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Moving Microsoft Office 365 from SWA to WS-Federation
Published: Sep 14, 2017   -   Updated: Jun 22, 2018




Moving Microsoft Office 365 from SWA to WS-Federation

There are two sign-on methods for Microsoft Office 365 available in Okta: Secure Web Authentication (SWA) and WS-Federation (WS-Fed), which is the more secure and preferred method.

  • SWA relies on a username and a password for security credentials that can be selected by the end user or assigned by the administrator
  • WS-Federation is a specification that defines mechanisms to transfer identity information using encrypted SOAP messages. It adds an additional level of security. WS-Federation does not require a separate password for Office 365; consequently, Okta does not need to sync user passwords when WS-Federation is used.

We have simplified our WS-Fed configuration. Now, changing your sign on method from SWA to WS-Federation is quick and straightforward.

To change your sign on method for Office 365 app to WS-Fed:

  1. From the Administrator Dashboard, select Applications.

  2. Locate and select the Microsoft Office 365 app.

  3. Select the Sign On tab, then click Edit.

  4. For SIGN ON METHODS, check the WS-Federation radio button.


  5. If you choose to manually set up WS-Federation, click on the View Setup Instructions button, shown above. The button opens a new tab with instructions on how to prepare your domain for federated authentication utilizing PowerShell.


  6. If you prefer that Okta configures WS-Fed, please select Let Okta configure WS-Federation automatically for me


  7. Enter your Microsoft 365 API Admin Username and Password, as shown above. The Default Relay State is optional. (The default relay state is the page your users will land on after they successfully log in.)

  8. Add your credentials details and your API credentials.


  9. Click Done.