIM API. In some cases, you might need to configure Okta to map non-standard user attributes into the user profile for your application. See Check the attributes and corresponding mappings, or the "Add custom attributes to an Okta user profile" section in the Work with Okta user profiles and attributes (opens new window) topic in the Okta product documentation.

Unique ID

In addition to the basic user schema attributes, your SCIM API must also specify a unique identifier for each SCIM resource, including users and groups. Okta uses this unique identifier to link the Okta profile with the SCIM resource.

Section 3.1 (opens new window) of the SCIM specification asserts that the id attribute is used to identify resources. This unique identifier:

  • Is assigned a value by the service provider (your application) for each SCIM resource
  • Is always issued by the service provider (your application) and not specified by the client (Okta)
  • Must be included in every representation of the resource
  • Cannot be empty
  • Must be unique across the SCIM service provider's entire set of resources
  • Cannot be reassigned
  • Must be a stable identifier, meaning that it doesn't change when the same resource is returned in subsequent API requests
  • Must be case-sensitive and read-only
  • Cannot be hidden from the API request

A best practice is to use a generated globally unique identifier (GUID) for this value.

Note: The string bulkId is a reserved keyword and must not be used within any unique identifier value.

Active resources

Okta user management requires that your SCIM API supports an active attribute for each user resource that can be set to true or false to denote a resource as "active" or "inactive".

Example implementations

There are numerous examples of how to implement SCIM servers and applications. Here are a few to get you started:

A full list of implementations, both open-source and proprietary, is available at SimpleCloud.info (opens new window).

SCIM facade

Sometimes it isn't feasible for your cloud-based application to natively support a SCIM API. An alternative option is to build and host your own SCIM facade middleware that translates between the Okta SCIM API connection and the cloud application's proprietary API. The Okta integration connection is then made to this SCIM facade.

Provision to on-premises applications

This provisioning guide targets cloud-based applications, but Okta does have a solution for on-premise applications. See Provision on-premises provisioning (opens new window) for details about the Okta agent-based provisioning solution.

Test your SCIM API

The best way to develop and verify your SCIM integration is to use an automated test suite that runs on the BlazeMeter Runscope (opens new window) API monitoring tool.

Set up Runscope

If you don't have a Runscope account, you can sign up with a free trial to Runscope (opens new window) for Okta developers.

If you are developing your SCIM integration in a local environment and need to expose it to Runscope for testing, we suggest using the ngrok (opens new window) tool so you can route external address requests to your local web server.

To get started using Runscope to test your SCIM API:

  1. Download the Okta SCIM Spec Test file that corresponds to the version of SCIM you set up on your server. You will use this file to import the Okta SCIM test suite into Runscope.

  2. If you are new to Runscope, your dashboard displays sample Runscope tutorials. Click Skip Tutorial.

  3. You should now see a screen titled API Tests.

  4. In the lower left of your screen, click Import Test.

  5. A new screen appears, titled Import Tests into …

  6. Select Runscope API Tests as the import format.

  7. Click Choose File and select the JSON file that you saved in Step 1.

  8. Click Import API Test.

  9. After the import is finished, click All Tests on the left hand side of your screen.

After you've imported the Okta SCIM test suite into Runscope, the next step is to customize the test suite with the variables for your SCIM implementation.

Customize the imported Runscope test for your SCIM integration

After importing the Okta SCIM test suite into Runscope, you need to configure the test settings for your SCIM integration:

  1. You should be looking at the API Tests window in Runscope, if not, click the Tests tab at the top of the Runscope user interface.

  2. You should see a test named Okta SCIM X.X Spec Test (where X.X corresponds to the SCIM version of the JSON file you uploaded).

  3. Click Edit on the test panel.

  4. The Okta SCIM X.X SPEC Test window appears. Under the Environment section of your test, there is a collapsed section labelled Test Settings. Click the small arrow to expand this section.

  5. Select the Initial Variables tab.

    Initial Variables tab

  6. Click Add Initial Variable and add the following case-sensitive variables:

    Variable Name Example Values Notes
    SCIMBaseURL https://example.com/scim/v2 https://example.com/scim/v1 For example, if your SCIM integration is hosted on https://example.com (opens new window) and uses a prefix of /scim/v2 then the SCIMBaseURL value for your integration would be: https://example.com/scim/v2.
    auth Bearer abcxyz1234567890 OAuth 2.0 Bearer token or Basic authentication code.

    Click Save.

  7. In a new browser window, open the Initial Script Spec text file and copy all the text to your clipboard.

  8. Back in the Runscope Environment panel, select the Initial Script tab, and then paste the text into the script console on this tab. Initial Script tab

    This script sets up a number of randomly generated "dummy" variables that are used during the testing process:

    Variable Name Example Value Notes
    InvalidUserEmail abcdefgh@example.com A specific email address considered invalid by the test.
    randomEmail Runscope300Hfluaklab151@example.com A valid email address.
    randomFamilyName Hfluaklab151 A valid last name.
    randomGivenName Runscope300 A valid first name.
    randomUsername Runscope300Hfluaklab151@example.com A valid user name.
    randomUsernameCaps RUNSCOPE300HFLUAKLAB151@example.com The random user name in all caps to test case sensitivity.
    UserIdThatDoesNotExist 010101001010101011001010101011 A specific UUID considered invalid by the test.

    A "Script ON" label appears on your Test Settings page to indicate that the script is accepted and will be run before the first request in the test.

  9. Click Save.

Running Okta SPEC tests against your SCIM server

After you have customized your SCIM test in Runscope with the details of your SCIM server, you can run the test:

  1. If you followed the steps above, Run Now appears at the top of your test.

  2. Click Run Now.

  3. On the left side of your screen, the test appears in the Recent Test Runs section.

  4. Click View Progress in the Recent Test Runs section.

  5. While the test is still running, it displays live updates of the test in progress.

    During the test phase, several additional variables are created, based on results returned from your SCIM server.

    Variable Name Example Value Notes
    ISVUserid 29cb3ed0-b0da-498a-ba0c-f146f15a65d5 The first UUID returned from a GET request to your /Users endpoint.
    idUserOne 323da8f8-21b8-4b25-8322-90673d9e1bc7 A UUID of a test user created on your SCIM server.
    randomUserEmail Runscope300Hfluaklab151@example.com An email address returned from your SCIM server.
  6. To see the details of tests, click the name of each particular test case to expand the section. The details have information on the Request, Response, and Connection for each HTTP request involved in the test. Each test sends a composed GET or POST request to your SCIM server, and the HTTP status received in response determines the success or failure of each test.

  7. After the test is complete, the main panel displays the results of your test.

Since this test is running in your own Runscope instance, you can modify the tests to better fit your own environment and complete the test run again. If you need more technical details, see the SCIM Reference, or check out Test your SCIM API.

Sharing test results from Runscope

As you refine your SCIM implementation, you can share API test results with your teammates or with people outside of your organization:

  1. From your Runscope dashboard, open the test result that you want to share.
  2. At the top of the test result, Change the Private | Shareable toggle from Private to Shareable.
  3. Copy the URL for the test result, it will look something like this: https://www.runscope.com/radar/abcdefghijkl/m01nopq2-3456-7r8s-9012-t34567uvw890/history/123ef4gh-i567-89j0-1k2l-3m4n5o678901. The test results can be viewed in detail, but the test can't be edited or re-run by people outside of your team.

Next steps

Now that you have a SCIM-compliant API server on which to host your SCIM service, the next step is to connect your SCIM API service to Okta.