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Azure AD

The NAIS platform provides support for declarative provisioning of an Azure AD application.

Azure AD is our primary identity provider for internal applications. It is used for authenticating and authorizing both users (employees) and applications.

User Authentication

User authentication is performed by redirecting the user to Azure AD, where they will be prompted to sign in if not already authenticated.

Azure AD supports single sign-on (SSO) using the OpenID Connect Authorization Code flow.

Read more about the OpenID Connect Authorization Code flow

Application Authentication

Application authentication is performed by requesting a token from Azure AD.

There are two types of flows for requesting tokens, depending on the use case:


The following describes a few core concepts in Azure AD referred to throughout this documentation.


A tenant represents an organization in Azure AD. Each tenant has their own separate sets of applications, users and groups.

An application in one tenant cannot interact with other applications in other tenants.

To log in to a tenant, you must use an account specific to that tenant. This is indicated by the domain name of the account, which is the part after the @ symbol.

NAV has two tenants in Azure AD:

Tenant Name Description Production tenant Development tenant

Logging into the tenant

See for instructions on acquiring a user and logging into this tenant. Otherwise, consult the #tech-azure Slack channel.

Client ID

An Azure AD client has its own ID that uniquely identifies the client within a tenant, and is used in authentication requests to Azure AD.

Your application's Azure AD client ID is available at multiple locations:

  1. The environment variable AZURE_APP_CLIENT_ID, available inside your application at runtime
  2. In the Kubernetes resource - kubectl get azureapp <app-name>

You should generally not hard code or otherwise depend on the client ID of other applications.

Client Name

An Azure AD client has an associated name within a tenant. NAIS uses this name for lookups and identification.

All clients provisioned through NAIS will be registered in Azure AD using the following naming scheme:


For example:



A scope is a parameter that is set when requesting a token. The term scope in this case is synonymous with permission.

Generally, we will use it to indicate the intended audience (or target, or recipient) for the requested token. The audience is found in the aud claim in the JWT returned from Azure AD. Its value should be equal to the recipient's unique client ID.

If you're requesting a token to consume another application, you must use the /.default scope. The scope has the following format:


For example:


The /.default scope indicates that your application is requesting all available permissions granted by the target application.


A group in Azure AD is a collection of users. The group itself can be assigned permissions that allows access to applications, data, and resources. Members of the group will inherit all permissions that the group has been granted.

Group Management

There are primarily two ways to create and manage groups in Azure AD:

  1. Self-service through Microsoft at, or
  2. "Identrutina" - consult the #identrutina Slack channel for assistance. You will also have to ask for the group to be synchronized to Azure AD.

Group Identifier

Each group is identified by its object ID, which is immutable and unique.

The group name is not unique and should never be used by itself for authorization purposes.

In other words, two groups within the same tenant with the exact same name will have different object IDs. Groups with the same name will also have different IDs across different tenants.

Finding the group identifier

You can find the object ID for a given group in two ways.

First, make sure that you're logged in with an account with a domain that matches one of the tenants. Then, do one of the following:

  1. If you either own or are a direct member of the group, visit and find the desired group.

    Browsing the detailed view for the group should reveal the ID in the address bar within the query parameter objectId.

  2. Otherwise, visit the Groups view in the Azure AD Portal:

    You should be able to search and filter the list of groups.

    Consult the #tech-azure Slack channel for assistance if you do not have access to this page. Check the pinned/bookmarked posts first.