SSO - Getting started
  • 25 Jan 2023
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SSO - Getting started

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Article Summary

What is SSO?

Single Sign-On or SSO as the term suggests, allows for user authentication and access to multiple applications or websites with a single login event. In simple terms, this feature can be referred to as One-time login.

A user logging into any application or website with the SSO feature enabled would be able to log on to other applications listed by the Service provider, without the user having to key-in their login credential every single time for each of the applications.

Reasons to configure Single Sign-On (SSO) in your project

There are several reasons why SSO is considered an important feature:

  1. Improved security: SSO can help improve security by reducing the number of places where user credentials are stored and by making it more difficult for attackers to gain access to sensitive information.
  2. Increased productivity: SSO can help increase productivity by allowing users to access the systems and applications they need quickly and easily, without having to remember multiple usernames and passwords.
  3. Better user experience: SSO can help improve the user experience by reducing the number of times users are prompted to enter their credentials, which can be frustrating and time-consuming.
  4. Simplified IT management: SSO can help simplify IT management by reducing the number of places where user credentials are stored and by making it easier to manage access to systems and applications.
  5. Compliance: Some industries and sectors have regulations and compliance requirements that demand SSO implementation.
  6. Reduced IT costs: SSO can help reduce IT costs by reducing the need for additional hardware, software, and support required to manage multiple authentication systems.

In summary, SSO can improve security, increase productivity, enhance the user experience, simplify IT management, support compliance, and reduce IT costs.

How SSO works?

Most websites or web applications like Document360 that are referred to as Service providers have a dedicated, secure, and centralized database for user information and their credential.

To facilitate the Single Sign-On feature an external entity, the Identity Provider or IdP is brought in, to ease the user experience in accessing the web application by authenticating the user's credentials and authorizing the access to the 'Service provider'.

Here’s a sequential rundown on how the Single Sign-on (SSO) feature works

  1. The user visits the intended Service provider or application domain sign-in page
  2. Redirection takes place to the Identity Provider (IdP) login page
  3. The user signs-in with correct credentials
  4. IdP domain matches the user information and sends an Access token or ID token to the Service Provider
  5. The validation of the Access/ID token with user information is successful on the Service provider’s end
  6. A trust relationship is established between the IdP and Service provider

As the authentication is successful the user is now authorized to access SSO enabled applications within the service provider without the whole process of Signing in for each instance

What is an IdP?

Identity Provider (IdP) is an external entity that stores and manages the identity information of users; the IdP also authenticates the users by facilitating the Single Sign-On (SSO) feature. Identity Provider handles the credentials that users use to log in to web applications, file servers, systems, and other digital services. Any single entity stored by the IdP is referred to as a ‘principal’.

Here are some IdP you can configure with Document360

  • Okta
  • Azure AD
  • Google
  • Auth0

SSO Standards on Document360

Single Sign-On feature is established with two broad standard protocols adopted by Document360.


1. SAML 2.0

2. OpenId Connect

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