An Introduction to Hosted Login
When most people think about revolutions they tend to think about big events whose effects are difficult to miss. The American Revolution! The French Revolution! The Industrial Revolution! You say you want a revolution? Those are revolutions.
Revolutionary? Well, like we said, it might not look revolutionary. But, then again, looks can be deceiving.
In fact, with Hosted Login it’s what you don’t see that’s so ground-breaking. Yes, the login process looks like every other login process. (Which isn’t bad: after all, it’s an approach that users are very comfortable, with.) But consider these facts about Hosted Login, and about CIAM in general:
Although people rely more and more on mobile devices, mobile access has often been an afterthought in the CIAM world. That’s not the case with Hosted Login, however. Hosted Login is built on top of OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect; that alone tells you that mobile is anything but a second-class citizen. In fact, registering for or logging on to an app or a website employs the same user experience regardless of the device you’re using.
The CIAM world has often been very proprietary, which meant a steep learning curve for developers. Because it’s based on OpenID Connect (OIDC), however, Hosted Login is different: app developers or website developers conversant in OIDC and capable of using an OIDC library such as AppAuthcan easily connect to the Akamai Identity Cloud by using Hosted Login.
- Hosted Login is entirely cloud-based. Not only does this eliminate the costs associated with managing an on-premises CIAM product, but it also provides you with Akamai’s unrivaled reputation for security and availability, including an industry-leading uptime of 99.999%. That equates to less than 8 hours of downtime a year.
How Do I Get Hosted Login?
If you currently subscribe to the Akamai Identity Cloud then you already have it: Hosted Login is not a separate product. Instead, Hosted Login is an integral part of the base Akamai Identity Cloud offering. In fact, after you subscribe to the Akamai Identity Cloud you’ll have access to three different ways to manage identities:
The Akamai Identity Cloud Authentication APIs. Doing an API-based implementation of the Akamai Identity Cloud requires the most effort: you must write code to handle logins, registrations, and user profile updates, and you must create all your screens from scratch. Obviously that’s more-involved and more time-consuming. On the flip side, the Authentication APIs do give you the ability to give users a fully-customized login and registration experience. It’s a tradeoff between the ability to do anything and the amount of time it can take to do even one thing.
- Hosted Login. Admittedly, Hosted Login might not be for everyone. For example, if you do need a fully-customized login and registration experience you’ll have to use the Authentication APIs and create one yourself; Hosted Login is not for the people who want to do everything themselves. But suppose you don’t need a one-of-a-kind registration and login experience, suppose you just need an experience that, via branding and theming, clearly conveys who your organization is. And suppose you’d like to quickly deploy a large number of sites without having to create each of those sites from scratch. And suppose you want to ensure that mobile devices are treated the same as any other device. And suppose – well, you get the idea. Hosted Login might not be for everyone. But that doesn’t mean that the vast majority of organizations can’t take advantage of it.
|Activity||SDK / API||Hosted Login|
|Delivery Model||Platform as a service (PaaS)||Software as a service (SaaS)|
|User Experience||In-app experience||Redirect to identity provider|
|Training||Learn the Akamai Identity Cloud APIs||Learn industry-standard and certified OIDC client libraries|
|Integration Time||1-3 days (not including design time)||30 minutes|
|Maintenance Cost||Scales linearly with the number of applications||Costs start lower and remain fixed as new applications are onboarded|
For a complete list of the CIAM features supported by Hosted Login, click here.
What Comes Next?
For more information about how Hosted Login actually works, see the article Authorization Code for Web Apps (or, to see how Hosted Login works with mobile devices, see the article Authorization Code + PKCE for Mobile Apps). If you'd like a little background on OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect, take a look at the article An Introduction to OpenID Connect. After that, feel free to browse around the site. We have a lot of Hosted Login documentation already published, with much more on the way.