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More and more SaaS companies are looking towards SAML implementation today. How can this be done with Auth0? What are the best practices? What do you need to look out for? This technical guide has all the answers you are looking for.
SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) is an XML-based standard for exchanging authentication and authorization data between various parties, in particular between identity providers (IdPs) and service providers (SPs). It is commonly used for single sign-on (SSO) and federated identity scenarios.
SAML is developed and maintained by OASIS (the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), a global non-profit consortium that promotes the development, convergence, and adoption of open standards for information management.
Auth0 is a platform that provides authentication and authorization services for applications and APIs. It allows developers to authenticate and authorize users using a variety of protocols and technologies, such as SAML, OpenID Connect, OAuth, and more. Auth0 provides an easy-to-use API and a variety of pre-built integrations with popular identity providers, such as Google, Facebook, and Active Directory.
We’ll explain how Auth0 supports SAML and allows organizations to implement it into their applications and systems.
In this article:
SAML works by exchanging authentication and authorization data between an identity provider (IdP) and a service provider (SP). The basic flow of a SAML-based authentication process is as follows:
SAML also provides the Single Logout feature which allows users to log out from all applications or services at once if the user logs out from one of the services. It’s important to note that SAML is a framework for exchanging authentication and authorization data, and there are different specific bindings and profiles of SAML, such as the SAML Web Browser SSO profile and the SAML Enhanced Client or Proxy profile, which define how the SAML message should be conveyed over different protocols.
Auth0 provides support for SAML with the following tools and resources.
Auth0 supports the following SAML bindings:
Auth0 provides support for acting as an identity provider (IdP) in a SAML authentication flow. This means that you can use Auth0 to manage the authentication process for your applications and issue signed assertions to other service providers. Using Auth0 as an IdP allows you to centralize the authentication process for your applications and enables single sign-on (SSO) for your users.
Most commonly, SAML works with Auth0 as an identity provider (IdP) to enable single sign-on (SSO) for applications and APIs.
When a user attempts to access a service or resource that is protected by Auth0, the service or resource redirects the user to Auth0 for authentication. Auth0 verifies the user’s credentials, and if they are valid, generates a SAML assertion, which contains the user’s identity and other relevant information. Auth0 then sends the SAML assertion to the service or resource, which uses the information contained within it to authenticate the user and authorize access.
Auth0 acts as a SAML IdP and allows the user to configure and connect a SAML Service Provider (SP) to it. Auth0 also provides a pre-built integration with a number of popular SAML SPs, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Office 365 and AWS.
Here are some useful Auth0 capabilities for SAML SSO:
Auth0 also supports other protocols like OpenID Connect and OAuth to handle authentication and authorization, and provides a feature called Universal Login, which allows handling multiple protocols in one place.
Now that we have understood how Auth0 SAML works, it’s equally important to see how much work (and time) can be saved with Frontegg’s self-served user management platform. Once you’re in, all you need to do is enable SAML, configure it (something that just takes a few minutes), enable the SSO functionality for the Admin Portal, and configure the customer identity provider. It’s really that easy.
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