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Auth0 vs OpenID Connect: What are the differences?


Auth0 and OpenID Connect are both authentication and authorization protocols that can be used in web development. However, there are key differences between the two. In this article, we will explore six specific differences between Auth0 and OpenID Connect.

1. Token Generation and Management:

Auth0 provides a fully managed service that takes care of token generation and management for you. It allows you to easily issue and revoke access tokens and refresh tokens as needed. On the other hand, OpenID Connect is just a specification that defines how authentication and authorization should work. To implement OpenID Connect, you would need to build the token generation and management functionality yourself.

2. Social Identity Providers:

Auth0 provides out-of-the-box support for a wide range of social identity providers such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and GitHub. This makes it easy to implement social login functionality in your application. OpenID Connect, on the other hand, does not provide built-in support for social identity providers. You would need to integrate with each provider individually if you want to use them for authentication.

3. User Management:

Auth0 provides a comprehensive user management dashboard that allows you to easily manage users and their permissions. You can create, update, and delete users, as well as assign roles and permissions to them. OpenID Connect does not have built-in user management functionality. You would need to implement user management yourself using a separate user database.

4. Single Sign-On (SSO):

Auth0 supports Single Sign-On (SSO) across multiple applications. Once a user is authenticated with Auth0, they can access other applications that are integrated with Auth0 without needing to authenticate again. OpenID Connect also supports SSO, but it requires additional configuration and setup to implement.

5. Extensibility and Customization:

Auth0 allows you to extend and customize the authentication and authorization process using rules and hooks. You can add custom logic to modify tokens, enrich user profiles, or implement custom authentication flows. OpenID Connect, being a specification, does not provide built-in extensibility and customization features. You would need to implement any customization yourself.

6. Scalability and Performance:

Auth0 is a cloud-based service that provides scalability and high-performance infrastructure out of the box. It can handle a large number of authentication requests without requiring you to manage the infrastructure yourself. OpenID Connect, on the other hand, does not provide any infrastructure or scalability guarantees. It is up to you to ensure that your implementation can handle the required load and scale as needed.

In Summary, Auth0 is a fully managed authentication and authorization service that provides features like token management, social identity provider integration, user management, SSO, extensibility, and scalability. OpenID Connect, on the other hand, is a specification that requires you to implement these features yourself, making it more flexible but also requiring more effort and infrastructure management.

Advice on Auth0 and OpenID Connect
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 OpenID Connect
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 OpenID Connect
  • 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

    Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

    Cons of Auth0
    Cons of OpenID Connect
    • 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 OpenID Connect?

      It is a simple identity layer on top of the OAuth 2.0 protocol. It allows Clients to verify the identity of the End-User based on the authentication performed by an Authorization Server, as well as to obtain basic profile information about the End-User in an interoperable and REST-like manner.

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

      What companies use Auth0?
      What companies use OpenID Connect?
      See which teams inside your own company are using Auth0 or OpenID Connect.
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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 OpenID Connect?

      Sign up to get full access to all the tool integrationsMake informed product decisions

      Blog Posts

      Sep 29 2020 at 7:36PM


      PythonSlackG Suite+17
      What are some alternatives to Auth0 and OpenID Connect?
      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