“Unable to to process your request” when trying to approve in the FIM Portal – Part 2

A long time after writing an earlier blog post on this error, I’ve seen it again. You try to approve in the Portal, and right after clicking Sumbit you get the dreaded FIM “Unable to process” error page

I had been working through all the usual Kerberos issues but was pretty sure I had all the SPNs, names in config files and Alternate Access Mappings lined up. Plus there was no sign of that “cannot connect to the middle tier” error in the FIM event log that always sets off Kerberos alarm bells in my mind.

Eventually I did manage to get an error – this one in the Applications log, and only when I logged in to the Portal as the approving user on the FIM server itself:

Log Name:      Application
Source:        ASP.NET 2.0.50727.0
Date:          9/02/2014 09:59:16
Event ID:      1309
Task Category: Web Event
Level:         Warning
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Computer:      FIMServer.mydomain.com
Description:
Event code: 3005 
Event message: An unhandled exception has occurred. 
Event time: 2/9/2014 9:59:16 AM 
Event time (UTC): 2/8/2014 10:59:16 PM 
Event ID: 941b508e7d764e89a77c1c5a57cad942 
Event sequence: 293 
Event occurrence: 6 
Event detail code: 0 

Application information: 
    Application domain: /LM/W3SVC/1069363774/ROOT-1-130363694884026945 
    Trust level: WSS_Minimal 
    Application Virtual Path: / 
    Application Path: C:\inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\80\ 
    Machine name: FIMSERVER

Process information: 
    Process ID: 8780 
    Process name: w3wp.exe 
    Account name: MYDOMAIN\SharepointAppPoolServiceAccount 

Exception information: 
    Exception type: SecurityNegotiationException 
    Exception message: The caller was not authenticated by the service. 

Request information: 
    Request URL: http://fimportal/identitymanagement/aspx/Requests/ApproveRequests.aspx?CacheID=18eab583-73a2-4bbd-991d-80e16f60a646 
    Request path: /identitymanagement/aspx/Requests/ApproveRequests.aspx 
    User host address: xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx 
    User: MYDOMAIN\ApproverUser
    Is authenticated: True 
    Authentication Type: NTLM 
    Thread account name: MYDOMAIN\SharepointAppPoolServiceAccount

I’ve highlighted the bit that jumped out at me – NTLM. It should have been using Kerberos.

When you approve you are actually hitting a published endpoint which is stamped on the Approval object itself and based on the externalHostAddress of the FIM Service instance where the Approval object was initially created. It must be possible to authenticate to this endpoint using Kerberos, and if anything gets in the way of that, the approval will fail.

So I went and checked the Windows Authentication settings on the “Sharepoint – 80” site in IIS and, for some reason that I have yet to get to the bottom of, only “NTLM” was listed as a provider. We must have “Negotiate” and it must be first.

iis_winauth_providers

 

I also followed the step to “Turn off NTLM authentication in the Portal” in the FIM post-installation steps: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg637904(v=ws.10).aspx

After a FIM Service restart and iisreset it is now possible to approve!

About: Carol

I've been doing IT for 30 years, and IdM for 15. I live in Australia and build IdM solutions based on Microsoft Identity Manager. I also play the violin, but that doesn't help much with the IdM solutions.


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