How to Implement Single Sign-On

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In this article we will dive into Single Sing-On Implementation, what it is and how it works. We will also illustrate how to create single sign-on.

Single sign-on is a necessary function for all kinds of different applications. This is a process that will vastly improve the user experience through simplifying each login. Whether they are navigating their way through apps that you have built, or third-party apps, SSO makes the process a whole lot more streamlined. 

Streamlining the process is achieved by not having to enter your credentials again after putting them in once - a real time saver! Each time you open a new app, the server automatically carries your details over and logs in. This can cover any kind of platform, domain, or technology

How SSO Implementation Works

SSO implementation revolves around a central server. All applications trust this main server and use it to access your login credentials. When you first log in, the server creates a cookie with your details. When you access a new application, you get redirected to this central server. The cookie there then redirects you straight to the app. Any login prompts will not be necessary now that the server contains your credentials. 

Single sign-on is a process that we see over many large platforms - such as Google. As an example, you will sign into your Google Drive once, and then all other related applications (Gmail, Docs, etc) will contain your credentials. This means that you don’t get directed to a login page for them.

If you have different applications that you have developed or are using, they will likely run off different servers and user directories. In order to get single sign-on working throughout them, they will need to be integrated towards a master server. This can be done using various technologies that work and integrate with a range of platforms.

If you are creating your own applications or cloud-based system, then SSO implementation should be an important step in the process. Not only does it streamline use, but it also helps internal employees and external users to remember their passwords. SSO will also add plenty of value to your program, and enhance its overall experience.

How To Create a Single Sign-On

No matter what kind of platforms and applications you use, it is possible to create a single sign-on for all of them. In order to do this, you will need to have one master server that each application can access. Most SaaS applications have their own user directories. For SSO implementation to happen, you will need to get these different user directories on the same page. This can be done through various third-party vendors that have developed a single point of integration to use across all of your different platforms. 

Many will wonder how to implement single sign-on using Active Directory. Active Directory is one of the most popular user directories for different enterprises. If you want Active Directory to act as your delegated master, then you can still use these products from third-party vendors to integrate all of your applications under this. 

Single sign-on implementation in Java is very accessible. There are a number of standard technologies and techniques to help with SSO implementation. These are often also open source or freeware and are robust enough to use across different platforms. 

Java web applications have many great solutions available too. There are different products out there offering comprehensive facilities for easy integration. These can be used with different application servers, as well as complex architecture. 

Implementing SSO

Single sign-on gives you authentication to a number of independent software systems. These systems all relate though, and can all be accessed and controlled using only one password. In web development, introducing SSO can be a challenge. However, it is a highly necessary part of IT software development. 

Developing SSO solutions to your software makes them more flexible, quicker to navigate, and easier to use. It enhances the user experience and makes managing the software much simpler. No matter what kind of platform or applications you are using, there is always an SSO solution that can be applied across all of them.

Carlo Belloni

Project Manager and SEO Specialist at Kisi

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