8 Authenticating and Authorizing Microsoft Azure Active Directory Users for Oracle Databases

An Oracle Database instance can be configured for Microsoft Azure AD users to connect using Azure OAuth2 access tokens.

8.1 Introduction to Authorizing Microsoft Azure AD Users for an Oracle Database

Before you begin authenticating and authorizing Microsoft Azure AD users for an Oracle Database, you should understand the overall process.

8.1.1 About Authorizing Microsoft Azure AD Users for an Oracle Database

Users for Oracle Database can be centrally managed in a Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) service.

You can perform this integration in the following Oracle Database environments:

  • On-premises Oracle Database release 19.16 and later, but not for Oracle Database 21c
  • Oracle Database on Database versions 19.17 and later. This feature is not supported on Oracle Database release 21c.
  • Oracle Base Database Service
  • Oracle Exadata Cloud Service (Oracle ExaCS)

The instructions for configuring Azure AD use the term "Oracle Database" to encompass these environments.

This type of integration enables the Azure AD user to access an Oracle Database instance. Azure AD users and applications can log in with Azure AD Single Sign On (SSO) credentials to get an Azure AD OAuth2 access token to send to the database.

The administrator creates and configures the application registration (app registration) of the Oracle Database instance with Azure AD. The database administrator also creates application (app) roles for the database app registration in Azure AD, and assigns these roles to Azure AD users, groups, and applications. These app roles will be mapped to the database global schemas and global roles. An Azure AD principal that is assigned to an app role will be mapped to either a database global schema or database global role. An Oracle global schema can also be mapped exclusively to an Azure AD user. When the principal is a guest user or service principal, they can only be mapped to the database schema through an Azure app role. An Oracle global role can only be mapped to an Azure app role.

Tools and applications that are updated to support Azure AD tokens can authenticate users directly with Azure AD and pass the database access token to the Oracle Database instance. You can configure existing database tools such as SQL*Plus to use an Azure AD token from a file location. In these cases, Azure AD tokens can be retrieved using tools like Microsoft PowerShell or Azure CLI and put into a file location. An Azure AD OAuth2 database access token is a bearer token with an expiration time. The Oracle Database client driver will ensure that the token is in a valid format and that it has not expired before passing it to the database. The token is scoped for the database. Assigned app roles for the Azure AD principal are included as part of the access token. The directory location for the Azure AD token should only have enough permission for the user to write the token file to the location and the database client to retrieve these files (for example, just read and write by the process user). Because the token allows access to the database, it should be protected within the file system.

Azure AD users can request a token as a client registered with Azure AD app registration by using methods such as the following:

  • Passing the Azure AD user name and password through a command line, script, file, or any other supported method
  • Entering the Azure AD credentials into an Azure AD authentication screen with or without multi-factor authentication

Oracle Database supports the following Azure AD authentication flows:

  • Resource owner password credential (ROPC), which is used in non-graphic user interface environments when a pop-up window cannot be used to authenticate a user.
  • Authorization code, which is used when a browser can be used to enter credentials for the user
  • Client credentials, which are for applications that connect as themselves (and not the end-user)
  • On-Behalf-Of (OBO), where an application requests an access token on behalf of a logged-in user to send to the database

Oracle Database accepts tokens representing the following Azure AD principals:

  • Azure AD user, who is registered user in the Azure AD tenancy
  • Guest user, who is registered as a guest user in the Azure AD tenancy
  • Service, which is the registered application connecting to the database as itself with the client credential flow (connection pool use case)

8.1.2 Architecture of the Microsoft Azure AD Integration with an Oracle Database

Microsoft Azure Active Directory tokens follow the OAuth 2.0 standard with extensions. Using an Azure AD token to access an Oracle database is similar to using OCI IAM tokens.

The application or helper tool is responsible for requesting the access token from Azure AD. The token is passed to the database client through the API or by saving the token file in a directory location. Command-line tools such as Microsoft PowerShell or the Azure command-line interface can be used to retrieve the Azure AD token if the application cannot request the token.

The following diagram is a generalized flow diagram for OAuth 2.0 standard, using the OAuth2 token. See Authentication flow support in MSAL in the Microsoft Azure AD documentation for more details about each supported flow.

Figure 8-1 Azure AD User Authenticating to an Oracle Database with an Azure OAuth2 Token

Description of Figure 8-1 follows
Description of "Figure 8-1 Azure AD User Authenticating to an Oracle Database with an Azure OAuth2 Token"
  1. The Azure AD user requests access to the resource, the Oracle Database instance.
  2. The database client or application requests an authorization code from Azure AD.
  3. Azure AD authenticates the Azure AD user and returns the authorization code.
  4. The helper tool or application uses the authorization code with Azure AD to exchange it for the OAuth2 token.
  5. The database client sends the OAuth2 access token to the Oracle Database instance with the assigned app roles.
  6. The Oracle Database instance uses the Azure AD public key to verify that the access token was created by Azure AD.

Both the database client and the database server must be registered with the app registrations feature in the Azure Active Directory section of the Azure portal.

8.1.3 Azure AD Users Mapping to an Oracle Database Schema

Microsoft Azure users must be mapped to an Oracle Database schema and have the necessary privileges (through roles) before being able to authenticate to the Oracle Database instance.

In Microsoft Azure, users, groups, and applications can be assigned to the app roles by an Azure AD administrator.

An Azure AD user can be mapped to a database schema (user) either exclusively or through an app role.

  • Creating an exclusive mapping between an Azure AD user and an Oracle Database schema. In this type of mapping, the database schema must be created for the Azure AD user with the appropriate database privileges and roles. The schema must also be updated during the life cycle of the Azure AD user and eventually dropped when the user leaves.
  • Creating a shared mapping between an Azure AD app role and an Oracle Database schema. This type of mapping, which is more common than exclusive mappings, is for Azure AD users who have been assigned directly to the app role or is a member of an Azure AD group that is assigned to the app role. The app role is mapped to an Oracle Database schema (shared schema mapping). Shared schema mapping allows multiple Azure AD users to share the same Oracle Database schema so a new database schema is not required to be created every time a new user joins the organization. This operational efficiency allows database administrators to focus on database application maintenance, performance, and tuning tasks instead of configuring new users, updating privileges and roles, and removing accounts.

In addition to database roles and privileges being granted directly to the mapped global schema, additional roles and privileges can be granted through mapped global roles. Different Azure AD users mapped to the same shared global schema may need different privileges and roles. Azure app roles can be mapped to Oracle Database global roles. Azure AD users who are assigned to the app role or are a member of an Azure AD group that is assigned to the app role will be granted the Oracle Database global role when they access the database.

The following diagram illustrates the different types of assignments and mappings that are available.

Figure 8-2 Assignments and Mappings Between Azure AD and Oracle Database

Description of Figure 8-2 follows
Description of "Figure 8-2 Assignments and Mappings Between Azure AD and Oracle Database"

These mappings are as follows:

  • An Azure AD user can be mapped directly to an Oracle Database global schema (user).
  • An Azure AD user, Azure AD group, or application is assigned to an app role, which is then mapped to either an Oracle Database global schema (user) or a global role.

8.1.4 Use Cases for Connecting to an Oracle Database Using Azure AD

Oracle Database supports four types of use cases for connecting to an Oracle Database instance using Microsoft Azure Active Directory.

  • Connection using OAuth 2.0 authorization flow: The client directs the resource owner to an authorization server, which in turn directs the resource owner back to the client with the authorization code. See the Microsoft Azure article Microsoft identity platform and OAuth 2.0 authorization code flow.
  • Connection using the resource owner password credentials: The resource owner password credentials (that is, the user name and password) can be used directly to obtain an access token. Azure AD requires an additional client Id and a secret for this flow. (The secret is not required for public client.) See the Microsoft Azure article Microsoft identity platform and OAuth 2.0 Resource Owner Password Credentials.
  • Connection using the client credentials: The client acts on its own behalf (the client is also the resource owner) or requests access to protected resources based on an authorization arranged with the authorization server. This flow is used to get the Azure OAuth2 access token for the service principal. An application can also request an Azure AD OAuth2 access token directly from Azure AD and pass it through a database client API. See the Microsoft Azure article Get Azure AD tokens by using a service principal.
  • Connection using on-behalf-of (OBO) token: An Azure application requests an OBO token for a logged in user. The OBO token will also be an access token for the database with the Azure AD user identity and assigned app roles for the database. This enables the Azure AD user to log in to the database as the user and not the application. Only an application can request an OBO token for its Azure AD user and pass it to the database client through the API.

8.1.5 General Process of Integrating Microsoft Azure AD with Oracle Database

Both the Oracle and the Microsoft Azure administrators play roles in configuring the connection between Oracle Database and Microsoft Azure AD.

The general process is as follows:

  1. The Oracle administrator ensures that the Oracle Database environment meets the requirements for the Microsoft Azure AD integration. See Oracle Database Requirements for the Microsoft Azure AD Integration.
  2. The Oracle administrator registers the database instance with the Microsoft Azure AD tenancy and then enables the connection between the Oracle Database and the Azure AD endpoint.

    As part of the registration process, the Oracle administrator or the Azure administrator creates or designates Azure app roles to be used for the mappings between the Oracle database and the Microsoft Azure endpoint.

  3. The Oracle administrator creates and maps global schemas to either an Azure AD user (exclusive schema mapping) or to an Azure app role (shared schema mapping). The Azure AD user or application must be mapped to one schema.
  4. Optionally, the Oracle administrator creates and maps global Oracle Database roles to Azure app roles.
  5. The Azure AD end user who wants to connect with the Oracle Database instance registers the client application as an Azure AD client (similar to how the Oracle database is registered).

    The Azure AD client will have a client identification and a client secret, unless the application client is public. If the application client is public, then only the application client identification is necessary.

  6. The Azure AD end user (who can be a database administrator) connects using an utility such as PowerShell or the Azure command-line interface to retrieve the token and store it in a local file directory. An application can also request an Azure AD OAuth2 access token directly from Azure AD and pass it through a database client API. Refer to the following Oracle Database client documentation for information about passing Azure AD OAuth2 tokens:
  7. Once connected to the Oracle Database instance, the Azure AD end user performs tasks as needed.

8.2 Configuring the Oracle Database for Microsoft Azure AD Integration

The Microsoft Azure AD integration with the Oracle Database instance requires the database to be registered with Azure AD so that the database can request the Azure AD public key.

8.2.1 Oracle Database Requirements for the Microsoft Azure AD Integration

Before you can configure an Oracle Database instance with Microsoft Azure AD, you must ensure that your environment meets special requirements.

Note the following:

  • The Oracle Database server must be able to request the Azure AD public key. Depending on the enterprise environment, you may need to configure a proxy setting.
  • Users and applications that need to request an Azure AD token must also be able to connect to Azure AD. You may need to configure a proxy setting for the connection.
  • You must configure Transport Layer Security (TLS) between the Oracle Database client and the Oracle Database server. This TLS connection can be either one-way or mutual.
  • You can create the TLS server certificate to be self-signed or be signed by a well known root certificate. The advantage of using a certificate that is signed by a well known root certificate is that the database client can use the system default certificate store to validate the Oracle Database server certificate instead of having to create and maintain a local wallet with the root certificate. Note that this applies to Linux and Windows clients only.

8.2.2 Registering the Oracle Database Instance with a Microsoft Azure AD Tenancy

A user with administrator privileges uses Microsoft Azure AD to register the Oracle Database instance with the Microsoft Azure AD tenancy.

  1. Log in to the Azure portal as an administrator who has Microsoft Azure AD privileges to register applications.
  2. In the Azure Active directory admin center page, from the left navigation bar, select Azure Active Directory.
  3. In the MS - App registrations page, select App registrations from the left navigation bar.
  4. Select New registration.
    The Register an application window appears. Description of azure-reg.png follows
    Description of the illustration azure-reg.png
  5. In the Register an application page, enter the following Oracle Database instance registration information:
    • In the Name field, enter a name for the Oracle Database instance connection (for example, Example Database).
    • Under Supported account types, select the account type that matches your use case.
      • Accounts in this organizational directory only (tenant_name only - Single tenant)
      • Accounts in any organizational directory (Any Azure AD directory - Multitenant)
      • Accounts in any organizational directory (Any Azure AD directory - Multitenant) and personal Microsoft accounts (e.g. Skype, Xbox)
      • Personal Microsoft accounts only
  6. Bypass the Redirect URI (Optional) settings. You do not need to create a redirect URI.
  7. Click Register.
    After you click Register, Azure AD displays the app registration's Overview pane, which will show the Application (client) ID under Essentials. This value is a unique identifier for the application in the Microsoft identity platform.
  8. Register a scope, which will set the permission for the registered app.
    1. In the left navigation bar, select Expose an API.
    2. Under Set the App ID URI, in the Application ID URI field, enter the app ID URI for the database connection using the following format, and then click Save:
      your_tenancy_url/application_(client)_id

      In this specification:

      • your_tenancy_url must include https as the prefix and the fully qualified domain name of your Azure AD tenancy.
      • application_(client)_id is the ID that was generated when you registered the Oracle Database instance with Azure AD. It is displayed in the Overview pane of the app registration.

      For example:

      https://sales_west.example.com/1aa11111-1a1z-1a11-1a1a-11aa11a1aa1a
    3. Select Add a scope and then enter the following settings:
      Description of azure-scope.png follows
      Description of the illustration azure-scope.png
      • Scope name specifies a name for the scope. Enter the following name:
        session:scope:connect

        This name can be any text. However, a scope name must be provided. You will need to use this scope name later when you give consent to the database client application to access the database.

      • Who can consent specifies the necessary permissions. Select Admins and users, or for higher restrictions, Admins only.
      • Admin consent display name describes the scope's purpose (for example, Connect to Oracle), which only administrators can see.
      • Admin consent display name describes the scope's purpose (for example, Connect to Example Database), which only administrators can see.
      • User consent display name is a short description of the purpose of the scope (for example, Connect to Example Database), which users can see if you specify Admins and users in Who can consent.
      • User consent description is a more detailed description of the purpose of the scope (for example, Connect to Example Database), which users can see if you specify Admins and users in Who can consent.
      • State enables or disables the connection. Select Enabled.
After you complete these steps, you are ready to add one or more Azure app roles, and then perform the mappings of Oracle schemas and roles.

8.2.3 Managing App Roles in Microsoft Azure AD

In Azure AD, you can create and manage app roles that will be assigned to Azure AD users and groups and also be mapped to Oracle Database global schemas and roles.

8.2.3.1 Creating a Microsoft Azure AD App Role

Azure AD users, groups, and applications will be assigned to the app roles.

See the Microsoft Azure article Create and assign a custom role in Azure Active Directory for detailed steps on how to create an app role. The following steps describe how to create the app role for use with an Oracle Database integration.
  1. Log in to Azure AD as an administrator who has privileges for creating app roles.
  2. Access the Oracle Database app registration that you created.
    1. Use the Directory + subscription filter to locate the Azure Active Directory tenant that contains the Oracle Database app registration.
    2. Select Azure Active Directory.
    3. Under Manage, select App registrations, and then select the Oracle Database instance that you registered earlier.
  3. Under Manage, select App roles.
  4. In the App roles page, select Create app role.
  5. In the Create app role page, enter the following information:
    • Display name is the displayed name of the role (for example, HR App Schema). You can include spaces in this name.
    • Value is the actual name of the role (for example, HR_APP). Ensure that this setting matches exactly the string that is referenced in the application's code. Do not include spaces in this name.
    • Description provides a description of the purpose of this role.
    • Do you want to enable this app role? enables you to activate the role.
  6. Click Apply.

    The app role appears in the App roles pane.

    Description of azure-app-roles-creation.png follows
    Description of the illustration azure-app-roles-creation.png
8.2.3.2 Assigning Users and Groups to the Microsoft Azure AD App Role

Before Microsoft Azure AD users can have access to the Oracle Database instance, they must first be assigned to the app roles that will be mapped to Oracle Database schema users or roles.

See the Microsoft Azure article Add app roles to your application and receive them in the token for detailed steps assigning users and groups to an app role. The following steps explain how to do this for an Oracle Database integration.
  1. Log in to Azure AD as an administrator who has privileges for assigning Azure AD users and groups to app roles.
  2. In Enterprise applications, access the Oracle Database application that you registered.
    1. Use the Directory + subscription filter to locate the Azure Active Directory tenant that contains the Oracle connection.
    2. Select Azure Active Directory.
    3. Under Manage, select Enterprise applications, and then select the Oracle Database application name that you registered earlier.
  3. Under Getting Started, select Assign users and groups.
  4. Select Add user/group.
  5. In the Add assignment window, select Users and groups to display a list of users and security groups.
  6. From this list, select the users and groups that you want to add to the app role, and then click Select.
  7. In the Add assignment window, select Select a role to display a list of the app roles that you have created.
  8. Select the app role and then select Select.
  9. Click Assign.
8.2.3.3 Assigning an Application to an App Role

You can assign an Azure AD client application to a app role.

  1. Log in to Azure AD as an administrator who has privileges for assigning Azure AD users and groups to app roles.
  2. Access the app registration for the application.
  3. Under Manage, select API permissions.
  4. In the Configured permissions area, select + Add a permission.
  5. In the Request API permission pane, select the My APIs tab.
  6. Select the Oracle Database app that you want to give permission for this application to access. Then select the Application permissions option.
  7. Select the database app roles to assign to the application and then click the Add Permission box at the bottom of the screen to assign the app roles and close the dialog box. Ensure that the app roles that you just assigned appear under Configured permissions.
  8. Select Grant admin consent for tenancy to grant consent for the tenancy users, then select Yes in the confirmation dialog box.

8.2.4 Enabling Azure AD External Authentication for Oracle Database

You can enable a Microsoft Azure AD external authentication with Oracle Database.

For additional information about Azure AD authentication for your platform, see the documentation links below.
  1. Log in to the Oracle Database instance as a user who has been granted the ALTER SYSTEM system privilege.
  2. Set the IDENTITY_PROVIDER_TYPE parameter as follows:
    ALTER SYSTEM SET IDENTITY_PROVIDER_TYPE=AZURE_AD SCOPE=BOTH;
  3. Ensure that you set the IDENTITY_PROVIDER_TYPE parameter correctly.
    SELECT NAME, VALUE FROM V$PARAMETER WHERE NAME='identity_provider_type';

    The following output should appear:

    NAME                    VALUE 
    ----------------------  ------- 
    identity_provider_type  AZURE_AD
  4. Set the IDENTITY_PROVIDER_CONFIG parameter by using the following syntax:
    ALTER SYSTEM SET IDENTITY_PROVIDER_CONFIG =
    {
       application_id_uri : string , // from registered app, to be mapped in jwt "aud" claim; 
                                     // Domain qualified to support cross tenancy resource access
       tenant_id : string,           // from tenant config
       app_id: string                // from registered resource app
    }SCOPE=BOTH;

    For example:

    ALTER SYSTEM SET IDENTITY_PROVIDER_CONFIG =
    {
      "application_id_uri" : "https://www.example.com/11aa1a11-aaaa-1111-1111-1111aa11111",
      "tenant_id" : "111a1111-a11a-111a-1a1a-1111111111a",
      "app_id" : "11aa1a11-aaaa-1111-1111-1111aa11111"
    }SCOPE=BOTH;

See the following platform-specific documentation for more information about enabling Oracle Database for Azure AD external authentication.

8.2.5 Disabling Azure AD External Authentication for Oracle Database

To disable Azure AD External authentication for an Oracle Database instance, you must set parameters with the ALTER SYSTEM statement.

In addition to Oracle Database, this procedure can be used for Oracle Autonomous Database on Dedicated Exadata Infrastructure and Oracle Exadata Cloud Service (Oracle ExaCS). If you want to disable Azure AD external authentication with these products, see their product documentation.

To disable Azure AD from Oracle Autonomous Database on Shared Exadata Infrastructure, see Using Oracle Autonomous Database on Shared Exadata Infrastructure. The following procedure applies to all other platforms:

  1. Log in to the Oracle Database instance as a user who has been granted the ALTER SYSTEM system privilege.
  2. Set the identity provider parameters as follows:
    ALTER SYSTEM RESET IDENTITY_PROVIDER_CONFIG SCOPE=BOTH;
    ALTER SYSTEM RESET IDENTITY_PROVIDER_TYPE SCOPE=BOTH;

8.3 Mapping Oracle Database Schemas and Roles

Azure AD users will be mapped to one database schema and optionally to one or more database roles.

8.3.1 Exclusively Mapping an Oracle Database Schema to a Microsoft Azure AD User

You can exclusively map an Oracle Database schema to a Microsoft Azure AD user.

  1. Log in to the Oracle Database instance as a user who has been granted the CREATE USER or ALTER USER system privilege.
  2. Run the CREATE USER or ALTER USER statement with the IDENTIFIED GLOBALLY AS clause specifying the Azure AD user name.
    For example, to create a new database schema user named peter_fitch and map this user to an existing Azure AD user named peter.fitch@example.com:
    CREATE USER peter_fitch IDENTIFIED GLOBALLY AS 
    'AZURE_USER=peter.fitch@example.com';
  3. Grant the CREATE SESSION privilege to the user.
    GRANT CREATE SESSION TO peter_fitch;

8.3.2 Mapping a Shared Oracle Schema to an App Role

In this mapping, an Oracle schema is mapped to an app role.

  1. Log in to the Oracle Database instance as a user who has the CREATE USER or ALTER USER system privilege.
  2. Run the CREATE USER or ALTER USER statement with the IDENTIFIED GLOBALLY AS clause specifying the Azure application role name.
    For example, to create a new database global user account (schema) named dba_azure and map it to an existing Azure AD application role named AZURE_DBA:
    CREATE USER dba_azure IDENTIFIED GLOBALLY AS 'AZURE_ROLE=AZURE_DBA';

8.3.3 Mapping an Oracle Database Global Role to an App Role

Oracle Database global roles that are mapped to Azure app roles give Azure users and applications additional privileges and roles above those that they have been granted through their login schemas.

  1. Log in to the Oracle Database instance as a user who has been granted the CREATE ROLE or ALTER ROLE system privilege
  2. Run the CREATE ROLE or ALTER ROLE statement with the IDENTIFIED GLOBALLY AS clause specifying the name of the Azure AD application role.
    For example, to create a new database global role named widget_sales_role and map it to an existing Azure AD application role named WidgetManagerGroup:
    CREATE ROLE widget_sales_role IDENTIFIED GLOBALLY AS 
    'AZURE_ROLE=WidgetManagerGroup';

8.4 Configuring Azure AD Client Connections to the Oracle Database

You can configure client connections to connect with the Azure AD registered database

8.4.1 About Configuring Client Connections to Azure ADs

There are numerous ways that you can configure a client to connect with an Oracle Database instance using Azure AD tokens.

You should choose the client connection method that works best with your environment. This guide provides examples of connecting SQL*Plus with different methods of getting an Azure AD OAuth2 access token. All Oracle Database release 19c clients can accept a token that is passed as a file. The JDBC-thin, Instant Client, and ODP.net drivers also accept the token through the database client API from an application. Oracle Database tools such as SQL*Plus cannot retrieve the tokens directly, so tools such as PowerShell or Azure CLI must be used to retrieve the Azure AD OAuth2 access token. To retrieve an Azure AD token, the client must be registered through the Azure AD app registration process. Registering the client is similar to registering the Oracle Database server with Azure AD using app registration. Both the database and client must be registered with Azure AD.

The database must be registered so the client can get permission to get an access token for the database. The client must be registered so that Azure AD can recognize a trusted client is asking for an access token.

See the following Microsoft Azure articles for more information about connecting clients to Azure AD:

8.4.2 Supported Client Drivers for Azure AD Connections

Oracle Database supports several types of client drivers for Azure AD connections.

  • JDBC-thin: Oracle Database 19.16 (July 2022), Oracle Database 21.8 (October 2022)
  • OCI (C driver): Oracle Database 19.16 (July 2022)
  • Oracle Instant Client based on OCI
  • Oracle Data Provider (core): Oracle Database 19.16, Oracle Database 21.7
  • Oracle Data Provider (unmanaged): based on OCI
  • Oracle Data Provider (managed): Oracle Database 19.16, Oracle Database 21.7
  • All other drivers built on OCI adopts the OCI compatibility

8.4.3 Operational Flow for SQL*Plus Client Connection in PowerShell to Oracle Database

The connection between the Azure user, Azure AD, and the Oracle Database instance relies on the passing of the OAuth2 token throughout these components.

This example shows the use of the Resource Owner Password Credential (ROPC) flow with a public client. See the Microsoft Azure article Microsoft identity platform and OAuth 2.0 Resource Owner Password Credentials for detailed information about ROPC.

Figure 8-3 ROPC Operational Flow with a Public Client

Description of Figure 8-3 follows
Description of "Figure 8-3 ROPC Operational Flow with a Public Client"
  1. The Azure user requests an Azure AD access token for the database in PowerShell and the returned token is written into a file called token at a file location.
  2. The Azure user connects to the database using / slash login. Either the sqlnet.ora or tnsnames.ora connection string tells the instant client that an Azure AD OAuth2 token is needed and to retrieve it from a specified file location. The access token is sent to the database.
  3. The database verifies that the access token came from Azure AD (using the Azure AD public key) and then checks the token for additional claims.
  4. The database finds the schema mapping (exclusive or shared) and creates the session. The database will also grant any global roles that the Azure user is also assigned to through an app role.

8.4.4 Registering a Client with Azure AD Application Registration

This type of registration is similar to registering Oracle Database with Azure AD app registration.

8.4.4.1 Confidential and Public Client Registration

You can register the database client with Azure as either confidential or public depending on your use case.

See the Microsoft Azure article Authentication flows and application scenarios for detailed information about authentication flows and application scenarios.

Registering a confidential client app requires that the client have a secret, in addition to the client ID. The confidential client app uses both the client ID and the secret when it makes Azure AD requests. However, in an enterprise, it is not practical for every SQL*Plus and SQLcl user to create a separate app registration with its own secret. In addition, a secret is no longer a secret when you start to share it within an organization. It is far better to just create a public client app. A public client app does not have a secret; it only has a client ID. All database tool users can use the public client ID when they connect to Azure AD to get an access token. The Azure AD user still needs to authenticate to Azure AD with their own user credential.

8.4.4.2 Registering a Database Client App with Azure AD

Creating the client app registration is similar to creating the Oracle Database instance with the Microsoft Azure AD tenancy.

  1. Log in to the Azure portal as an administrator who has Microsoft Azure AD privileges to register applications.
  2. In the Azure Active directory admin center page, from the left navigation bar, select Azure Active Directory.
  3. In the MS - App registrations page, select App registrations from the left navigation bar.
  4. Select New registration.
  5. In the Register an application page, enter the following Oracle Database instance registration information:
    • In the Name field, enter a name for the client app (for example, DatabaseClientApplication)..
    • Under Supported account types, select the account type that matches your use case.
      • Accounts in this organizational directory only (tenant_name only - Single tenant)
      • Accounts in any organizational directory (Any Azure AD directory - Multitenant)
      • Accounts in any organizational directory (Any Azure AD directory - Multitenant) and personal Microsoft accounts (e.g. Skype, Xbox)
      • Personal Microsoft accounts only
  6. Under Redirect URI (optional), configure the redirect URI for the client app.
    Description of azure-redirect-uri.png follows
    Description of the illustration azure-redirect-uri.png
    • Select Public client/native (mobile & desktop), Web, or Single-page application (SPA). Choose Public client if this client app will be used by multiple users such as database administrators who need to use SQL*Plus to access the Oracle Database instance.
    • Add a redirect URI of http://localhost, unless you have another address to use. This redirect URI is needed for the authorization flow.
  7. Click Register.
    At this stage, the database client has been registered with Azure AD. Next, you must add the new client to the list of authorized client apps for the Oracle Database instance.
  8. To add the new client to this list of client apps, do the following:
    1. Make a note of the new client's Application (client) ID. This ID is in the Overview page for the app.
    2. On the App registrations page, open the app registration page for the database server by selecting it from the menu.
    3. On the left side, select Expose an API.
    4. Scroll down on the main page until you see Authorized client applications.
    5. Select + to add a client application.
    6. Copy the new client's Application (client) ID to the Client Id field.
    7. Click Add application.

8.4.5 Examples of Retrieving Azure AD OAuth2 Tokens

These examples show different ways that you can retrieve Azure AD OAuth2 tokens.

8.4.5.1 Example: Using PowerShell to Get a Token Using Resource Owner Password Credentials

This example shows how to use PowerShell to get an Azure AD access token by using Resource Owner Password Credentials (ROPC).

You can retrieve the OAuth2 access token by making a REST call from PowerShell. This configuration requires several values that were generated or that you specified when you registered the Oracle Database instance with Azure AD.
  1. If necessary install the Azure Active Directory PowerShell module.
    Follow the instructions in the Microsoft article Install the Azure Az PowerShell module to download and install Azure PowerShell. It takes about 20 minutes or longer to perform the installation. You may want to set debug options for Azure PowerShell so that you can see how the installation is progressing.
  2. After the Azure PowerShell installation is complete, log in to PowerShell and then set the following variables in the order shown.
    1. $TenantDomain = "user_tenancy_domain_name"
      This value is the tenancy domain name. For example:
      $TenantDomain = "example.com"
    2. $AppClientId ="application_client_id"
      This value sets the application client ID for the database client, not the database server. This is the Application (client) ID value in the app registration's Overview pane. For example:
      $AppClientId ="111a1a1a-aa1a-1a1a-11aa-1a11111111aa"
    3. $Username = "user_name", which
      This value is the name of the Azure user who wants to access the Oracle Database instance. For example:
      $Username = "peter.fitch@example.com"
    4. Entering the user password in PowerShell scripts depends on your corporate or personal security standards. Use your own method to capture the password securely or use this example that hides the password from the command history and command line window. You should delete the password variables after they have been used. Enter these in the order shown:
      1. $securePassword = Read-Host " Enter Password" -AsSecureString
      2. $Password = [System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::PtrToStringAuto([System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::SecureStringToBSTR($securePassword))
    5. $Scope = "database_app_id_uri/scope"
      This value sets the app ID URI for the database and the scope (permission) for the database, separated by a / slash. These values can be found in the database app registration Expose an API page. In the following example, https://example.com/111aa1aa-1111-1111-a1a1-1a11a111111a is the app ID URI and session:scope:connect is the scope.
      $Scope = "https://example.com/111aa1aa-1111-1111-a1a1-1a11a111111a/session:scope:connect"
    6. $requestBody = @{client_id=$AppClientId;grant_type="password";username=$Username;password=$Password;scope=$Scope;}
      This is the request body of the upcoming REST call.
    7. $OAuthResponse = Invoke-RestMethod -Method Post -Uri https://login.microsoftonline.com/$TenantDomain/oauth2/v2.0/token -Body $requestBody
      This gets the OAuth2 access token for the user.
    8. You can remove the password from the variables if you do not need them.
      • $securePassword = $null, for secure password strings
      • $Password = $null, for clear text password strings
    9. $AccessToken = $OAuthResponse.access_token | Out-File -FilePath .\token -Encoding ASCII, which writes the OAuth2 token to the current file location using ASCII encoding
  3. Optionally, because the Azure AD OAuth2 access token is a JSON Web Token (JWT) formatted token, you can view the cleartext of the encoded content by copying and pasting the token content into the website:

    https://jwt.io/

    Note the following:

    • The default PowerShell UTF16 file encoding cannot be used for the token. Use ASCII encoding as an alternative.
    • Tokens may not work cross-platform (for example, Windows to Linux or Linux to Windows), depending on encoding changes to the file when it is moved.
At this stage, the OAuth2 access token has been retrieved and stored as a file. The next step is to enable the SQL*Plus client to use the store access token and send it to the database.
8.4.5.2 Example: Using Python with Microsoft Authentication Library Using an Authorization Flow

Because this example with the Microsoft Authentication Library (MSAL) is in Python, it can be run on a variety of platforms such as PowerShell and Linux.

When multi-factor authentication is enabled for the user, an OAuth2 authorization flow is necessary for a user to add the second authentication. Because the authorization flow requires two round trips to Azure AD, it is best handled using the MSAL. See the Microsoft article Get Azure AD tokens by using the Microsoft Authentication Library for how to use a python script with MSAL. These instructions are for the Databricks service, but the scope is changed to the database App ID URI and scope instead of the Databricks scope.
  1. Bypass the steps to set up the client app registration, since you have already accomplished that step except make sure you add a Redirect URI (http://localhost) for your client app registration.
  2. Go directly to Get Azure AD tokens by using the MSAL Python library.
    You will need the Directory (tenant) ID, Client ID for the public app client, and the database App ID URI and scope. You will see a code section for scopes with directions to not modify this variable. Because this python code was written for Databricks scope, you will need to change this scope variable to the scope of your database. For example:
    scopes = ['https://example.com/1111aa1a-a1aa-1a11-11aa-1a1a11aa1111/session:connect']
  3. Modify the code to write the token to a file location.
    Use the following example code and append it to the print statements at the end. Note the extra lines to back up and restore the original stdout.
    stdout_backup = sys.stdout
    with open('token', 'w') as token_file:
        sys.stdout = token_file
        print(acquire_tokens_result['access_token'])
    
    sys.stdout = stdout_backup
8.4.5.3 Example: Using Curl with a Resource Owner Password Credential Flow

This example shows how to use the curl command against the Azure AD API uses a Resource Owner Password Credential (ROPC) flow with a public Azure AD client.

The cleartext password is part of this command so this is not so much for end-users as it is for applications. This would need to be protected.
  • Enter the following curl command:
    curl -X POST -H 'Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded' https://login.microsoftonline.com/az207oracleoutlook.onmicrosoft.com/oauth2/v2.0/token  
    -d 'client_id=571c3f0a-aa3c-4f0a-93ed-4f75748955ea' -d 'scope=https://example.com/383fe7ee-1433-4844-a2d5-5b80d811256d/session:scope:connect' 
    -d 'username=peter.fitch@example.com' -d 'password=password' -d 'grant_type=password'
The response is a JSON file with token type, scope, expiration, and then the actual token. This file will need to be parsed so only the access token is written and stored in a file.
8.4.5.4 Example: Azure CLI Using Authorization Flow

This example shows how to use the Azure CLI to retrieve an access token and then write the token to a file.

See the Microsoft Azure article Install the Azure CLI on Linux for information about installing the Azure CLI.
  1. Log in to your Azure tenancy.
    $ az login
  2. Get an access token and assign it to the token variable using the following syntax:
    token=$(az account get-access-token --resource=database_app_id_uri --query accessToken --output tsv)

    For example:

    token=$(az account get-access-token --resource=https://example.com/1111aa1a-a1aa-1a11-11aa-1a1a11aa1111 --query accessToken --output tsv)

    If you get an error saying that the Azure CLI client app ID does not have permission to access the database resource, then copy the Azure CLI client app ID from the error message and add it to the list of authorized client applications for the database resource. (Go to the database app registration in Azure AD, click Expose an API and then Add a client application).

  3. Write the token to a file.
    $ echo "$token" >> token

8.4.6 Configuring SQL*Plus for Azure AD Access Tokens

You must configure SQL*Plus to retrieve the Azure AD database access token from a location and use it when the / slash login is used.

Only the latest SQL*Plus and Instant Client will work with Azure AD OAuth2 tokens. There is no default location for the Azure AD token, so you must specify this location.
  1. Ensure that you have an Azure AD user account.
  2. Check with an Azure AD administrator or Oracle Database administrator for one of the following:
    • An application client ID that you can use to get Azure AD tokens. If you have Azure AD privileges to do so, then create your own client app registration, similar to registering the Oracle Database instance with an Azure AD tenancy.
    • You are mapped to a global schema in the database.
  3. Ensure that you are using the latest release updates for the Oracle Database client releases 19c.
    This configuration only works with the Oracle Database client release 19c.
  4. Follow the existing process to download the wallet from the Oracle Database instance and then follow the directions for configuring it for use with SQL*Plus.
  5. On the client, set the following parameters in the sqlnet.ora file:
    • Check for the parameter SSL_SERVER_DN_MATCH = ON to ensure that DN matching is enabled.
    • Set the TOKEN_AUTH parameter to enable the client to use the Azure AD token. Include the TOKEN_LOCATION parameter to point to the token location. For example:
      TOKEN_AUTH=OAUTH 
      TOKEN_LOCATION="token_location" 

      Note that there is no default location. If the token is named token, then you only need to specify the file directory (for example, /test/oracle/aad-token). If the token name is different from token (for example, azure.token), then you must include this name in the path (for example, /test/oracle/aad-token/azure.token).

You can specify the TOKEN_AUTH and TOKEN_LOCATION parameters in tnsnames.ora, as well as in sqlnet.ora. The TOKEN_AUTH and TOKEN_LOCATION values in the tnsnames.ora connect strings take precedence over the sqlnet.ora settings for that connection. For example:

(description= 
  (retry_count=20)(retry_delay=3)
  (address=(protocol=tcps)(port=1522)
  (host=example.us-phoenix-1.oraclecloud.com))
  (connect_data=(service_name=aaabbbccc_exampledb_high.example.oraclecloud.com))
  (security=(ssl_server_cert_dn="CN=example.uscom-east-1.oraclecloud.com, 
     OU=Oracle BMCS US, O=Example Corporation, 
     L=Redwood City, ST=California, C=US")
  (TOKEN_AUTH=OAUTH)(TOKEN_LOCATION="/test/oracle/aad-token"))

After the connect string is updated with the TOKEN_AUTH and TOKEN_LOCATION parameters, the Azure user can log in to the Oracle Database instance by running the following command to start SQL*Plus. You can include the connect descriptor itself or use the name of the descriptor from the tnsnames.ora file.

connect /@exampledb_high

Or the user can use the connect string. For example:

connect /@(description= 
  (retry_count=20)(retry_delay=3)
  (address=(protocol=tcps)(port=1522)
  (host=example.us-phoenix-1.oraclecloud.com))
  (connect_data=(service_name=aaabbbccc_exampledb_high.example.oraclecloud.com))
  (security=(ssl_server_cert_dn="CN=example.uscom-east-1.oraclecloud.com, 
     OU=Oracle BMCS US, O=Example Corporation, 
     L=Redwood City, ST=California, C=US") (TOKEN_AUTH=OAUTH)(TOKEN_LOCATION="/test/oracle/aad-token")

The database client is already configured to get an Azure OAuth2 token because TOKEN_AUTH has already been set, either through the sqlnet.ora file or in a connect string. The database client gets the OAuth2 token and then sends the token to the Oracle Database instance.

8.4.7 Creating a Network Proxy for the Database to Connect with the Internet

This network proxy will enable the Oracle database to reach the Azure AD endpoint.

8.4.7.1 Creating the Network Proxy for the Default Oracle Database Environment

To create the network proxy, you must set environment variables and then restart the listener.

You do not need to restart the database.
  1. In the server where the Oracle database is installed, set the https_proxy and http_proxy environment variables.
    For example:
    export https_proxy=http://www-proxy-example.com:80/
    export http_proxy=http://www-proxy-example.com:80/
  2. Restart the listener.
    lsnrctl stop
    lsnrctl start 
8.4.7.2 Creating the Network Proxy for an Oracle Real Application Clusters Environment

To create the network proxy, you must set environment variables and then restart the database.

  1. In the server where the Oracle database is installed, set the https_proxy and http_proxy environment variables.
    For example:
    srvctl setenv database -db db_name -env "https_proxy=http://www-proxy.example.com:80/"
    srvctl setenv database -db db_name -env "http_proxy=http://www-proxy.example.com:80/"
  2. Stop the database.
    $srvctl stop database -db db_name
  3. Display the environment variable values to ensure that they are correctly set.
    $ srvctl getenv database -db db_name

    Output similar to the following should appear:

    db_name:
    http_proxy=http://www-proxy.example.com:80/
    https_proxy=http://www-proxy.example.com:80/
  4. Restart the database.
    $ srvctl start database -db db_name

8.5 Trace Files for Troubleshooting Oracle Database Client Connections with Azure AD

You can use trace files to troubleshoot Oracle Database client connections with Azure AD connections.

8.5.1 About Trace Files Used for Troubleshooting Connections

You can generate two levels of trace files to troubleshoot Microsoft Azure AD connections on client side.

The two levels of trace files that you can generate are as follows:

  • Low level tracing prints traces in case of failures:
    • If TCPS is not set up for the Azure AD connection, then it prints a message that the protocol has to be TCPS.
    • If SSL_SERVER_DN_MATCH is not set to TRUE, then it prints a message that the value is FALSE.
    • If TOKEN_LOCATION has not been specified, then it prints a message that the token location does not exist.
    • If the token is not present at the specified TOKEN_LOCATION, then it prints a message.
    • If the application has passed in the token without setting OCI_ATTR_TOKEN_ISBEARER to true, it prints a message for the missing attribute.
    • If the application has set OCI_ATTR_TOKEN_ISBEARER to TRUE and not passed in the token, it prints a message for the missing attribute.
    • If the token has expired, then it prints a message.
  • High level tracing prints traces in case of failure as mentioned above. In addition, it prints traces in case of success, as follows:
    • It prints where SSL_SERVER_DN_MATCH is present, tnsnames.ora or sqlnet.ora. It also prints the value as TRUE if set to TRUE.
    • If both the token and OCI_ATTR_TOKEN_ISBEARER=true are set by the application, then it prints a message.
    • If TOKEN_AUTH has the correct value OAUTH, then it prints the value.
    • If the token is not expired, then it prints a message.

8.5.2 Setting Client Tracing for Token Authentication

You can add EVENT settings to the client-side sqlnet.ora file to control client tracing.

These EVENT settings can be used for both IAM and Azure AD connections with Oracle Database.
  • Use either of the following methods:
    • Add the following settings to the client side sqlnet.ora file:
      • EVENT_25701=14 for low level tracing
      • EVENT_25701=15 for high level tracing
    • Set the environment variable EVENT_25701:
      • EVENT_25701=14 for low level tracing
      • EVENT_25701=15 for high level tracing
    Client trace files are created in the following locations:
    • Linux: $ORACLE_HOME/log/diag/clients
    • Windows: %ORACLE_HOME%\log\diag\clients

    You can use the ADR_BASE parameter in the client side sqlnet.ora to specify the directory in which tracing messages are stored. Ensure that the directory path is valid and has write permissions. Ensure that the DIAG_ADR_ENABLED parameter is not set to FALSE.

    An example of setting ADR_BASE is as follows:

    ADR_BASE=/oracle/oauth2/trace