Salesforce launches identity service, eyes Okta

The service is built on Salesforce's Force.com platform and on the surface looks like it competes with Okta on many fronts.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Salesforce.com on Tuesday launched an identity service, Salesforce Identity, in a bid to be the central hub to connect Web, mobile and on-premise applications with things like single sign-on, directory integration and authentication.

The latest service, which is now generally available, was announced last year at Dreamforce. With the move, Salesforce aims to be the keeper of identity for customers, employees and partners. The service is built on Salesforce's Force.com platform and on the surface looks like it competes with Okta on many fronts.

Salesforce cited Sierra Club and Varsity Brands as early customers of the service. Software as a service applications and mobile apps have highlighted the need for single sign-on and connections across multiple applications. Salesforce figures it can elbow into the identity management game since it often serves as the repository for customer data.

salesforce connected apps
salesforce identity screen

Chuck Mortimore, vice president product management at Salesforce, said that identity services primarily focused on employees. "The reality is everything has changed with bring your own device and applications," said Mortimore. "Control has shifted for IT with everything happening outside of the firewall."

Under Salesforce Identity, companies can provision mobile and on-premise apps from one platform, log in once and get access to other applications. Mortimore said that Salesforce Identity wanted to avoid plumbing and views identity services as a way to connect with a company's ecosystem. Features include:

  • A cloud directory with user profiles, workflows and administration
  • Directory integration and support for Active Directory
  • Dashboards and reporting
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Single sign-on, integration with Salesforce Chatter and social feeds, mobile identity and social sign-ons via Facebook, Google, Amazon and PayPal
  • Policies based on device such as mobile or PC
salesforce identity app launcher

The service is included in Salesforce's enterprise and unlimited edition licenses for Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Salesforce Communities, Force.com and Chatter Plus. The pricing will be $5 per user a month for customers without those services. Other directories can be tied into Salesforce Identity for $1 per user per month.

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