Posts Another way to create Azure AD applications
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Another way to create Azure AD applications

Introduction

I’m still enjoying learning AAD identity topics. In the previous articles, I’ve explained the differences between app registration and Enterprise app. Since I’ve started this learning path, I had to create dozens of applications in my lab. At a certain point, I’ve decided to automate the AAD app creation. Today, and according to my knowledge, you can create AAD app with the AzureAD/Az Powershell modules or with the CLI. Those options seem to have some limitations in terms of configuration. Then you have ARM template which is a limitation by itself when you’re talking about AAD application creation (and no I don’t consider deployment scripts as a solution). Finally, I know you can use Terraform or Pulumi which seems pretty complete to create AAD apps. I wanted to spend few hours to understand how things work and using SDKs/libraries do not help in this case. Therefore, I’ve created this repository where We can do a step by step and comment on each line of code. You can find the code here.

Why

The main goals of this repo is to:

  • Learn by myself without relying on libraries. It’s even more important for the next article where I will talk about acquiring tokens.
  • Help people which still have some issue to understand public/confidential app concept. Doing this demo live can show/explain this topic in detail.
  • Quickly create/destroy a demo environment.
  • Explain most of the AAD “attributes” like approles/ Oauth2permissions/Optional Claims an so on during the demo
  • Explain how things work when you do a az ad sp create … Several actions are made with this single command.
  • Explain that we can implement standardization in our application. For example, force the token endpoint version to 2.0 only.

Code explanation

Template creation

All apps (RBAC/Desktop/SPA/…) that we create during this demo depend of a “generated” json. I’m using the word “generate” first because working on json directly makes me sick. And then because we have to calculate properties (guid/displayname) during the json creation. Here how to use the repo:

  • There is templates in the Templates folder. This is what I use during the demo (demo.ps1). There is a lot of useful comments in those files.
  • ~~ During the demo, before executing the Convert-SettingsToJson cmdlet, you have to make sure you’ve copied/pasted the good template in the Convert-SettingsToJson.ps1 file. You have to do this on each app (sorry about that). Help from smarter people than me is appreciated to improve this part. ~~

Demo

Not a lot to say here. At the end of this demo, you will be able to:

  • Create a RBAC better than with the CLI (troll /off)
  • Create a public/confidential app based on a switch (New-AppRegistration -ConfidentialApp)
  • Configure the App with:
    • Logo
    • Credentials (secrets)
    • IdentifierUris (standardize your deployment)
    • App Roles
    • Expose an API
    • Force the Token endpoint to V2 (standardize your deployment)
    • Optional Token claims
    • Enforce assignment on your service principal

Things that I don’t cover in this demo:

  • Publisher verification
  • Certificates (for now)

Conclusion

I hope this demo will be useful to some of you. I don’t know if the time that I’ve spent to build this demo worth it, but it was a fun ride which is the more important point. See you in the next article(s) where this time we will start to build things and use all those applications!

References

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.