Integrating Active Directory & Importing Users




Network Configuration Manager provides the option to integrate with Active Directory in your environment and import users from there. Users who have logged into the Windows system using their domain account can be allowed to login to NCM directly (without separate NCM login).

There are four steps involved in completing the process of importing users from AD and assigning them necessary roles and permissions in NCM. Follow the three steps detailed below:

Step 1 - Importing Users

The first step is to provide credential details and importing users from AD. NCM automatically gets the list of the domains present under the "Microsoft Windows Network" folder of the server of which the running NCM is part of. You need to select the required domain and provide domain controller credentials.

To do this,

  • Go to "Admin" >> "User" tab and click "Active Directory".

  • Go to Step 1 and click the button "Import Now".


In the UI that pops-up, 

  • Select the required Domain Name, which forms part of the AD from the drop-down.

  • Specify the DNS name of the domain controller. This domain controller will be the primary domain controller.

  • In case, the primary domain controller is down, secondary domain controllers can be used. If you have secondary domain controllers, specify their DNS names in comma separated form. One of the available secondary domain controllers will be used. When you use SSL mode make sure the DNS name specified here matches the CN (common name) specified in the SSL certificate for the domain controller.

  • For each domain, you can configure if the connection should be over an encrypted channel for all communication. To enable the SSL mode, the domain controller should be serving over SSL in port 636 and you will have to import the domain controller's root certificate into the NCM server machine's certificate.

    As mentioned above, to enable SSL mode, the domain controller should be serving over SSL in port 636. If the certificate of the domain controller is not signed by a certified CA, you will have to manually import the certificate into the NCM server machine's certificate store. You need to import all the certificates that are present in the respective root certificate chain - that is the certificate of the NCM server machine and intermediate certificates, if any.

    To import domain controller's certificate into NCM machine's certificate store: (you can use any procedure that you normally use to import the SSL certificates to the machine's certificate store. One example is given below)

    • In the machine where NCM is installed, launch Internet Explorer and navigate to Tools >> Internet Options >> Content >> Certificates.

    • Click "Import".

    • Browse and locate the root certificate issue by your CA.

    • Click "Next" and choose the option "Automatically select the certificate store based on the type of certificate" and install.

    • Again click "Import".

    • Browse and locate the domain controller certificate.

    • Click "Next" and choose the option "Automatically select the certificate store based on the type of certificate" and install.

    • Apply the changes and close the wizard.

    • Repeat the procedure to install other certificates in the root chain.

    NCM server can now communicate with this particular domain controller over SSL. Repeat these steps for all domain controllers to which you want NCM to communicate over SSL. Note that the DNS name you specify for the domain controller should match the CN (common name) specified in the SSL certificate for the domain controller.

  • Enter a valid user credential (user name and password) having read permission in the domain controller

  • By default, NCM imports all the users from AD. If you want to import only a particular user, enter the required user name(s) in comma separated form

  • Similarly, you can choose to import only specific user groups or OUs from the domain. You can specify the names in the respective text fields in comma separated form

  • Whenever new users get added to the AD, there is provision to automatically add them to NCM and keep the user database in sync. Enter the time interval at which NCM has to query the AD to keep the user database in sync. The time interval could be as low as a minute or it can be in the range of hours/days.

  • Click "Save". Soon after hitting this "Save" button, NCM will start adding all users from the selected domain. During subsequent imports, only the new users entries in AD are added to the local database

  • Note: In the case of importing organizational units (OUs) and AD groups, user groups are automatically created with the name of the corresponding OU / AD group. During import, every user will be notified through email about their account, along with a password that will be used to login to NCM when AD authentication is disabled.

    • What will be role of the users imported from AD, in NCM?

    The users added to the NCM database will have the role as "Operators". If you want to assign specific roles to specific users, proceed with Step 2 below.

    • Can I handle both AD and non-AD permissions to login to NCM?

    Yes. You can use both your AD and local (non-AD) passwords to login to the application. The choice can be made in the GUI login screen itself.

    • How to verify if user/user group synchronization had taken place in AD?

      Click the button "View Synchronization Schedules" present in Step 1. The status of synchronization will be displayed there.


Step 2 - Assigning Roles

All the users imported from AD will be assigned the 'Operator' role by default. To assign specific roles to specific users,

  • Go to Step 2 in the UI (Admin >> Active Directory) and click the button "Assign Roles Now".

  • In the UI that opens, all the Users imported from AD are shown in the LHS under the column "Operators".

  • Select the users for whom you wish to change the role and use the appropriate arrow button to assign them the role of "Administrator" or "Power User".

  • Click "Save" and the required roles are set for the users.


Step 3 -  Enabling Authentication

The third step is to enable AD authentication. This will allow your users to use their AD domain password to login to NCM. Note that this scheme will work only for users who have been already imported to the local database from AD.


Note: Make sure you have at least one user with the 'Administrator' role, among the users imported from AD.


Step 4  -  Enabling Single SignOn

Users who have logged into the Windows system using their domain account need not separately sign in to NCM, if this setting is enabled. For this to work, AD authentication should be enabled and the corresponding domain user account should have been imported into NCM.

For Single SignOn, NCM makes use of a third party library, which provides advanced integration between Microsoft Active Directory and Java applications.  the NTLM security provider validates credentials using the NETLOGON service just as a Windows server.

To facilitate this, a Computer account must be created with a specific password, which will be used as a service account to connect to the NETLOGON service on an Active Directory domain controller.

That means, NCM requires a computer account in the domain controller to perform the authentication (a computer account must be available/created - a regular User account will not work).

To enable Single SignOn,

  • Go to Step 4 in the UI (Admin >> Active Directory) and click the button "Enable Single SignOn".

  • In the UI that opens, select the domain.

  • Enter the fully qualified DNS domain name in the text field against "Fully qualified DNS Domain Name" (For example,

  • Enter the Computer Account name created in the domain controller and specify the password.

  • If you want to create computer account afresh, select the checkbox "create this computer account in the domain". It contains a script to set the password on a Computer account.

  • Click "Save".


The IE browser supports this by default and follow the instructions below to get this working in Firefox:

  • Open a Firefox browser and enter the URL about:config and hit "Enter".

  • You will see a big list of settings.

  • In the filter, type "ntlm" to look for the setting "network.automatic-ntlm-auth.trusted-uris". Double click that entry and  enter NCM server url in the text field (https://<NCM Server Host Name>:<port>).

  • Then look for the setting "network.ntlm.send-lm-response".

  • Double click the entry to change it from its default setting of "False" to "True".



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