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Keycloak vs Okta: What are the differences?

Keycloak and Okta are both identity and access management (IAM) solutions that provide features such as single sign-on, user provisioning, and multi-factor authentication. However, there are key differences between these two platforms that differentiate their offerings and capabilities.

  1. Architecture: Keycloak is an open-source IAM solution that can be self-hosted on-premises or in a cloud environment. It offers a flexible and customizable architecture, allowing organizations to tailor the solution to their specific needs. On the other hand, Okta is a cloud-based IAM platform, which means it is hosted by Okta and accessible via the internet. This cloud-native architecture allows for easy deployment and maintenance without the need for hardware or software installations.

  2. Integration and Compatibility: Keycloak, being an open-source platform, provides extensive support for various protocols and standards such as SAML, OpenID Connect, OAuth, and LDAP. It integrates well with other open-source technologies, allowing seamless integration with existing systems. Okta, being a commercial product, also supports these protocols but may offer additional proprietary protocols and services to enhance integration with enterprise applications and systems.

  3. Pricing and Licensing: Keycloak is a free and open-source IAM solution, meaning there are no licensing costs associated with using the platform. It provides the freedom to use, modify, and distribute the software according to an organization's requirements. On the other hand, Okta is a commercially licensed product that offers different pricing plans based on the number of users and features required. This means organizations using Okta may need to budget for licensing costs based on their usage and requirements.

  4. Community Support: Keycloak benefits from being an open-source platform with an active developer community. This ensures regular updates, bug fixes, and a wealth of online resources, forums, and community-driven support. Okta, being a commercial product, provides dedicated customer support as part of the licensing agreement. This dedicated support can be advantageous for organizations that require prompt and specialized assistance in managing their IAM system.

  5. Customization and Extensibility: Keycloak's open-source nature allows organizations to fully customize and extend the platform according to their unique needs. This flexibility enables businesses to adapt the functionality and user experience of Keycloak to align with their specific requirements. Okta, on the other hand, provides a more standardized and consolidated experience, focusing on ease of use and user-friendly interfaces. While Okta offers some customization options, the level of customization may be more limited compared to Keycloak.

  6. Enterprise Features and Ecosystem: Okta is a mature and widely adopted enterprise IAM solution trusted by many large organizations. It offers a range of advanced features and integrations specifically designed for enterprise environments. Okta's ecosystem includes various partner integrations, pre-built connectors, and a marketplace of extension apps that complement the core functionality. Keycloak, being an open-source platform, may have a smaller ecosystem by comparison, but it still provides a solid foundation for implementing basic IAM functionalities in a cost-effective manner.

In summary, Keycloak and Okta are both powerful IAM solutions, but they differ in terms of architecture, pricing, customization, support, and focus on enterprise features.

Advice on Keycloak and Okta
Needs advice
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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 · 208.2K 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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Pros of Keycloak
Pros of Okta
  • 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
  • 14
    REST API
  • 9
    SAML
  • 5
    OIDC OpenID Connect
  • 5
    Protect B2E, B2B, B2C apps
  • 5
    User Provisioning
  • 5
    Easy LDAP integration
  • 4
    Universal Directory
  • 4
    Tons of Identity Management features
  • 4
    SSO, MFA for cloud, on-prem, custom apps
  • 4
    API Access Management - oAuth2 as a service
  • 3
    Easy Active Directory integration
  • 2
    SWA applications Integration
  • 1
    SOC2
  • 0
    Test

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Cons of Keycloak
Cons of Okta
  • 7
    Okta
  • 6
    Poor client side documentation
  • 5
    Lack of Code examples for client side
  • 5
    Pricing is too high
  • 1
    Okta verify (Multi-factor Authentication)

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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.

What is 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.

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What companies use Keycloak?
What companies use Okta?
See which teams inside your own company are using Keycloak or Okta.
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