Single Sign-On (SSO) has become a SaaS essential today. The popular authentication method enables companies to rely on a trusted third-party to authenticate all of their users easily. SSO providers or services essentially handle all authentication activities and save the business valuable development time since no proprietary authentication system is required. Interested in implementing a SSO solution? We have decided to shortlist the top options you must consider in 2021.
How Do Single Sign-On Solutions Work?
Firstly, let’s look at things from the perspective of the end-user. It’s pretty straightforward. Once the user has logged into the application successfully, it catches on all applications using exactly the same single sign-on (SSO) tool. Furthermore, SSO tools can be used with multiple protocols – Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), OpenID Connect, and more.
As shown in the illustration above, SSO tools are reached when the user tries to login. The initial action is checking for SSO cookies. When it’s a first time login, there is no SSO cookie. The user then utilizes one of the predefined login methods, following which an SSO cookie (with an expiry date) is created for future use. The user can then proceed to using the application with minimal fuss.
Main benefits of using SSO platforms include:
- Added ease of use for end-users, which enhances customer satisfaction
- Less stress on developers to create new authentication solutions
- Improved security and compliance capabilities
- A seamless experience that is easy to integrate into existing SaaS ecosystems
- Better and easier to manage, especially while scaling up fast
- Before we closely inspect the best SSO software you can get today to bolster your SaaS offering, this list primarily includes Service Provider Initiated (SP-initiated) tools. We also have to clarify beforehand that this list is not exhaustive in any way or form. We invite you to add your own recommendations in the comments section below or share your personal experience with the ones we are featuring here.
Top 7 Single Sign-On Solutions in 2021
Before we closely inspect the best SSO software you can get today to bolster your SaaS offering, this list primarily includes Service Provider Initiated (SP-initiated) tools. We also have to clarify beforehand that this list is not exhaustive in any way or form. We invite you to add your own recommendations in the comments section below or share your personal experience with the ones we are featuring here.
#1 – Okta
This popular identity management vendor has been providing a solid cloud-based Single Sign-On solution for years now. Why is Okta so popular? Firstly, it has the ability to integrate all end-user web and mobile applications via their own IdP. The password reset option on offer is fully self-served. However, end-users have to perform a wide range of personalization and setup actions while getting started.
Pros: Good integration capabilities, Strong security
Cons: Costs add up quickly while scaling up fast, Getting started can be complex
Pricing: $2/month/user (Basic), $8/month/user (Ent.) $1500 minimum
#2 – Auth0
Founded in 2013, Auth0 is now seen as a trusted and dependable authentication solution, especially by SaaS application developers. The company is boasting over 100 million successful logins on a daily basis, a feat that is hard to argue with. The company has a strong B2C client portfolio (Siemens, Gymshark, Toast, WeTransfer) thanks to its strong B2C auth solution with strong social SSO functionality.
Pros: Multiple social login options, Intuitive dashboard, Good documentation
Cons: Escalating pricing options, Iffy customer support, Better for B2C and not B2B
Pricing: $130/month/3 SSO connections, up to 7000 MAU, up to 50 organizations only, M2M tokens adds to the pricing
#3 – Frontegg
Scaling up fast and need a solid Single Sign-On solution? Frontegg provides an SSO solution for B2B companies in a customer-facing approach. The platform is fully enterprise-ready – integration with enterprise IDPs, SAML and OIDC protocols, and includes a customer-facing including Social SSO – all available with a fully embeddable login box. As evident in the screenshot below, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Every integration made by the developers is directly reflected to the end-users, who don’t need to engage with support to adopt them. This is one of the biggest advantages of using this solution. Besides that, Frontegg also provides granular security controls such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) with granular roles and permissions, although social integration functionality is still quite lackluster.
Pros: Easy SSO integration, Self Service mechanism, Intuitive UI, Strong support, Multi tenant, Customizable customer-facing UI, Granular security, Ideal for B2B
Cons: Relatively new company, Limited social logins right now
Pricing: Free for up to 10 tenants, Growth package up to 50 tenants for $499/month
#4 – OneLogin
OneLogin Secure Single Sign-On is another compelling offering that ticks all the right boxes and allows the creation of versatile SaaS applications. A unique selling point is the OneLogin integration across the users’ endpoint devices . They can also access multiple application logins, which is becoming the norm across most use-cases today. There is also a useful shared login feature for teams.
Pros: Shared logins, Strong user experience, Easy to use, Good support
Cons: Integration issues, Average API support, Iffy customization
Pricing: $2/month/user (Basic), $4/month/user (Advanced Directory)
#5 – PingIdentity
With marketing efforts featuring Terry Crews, what can possibly go wrong with your logins? PING is offering comprehensive SSO capabilities to banks, hospitals, and other healthcare operations. This solution can be deployed in the cloud or on-prem if needed. The platform is great for enterprise, as it supports integrations with dozens of apps, protocols, and platforms with pre-build provisioners and adapters.
Pros: Well suited for enterprise, Requires minimal training, Good customer support
Cons: Can be buggy at times for end-users, Complicated troubleshooting
Pricing: $3/month/user (SSO and MFA, 30-day free trial) – We must mention that the pricing details not published on the company website
#6 – WorkOS
WorkOS was founded just 3 years ago in 2018 and is already being recommended by many developers and companies. While online reviews and updates are scarce at this point, the company is already boasting clients like WebFlow, Eden, and AirBase. Clients are getting the ability to access automatically created audit trails (SIEM) with SCIM provisioning and HRIS integration with Workday, Gusto, and more.
Pros: Strong integration capabilities, Attractive pricing, Fast onboarding
Cons: A very new company with all the risks that come with it
#7 – SecureAuth
Although SecureAuth is primarily an authentication provider, its SSO offering is a pretty solid internal one for enterprise and SMB use. This cloud-based Single Sign-On solution offers a wide range of analytics and administration features to get actionable insights that can eventually improve the SaaS product quality. You also get integrated adaptive authentication for added peace of mind and security.
Pros: Support for legacy systems, Emphasis on security
Cons: Small community, Support can be slow at times, Requires technical knowhow
Pricing: $1/month/user (5 apps/resources only), $3/month/user (unlimited)
Related: Top 10 PLG Tools for Your App
Frontegg: Enabling The Customer-Facing Approach for B2B Setups
Firstly, it’s quite evident that anything you develop today has to be PLG-centric. With this massive shift in user behavior, your Single Sign-On solution should ideally be self-served without requiring time-consuming interactions with support teams and overwhelming them with hundreds of tickets. This bottom-up shift will allow your devs to focus more on innovation and additional R&D efforts. A win-win situation.
Additionally, you need a SSO solution that can be implemented fast, while creating minimal hiccups for the end-users. With most Single Sign-On solutions today, end-users will face roadblocks in one way or another, creating a need for support intervention. Frontegg solves this problem with its robust, versatile, and self-served solution, which can be implemented and pushed out with zero friction.
Frontegg stands out from the (great) competition with its powerful login box that can be customized and personalized for literally any kind of use-case, including MFA implementation if needed. But it doesn’t end there. You also get a comprehensive admin layer portal, where you can manage all parameters and roles with just a few clicks. This developer-first and proactive solution is helping break all TTM records.
Looking to get started with Single Sign-On implementation in your SaaS offering? Self-service and Product-Led Growth should be your top priority today. Pick wisely.