ADAL and Web Authentication Broker on Windows Phone 8.1

One of the components I highlighted as an improvement to the MDM enrollment process in Windows Phone 8.1 was support for Web Authentication Broker (WAB):
http://mobilitydojo.net/2014/04/02/windows-phone-8-1-mdm-enterprise/

Which itself was “ripped” from the Windows 8.1 bits:
http://mobilitydojo.net/2013/09/23/understanding-windows-8-1-mdm/

At any rate; it is a nice way to hook into Azure Active Directory, and by extension your on-prem AD as well if you’re doing DirSync. (Or ADFS if you are so inclined.) What I used in the MDM process was the .Net server side implementation suitable for browsers.

Unfortunately using WAB natively in Windows Phone was not as easy. Yes, the WAB component is present in the operating system, but it requires some effort to get started with nonetheless. Active Directory Authentication Library, or ADAL for short, was/is the package responsible for making AD integration easier in .Net server side and now it’s finally present for Windows Phone 8.1 as well. Now you can easily use AD as your authentication in your Windows Phone app without problems, without VPN/reverse proxying and all that stuff. Just include the necessary NuGet package in your VS solution and you’re almost there. (Yes, you still need to write some code yourself.)

The funny thing is that this library was available for iOS and Android before Windows Phone even though Active Directory is just about as Microsoft as you get technology wise, but now you should be golden whatever your mobile preference is Smilefjes

Usually I’d whip up some code for you to try this, but in this case I will let the work already done by Vittorio Bertocci illustrate the moving parts instead. There’s a nice code sample over on the official AzureAD GitHub page:
https://github.com/AzureADSamples/NativeClient-WindowsPhone8.1

Not to mention a blog post with some more details:
http://www.cloudidentity.com/blog/2014/06/16/adal-for-windows-phone-8-1-deep-dive/

Short post, I know, but useful little trick I hope.

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