Everything related to SSO on CommCare HQ can be found in corehq.apps.sso

We have four primary models in our current SSO architecture, which is based on the SAML 2.0 protocol.


The IdentityProvider model is responsible for storing all the certificate information for a given Identity Provider (IdP), like Azure AD.

It is also linked to a BillingAccount. This link determines what project spaces fall under the jurisdiction of the IdentityProvider. Any project space that has a Subscription linked to the BillingAccount owner will automatically trust the authentication information provided when a user is logged in with SSO.


While the project spaces subscribed under an IdentityProvider’s BillingAccount automatically trust the IdP’s authentication of a user, a user who signs into CommCare HQ with SSO via that IdP will not automatically gain access to that project space.

Authorization is still managed within CommCare HQ, and a user has to be invited to a project in order to have access to that project.

However, SSO allows a user to login to HQ without the need for going through the usual sign-up process.


A user on CommCare HQ is tied to an IdentityProvider based on the email domain of their username. An email domain is the portion of an email address that follows the @ sign.

We tie email domains to IdentityProviders with the AuthenticatedEmailDomain model.

If a user’s email domain matches an AuthenticatedEmailDomain, during the SSO login process they will be directed to the login workflow determined by the active IdentityProvider associated with the AuthenticatedEmailDomain.


A user will only be forced to use SSO at login and sign up if ENFORCE_SSO_LOGIN in localsettings is set to True. Otherwise, they will be able to login with a username and password (if they created an account originally this way) or by visiting the IdentityProvider’s login URL (see the get_login_url method).


Even if the ENFORCE_SSO_LOGIN flag in localsettings is set to True, we still need to allow certain users the ability to always login to CommCare HQ with their username and password. Generally, these users are one or two enterprise admins (or other special users).

We require at least one user to be exempt from SSO login in the event that the IdentityProvider is misconfigured or the certificate expires and a user needs to gain access to their enterprise console to fix the situation.


Project spaces that are not associated with the BillingAccount tied to a given IdentityProvider do not automatically trust users who have authenticated with that IdentityProvider.

In order for a user to access a project space that is outside of their IdentityProvider’s jurisdiction, an admin of that project space must first agree to trust the IdentityProvider associated with that user.

This trust can either be established from the Web Users list or when inviting a web user that is using SSO to the project.

Once a trust is established, any user authenticating with that IdentityProvider who is also a member of the project space can now access the project space as if they had logged in with a username and password.