Okta’s Universal Directory vs. Directory-as-a-Service

Written by Greg Keller on April 15, 2016

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Built for cloud-forward companies, Okta is an integrated identity and mobility management service. The name, Universal Directory, suggests Okta is a replacement for directory services, solutions like JumpCloud that provide customizable information stores. However, that’s incorrect. Okta is not a directory services replacement.

Okta: A Superset Repository for Users & Attributes  

Okta is a complementary service to Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS), because Okta’s directory solution focuses on being a superset repository for users and attributes. Okta’s Universal Directory offers extensible user profiles, app-specific profiles, and custom mapping between profiles to support provisioning.

Okta does not, on the other hand, provide authentication, authorization, and full user management capabilities for devices, internal applications, and networks. Directory-as-a-Service does. Together, Okta and DaaS work together to provide IT teams with a full-range of directory tools they need.

DaaS: User Management Control for Devices, Apps & Networks

Directory-as-a-Service focuses on connecting users and devices, applications, and networks. DaaS can connect users to Mac, Linux, and Window machines, as well as enable control over users on Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, and other Infrastructure-as-a-Service servers. DaaS, with LDAP and SAML support, also connects to legacy applications located on-premise or in the cloud.

Okta & DaaS: Complementary Solutions for Complete Control

When used together, Directory-as-a-Service acts as the directory source for Okta, integrating directly with Okta to federate user identities. Okta then takes those identities and creates access to web applications.

The two solutions, Okta and Directory-as-a-Service, are equipped to work together. To learn more about integrating the services, drop us a note.

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