The Okta Active DirectoryActive Directory (AD) is a directory service that Microsoft developed for the Windows domain networks. It is included in most Windows Server operating systems as a set of processes and services. Initially, Active Directory was only in charge of centralized domain management. (AD) agentA software agent is a lightweight program that runs as a service outside of Okta. It is typically installed behind a firewall and allows Okta to tunnel communication between an on-premises service and Okta's cloud service. Okta employs several agent types: Active Directory, LDAP, RADIUS, RSA, Active Directory Password Sync, and IWA. For example, users can install multiple Active Directory agents to ensure that the integration is robust and highly available across geographic locations. enables you to integrate Okta with your on-premise Active Directory (AD). AD integration provides delegated authentication supportenabling users to sign in to Okta with their AD credentials, user provisioningassigning users to apps and de-provisioningremoving users from apps. To enable AD integration, you must install the Okta AD agent, and import AD users and groupsGroups allow you to organize your end users and the apps they can access. Assigning apps to large sets of end users is made easier with groups. into Okta.
AD integrations in a newly-created organization automatically have the following default settings enabled:
- Delegated authentication — Allows your end usersIn Okta literature, we generally refer to "end users" as the people who have their own Okta home page (My Applications), using chiclets to authenticate into all of their apps. End users do not have any administrative control. When we refer to "users" we are generally referring to the individual(s) who have administrative control. to sign in to Okta with their AD credentials.
- The import schedule set to never — You can choose your import options in the configuration steps below.
- Profile masteringMastering is a more sophisticated version of read (import) users. Mastering defines the flow and maintenance of user-object attributes and their lifecycle state. When a profile is mastered from a given resource (application or directory), the Okta user profile’s attributes and lifecycle state are derived exclusively from that resource. In other words, an Okta user mastered by Active Directory (or HR system) has an Okta profile. However, the profile isn’t editable in Okta by the user or Okta admin, and derives its information exclusively from Active Directory. If the lifecycle state of the user in Active Directory moves to Disabled, the linked Okta user also switches to the corresponding lifecycle state of Deactivated on the next the read (import). — This refers to which application is the source of truth for user data. By default, AD is the profile masterA profile master is an application (usually a directory service such as Active Directory, or human capital management system such as Workday) that acts as a source of truth for user profile attributes. A user can only be mastered by a single application or directory at any one time. For more details, see the Profile Master page. When users are mastered by attribute, we call this attribute-level mastery (ALM). ALM delivers finer grain control over how profiles are mastered by allowing admins to specify different profile masters for individual attributes. Profile mastering only applies to Okta user profiles, not app user profiles. For more details, see Attribute Level Mastering. when the agent is installed.
There are two common AD scenarios, as illustrated by the diagrams below.