Configure SAML authentication

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Many single sign-on (SSO) systems use the SAML 2.0 standard to allow external services to rely on authentication delivered by a centralized identity provider (IdP). The Search API supports SAML authentication, and the @coveo/auth package lets you easily enable SAML authentication in a search page built with the Coveo Headless library.

Install @coveo/auth

Before you can configure SAML with Headless, you must install the @coveo/auth package as a dependency. You can do this with the following npm command:

npm i @coveo/auth

Configure SAML

First, Configure a SAML Identity Provider using the Search API. You’ll need it when creating your Headless interface.

Headless code sample

The code example below is a sample SAML page built with Headless and React.

import {buildSamlClient, SamlClient, SamlClientOptions} from '@coveo/auth';
import {buildSearchEngine, getOrganizationEndpoints} from '@coveo/headless';
import {
} from 'react';
import {AppContext} from '../context/engine';

const samlClientOptions: SamlClientOptions = { 1
  organizationId: '<ORGANIZATION_ID>',
  provider: '<PROVIDER_ID>',

export const SamlPage: FunctionComponent<PropsWithChildren> = ({children}) => {
  const [initialAccessToken, setInitialAccessToken] = useState(''); 2
  const samlClient = useRef<SamlClient | null>(null); 3
  useEffect(() => { 4
    if (samlClient.current) {
      return; 5
    samlClient.current = buildSamlClient(samlClientOptions); 6
  }, []);

  const engine = useMemo( 7
    () =>
      initialAccessToken && samlClient.current
        ? buildSearchEngine({
            configuration: {
              organizationId: samlClientOptions.organizationId,
              organizationEndpoints: getOrganizationEndpoints(samlClientOptions.organizationId),
              accessToken: initialAccessToken,
              renewAccessToken: samlClient.current.authenticate,
        : null,
    [samlClientOptions, samlClient.current, initialAccessToken]

  if (!engine) {
    return null;

  return <AppContext.Provider value={{engine}}>{children}</AppContext.Provider>; 8
1 SamlClientOptions is a @coveo/auth interface that lets you define the parameters for the organization and the SAML provider. The organization is identified with the organizationId (e.g., myorg1n23b18d5a), while the provider (e.g., mySAMLAuthenticationProvider) parameter refers to the SAML identity provider that you configured with the Search API.
2 initialAccessToken is defined as a state of the SamlPage component. It’s initialized as an empty string using the useState hook. setInitialAccessToken, its corresponding state setter function, is also defined.
3 SamlClient is a @coveo/auth interface that is responsible for initiating the SAML flow to resolve a Coveo access token. The useRef hook is used here, because the value of samlClient isn’t needed for rendering.
4 The useEffect hook is used to initialize samlClient.current.
5 SamlClient.authenticate is not idempotent. Calling it twice after redirection from the provider, even on different clients, would cause a redirection loop.
6 buildSamlClient is a function used to instantiate SamlClient.
7 The useMemo hook is used to cache values between re-renders. In this case, organizationId, accessToken, and renewAccessToken are used to configure the buildSearchEngine function.
8 The Context.Provider React component is returned.