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4. Single Sign-on with OpenID Connect

You can configure SystemLink to use OpenID Connect to authorize users. This enables SystemLink to use a common identity for users across multiple applications. This also means SystemLink leverages corporate single sign-on (SSO) and all its security benefits, such as streamlined login and limiting user credential proliferation. You can use OpenID Connect alongside or as a replacement for LDAP, Active Directory, and local Windows accounts for authentication.

4.1 Assumptions and Prerequisites

  1. Log into the server running SystemLink and go to C:\Program Files\National Instruments\Shared\Web Server\conf\openidc.

  2. Add the configuration files to SystemLink to connect to your OpenID Connect provider.

  3. Open NI Web Server Configuration.

  4. Go to the Authentication tab and enable Use OpenID Connect (advanced).

  5. Click Apply and restart.

  6. Login into the SystemLink web application with a user assigned the Server Administrator role.

  7. Go to Security > Roles and click the gear icon in the top right.

  8. Add an OpenID Connect Claim mapping for the Server Administrator role.

  9. Log out and log in as an OpenID Connect user with a mapping for the Server Administrator role and confirm they have the correct privileges.

Enable OpenID Connect in NI Web Server

There are three files that you must create to connect your SystemLink server to an OpenID Connect provider: [provider-issuer-uri].conf, [provider-issuer-uri].client, and [provider-issuer-uri].provider. The [provider-issuer-uri] portion of each filename must be the URL-encoded fully qualified domain name.

Refer to openid-connect-config for examples of each of these files.


An OpenID Connect provider with the issuer URI example.com:9999/v2 would yield files named example.com%3A9999%2Fv2.conf , example.com%3A9999%2Fv2.client, and example.com%3A9999%2Fv2.provider. You can find the issuer URI by viewing the issuer property at your provider's OpenID Connect configuration endpoint. For example https://example.com:9999/v2/.well-known/openid-configuration.

These files do not exist for new SystemLink installations. Add each file to C:\Program Files\National Instruments\Shared\Web Server\conf\openidc. Restart the NI Web Server to apply changes.

You can configure SystemLink to support multiple OpenID Connect providers simultaneously by creating a [provider-issuer-uri].conf, [provider-issuer-uri.client, and [provider-issuer-uri].provider file for each provider. The user ID in SystemLink must be unique across providers. This ID takes the form [sub_claim]@issuer. You can see the ID SystemLink associates with a user in the user details in SystemLink Security.

[provider-issuer-uri].conf describes the scopes SystemLink will request, the text and icon for the provider login button, and private keys for ID token key management encryption.

  "scope": "openid email profile",
  "ni-attributes": {
    "displayName": "Log in with PingFederate",
    "iconUri": "/login/assets/pf.png"
  "keys": [
      "p": "...",
      "kty": "RSA",
      "q": "...",
      "d": "...",
      "e": "AQAB",
      "use": "enc",
      "kid": "2020-11-20",
      "qi": "...",
      "dp": "...",
      "dq": "...",
      "n": "..."

In this example the openid, email, and profile scopes are requested. Additional scopes may be requested. Consult your provider's documentation regarding exposing scopes to clients. The profile and email scopes are required to populate first name, last name, and email fields in the SystemLink user preferences. These are derived from the given_name, family_name, and email claims respectively.

Each scope contains claims you can map to roles within SystemLink workspaces. See 4.5 Mapping OpenID Connect Claims to SystemLink Workspaces and Roles for details.

The ni-attributes section determines the text and (optionally) an icon to be shown in the SystemLink login page. The iconUri is relative to htdocs directory (C:\Program Files\National Instruments\Shared\Web Server\htdocs). This icon should be 16x16 px.

SystemLink login windows with SSO login option. An icon has not been set in this example

The keys section contains the private keys as a JWK Set if the provider uses asymmetric encryption for ID token key management. The corresponding public keys must be registered with the provider. The use property must have a value of enc to indicate the key is used for encryption. The kid property of the private key must match the kid property of the corresponding public key on the identity provider.

The keys section can be omitted if the provider uses symmetric encryption or no encryption for ID token key management.

4.3.2 ClientID and Secret

The [provider-issuer-uri].client file is used by the NI Web Server to authenticate with the provider.

  "client_id": "slserver",
  "client_secret": "4vFm89u07xaredactedredactedredactede2tjtsEGQhlLreLVjcyLA0"

The client_id and client_secret can be obtained from the provider. Depending on the provider the client_id may be user defined. ClientID and Secret Provider Documentation

PingFederate - Configuring an OAuth Client

Using OAuth 2.0 to Access Google APIs

Okta - Find your Application's credentials

ADFS - Build a server side application using OAuth confidential clients with AD FS 2016 or later

4.3.3 OpenID Connect Configuration and Discovery

The [provider-issuer-uri].provider file includes the contents of the provider's OpenID Connect configuration. This file tells SystemLink which endpoints the provider exposes that are used during login.

You may use curl to create this file. Replace [provider-issuer-uri] with the issuer URI of your OpenID Connect Provider.

curl https://[provider-issuer-uri]/.well-known/openid-configuration -o [provider-issuer-uri].provider

4.3.4 Setting Login Redirect URI

The client configuration for your provider requires a redirect URL that is used during the login flow. This must be the fully qualified domain name, the protocol (https:// or http://), and the port (if 80 or 443 are not used) of the SystemLink server. If the SystemLink server's DNS changes, update this setting with your provider.


NI recommends the DNS name in the redirect URI match the the preferred hostname set in NI Web Server Configuration on the SystemLink server.

Use the following URL to configure the login redirect url for your provider:


This configuration is optional for OpenID Connect providers who support front channel logout.

Use the following URL to configure the front channel logout URL your provider:

[protocol]://[systemlink-dns]/login/openidc-redirect?logout=get Provider Client Configuration Documentation

PingFederate - Configure an OAuth client

Google - Using OAuth 2.0 for Web Server Applications

Okta - Understand the callback route

4.4 Supported Signing and Encryption Algorithms

SystemLink supports the following algorithms for ID token signing, ID token key management encryption, and ID token content encryption.

4.4.1 ID Token Signing Algorithm

  • None

  • ECDSA Using P256 Curve and SHA-256

  • ECDSA Using P384 Curve and SHA-384

  • ECDSA Using P521 Curve and SHA-512

  • HMAC using SHA-256

  • HMAC using SHA-384

  • HMAC using SHA-512

  • RSA using SHA-256

  • RSA using SHA-384

  • RSA using SHA-512

  • RSASSA-PSS using SHA-256

  • RSASSA-PSS using SHA-384

  • RSASSA-PSS using SHA-512

4.4.2 ID Token Key Management Encryption Algorithm

Algorithms that do not require a private key:

  • No encryption

  • Direct Encryption with symmetric key

  • AES-128 Key Wrap

  • AES-192 Key Wrap

  • AES-256 Key Wrap

Algorithms that require a private key:



Refer to 4.3.1 SystemLink Login Configuration for information on configuring the private key.

4.4.3 ID Token Content Encryption Algorithm

  • Composite AES-CBC-128 HMAC-SHA-256

  • Composite AES-CBC-192 HMAC-SHA-384

  • Composite AES-CBC-256 HMAC-SHA-512

Map OpenID Connect claims to roles and workspaces so users can access systems and data managed by SystemLink. This process is the same as the mapping workflow for LDAP and Active Directory attributes. Refer to Assigning Users to Roles in a Workspace in the SystemLink manual. You can also use claims to create a mapping for the Server Administrator role.

4.5.1 Viewing Claims Returned by a Provider

The OpenID Connect provider determines which scopes and claims clients can access. To see available claims, use the userinfo_endpoint hosted by the provider. Use https://[provider-issuer-uri]/.well-known/openid-configuration to determine the URL of the userinfo_endpoint. You will need to obtain a valid bearer token to authenticate and access this endpoint.

Example curl request to return user info. The bearer token has been truncated for readability.

curl -s https://slsso-runtime.com/idp/userinfo.openid -H 'Authorization: Bearer eyJhbGciOiJSUzI1NiI...zJVy2oLnrBmXTmpDRm499U4~'|python -m json.tool

You can also view claims returned by a particular user by modifying the httpd configuration on your SystemLink server.

  1. Go to C:\Program Files\National Instruments\Shared\Web Server\conf\defines.d\ and open 50_mod_auth_openidc-defines.conf in a text editor.
  2. Change the configuration UnDefine AUTH_OIDC_ENABLE_CLAIM_INFO to Define AUTH_OIDC_ENABLE_CLAIM_INFO.
  3. Restart NI Web Server.
  4. Go to [protocol]://[systemlink-dns]/login/openidc-redirect?info=html or [protocol]://[systemlink-dns]/login/openidc-redirect?info=json to view user claims.

An example 50_mod_auth_openidc-defines.conf modified to expose user claims. You must be logged via OpenID Connect to receive data from this endpoint.

# Defined OpenID-Connect configuration for the Windows Apache installation.

# The name of the JSON map containing metadata about each identity provider.
Define AUTH_OIDC_ATTRIBUTES_KEY ni-attributes

# CA bundle to use when making requests to an identity provider.
Define AUTH_OIDC_BUNDLE ../nicurl/ca-bundle.crt

# Path to OIDC provider configuration.

# The location to redirect when performing an OpenID-Connect login.
Define AUTH_OIDC_REDIRECT_URI /login/openidc-redirect

# User-editable variables.

# Whether OIDC is enabled.

# When enabled, /login/openidc-redirect?info=json and
# /login/openidc-redirect?info=html will return the claims for the currently
# logged in user.

If the provider is https with a certificate signed by a CA not included in the NI-CURL CA bundle (C:\Program Files\National Instruments\Shared\nicurl\ca-bundle.crt), then the AUTH_OIDC_PROVIDER_DIR define in 50_mod_auth_openidc-defines.conf must to be updated to point to a CA bundle containing the provider's CA. The path can be absolute, or relative to C:\Program Files\National Instruments\Shared\Web Server.

Claims are returned as a JSON object.

Example response from userinfo_endpoint. Use any of these claims to a map a user to a role in a workspace.

    "email": "jane.doe@ni.com",
    "family_name": "Doe",
    "given_name": "Jane",
    "name": "Jane Doe",
    "ni_employee": "2670",
    "sub": "jdoe"

Within the security UI the claim and its returned value can be mapped to a role within a Workspace.

Mapping the ni_employee claim to a workspace.

If the claim value is a scalar, then it must exactly match the value specified in the role mapping. If the claim value is an array, then one of the array elements must exactly match the value specified in the role mappings.

If the claim value contains quotes the quotes must be escaped with \.

Example claim containing quotes

  "userinfo": {
    "sub": "88442211",
    "country": "US",
    "name": "Bob Smith",
    "http://www.example.come/roles": [

Claims must be escaped with the \ character.

4.5.3 Refreshing user claims

Claims are fetched at login. Log out and log back in for updated claims to affect role mappings.

4.6 Troubleshooting Failed Authentication

The following sources can be used to troubleshoot a failed connection.

OpenID Connect Provider logs: Consult your OpenID Connect Provider's documentation on the location of their application log files.

NI Web Server Logs: These are found at C:\ProgramData\National Instruments\Web Server\logs\error.log.


SystemLink uses log rotation therefore the latest logs may be in one of the numbered error.log files.

Returned Claims: See 4.5.1 Viewing Claims Returned by a Provider.

4.6.1 Cache Entry Size

The OpenID Connect module stores information in a shared memory cache. If a cache entry is too large, users will see an "Internal Server Error" when attempting to log in. This typically occurs when you are returning a large number of claims or claims with large values.

Example error logs

When this happens, the NI Web Server error logs will contain entries like the following:

oidc_cache_shm_set: could not store value since value size is too large
oidc_cache_set: could NOT store X bytes in shm cache backend for key Y

To resolve this issue:

  1. Open the following file in a text editor run as Administrator: C:\Program Files\National Instruments\Shared\Web Server\conf\defines.d\50_mod_auth_openidc-defines.conf

  2. Find the line starting with Define AUTH_OIDC_CACHE_ENTRY_SIZE.

  3. Modify the number at the end to a number larger than X, where X is the required size of the cache entry specified in the error log.

  4. Restart the NI Web Server from the Control tab of the NI Web Server Configuration application.

4.6.2 ID Token Management Encryption

The following situations can lead to an error and redirect the user back to the SystemLink login page after authenticating with the OpenID Connect provider:

  • The provider is using an asymmetric ID token management encryption algorithm and private keys are missing or incorrect

  • The provider is using an unsupported ID token management encryption algorithm

Example error logs

The error will be reported in the NI Web Server error logs:

oidc_proto_parse_idtoken: oidc_jwt_parse failed

The log entry will also contain more information about the problem.

To resolve this issue:

  1. Confirm that the provider is using supported encryption and signing algorithms. See 4.4 Supported Signing and Encryption Algorithms. Consult your provider's documentation for information on setting the encryption and signing algorithms.

  2. If the provider is using asymmetric ID token management encryption, confirm that the private key is configured in [provider-issuer-uri].conf and the corresponding public key is configured in the provider. Refer to 4.3.1 SystemLink Login Configuration for information on configuring the private key. Consult your provider's documentation for information on configuring the ID token management encryption algorithm and public key.

Last update: March 1, 2021