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Auth0 vs AWS IAM: What are the differences?

Developers describe Auth0 as "Token-based Single Sign On for your Apps and APIs with social, databases and enterprise identities". A set of unified APIs and tools that instantly enables Single Sign On and user management to all your applications. On the other hand, AWS IAM is detailed as "Securely control access to AWS services and resources for your users". AWS Identity and Access Management.

Auth0 belongs to "User Management and Authentication" category of the tech stack, while AWS IAM can be primarily classified under "Cloud Access Management".

Some of the features offered by Auth0 are:

  • User and Password support with verification and forgot password email workflow
  • Painless SAML Auth with Enterprises
  • Integration with 20+ Social Providers

On the other hand, AWS IAM provides the following key features:

  • Manage IAM users and their access - You can create users in IAM, assign them individual security credentials (i.e., access keys, passwords, and Multi-Factor Authentication devices) or request temporary security credentials to provide users access to AWS services and resources.
  • Manage IAM roles and their permissions - You can create roles in IAM, and manage permissions to control which operations can be performed by the entity, or AWS service, that assumes the role. You can also define which entity is allowed to assume the role.
  • Manage federated users and their permissions - You can enable identity federation to allow existing identities (e.g. users) from your corporate directory or from a 3rd party such as Login with Amazon, Facebook, and Google to access the AWS Management Console, to call AWS APIs, and to access resources, without the need to create an IAM user for each identity.

"JSON web token" is the top reason why over 47 developers like Auth0, while over 21 developers mention "Centralized powerful permissions based access" as the leading cause for choosing AWS IAM.

9GAG, Splunk, and Obama for America Campaign 2012 are some of the popular companies that use AWS IAM, whereas Auth0 is used by Binary.com, Cofounders Pte Ltd, and Vizzbuzz. AWS IAM has a broader approval, being mentioned in 132 company stacks & 48 developers stacks; compared to Auth0, which is listed in 121 company stacks and 53 developer stacks.

Advice on Auth0 and AWS IAM

We need to migrate our authentication system to an external solution. We have a Vue.js frontend and a set of Services (mostly in Python) that talk to each other through APIs. This platform is multitenant, having all tenants in the same DB (MongoDB) and discriminating between them with a parameter value. So I'll be grateful if someone can share their experiences with any of these three options!

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Replies (1)
Micha Mailänder
CEO & Co-Founder at Dechea · | 4 upvotes · 12.9K views
Recommends
Auth0Auth0FaunaFauna
at

If these three are your options, I would recommend going with Auth0. They have all functionality available as developer API (Okta e.g. not) so you can manage your instance with Infrastructure as code and can also easily add functionalities relatively easily with the API. They are also really powerful if we're talking about ABAC (Attribute based access control). You can also enrich your access token with custom claims from your MongoDB, that can be probably really useful, as you said that you're dealing with multi tenancy.

We're using Auth0 in combination with Fauna Fauna is a database, so it would challenge you're mongodb. But Faunadb is the first database that implemented a full end user ABAC system directly in the database. (And also a lot easier than the ABAC systems from Okta or Auth0). This helps us, to use Auth0 only as identity platform and doing all the authorization with enriched claims over Fauna. With that you can skip in a lot of the cases you're backend, and you can request directly from the frontend your database (Blazing fast). Also, you can replace in some years Auth0 a lot easier with some upcoming cheaper (Auth0 was bought by Okta for a hilarious price) and "easy to use" passwordless identity provider like Passage.id

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Needs advice
on
Auth0Auth0
and
PassportPassport

Currently, Passport.js repo has 324 open issues, and Jared (the original author) seems to be the one doing most of the work. Also, given that the documentation is not proper. Is it worth using Passport.js?

As of now, StackShare shows it has 29 companies using it. How do you implement auth in your project or your company? Are there any good alternatives to Passport.js? Should I implement auth from scratch?

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Replies (1)
Recommends
Auth0Auth0

I would recommend Auth0 only if you are willing to shell out money. You can keep up with their free version only for a very limited time and as per our experience as a growing startup where budget is an issue, their support was not very helpful as they first asked us to sign a commercial agreement even before helping us t o find out whether Auth0 fits our use case or not! But otherwise Auth0 is a great platform to speed up authentication. In our case we had to move to alternatives like Casbin for multi-tenant authorization!

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Decisions about Auth0 and AWS IAM
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 Auth0
Pros of AWS IAM
  • 68
    JSON web token
  • 31
    Integration with 20+ Social Providers
  • 20
    It's a universal solution
  • 20
    SDKs
  • 14
    Amazing Documentation
  • 11
    Heroku Add-on
  • 8
    Enterprise support
  • 7
    Extend platform with "rules"
  • 7
    Great Sample Repos
  • 4
    Azure Add-on
  • 3
    Passwordless
  • 3
    Easy integration, non-intrusive identity provider
  • 2
    It can integrate seamlessly with firebase
  • 2
    Great documentation, samples, UX and Angular support
  • 2
    Polished
  • 2
    On-premise deployment
  • 1
    Will sign BAA for HIPAA-compliance
  • 1
    MFA
  • 1
    Active Directory support
  • 1
    Springboot
  • 1
    SOC2
  • 1
    SAML Support
  • 1
    Great support
  • 1
    OpenID Connect (OIDC) Support
  • 23
    Centralized powerful permissions based access
  • 3
    Straightforward SSO integration

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Cons of Auth0
Cons of AWS IAM
  • 14
    Pricing too high (Developer Pro)
  • 7
    Poor support
  • 4
    Status page not reflect actual status
  • 3
    Rapidly changing API
  • 1
    Cloud auth limited to resources, no apps or services
  • 1
    No equivalent for on-premise networks, must adapt to AD

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What is Auth0?

A set of unified APIs and tools that instantly enables Single Sign On and user management to all your applications.

What is 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.

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What companies use Auth0?
What companies use AWS IAM?
See which teams inside your own company are using Auth0 or AWS IAM.
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What tools integrate with AWS IAM?

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Sep 29 2020 at 7:36PM

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What are some alternatives to Auth0 and AWS IAM?
Stormpath
Stormpath is an authentication and user management service that helps development teams quickly and securely build web and mobile applications and services.
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.
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.
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.
See all alternatives