macOS® Catalina™ G Suite™ Integration

Written by Zach DeMeyer on July 22, 2019

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As the world anticipates the release of the new macOS®, dubbed Catalina™, one thing on the minds of many is what changes the new release will entail. Given what we know so far, many are curious as to how Catalina’s SAML connectivity will work. For example, is there a macOS Catalina G Suite™ integration? Let’s explore the possibility.

Catalina and SAML

Like with most of their initial macOS announcements, Apple® was fairly vague in regards to how the new Catalina release will affect Mac® admins. After cutting through the thick jungle of user experience changes, however, one can find that Catalina also brings about some major changes to how Macs running Catalina can be managed.

One such change is the inclusion of SAML among the protocols that third-party vendors can use to authenticate user access. By expanding this capability, Apple is allowing solutions like Identity-as-a-Service, or web application single sign-on (SSO), solutions to manage authentication for Macs. This change also potentially opens the door for Google® to use some of their solutions to manage authentication for Macs, like the IAM that comes with G Suite.

G Suite and SAML

G Suite is widely used among many organizations for email, file storage, and other productivity tools. Organizations also utilize its associated G Suite Directory, also called Google Cloud Identity, for managing user access to G Suite resources. 

Historically, these solutions from Google have existed solely in their own ecosystem, fairly separate from the various other cloud resources used by organizations today. As the competition between their cloud infrastructure opponents, AWS and Azure, rises, Google is looking to push the capabilities of their cloud suite as well. A part of said expansion includes integration and management of cloud infrastructure and web applications through SAML.

macOS Catalina G Suite Integration

Given these advancements from Google on top of what we know about Catalina, it seems that a macOS Catalina G Suite integration for identity management may be possible. Unfortunately, Google’s identity management capabilities are mainly limited to authentication for web applications and other cloud infrastructure. 

Of course, IT admins realize that authentication is one step of the overall identity management process. Other identity management tasks include managing user accounts, provisioning/deprovisioning, and connecting users to a wide range of other services including WiFi/VPNs, files, legacy applications, servers, Windows®/Linux® machines, and much more.

A Better Way

So, while the macOS Catalina G Suite integration may ultimately be possible, it may not be as useful as one might think. The good news is that there is a cloud directory service that can tightly integrate with G Suite Directory and Google Cloud Identity as well as macOS platforms to create a central source of identity. Called Directory-as-a-Service®, this modern identity provider can function as the authoritative source of truth for virtually all IT resources.

Directory-as-a-Service, available from JumpCloud®, provides IT admins with the ability to provide and control user access to the various IT resources that they leverage in their daily work. JumpCloud admins can apply group-based Policies across system fleets, regardless of their operating system (Mac, Windows Linux), in order to tightly control security and functionality. Admins can also import their pre-existing G Suite Directory user databases directly into JumpCloud, allowing their users the ability to leverage a single set of credentials to access everything, from their systems to their email, apps, networks and more.

Try JumpCloud for Free

JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is available completely free for an organization’s first ten users, meaning that by signing up for JumpCloud, you instantly have access to everything the product has to offer. Of course, you don’t have to jump in right away; you can schedule a demo to see the product in the hands of an expert before you try it. If you are curious about macOS Catalina G Suite integration, or would like to learn more about JumpCloud as a whole, please contact us. We’d be happy to help you.

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