Do I Need Crowd?

We are currently only using Confluence, no other Atlassian products, and authenticate all of our users through Active Directory (delegated LDAP authentication).

Going forward, we see situations where we would like to have external users be able to use Confluence (only specific spaces), but these users would not be found in our AD database. It doesn't appear that we can do this just within Confluence.

Would Crowd be able to manage the authentication of our internal staff via AD, while authorizing & authentication external users, or is there another way to allow entry for both groups of users?

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You can have multiple directories inside Confluence. One that is using AD, and the other is an internal (embedded Crowd) directory. You could manage the external users there.

You would require crowd down the track if you introduced more Atlassian applications and wanted to have Single Sign On between them all (Or potentially SSO between other applications, and you 'crowd'ify them. i.e Make them use Crowd for authentication and SSO)

Hope that helps a little

you can have multiple active dirs at the same time

Hey Colin, thanks for this. Wondering if I could aska follow up. Can you have these multiple directories going at the same time? In other words, as an Admin, can I set up new user #1 to authenticate against AD, and then new user #2 to authenticate against the internal directory? My understanding was that there's only one directory "active" at a time, but if that's not the case, how do you specify more than one?

Also, which version of Confluence do you have in mind? We're on 3.5.7, so is it possible this is a feature not available in our version?

Cheers and thanks!


Yes, but how do you create a new user and point the authentication at the non-primary Directory Name? When I create a new user, I'm not offered any choice as to how they are authenticated.

Let's say that I want to add an external user who would never be in our AD (which is our primary directory). How do I do that? Do I have to change the priority of the user directories so that the internal directory is first, then add the external user, and then switch the user directory priorities back again? That sounds awfully kludgey. Is there a better way?

Mark, If you are adding an external user you add them to the internal directory in crowd and make sure they are in a group that is assigned to the Confluence application. (Under Applications, in Crowd)

Next time Confluence syncs against Crowd it fill find this new user. From Confluence's point of view it has no knowledge of how many 'crowd directories' the users are coming from in Crowd. It just sees a bunch of users, their groups etc.. and asks Crowd to authenticate them.

If you add a new user to AD, the same process occurs although you aren't 'creating' a user in crowd since it syncs with AD itself and creates the users for you.

Is that clearer?

The order of directories in crowd is important if you have users with the same name in more than one directory. The directory that is first will be used for that username

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