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Amazon Cognito vs OmniAuth: What are the differences?
Developers describe Amazon Cognito as "Securely manage and synchronize app data for your users across their mobile devices". 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. On the other hand, OmniAuth is detailed as "OmniAuth is a flexible authentication system utilizing Rack middleware". OmniAuth is a Ruby authentication framework aimed to abstract away the difficulties of working with various types of authentication providers. It is meant to be hooked up to just about any system, from social networks to enterprise systems to simple username and password authentication.
Amazon Cognito and OmniAuth can be primarily classified as "User Management and Authentication" tools.
Some of the features offered by Amazon Cognito are:
- Manage Unique Identities
- Work Offline
- Store and Sync across Devices
On the other hand, OmniAuth provides the following key features:
- Multi-provider authentication
- Over 200 supported authentication providers (see list at https://github.com/intridea/omniauth/wiki/List-of-Strategies)
- Open source
"Backed by Amazon" is the top reason why over 11 developers like Amazon Cognito, while over 4 developers mention "Easy Social Login" as the leading cause for choosing OmniAuth.
OmniAuth is an open source tool with 6.88K GitHub stars and 877 GitHub forks. Here's a link to OmniAuth's open source repository on GitHub.
According to the StackShare community, Amazon Cognito has a broader approval, being mentioned in 41 company stacks & 13 developers stacks; compared to OmniAuth, which is listed in 20 company stacks and 17 developer stacks.
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.
Pros of Amazon Cognito
- Backed by Amazon14
- Manage Unique Identities7
- Work Offline4
- Store and Sync2
- It works1
- Integrate with Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, SAML1
- SDKs and code samples1
- Free for first 50000 users1
Pros of OmniAuth
- Easy Social Login6
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Cons of Amazon Cognito
- Massive Pain to get working4
- Documentation often out of date3
- Login-UI sparsely customizable (e.g. no translation)2
- Docs are vast but mostly useless1
- MFA: there is no "forget device" function1
- Difficult to customize (basic-pack is more than humble)1
- Lacks many basic features1
- There is no "Logout" method in the API1
- No recovery codes for MFA1
- Hard to find expiration times for tokens/codes1
- Only paid support1