Desk cloud application

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Using Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), your users can use their Google Cloud credentials to sign in to enterprise-cloud applications.

Set up SSO via SAML for Desk

Here's how to set up single sign-on (SSO) via SAML for the Desk application.

Step 1: Set up Google as a SAML identity provider (IdP)
  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using an account with super administrator privileges (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenSAML apps.
  3. Click the plus (+) icon at bottom right.
  4. Locate and click Desk in the application list.
  5. On the Google IDP Information page:
    • Copy and save the SSO URL.
    • Download the Certificate.
  6. Click Next.

    The Basic information window shows the Application name and Description seen by users.

  7. Click Next.
  8. On the Service Provider Details page, edit the ACS URL and Entity ID,  replacing {your-site} with your company ID or domain name (such as, the example part of example.com).
  9. Click Finish.
Step 2: Set up Desk as a SAML 2.0 service provider (SP)

Note: Desk requires an X.509 certificate fingerprint, rather than an X.509 certificate. Before proceeding with the configuration steps below, use a conversion utility to convert the X.509 certificate generated in Step 1 into an X.509 certificate fingerprint.

  1. Open a new incognito browser window.
  2. Sign in to Desk.com with your organization's Desk administrator account.
  3. Click the Settings icon at top right, then click Single Sign-on in the left menu.
  4. In the Apps list at left, click Single Sign-On.
  5. On the Single Sign-On page, select SAML SSO.
  6. For Authentication Service Name, enter 'Google'.
  7. In the Remote login URL field, enter the SSO URL you copied in Step 1.
  8. In the Certificate fingerprint field, paste the converted X.509 certificate (see Note above).
  9. Check Also allow Desk Authentication.
  10. Click Save.
Step 3: Enable the Desk 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 Desk.
  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. (Optional) Turn on the service for a group of users.
    Use access groups to turn on a service for specific users within or across your organizational units. Learn more

  8. Ensure that your Desk user account email IDs match those in your Google domain.
Step 4: Verify that the SSO is working

Desk supports both Identity Provider (IdP) initiated and Service Provider (SP) initiated SSO. Follow these steps to verify SSO in either mode:

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 Desk.
  4. At the top left, click Test SAML login

    Desk 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. Close all browser windows.
  2. Open https://{yoursite}.desk.com/login/new, then click Login with Google. You should be automatically redirected to the Google sign in page.
  3. Enter your sign in credentials.
  4. After your sign in credentials are authenticated, you are automatically redirected back to Desk.

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