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Amazon Cognito

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Amazon Cognito vs Keycloak: What are the differences?

Amazon Cognito and Keycloak are both identity management solutions that provide authentication and authorization services. Let's explore the key differences between them.

  1. Integration with Cloud Services: Amazon Cognito is tightly integrated with various Amazon Web Services (AWS) offerings, making it an ideal choice for applications running on the AWS cloud infrastructure. On the other hand, Keycloak is a standalone open-source solution that can be deployed on different platforms, including private clouds and on-premises servers.

  2. Pricing Model: The pricing model of Amazon Cognito is based on active users, where you are charged according to the number of monthly active users. Keycloak, being an open-source solution, has no licensing costs and provides more flexibility in terms of scaling and customizations without incurring additional costs.

  3. Ease of Use and Configuration: Amazon Cognito is known for its ease of use and seamless integration with other AWS services. It provides a simple and intuitive user interface for managing user pools, groups, and app integrations. Keycloak, while offering a similar range of features, may require more configuration and customization to meet specific requirements due to its standalone nature.

  4. User Storage and Management: Amazon Cognito provides built-in user storage and management capabilities, allowing you to create user pools, handle user registration, login, and authentication. Keycloak, on the other hand, does not offer built-in user storage and requires integration with pre-existing external identity providers or databases for user management.

  5. Authentication Providers: Amazon Cognito supports various authentication providers, including social logins (such as Google and Facebook), SAML, and OpenID Connect. Keycloak, being an open-source solution, also supports a wide range of authentication protocols and allows the integration of custom authentication providers.

  6. Support and Documentation: Amazon Cognito is backed by AWS, providing reliable support channels and comprehensive documentation. Keycloak, being open-source, relies on community support, and while the community is vibrant and active, the level of support may vary depending on the availability of community members.

In summary, Amazon Cognito is tightly integrated with AWS services, offering seamless authentication and authorization for cloud-based applications, while Keycloak, an open-source identity and access management system, provides a more extensible and self-hosted solution suitable for a variety of environments.

Advice on Amazon Cognito and Keycloak
Needs advice
on
KeycloakKeycloakOktaOkta
and
Spring SecuritySpring Security

I am working on building a platform in my company that will provide a single sign on to all of the internal products to the customer. To do that we need to build an Authorisation server to comply with the OIDC protocol. Earlier we had built the Auth server using the Spring Security OAuth project but since in Spring Security 5.x it is no longer supported we are planning to get over with it as well. Below are the 2 options that I was considering to replace the Spring Auth Server. 1. Keycloak 2. Okta 3. Auth0 Please advise which one to use.

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Replies (3)
Luca Ferrari
Solution Architect at Red Hat, Inc. · | 5 upvotes · 194.8K views
Recommends
on
KeycloakKeycloak

It isn't clear if beside the AuthZ requirement you had others, but given the scenario you described my suggestion would for you to go with Keycloak. First of all because you have already an onpremise IdP and with Keycloak you could maintain that setup (if privacy is a concern). Another important point is configuration and customization: I would assume with Spring OAuth you might have had some custom logic around authentication, this can be easily reconfigured in Keycloak by leveraging SPI (https://www.keycloak.org/docs/latest/server_development/index.html#_auth_spi). Finally AuthZ as a functionality is well developed, based on standard protocols and extensible on Keycloak (https://www.keycloak.org/docs/latest/authorization_services/)

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Sandor Racz
Recommends
on
KeycloakKeycloak

We have good experience using Keycloak for SSO with OIDC with our Spring Boot based applications. It's free, easy to install and configure, extensible - so I recommend it.

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Recommends
on
KeycloakKeycloak

You can also use Keycloak as an Identity Broker, which enables you to handle authentication on many different identity providers of your customers. With this setup, you are able to perform authorization tasks centralized.

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Decisions about Amazon Cognito and Keycloak
Brent Maxwell
Migrated
from
Amazon CognitoAmazon Cognito
to
Auth0Auth0

I started our team on Amazon Cognito because I was a Solutions Architect at AWS and found it really easy to follow the tutorials and get a basic app up and running with it.

When our team started working with it, they very quickly became frustrated because of the poor documentation. After 4 days of trying to get all the basic passwordless auth working, our lead engineer made the decision to abandon it and try Auth0... and managed to get everything implemented in 4 hours.

The consensus was that Cognito just isn't mature enough or well-documented, and that the implementation does not cater for real world use cases the way that it should. I believe Amplify has made some of this simpler, but I would still recommend Auth0 as it's been bulletproof for us, and is a sensible price.

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Pros of Amazon Cognito
Pros of Keycloak
  • 14
    Backed by Amazon
  • 7
    Manage Unique Identities
  • 4
    Work Offline
  • 3
    MFA
  • 2
    Store and Sync
  • 1
    Free for first 50000 users
  • 1
    It works
  • 1
    Integrate with Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, SAML
  • 1
    SDKs and code samples
  • 33
    It's a open source solution
  • 24
    Supports multiple identity provider
  • 17
    OpenID and SAML support
  • 12
    Easy customisation
  • 10
    JSON web token
  • 6
    Maintained by devs at Redhat

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Cons of Amazon Cognito
Cons of Keycloak
  • 4
    Massive Pain to get working
  • 3
    Documentation often out of date
  • 2
    Login-UI sparsely customizable (e.g. no translation)
  • 1
    Docs are vast but mostly useless
  • 1
    MFA: there is no "forget device" function
  • 1
    Difficult to customize (basic-pack is more than humble)
  • 1
    Lacks many basic features
  • 1
    There is no "Logout" method in the API
  • 1
    Different Language SDKs not compatible
  • 1
    No recovery codes for MFA
  • 1
    Hard to find expiration times for tokens/codes
  • 1
    Only paid support
  • 7
    Okta
  • 6
    Poor client side documentation
  • 5
    Lack of Code examples for client side

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What is Amazon Cognito?

You can create unique identities for your users through a number of public login providers (Amazon, Facebook, and Google) and also support unauthenticated guests. You can save app data locally on users’ devices allowing your applications to work even when the devices are offline.

What is Keycloak?

It is an Open Source Identity and Access Management For Modern Applications and Services. It adds authentication to applications and secure services with minimum fuss. No need to deal with storing users or authenticating users. It's all available out of the box.

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What companies use Amazon Cognito?
What companies use Keycloak?
See which teams inside your own company are using Amazon Cognito or Keycloak.
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What tools integrate with Amazon Cognito?
What tools integrate with Keycloak?

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What are some alternatives to Amazon Cognito and Keycloak?
Auth0
A set of unified APIs and tools that instantly enables Single Sign On and user management to all your applications.
Okta
Connect all your apps in days, not months, with instant access to thousands of pre-built integrations - even add apps to the network yourself. Integrations are easy to set up, constantly monitored, proactively repaired and handle authentication and provisioning.
Firebase
Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.
AWS IAM
It enables you to manage access to AWS services and resources securely. Using IAM, you can create and manage AWS users and groups, and use permissions to allow and deny their access to AWS resources.
JSON Web Token
JSON Web Token is an open standard that defines a compact and self-contained way for securely transmitting information between parties as a JSON object. This information can be verified and trusted because it is digitally signed.
See all alternatives