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As an enterprise's applications, services, and API adoptions grow, managing identities (such as employees, vendors, partners, and customers) across internal, shared, and SaaS services becomes a significant challenge. The WSO2 Identity Server is a product that can meet this challenge and also provide options to solve identity problems you may encounter in future. 

WSO2 Identity Server is fully open source and is released under Apache Software License Version 2.0, one of the most business-friendly licenses available today. 

About identity in the connected world

In the connected world of today, the modern enterprises have to offer their numerous customers remote access to sizable amounts of sensitive and confidential information, while still maintaining access control and stringent information security at all times. Additionally, all of this needs to take place at the bat of an eyelid.

A typical connected business of today relies on users who are constantly on the move and using various applications and devices. These users are now using their own devices for ease of access and prefer to sign in just once. Basically, the connected business caters to people who would like to use their Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn credentials to access other information on their own devices. Here’s the catch: an individual’s identity needs to be validated across these applications, and this needs to take place in a manner that will ensure security as well as speed of access and ease of use. 

Identity management

Identity management is used to directly influence the security and productivity of an organization. This can enforce consistency in security policies across the organization. Identity management is particularly advantageous when complying with rules and regulations enforced in some critical domains by governments. This can also be a means to provide access to resources to outside parties without compromising security. Controlling access to resources increases organizational security. A system that uses a proper identity management solution is easier to audit. Additionally, there are automated password reset capabilities.

An identity management system would typically have the following.

  • User stores and directories
  • Authentication of users
  • Authorization of users
  • Single sign-on
  • Provisioning
  • Access delegation
  • Password reset
  • Self-registration
  • Account locking

The Identity Server and the solution it provides

WSO2 Identity Server provides secure identity management for enterprise web applications, services, and APIs by managing identity and entitlements of the users securely and efficiently. The Identity Server enables enterprise architects and developers to reduce identity provisioning time, guarantee secure online interactions, and deliver a reduced single sign-on environment. The WSO2 Identity Server decreases the identity management and entitlement management administration burden by including the role-based access control (RBAC) convention, fine-grained policy-based access control, and Single-Sign-On (SSO) bridging.

The Identity Server enables you to create, maintain and terminate user accounts along with user identities across multiple systems including Cloud applications. When there are multiple applications that require authentication, users should be able to log in at one place and still have seamless access to all the other applications.

Additionally, the Identity Server brings about a new and improved approach to federation. There is a centralized Identity as a Service Provider. It is still an overall n to n relationship. There is a 1 to n relationship from a federation partner to consumer services (where multiple consumer services rely on a single centralized federated Identity Provider for security) and a 1 to n relationship from consumer service to federation partners (where a single consumer service can rely on multiple Identity providers for security). This model ensures greater efficiency.

WSO2 Identity Server has the ‘Jaggery’ user interface for end users. Apart from the Management Console, an end user view is available to manage profiles, to recover accounts and to manage authorized apps. The log in and consent pages in the UI can be completely customized because they run on a separate context as a separate web application. These web applications can even be dropped into a separate application server if required.

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