Mobile Identity Management Made Easy

Recently we announced our developer site and platform that gives enterprise application developers and ISVs the resources and support needed for seamless integration of Centrify’s identity management into their cloud, mobile and datacenter applications and systems. The Centrify Developer Site also serves as a hub for newly introduced and updated SDKs, technical resources on integration, code samples, interaction with Centrify Developers and the developer community, and more. As part of this announcement we also introduced Centrify SDK v2.0, which extends the “Zero Sign-on” login experience for users accessing native mobile applications on Android and iOS mobile platforms. In this blog post I want to give context behind this announcement and this new developer site.

In this blog post I want to give context behind this announcement and this new developer site.

Today’s reality is that the majority of organizations are embracing Mobile work styles and in fact organizations are becoming more productive because of it. Several studies also indicate that organizations that have embraced mobility are seeing an increase in security incidents. The primary security issue is due to poor/no authentication and authorization mechanisms being followed by application developers in both SaaS/Mobile applications.

Application developers are now required to develop applications for very diverse environments i.e. desktop and mobile browsers to native applications across mobile, tablets and desktops. In effort to publish their app quickly, often compromises or short cuts are adopted with respect to authentication mechanisms. Typically, the passwords are either stored locally or on an application backend making it hard for users to remember new set of passwords for every application or making it even more difficult for them to enter it on the small form factors like mobile and tablets.

On top of that, if it is an enterprise application, app developers spend significant amount of time trying to build enterprise grade authentication support (such as Active Directory) into their mobile applications. This can be very resource intensive and hamper the go-to-market time.

So, to make it easy for App developers to add support for enterprise grade authentication, we provide SDKs for both Mobile and SaaS applications. Last month, we have revamped our Centrify Mobile Authentication Services (MAS) SDK to v2.0 and also launched exclusive Centrify Developer site to further our commitment in making ISVs and application developers successful.

The new Centrify MAS SDK v2.0 extends Zero Sign-On (ZSO) for multiple native mobile applications on Android and iOS platforms in addition to Samsung KNOX platform (SDK v1.0). This opens up opportunities for mobile app developers to support Active Directory authentication and make the applications Enterprise worthy. Additional bonus for the users is the ZSO across all native applications integrated with Centrify MAS SDK.

Centrify MAS SDK

If you are a mobile application developer who is exploring to add Active Directory authentication and ZSO capabilities into the application and want users to benefit ZSO across multiple mobile applications, here’s what you need to know:

  • Newly available via Google Play and Apple Appstore, Centrify application provides Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) capabilities, as well as SSO functionality, for today’s most popular mobile platforms i.e. Android, iOS and Samsung KNOX.
  • Centrify’s SDK v2.0 provides login screens via Centrify application, which eliminate the need to build custom login screens and provides a simple and consistent login interface across all applications.
  • Any native mobile application integrated with the Centrify SDK v2.0 can now take advantage of Zero Sign-On so enterprise users of these applications can skip entering credentials and more easily access authorized applications.

Here is a basic architecture, its different components (Mobile/SaaS application, Centrify MAS SDK, Centrify Cloud Service, Centrify Proxy Server and Active Directory) involved and the interaction between them.

Here is a basic architecture, its different components (Mobile/SaaS application, Centrify MAS SDK, Centrify Cloud Service, Centrify Proxy Server and Active Directory) involved and the interaction between them.

You can learn more about the SDKs and get your hands on the valuable resources like best practices, code samples, tutorials, case studies, and much more which will help you easily integrate from http://developers.centrify.com.

As you can tell this represent a shift for us in terms of our historic focus on IT admins and end users to know also offering solutions for developers. To that end Centrify is proud to have taken a leadership role in mobile identity management and already we have partners such as Box, Dropbox and Hall supporting our mobile SDK. In addition we are now seeing SaaS vendors using our web SDK to enable their SaaS applications to use Security Assertion Markup language (SAML) to authenticate enterprise users with Active Directory. So welcome developers to Centrify! And don’t worry, I won’t go all Steve Ballmer on you by chanting developers developers developers. 🙂

[Special thanks to Sumana Annam for her help on this blog post.]