Intro to federated authentication with Apple School Manager
You use federated authentication to link Apple School Manager to your instance of Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD). As a result, your users can leverage their MS Azure AD user names and passwords as Managed Apple IDs. They can then use their MS Azure AD credentials to sign in to their assigned iPad or Mac and even iCloud on the web. Students can also use it to sign in on Shared iPad.
If you’re attempting to federate a domain you have already verified but another organization has already federated the identical domain, you must contact that organization to determine who has the authority to federate the domain.
Important: Federated authentication requires that a user’s UserPrincipalName match their email address. UserPrincipalName aliases are not supported.
To use federated authentication with Apple School Manager, your Apple devices must meet the following requirements:
iOS 11.3 or later
iPadOS 13.1 or later
macOS 10.13.4 or later
MS Azure AD is the Identity Provider (IdP), which contains the user names and passwords for the accounts you want to use with Apple School Manager. Federated authentication uses Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) to connect Apple School Manager to MS Azure AD.
Note: Users can’t sign in to iCloud.com unless they first sign in with their Managed Apple ID on another Apple device.
There are three main scenarios where you might use federated authentication:
Federated authentication and Shared iPad
When you use federated authentication with Shared iPad, the sign-in process is different depending on whether the user already exists in Apple School Manager. To view the sign-in scenarios with Shared iPad and Apple School Manager, see Shared iPad overview.
The default passcode policy is standard (8 or more letters and numbers) and can be changed. See Password policy scenarios.
If the user forgets their passcode, you must reset their Shared iPad passcode.
Federated authentication only
When you link to MS Azure AD, Managed Apple IDs are created for users when they simply sign in with the same user name and password they use with MS Azure AD services. If a user is removed from MS Azure AD, that user can be removed from Apple School Manager.
Federated authentication with users from other sources
When you link to MS Azure AD, Managed Apple IDs are automatically created for users, and they simply sign in with their current email address as their Managed Apple ID.
You then link to your SIS or upload files with SFTP. All information, such as classes and rosters, are matched against users from your MS Azure AD service. If a user is removed from MS Azure AD, that user must be deactivated in Apple School Manager by an account with privileges to change the status of users.
Important: If you’re connecting to a Student Information System (SIS) or importing users with Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), and using federated authentication, the user’s email address in SIS must match their MS Azure AD user name that they already use to sign in.