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Keycloak vs Spring Security: What are the differences?

Keycloak: An open source identity and access management solution. 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; Spring Security: A powerful and highly customizable authentication and access-control framework. It is a framework that focuses on providing both authentication and authorization to Java applications. The real power of Spring Security is found in how easily it can be extended to meet custom requirements.

Keycloak and Spring Security can be primarily classified as "User Management and Authentication" tools.

Spring Security is an open source tool with 3.63K GitHub stars and 3.2K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Spring Security's open source repository on GitHub.

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Spring Security
Okta
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Keycloak

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 (2)
Luca Ferrari
Solution Architect at Red Hat, Inc. · | 3 upvotes · 56.3K views
Recommends
Keycloak

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
Keycloak

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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Pros of Keycloak
Pros of Spring Security
  • 23
    It's a open source solution
  • 18
    Supports multiple identity provider
  • 11
    OpenID and SAML support
  • 6
    Easy customisation
  • 5
    JSON web token
  • 2
    Easy to use
  • 2
    Java integration

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Cons of Keycloak
Cons of Spring Security
  • 1
    Okta
  • 1
    Lack of Code examples for client side
  • 1
    Poor client side documentation
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    - No public GitHub repository available -

    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 Spring Security?

    It is a framework that focuses on providing both authentication and authorization to Java applications. The real power of Spring Security is found in how easily it can be extended to meet custom requirements.

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

    What companies use Keycloak?
    What companies use Spring Security?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Keycloak or Spring Security.
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    What tools integrate with Keycloak?
    What tools integrate with Spring Security?

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    What are some alternatives to Keycloak and Spring Security?
    Auth0
    A set of unified APIs and tools that instantly enables Single Sign On and user management to all your applications.
    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.
    FreeIPA
    FreeIPA is an integrated Identity and Authentication solution for Linux/UNIX networked environments. A FreeIPA server provides centralized authentication, authorization and account information by storing data about user, groups, hosts and other objects necessary to manage the security aspects of a network of computers.
    Dex
    It is a personal CRM that gives you relationship superpowers. Remember where you left off, keep in touch, and be more thoughtful.
    Vault
    Vault is a tool for securely accessing secrets. A secret is anything that you want to tightly control access to, such as API keys, passwords, certificates, and more. Vault provides a unified interface to any secret, while providing tight access control and recording a detailed audit log.
    See all alternatives