Azure Active Directory SAML sample code/configuration

Published January 14, 2022 on Chandler Swift's Blog Source

At work, I occasionally have to integrate things I’ve written with Azure Active Directory. Unfortunately, their Go documentation is somewhere between light and nonexistent, and there are a few quirks that make it not immediately obvious how this works, so here’s an example.

This example is based off the example code in crewjam/saml, but tweaked to work with Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory SAML authentication.

The full code is available at


package main

import (


func hello(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
	fmt.Fprintf(w, "Hello, %s!", samlsp.AttributeFromContext(r.Context(), ""))

func main() {
	keyPair, err := tls.LoadX509KeyPair("myservice.crt", "myservice.key")
	if err != nil {
		panic(err) // TODO handle error
	keyPair.Leaf, err = x509.ParseCertificate(keyPair.Certificate[0])
	if err != nil {
		panic(err) // TODO handle error

	idpMetadataURL, err := url.Parse("<your tenant UUID>/federationmetadata/2007-06/federationmetadata.xml")
	if err != nil {
		panic(err) // TODO handle error
	idpMetadata, err := samlsp.FetchMetadata(context.Background(), http.DefaultClient,
	if err != nil {
		panic(err) // TODO handle error

	rootURL, err := url.Parse("http://localhost:8000")
	if err != nil {
		panic(err) // TODO handle error

	samlSP, _ := samlsp.New(samlsp.Options{
		EntityID:    "spn:<your application's Client UUID>",
		URL:         *rootURL,
		Key:         keyPair.PrivateKey.(*rsa.PrivateKey),
		Certificate: keyPair.Leaf,
		IDPMetadata: idpMetadata,
	app := http.HandlerFunc(hello)
	http.Handle("/hello", samlSP.RequireAccount(app))
	http.Handle("/saml/", samlSP)
	http.ListenAndServe(":8000", nil)

Generating a Certificate Pair

We use roughly the same command as in the upstream example, but use a .crt extension rather than .cert, since Azure’s certificate upload process doesn’t recognize .cert files. The common name is not used as part of the authentication process, so can be anything.

openssl req -x509 \
    -newkey rsa:2048 \
    -keyout myservice.key \
    -out myservice.crt \
    -days 365 \
    -nodes \
    -subj "/"

Setting up Auth with an Azure Active Directory Application

Unlike SAMLtest, Azure Active Directory doesn’t accept a metadata upload, so we need to take a few extra manual steps in the Portal.

  1. Generate a certificate pair as above. Ensure your application is set to use the generated files.
  2. In the Azure Portal, go to Azure Active Directory, and select “App registrations” from the menu on the left. Click “New Registration”. Choose a name. This example is written as a single tenant application. Under Redirect URI, select “Web” and enter “http://localhost:8000/saml/acs”. Click “Register”.
  3. Copy the “Application (client) ID” from the main page of the app registration you’ve created. Put this where the code sample says <your application's Client ID>.
  4. From “Endpoints”, copy the “Federation metadata document” URL. It should be<your tenant UUID>/federationmetadata/2007-06/federationmetadata.xml. Put this on line 29 for the idpMetadataURL’s value. (This is what your application will use to discover the endpoints for other functions.)
  5. On the “Certificates & secrets” page, Select the “Certificates” tab and upload the certificate from step 1.
  6. Compile and run!

Notable changes

Without the EntityID (which defaults to the empty string), the following error is seen:

AADSTS700016: Application with identifier 'http://localhost:8000/saml/metadata' was not found in the directory 'mydirectory'. This can happen if the application has not been installed by the administrator of the tenant or consented to by any user in the tenant. You may have sent your authentication request to the wrong tenant.

If the EntityID is simply set to the UUID (without the spn: prefix), the request succeeds, but the SAML library rejects the response as invalid, because the response, which is compared to the EntityID, does contain the prefix.

assertion invalid: assertion Conditions AudienceRestriction does not contain "<your application's UUID>"

(This comparison is made in service_provider.go.)

The response that Microsoft returns doesn’t have a cn attribute; instead, we use the attribute.


We notably didn’t upload our certificate. Given this use case (this application doesn’t make actual requests once we have the user’s name and email address), this isn’t a security concern, but I’m not sure it’s safe in all cases. (Though I have only an afternoon’s understanding of SAML, so don’t take my word for it!)

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