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Set up Workload Identity Federation with OAuth 2.0

On this page

  • How it Works
  • Built-in Authentication
  • Callback Authentication
  • Procedures
  • Prepare Your External Identity Provider
  • Configure Workload Identity Federation Authentication
  • Add a Database User Using Workload Identity Federation Authentication
  • Connect an Application to MongoDB with Workload Identity Federation
  • Manage an Existing Workload Identity Federation Configuration
  • Revoke JWKS
  • Delete Workload Identity Federation Configuration

Workload Identity Federation lets your applications access MongoDB Atlas clusters using external programmatic identities such as Azure Service Principals, Azure Managed Identities and Google Service Accounts.

You can enable any number of workload identity providers for one or more organizations. When you enable a Workload Identity Provider in an Atlas organization, you can use it in all the projects in that organization for database access.

Atlas supports Workload Identity Federation on only dedicated clusters (M10 and above) running MongoDB version 7.0.11 and above, and only by selected drivers.

To learn more about implementing Workload Identity Federation access with your chosen driver, see Connect an Application to MongoDB with Workload Identity Federation.

Workload Identity Federation allows your applications access to MongoDB clusters with OAuth2.0 access tokens. The access tokens can be issued by any external Identity Provider including Azure Entra ID and Google Cloud Platform. Atlas stores the user identifiers and privileges, but not the secrets. This authentication mechanism for your applications is only supported by MongoDB drivers. Other MongoDB tools like mongosh and MongoDB Compass don't support this authentication mechanism.

MongoDB Drivers support two types of authentication flow for Workload Identity Federation: Built-in Authentication and Callback Authentication.

You can use built-in authentication if you deploy your application on a supported infrastructure with a supported principal type. Your application can access Atlas clusters without supplying a password or manually requesting a JWT from your cloud provider's metadata service. Instead, your chosen MongoDB driver uses your existing principal identifier to request a JWT access token under the hood, which is then passed to the Atlas cluster automatically when your application connects.

For more implementation details, see your chosen Driver's documentation.

Built-in Authentication Supported Infrastructure and Principal Types

Cloud Provider
Infrastructure Type
Principal Type
GCP
Compute Engine
GCP Service Accounts
App Engine Standard Environment
App Engine Flexible Environment
Cloud Functions
Cloud Run
Google Kubernetes Engine
Cloud Build
Azure
Azure VM
Azure Managed Identities (User and System assigned)

You can use callback authentication with any service supporting OAuth2.0 access tokens. Workload Identity Federation calls a callback method, in which you can request the required JWT from your authorization server or cloud provider that you must pass when your application connects to Atlas with Workload Identity Federation.

Please review your chosen driver's documentation for additional implementation details.

To configure MongoDB's Workload Identity Federation:

  1. Configure Workload Identity Provider (one-time setup).

    1. Configure your external identity provider.

    2. Configure Workload Identity Provider in Atlas and enable it for your Atlas organization(s).

  2. Grant external identities (service principals) or groups access to MongoDB clusters.

  3. Connect your application to Atlas with a MongoDB Driver.

In order to access MongoDB Atlas clusters with Azure Managed Identities or Azure Service Principals, you need to register an Azure Entra ID application. If you have an existing application registration for Workforce (human user) access, we recommended that you register a separate application for Workload access.

1
  1. Navigate to App registrations.

    1. In your Azure portal account, search and click Microsoft Entra ID.

    2. In the Manage section of the left navigation, click App registrations.

  2. Click New registration.

  3. Apply the following values.

    Field
    Value
    Name
    Atlas Database - Workload
    Supported Account Types
    Accounts in this organizational directory only (single tenant)
    Redirect URI
    Web
2

It is a best practice to use service principal identifiers as MongoDB user identifiers while defining access rights in Atlas. If you plan to use this common approach, skip this step. However, if you prefer to use group identifiers such as Azure AD Security Group identifier instead, you can set groups claim in your application registration with below steps.

  1. Navigate to Token Configuration.

    In the Manage section of the left navigation, click Token Configuration.

  2. Click Add groups claim.

  3. In the Edit groups claim modal, select Security.

    What groups you select depend on the type of groups you configured in your Azure environment. You may need to select a different type of group to send the appropriate group information.

  4. In the Customize token properties by type section, ensure that you only select Group ID.

    When you select Group Id, Azure sends the security group's Object ID.

  5. Click Add.

    To learn more about adding a group claim, see Azure Documentation.

3
  1. Navigate to Expose an API` in the left sidebar and enable Application ID URL.

  2. Enable an Application ID URL.

    1. Keep the default Application ID URL assigned by Azure, which is api://<application_client_id>. Copy and store this value, as MongoDB Atlas and all MongoDB drivers require this value for Workload Identity Federation configuration.

4
  1. In the Manage section of the left navigation, click Manifest.

  2. Update the accessTokenAcceptedVersion from null to 2.

    The number 2 represents Version 2 of Microsoft's access tokens. Other applications can use this as a signed attestation of the Active Directory-managed user's identity. Version 2 ensures that the token is a JSON Web Token that MongoDB understands.

  3. Click Save.

To learn more about adding an optional claim, see Azure Documentation.

5
  1. In the left navigation, click Overview.

    Copy the Application (client) ID value.

  2. In the top navigation, click Endpoints.

    Copy the OpenID Connect metadata document value without the /.well-known/openid-configuration part.

    You can also retrieve this value by following the OpenID Connect metadata document URL and copying the value for issuer.

The following table shows what these Microsoft Entra ID UI values map to in our Atlas Configuration Properties:

Microsoft Entra ID UI
Atlas Configuration Property
OpenID Connect metadata document (without /.well-known/openid-configuration)
Issuer URI.
Application (client) ID
Client ID.
Application ID URL (api://<Application ID>)
Audience

You don't need to make any configuration changes in your Google Cloud account.

Note

Prerequisite

This procedure requires you to have Organization Owner access and assumes you have already configured your external IdP. To learn how to configure an IdP, see Configure An External Identity Provider Application.

You can configure Workload Identity Federation for database access in Atlas from the Federation Management Console.

To configure a Workload Identity Federation Identity Provider with Azure Entra ID in Atlas:

1
  1. Click on Open Federation Management App.

2
  1. Click Set Up Identity Provider or Configure Identity Provider

  2. Select Workload Identity Provider and click Continue.

3
Setting
Necessity
Value
Configuration Name
Required
Specify a human-readable label that identifies this configuration. This label is visible to Atlas users.
Configuration Description
Optional
Describe this configuration.
Issuer URI
Required
Specify the issuer URI value provided by your Microsoft Entra ID application registration. To learn more, see the table in Prepare your External Identity.
Audience
Required
Specify the application ID URL value from your Azure Entra ID application registration. To learn more, see the table in Prepare your External Identity.
Authorization Type
Required

Select Group Membership to grant authorization based on group membership, or select User ID to authorize an individual user.

It is more common to use User ID for application access.

Groups Claim
Conditional

Specify the identifier of the claim that includes the principal's IdP user group membership information. If you select Groups Membership as authorization type, you must specify this field. Leave the value set to the default, groups.

Default: groups

User Claim
Required

Don't modify the default value, sub.

Default: sub

4
5
  1. Click Connect Organizations.

  2. For the organization that you want to connect to Workload Identity Federation, click Configure Access.

  3. Click Connect Identity Provider.

    Note

    If you already configured another IdP, Atlas displays a Connect Identity Provider(s) button instead.

6

In the Connect Identity Provider(s) modal, select a Workload Identity Provider where the Purpose is Workload Identity Federation.

7

When you connect your Workload Identity Provider to an organization, Atlas enables Workload Identity Federation for all the projects within that organization.

To configure a Workload Identity Federation Identity Provider with Google Cloud in Atlas:

1
  1. Click on Open Federation Management App.

2
  1. Click Set Up Identity Provider or Configure Identity Provider

  2. Select Workload Identity Provider and click Continue.

3
Setting
Necessity
Value
Configuration Name
Required
Specify a human-readable label that identifies this configuration. This label is visible to Atlas users.
Configuration Description
Optional
Describe this configuration.
Issuer URI
Required
Enter the URI https://accounts.google.com.
Audience
Required
Specify any custom value. Audience is used while calling MongoDB drivers.
Authorization Type
Required

Select Group Membership to grant authorization based on group membership, or select User ID to authorize individual users.

It is more common to use User ID for application access.

User Claim
Required

Don't modify the default value, sub.

Default: sub

4
5
  1. Click Connect Organizations.

  2. For the organization you want to connect to Workload Identity Federation, click Configure Access.

  3. Click Connect Identity Provider.

    Note

    If you already configured another IdP, Atlas displays a Connect Identity Provider(s) button instead.

6

In the Connect Identity Provider(s) modal, select a Workload Identity Provider where the Purpose is Workload Identity Federation.

7

When you connect your Workload Identity Provider to an organization, Atlas enables Workload Identity Federation for all the projects within that organization.

Before you begin, you must have the following to add a database user:

  • Project Owner access

  • Workload Identity Federation configured in Atlas and enabled for your Organization.

1
2

In the Authentication Method section, select Federated Auth.

Note

Until you enable Workload IdP for your organization, you can't select this box.

3
  1. In the Select Identity Provider section, select a configured Workload Identity Provider.

  2. Specify either the user identifier or group identifier associated with your configured Workload Identity Provider.

Note

  • For Azure Entra ID users, this value maps to the Object Id of your Azure user group rather than user group name.

  • For GCP users, this value maps to the Unique Id of your GCP Service Account.

4
5
  • If you added a user, click the Add User button.

  • If you added a group, click the Add Group button.

The following MongoDB Drivers support Workload Identity Federation authentication:

Note

This procedure is only for users who manage their own signing keys.

Don't use this feature to rotate your signing keys. When you rotate your Workload Identity Federation signing keys, MongoDB fetches the JWKS automatically upon expiration of the existing access tokens.

If your private key is compromised, you can immediately revoke your JSON Web Key Sets (JWKS) cached in MongoDB nodes:

1
2
1
  1. If it is not already displayed, select your desired organization from the Organizations menu in the navigation bar.

  2. Click the Organization Settings icon next to the Organizations menu.

2

In the Setup Federated Login or Manage Federation Settings section, click Visit Federation Management App.

3
4
5

After you click Revoke, MongoDB fetches the new keys through your JWKS endpoint. You must restart your clients (such as mongosh or Compass) after you revoke JWKS.

To delete your Workload Identity Federation configuration:

1
  1. Open the Management Console.

    1
    1. If it is not already displayed, select your desired organization from the Organizations menu in the navigation bar.

    2. Click the Organization Settings icon next to the Organizations menu.

    2

    In the Setup Federated Login or Manage Federation Settings section, click Visit Federation Management App.

  2. Click Organizations in the left sidebar.

  3. Click the organization that has Workload Identity Federation enabled.

  4. Click Disconnect under the Manage dropdown on the Workload Identity Federation card.

  5. In the Disconnect identity provider? modal, click Disconnect.

    When you disconnect an IdP, users who authenticate using the IdP lose access to Workload Identity Federation in the Atlas projects listed in the Project table.

2

Click Identity Providers in the left side navigation bar.

3
4

In the Delete Identity Provider? modal, click Delete.

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