Cloud Computing: Okta Provides Cloud Single Sign-On for SaaS Apps

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2012-03-21 Print this article Print
End-User Welcome

End-User Welcome

Okta uses a variety of cues to help end users be sure they are logging in to the right system. After I entered my user name, Okta popped up a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge (a picture I selected during my initial log-in) to visually cue me that this was the right SSO portal.
Okta is taking a cloud-based, on-demand approach to single sign-on and identity and access management (IAM) by enabling end users to access the Okta service to log in once and gain access to the software as a service (SaaS) applications that live outside the company firewall. The long-established hallmarks of good SSO tools have always been: 1) the number of applications with which the product is able to seamlessly integrate; 2) the ability of the SSO tool to gracefully handle version changes of these applications; 3) integration with existing, authoritative identity stores or directories; and 4) audit support in the form of reports that show effective access controls. Okta comes preintegrated with more than 1,200 SaaS applications and showed that it could quickly add new apps. The relatively short duration of eWEEK Labs' test cycle didn't reveal how well Okta handled application version changes. However, the relatively fast turnaround on my new application request showed that the company can respond in a timely fashion. Okta currently integrates with Windows Active Directory, and I would like to see expanded support in this area. The reports generated by Okta provided good, basic access accounting in my tests.
Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant is the executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Prior to ENP, Cameron was technical analyst at PCWeek Labs, starting in 1997. Cameron finished up as the eWEEK Labs Technical Director in 2012. Before his extensive labs tenure Cameron paid his IT dues working in technical support and sales engineering at a software publishing firm . Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his analysis is grounded in real-world concern. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at

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