Configuring ForgeRock AM Active/Active Deployment Routing Using IG


The standard deployment pattern for ForgeRock Identity Platform is to deploy the entire platform in multiple data centers/cloud regions. This is ensures the availability of services in case of an outage in one data center. This approach also provides performance benefits, as the load can be distributed among multiple data centers. Below is the example diagram for Active/Active deployment:

Problem Statement

AM provides both stateful/CTS-based and stateless/client-based sessions. Global deployment use cases require a seamless, single sign-on (SSO) experience among all applications with following constraints:

  • Certain deployments have distributed applications, such as App-A, deployed only in Data Center-A, and App-B, deployed only in Data Center-B.
  • The end user may travel to different locations, such as from the East coast to the West coast in the U.S. This means that application access requests will be handled by different data centers.

To achieve these use cases, CTS replication has to be enabled across multiple data centers/cloud regions.

In some situations, a user may try to access an application hosted in a specific data center before their corresponding sessions have been replicated. This can result in the user being prompted to re-authenticate, thereby degrading the user experience:

Note: This problem may be avoided if client-based sessions are leveraged, but many deployments have to use CTS-based sessions due to current limitations in client-based sessions. Also, when CTS-based sessions are used, the impact of CTS replication is much more than in client-based sessions.

In this article, we leverage IG to intelligently route session validation requests to a single data center, irrespective of the application being accessed.


IG can route session validation requests to a specific data center/region, depending on an additional site cookie generated during user’s authentication.

This approach ensures that the AM data center that issued the user’s session is used for corresponding session validation calls. This also means that CTS replication is not required across multiple data centers/ cloud regions:

Configure AM

  • Install AM 6.5.x and corresponding DS stores, Amster, and others. Following is a sample Amster install command:
install-openam — serverUrl — adminPwd cangetinam — acceptLicense — userStoreDirMgr “cn=Directory Manager” — userStoreDirMgrPwd “cangetindj” — userStoreHost — userStoreType LDAPv3ForOpenDS — userStorePort 1389 — userStoreRootSuffix dc=example,dc=com — cfgStoreAdminPort 18092 — cfgStorePort 28092 — cfgStoreJmxPort 38092 — cfgStoreSsl SIMPLE — cfgStoreHost — cfgDir /home/forgerock/am11 — cookieDomain
am> connect -i
Sign in
User Name: amadmin
Password: **********
amster> import-config — path /home/forgerock/work/amster
Importing directory /home/forgerock/work/amster
Imported /home/forgerock/work/amster/global/Realms/root-employees.json
Imported /home/forgerock/work/amster/realms/root-employees/CoookieSetterNode/e4c11a8e-6c3b-455d-a875–4a1c29547716.json
Imported /home/forgerock/work/amster/realms/root-employees/DataStoreDecision/6bc90a3d-d54d-4857-a226-fb99df08ff8c.json
Imported /home/forgerock/work/amster/realms/root-employees/PasswordCollector/013d8761–2267–43cf-9e5e-01a794bd6d8d.json
Imported /home/forgerock/work/amster/realms/root-employees/UsernameCollector/31ce613e-a630–4c64–84ee-20662fb4e15e.json
Imported /home/forgerock/work/amster/realms/root-employees/PageNode/55f2d83b-724b-4e3a-87cc-247570c7020e.json
Imported /home/forgerock/work/amster/realms/root-employees/AuthTree/LDAPTree.json
Imported /home/forgerock/work/amster/realms/root/J2eeAgents/IG.json
Import completed successfully
- Creates /root realm aliases: and AM Agent to be used by IG in /root realm- LDAPTree to create cookie after authentication. Update Cookie value as DC-A or DC-B, dependending on datacenter being used
  • Repeat the previous steps for configuring AM in all data centers:

Configure IG

- frProps.json to specify AM primary and secondary DC endpoints. Refer frProps-DC-A for DC-A and frProps-DC-B for DC-B.- config.json to declare primary and secondary AmService objects- 01-pep-dc-igApp.json to route session validation to specific datacenter, depending on “DataCenterCookie” value.
  • Repeat the previous steps for deploying IG in all data centers.

Test the use cases

The user accesses an application deployed in DC-A first

  1. The user accesses, deployed in DC-A.
  2. IG, deployed in DC-A, redirects the request to AM, deployed in DC-A for authentication.
  3. A DataCenterCookie is issued with a DC-A value.
  4. The user accesses, deployed in DC-B.
  5. IG, deployed in DC-B, redirects the request to AM, deployed in DC-A, for session validation.

The user accesses an application deployed in DC-B first

  1. The user accesses deployed in DC-B.
  2. IG, deployed in DC-B, redirects the request to AM deployed in DC-B, for authentication.
  3. A DataCenterCookie is issued with a DC-B value.
  4. The user accesses, deployed in DC-A.
  5. IG, deployed in DC-A, redirects request to AM, deployed in DC-B, for session validation.

Extend AM to OAuth/OIDC use cases

OAuth: AM 6.5.2 provides option to modify Access tokens using scripts. This allows additional metadata in stateless OAuth tokens, such as dataCenter. This information can be leveraged by IG OAuth RS to invoke the appropriate data center’s AmService objects for tokenInfo/ introspection endpoints:

 “sub”: “user.88”,
 “auth_level”: 0,
 “iss”: “",
 “dataCenter”: “DC-A”

OIDC: AM allows additional claims in OIDC tokens using scripts. This information can be leveraged by IG to invoke appropriate dataceter’s AmService objects


Extending IG as a complete UMA-RS

Both AM and IG support UMA 1.0.1 where AM acts as UMA Authorization Server (AS) and IG as UMA Resource Server (RS).

Currently there are some limitations in UMA support in IG, one of the most important is: PAT is stored in IG memory and is not persisted and if IG is restarted then the resource owner must perform the entire share process again.

Note: This post is based on UMA 1.0.1  (Support for UMA 1.0 and UMA 1.0.1 will be removed in a future version of ForgeRock Access Management) 


Versions used for this implementation: IG 5, AM 5.1 and DS 5

We can overcome some of these limitations by extending IG-UMA filter:

Some of the features of this extension:

  • Realm support
  • Extend IG-UMA REST endpoint: Authentication using PAT
  • User friendly UMA Resource name
  • Persisting UMA ResourceSet id and PAT in DS/OpenDJ:

UMA Flows

  • Alice share UMA resource
  • Bob access UMA resource


See Also

This blog post was first published @, included here with permission.

Unlock user account using OpenAM Forgot Password flow

OpenAM provides “Account Lockout” functionality which can be used to configure various lockout parameters such as failure count, lockout interval etc.

Note that OpenDJ also provides Account Lockout functionality, this article is based on OpenAM Account Lockout policies. Refer this KB article for more differences between OpenAM and OpenDJ lockout polices.

Using OpenAM “Account Lockout” policies, users may get locked out with invalid login attempts. OpenAM offers both Memory and Physical lockouts. Using memory lockout, users get unlocked automatically after specified duration.

Many deployments use “Physical lockout” due to security requirements. When this lockout mode is used then there should be some Self-service flow so that user can unlock themselves. Why not use OpenAM forgot password self-service flow ?

OpenAM forgot password allows user to reset password after successfully completing various stages (such as KBA, email confirmation, reCaptcha etc). Unfortunately, the problem is that the account is not unlocked when this flow is used. There is already an open RFE for this issue.


Versions used for this implementation: OpenAM 13.5, OpenDJ 3.5
One of the solution can include extending out of the box OpenAM’s forgot password self-service flow by adding custom stage to unlock user’s account:
  • Implement ForgottenPasswordConfigProviderExt to include account unlock stage.
  • Implement unlock custom stage
  • Extend selfServiceExt.xml to include custom provider.


  • Build the custom stage by using maven.
  • Delete all instances of User Self-Service from all realms.
  • Remove existing selfService
./ssoadm delete-svc --adminid amadmin --password-file /tmp/pwd.txt -s selfService
  • Restart OpenAM
  • Register custom selfService
  • Restart OpenAM
./ssoadm create-svc --adminid amadmin --password-file /tmp/pwd.txt --xmlfile ~/softwares/selfServiceExt.xml
  • Add User Self-Service to specified realm and enable forgot password flow.


  1. Lock user by authenticating using wrong password till user is locked out.
  2. Follow forgot password flow to reset password and unlock account.
  3. Try authenticating again with new password. This should succeed.

This blog post was first published @, included here with permission.

Extending OpenAM HOTP module to display OTP delivery details

OpenAM provide HOTP authentication module which can send OTP to user’s email address and/or telephone number. By default, OpenAM doesn’t displays user’s email address and/or telephone number while sending this OTP.


Versions used for this implementation: OpenAM 13.5, OpenDJ 3.5
One of the solution can include extending out of the box OpenAM’s HOTP module:
  • Extend HOTP auth module (openam-auth-hotp).
  • Update below property in extended send.success=Please enter your One Time Password sent at
  • Extend HOTPService appropriately to retrieve user profile details.
  • Change extended HOTP module code as per below (both for auto send and on request):

substituteHeader(START_STATE, bundle.getString("send.success") + <Get User contact details from HOTPService>);


Register service and module (Note that for OpenAM v12 use amAuthHOTPExt-12.xml) :
$ ./ssoadm create-svc --adminid amadmin --password-file /tmp/pwd.txt --xmlfile ~/softwares/amAuthHOTPExt.xml
$ ./ssoadm register-auth-module --adminid amadmin --password-file /tmp/pwd.txt --authmodule com.sun.identity.authentication.modules.hotp.HOTPExt

UnRegister service and module (in case module needs to be uninstalled) : 
$ ./ssoadm unregister-auth-module --adminid amadmin --password-file /tmp/pwd.txt --authmodule com.sun.identity.authentication.modules.hotp.HOTPExt
$ ./ssoadm delete-svc --adminid amadmin --password-file /tmp/pwd.txt -s sunAMAuthHOTPExtService
  • Configure HOTPExt module with required SMTP server. Enable both SMS and Email.
  • Create a chain(otpChain) with (LDAP:Required, HOTPExt:Required). Set this chain as default for “Organization Authentication”
  • Restart OpenAM
  • Invoke HOTP module and appropriate message is displayed on screen with user’s email address and/or telephone number:


This blog post was first published @, included here with permission.

OpenAM SP SAML Attribute Mapper extension for updating profile attributes

OpenAM can act as both SP and IdP for SAML webSSO flows. OpenAM also provides ability to dynamically create user profiles.

When OpenAM is acting as SAML SP and Dynamic user profile is enabled, if user profile doesn’t exist on OpenAM then OpenAM dynamically creates this profile from attributes in SAML assertion.
The problem comes if user profile is updated at IdP side, all subsequent SAML webSSO flows doesn’t update these changes at OpenAM SP side. More details here: OPENAM-8340


Versions used for this implementation: OpenAM 13.5, OpenDJ 3.5

One of the solution can include extending OpenAM SP Attribute Mapper. This extension may include just checking if user profile exists in OpenAM SP and updating any modified or new attributes in OpenAM datastore. Some tips for this implementation:

  1. Extend DefaultSPAttributeMapper and override getAttributes()
  2. Get datastore provider from SAML2Utils.getDataStoreProvider()
  3. Check if user exists: dataStoreProvider.isUserExists(userID)
  4. Get existing user attributes: dataStoreProvider.getAttributes()
  5. Compare attributes in SAML assertion with existing user attributes.
  6. Finally persist any new and updated attributes: dataStoreProvider.setAttributes()


  • Compile and deploy this extension in OpenAM under  (OpenAM-Tomcat)/webapps/openam/WEB-INF/lib
  • Change SAML attribute setting in OpenAM. Navigate to Federation > Entity Providers > (SP Hosted Entity) > Assertion Processing. Specify ‘org.forgerock.openam.saml2.plugins.examples.UpdateDynamicUserSPAttMapper’ under Attribute Mapper.
  • Restart OpenAM
  • And we are good to go! Any changes in user profile attributes in SAML assertion will now be persisted in OpenAM datastore.

Note that ideally attributes between different sources should be synced by using some tool like OpenIDM 

See Also

Get code:
OpenAM User Profile settings:
OpenAM SAML configuration:

This blog post was first published @, included here with permission.