Set up your own custom SAML application

Using SAML-based SSO

Single sign-on (SSO) lets users sign in to all their enterprise cloud applications using their managed Google account credentials. Google offers pre-integrated SSO with over 200 popular cloud applications.

To set up SAML-based SSO with a custom application not in the pre-integrated catalog, follow the steps below.

Set up your own custom SAML app

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenSAML apps.
  3. Click Add at bottom right.
  4. Click Set up my own custom app.
    The Google IDP Information window opens and the SSO URL and Entity ID fields automatically populate.
  5. Get the setup information needed by the service provider using one of these methods:
    • Copy the SSO URL and Entity ID and download the Certificate.
    • Download the IDP metadata.
  6. (Optional) In a separate browser tab or window, sign in to your service provider and enter the information you copied in Step 5 into the appropriate SSO configuration page, then return to the Admin console.
  7. Click Next.
  8. In the Basic information window, add an application name and description.
  9. (Optional) Upload a PNG or GIF file to serve as an icon for your custom app. The icon image should be 256 pixels square.
  10. Click Next.
  11. In the Service Provider Details window, enter an ACS URLEntity ID, and Start URL (if needed) for your custom app. These values are all provided by the service provider. 
  12. (Optional) Check the Signed Response box if your service provider requires the entire SAML authentication response to be signed. If this is unchecked (the default), only the assertion within the response is signed. 
  13. The default Name ID is the primary email. Multi-value input is not supported.

    Tip: Check the setup articles in our SAML app catalog for any Name ID mappings required for apps in the catalog. If needed you can also create custom attributes, either in the Admin console or via Google Admin SDK APIs, and map to those. Custom attributes need to be created prior to setting up your SAML app. 

  14. Click Next.
  15. (Optional) Click Add new mapping and enter a new name for the attribute you want to map.

    Note: You can define a maximum of 500 attributes over all apps. Because each app has one default attribute, the total amount includes the default attribute plus any custom attributes you add.

  16. In the drop-down list, select the Category and User attributes to map the attribute from the Google profile.
    Note: You cannot use Employee ID for attribute mapping.
  17. Click Finish.

Turn on your SAML app

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenSAML apps.
  3. Select your SAML app.
  4. Click User access.
  5. To turn on or off a service for everyone in your organization, click On for everyone or Off for everyone, and then click Save.

  6. To turn on or off a service only for users in an organizational unit:

    1. At the left, select the organizational unit.
    2. Select On or Off.
    3. To keep the service turned on or off even when the service is turned on or off for the parent organizational unit, click Override.
    4. If the organization's status is already Overridden, choose an option:
      • Inherit—Reverts to the same setting as its parent.
      • Save—Saves your new setting (even if the parent setting changes).

    Learn more about organizational structure.

  7. To turn on a service for a set of users across or within organizational units, select an access group. For details, go to turn on a service for a group.
  8. Ensure that the email addresses your users use to sign in to the SAML app match the email addresses they use to sign in to your Google domain.
Changes typically take effect in minutes, but can take up to 24 hours. For details, see How changes propagate to Google services.  

Verify that SSO is working with your custom app

You can test both Identity Provider (IdP) initiated SSO, and (if your app supports it) Service Provider (SP) initiated SSO.

IdP-initiated

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenSAML apps.
  3. Select your custom SAML app. 
  4. At the top left, click Test SAML login

    Your app should open in a separate tab. If it doesn’t, use the information in the resulting SAML error messages to update your IdP and SP settings as needed, then retest SAML login.

SP-initiated

  1. Open the SSO URL for your new SAML app. You should be automatically redirected to the Google sign-in page.
  2. Enter your username and password.

    After your sign-in credentials are authenticated, you're automatically redirected back to your new SAML app.

Configure a pre-integrated cloud application

Google offers pre-integrated SSO for over 200 cloud applications. To configure a pre-integrated application:

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenSAML apps.
  3. Click the plus (+) icon in the bottom corner.

    A window opens with a list of pre-integrated cloud applications.

  4. Select a pre-integrated cloud application and follow the steps in the wizard to configure SSO for the app.
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