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Auth0 vs OAuth2: What are the differences?

Auth0 and OAuth2 are authentication and authorization solutions commonly used in modern applications. Let's explore the key differences between Auth0 and OAuth2 in more detail:

  1. Functionality: Auth0 is a comprehensive identity management platform that provides authentication, authorization, and user management services. It offers features such as user authentication with various identity providers, social login integration, multi-factor authentication, and user profile management. Auth0 also includes user consent management, single sign-on (SSO), and customizable authentication flows. On the other hand, OAuth2 is an open standard for authorization that defines a framework for secure delegated access to resources. It focuses primarily on granting access tokens and managing permissions.

  2. Implementation: Auth0 provides a complete identity platform as a service, allowing developers to integrate authentication and authorization functionality using Auth0's APIs and SDKs. It provides a unified interface for managing user identities. OAuth2, on the other hand, is a protocol specification that needs to be implemented by developers in their applications. It provides a set of defined roles, grant types, and endpoints for authentication and authorization. Developers need to implement these specifications to enable OAuth2-based authentication and authorization.

  3. Scalability and Maintenance: Auth0 is a hosted service, meaning that the infrastructure and maintenance are managed by Auth0 itself. This provides scalability and reliability without requiring developers to manage the underlying infrastructure. In contrast, OAuth2 is an open standard that can be implemented on any server or platform. The scalability and maintenance depend on the implementation choices made by developers. They are responsible for managing the infrastructure, updates, and security of the OAuth2 implementation.

  4. Integration and Ecosystem: Auth0 offers a rich ecosystem and integrations with various identity providers, including social media platforms, enterprise directories, and popular identity protocols like SAML and OpenID Connect. OAuth2, on the other hand, is a protocol that allows developers to integrate with multiple identity providers, including popular ones like Google, Facebook, and GitHub. It provides a standardized approach for obtaining access tokens from these providers and managing permissions.

  5. Customization and Extensibility: Auth0 provides extensive customization options, allowing developers to tailor the authentication and authorization flows. It supports custom branding, user interface customization, and a flexible rules engine for implementing custom logic during authentication and authorization. OAuth2, being a protocol, provides a certain level of flexibility, but the customization options are limited to the specific implementation choices made by developers.

In summary, Auth0 is a comprehensive identity management platform that offers authentication, authorization, and user management services as a hosted service. It provides a unified interface for managing user identities and includes features like social login integration and customizable authentication flows. OAuth2, on the other hand, is an authorization protocol that defines a framework for secure delegated access to resources. It focuses primarily on granting access tokens and managing permissions.

Advice on Auth0 and OAuth2
Needs advice

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)

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 OAuth2
Brent Maxwell
Amazon CognitoAmazon Cognito

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 OAuth2
  • 70
    JSON web token
  • 31
    Integration with 20+ Social Providers
  • 20
    It's a universal solution
  • 20
  • 15
    Amazing Documentation
  • 11
    Heroku Add-on
  • 8
    Enterprise support
  • 7
    Great Sample Repos
  • 7
    Extend platform with "rules"
  • 4
    Azure Add-on
  • 3
    Easy integration, non-intrusive identity provider
  • 3
  • 2
    It can integrate seamlessly with firebase
  • 2
    Great documentation, samples, UX and Angular support
  • 2
  • 2
    On-premise deployment
  • 1
    Will sign BAA for HIPAA-compliance
  • 1
  • 1
    Active Directory support
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
    SAML Support
  • 1
    Great support
  • 1
    OpenID Connect (OIDC) Support
    Be the first to leave a pro

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    Cons of Auth0
    Cons of OAuth2
    • 15
      Pricing too high (Developer Pro)
    • 7
      Poor support
    • 4
      Rapidly changing API
    • 4
      Status page not reflect actual status
      Be the first to leave a con

      Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

      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 OAuth2?

      It is an authorization framework that enables a third-party application to obtain limited access to an HTTP service, either on behalf of a resource owner by orchestrating an approval interaction between the resource owner and the HTTP service, or by allowing the third-party application to obtain access on its own behalf.

      Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

      What companies use Auth0?
      What companies use OAuth2?
      See which teams inside your own company are using Auth0 or OAuth2.
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      Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions

      What tools integrate with Auth0?
      What tools integrate with OAuth2?

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      Blog Posts

      Sep 29 2020 at 7:36PM


      PythonSlackG Suite+17
      What are some alternatives to Auth0 and OAuth2?
      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.
      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 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.
      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