Identity Providers

About Identity Providers

Managing identities and permissions for your databases is made easier with native, custom identity provider connections because they leverage your existing identity provider to simplify authentication and managing permissions. It does this by making it possible to share identity metadata to your database from your identity provider. These connections serve as a robust login system, enabling the retrieval of user identity information from an organization’s own Database (referred to as a legacy identity store) for the purpose of user authentication. This process begins by integrating the database with an Identity Provider (IDP), establishing an interface that facilitates communication between the IDP and the Database.


Just-in-time access permission management


  • What Is An Identity Provider (IdP)?

    An identity provider (IdP) is a service that stores and oversees digital identities, enabling companies to facilitate connections between their employees or users and the necessary resources. These services offer a means to effectively manage access, granting or revoking privileges, all while maintaining stringent security measures.

  • How Do They Work?

    An Identity Provider typically assumes the role of generating, maintaining, and overseeing digital IDs on behalf of a business. Additionally, the provider offers authentication services to ensure that only authorized users can access accounts or data.

    To illustrate, you may frequently encounter options like “Sign up with X” on websites, which allow linking to other accounts such as “Sign in with Google.” In this scenario, the website initiates a connection with Google Server to authenticate the information you provide. Only upon successful verification does the server grant access to your account. Therefore, the server functions as an identity provider.

  • Why Are They Necessary?

    An Identity Provider (IdP) functions as a centralized authentication system, allowing users to access multiple applications and services using a single set of credentials.

    Put simply, IdPs serve as intermediaries between users and service providers. They verify the user’s identity and furnish the necessary credentials to access the desired services.

    The demand for top-notch identity providers/IdPs has surged due to the widespread adoption of web-based services and applications, which necessitate users to create and manage numerous accounts.

    IdPs not only streamline the user’s login experience but also bolster security by minimizing the number of passwords users must remember and ensuring that a trusted entity verifies the user’s identity.

  • What Are Some Common Challenges of Connecting IDPs to Databases?

    When it comes to connecting your Identity Provider (IDP) to a database, there are several challenges—from authorization to security—that can pop up. It’s important to understand these challenges before you begin. The following is a list of common issues.

    Authentication and Authorization: The IDP is responsible for authenticating users and managing their access to resources. The challenge lies in integrating the IDP’s authentication and authorization mechanisms with the database. This typically involves mapping IDP identities to database roles or permissions, ensuring that only authorized users can access the database, and handling authentication failures gracefully.

    Data Synchronization: Keeping user data synchronized between the IDP and the database can be a challenge. User attributes, such as names, email addresses, or group memberships, may be stored in both systems. Changes in one system need to be propagated to the other system to ensure consistency. This requires implementing reliable data synchronization processes and handling conflicts that may arise when data is modified in both the IDP and the database simultaneously.

    Integration Complexity: Integrating an IDP with a database often involves working with different technologies, protocols, and APIs. For example, the IDP may use standards like OAuth, OpenID Connect, or SAML, while the database may have its own authentication and access control mechanisms. Ensuring compatibility and seamless integration between these systems can be complex and time-consuming.

    Scalability and Performance: As the number of users and the complexity of access control rules increase, the scalability and performance of the IDP and the database become crucial. Efficiently handling authentication requests, enforcing access control policies, and managing user sessions while maintaining performance can be challenging. Proper optimization, caching mechanisms, and load balancing techniques may be required to ensure smooth operations.

    Security and Compliance: Connecting an IDP to a database involves handling sensitive user data and ensuring compliance with security and privacy regulations. It’s important to implement robust security measures, such as secure transmission of data, encryption, and secure storage of user credentials. Additionally, compliance with relevant regulations, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) or HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), requires careful consideration and implementation.

    Maintenance and Upgrades: Over time, both the IDP and the database may require updates, bug fixes, or new features. Ensuring compatibility and seamless integration during upgrades can be challenging. Changes in one system can potentially impact the integration with the other system, leading to downtime or functionality issues. Careful planning, testing, and coordination between the IDP and the database vendor are essential to minimize disruptions.

    Addressing these challenges requires careful planning, expertise in both identity management and database administration, and thorough testing to ensure a secure, robust and compliant integration between the IDP and the database.