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How to Add Microsoft Entra ID (Azure AD) Authentication to PHP Application in 5 Mins

6 minutes read
Young Asian programmer working at office
Table of Contents

Datawiza’s no-code solution simplifies the normally complex and expensive process of integrating Microsoft Entra ID (formerly Azure AD) authentication into any web applications, which typically requires significant code development using SDKs. This configuration-based solution allows for swift implementation with  just a few clicks in as little as 5 minutes.

In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to integrate a PHP application with Microsoft Entra ID (formerly Azure AD) using Datawiza to implement OIDC/OAuth SSO authentication in 5 minutes.

Note that Datawiza is a generic identity-aware OIDC, OAuth, SAML proxy with a centralized management console that you can easily use to achieve the same integration with other identity providers like Okta, Auth0, PingIdentity, Google, etc.

The Benefits of Using Datawiza

  • No need to learn complex OIDC/OAuth or SAML protocols
  • No need to manage refresh tokens, access tokens, or ID tokens
  • No need to manage user sessions
  • No need to use SDKs, call APIs or write code
  • Reduce months of engineering work to hours, even minutes
  • Avoid security vulnerabilities with a no-code product developed by security experts

Ready to see how easy it is? Let’s get started!

Prerequisites

Run a PHP application

We use Docker to build a simple PHP application. Create a simple PHP script named index.php in the directory src:

				
					<?php
  echo "Welcome! </br>";
  echo "Running PHP with Apache on Docker";
?>
				
			

Create the Dockerfile:

				
					FROM php:7.2-apache
COPY src/ /var/www/html/
				
			

Run the commands to build and run the Docker image:

				
					docker build -t my-php-app .
docker run -itd -p 8080:80 --name my-running-app my-php-app

				
			

The application running at port 8080 simply returns: “Welcome! Running PHP with Apache on Docker”

Image of The application running at port 8080 simply returns: “Welcome! Running PHP with Apache on Docker”

Introduction to the Datawiza Platform

The Datawiza Platform is a cloud-delivered platform. It includes a data plane and a control plane: Datawiza Access Proxy (DAP) and Datawiza Cloud Management Console (DCMC).

DAP is a lightweight, container-based access proxy deployed close to your application via the sidecar (agent) or gateway mode. It talks to Azure AD on behalf of your applications, so you don’t need to worry about the integration work. DCMC is a cloud-based management console where you can configure and manage the policies of DAPs. This SaaS-based design makes the whole platform much easier to use.

Configurations in Datawiza Cloud Management Console

Self-register an account in the DCMC. You can easily get started with your Google account, Microsoft account, or GitHub account.

Upon logging into the DCMC, click the orange Getting started button. 

This runs a step-by-step guide for configuring your application.

Image of access proxy

Add a New Deployment

The first step of the configuration process is creating a “deployment.” A deployment is a way of organizing applications and identity providers that are associated with the same cluster as  Datawiza Access Proxies. Don’t worry if this seems a bit complicated to understand in the beginning. You will get used to it when you work with it more. For now, just give your deployment a meaningful name and description.

Add a New Application

The second step is to create an application. This is simply collecting the network information of your application.

Here is an explanation of each field.

  • Platform: Select WEB here.
  • App Name: The name of your application. Put a meaningful name here. I use PHP demo app.
  • Description: A meaningful description for you to understand this application.
  • Public Domain: This is how your user will access your application. Normally it’s the URL in the address bar. You can use http://localhost if you are running locally. Be sure to add the port if you have a non-standard one. We use http://localhost:9772 as an example.
  • Listen Port: This is the port that the Datawiza Access Proxy listens on. For simplicity, you can use the same port as the one in Public Domain above if you are not deploying the DAP behind a load balancer.
  • Upstream Servers: This configuration tells the DAP where the actual application resides. For the demo PHP, put http://host.docker.internal:8080.

Note that the upstream server is the address of the application for which you want enable SSO.

  • If you use the DAP in sidecar mode and your application is running on http://localhost:8080 on Mac or Windows, then set the upstream server to http://host.docker.internal:8080 (Docker 18.03+).
  • If your application is running on Linux, use ip addr show docker0 to get docker host IP (e.g., 172.17.0.1) and then set the upstream server to http://172.17.0.1:8080 (see this for more details).
Deployment 2 out of 4

Add a New Identity Provider

The third step is to fill in the identity provider information. For Azure AD, we offer a more convenient way to integrate Azure AD with DCMC, which can create a new application on your behalf in your Azure tenant.

Here is the explanation of each field.

  • Name: A reasonable name for your identity provider.
  • Protocol: Modern identity providers support OIDC, and so does Azure AD. Therefore, I use OIDC here.
  • Identity Provider: Select the one that you are using, e.g. Microsoft Azure Active Directory.
  • Automatic Generator: Whether to use one-click integration.
  • Supported account type: Restriction on who can use this application.
  • Tenant ID: If you want to create the Azure AD application in a specified tenant, you can enter the tenant ID here.

Click on Create to proceed.

Configure IdP

Log into your Azure AD account. You will be asked to consent to permission to automatically create a new application on your behalf in your Azure tenant. Accept the permission.

Log in to MSFT
MSFT Permissions

Start the Datawiza Access Proxy

The last step of the guide will provide you with the environment configurations. Here you will see the Provision Key and Provision Secret.

Follow the steps (1, 2, and 3) on the page to log into our docker registry, pull the Access Proxy image, and use the docker-compose.yml file we provided to start the DAB.

Deployment 4 out of 4

Now run

				
					docker-compose -f docker-compose.yml up -d
				
			

In your browser, hit the Public Domain URL as you set previously. You should then see the identity provider login page.

MSFT Sign on page

Note that if you are already logged into Azure AD in your browser, you may need to log out to see the login page.

After logging in to Azure AD, the PHP application will be shown.

After logging in to Azure AD, the PHP application will be shown.

Summary

Congratulations!

You secured a PHP application by adding Azure AD authentication using Datawiza, in minutes instead of weeks or months. This is only a small sampling of what Datawiza can do. See Datawiza’s online docs or official website for much more information. You can also get a free trial by signing up here!

Written by the Datawiza team — hope you enjoyed! Join us if you have any questions or need any help on our Discord server.