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The Best 5 SSO Providers to power your SaaS app in 2024

‍In this article, we’ll explain why you should use an SSO provider, what you should look for when choosing an SSO provider and the best 5 SSO providers you can choose from.


Over the last few years, enterprise companies from Coca-Cola to Chevron have rapidly begun to purchase SaaS software from startups, scaleups and tech giants alike. As a result, startups are beginning to add enterprise-grade features and pricing earlier than ever. 

Every developer knows that Single Sign-On (SSO) is the most fundamental feature you’ll need in order to support enterprise customers, but it rarely makes sense to build it by yourself - especially if your startup is still young and focused on its core features - which is why most developers choose to buy in an SSO provider for their app instead.

In this article, we’ll explain why you should use an SSO provider, what you should look for when choosing an SSO provider and the best 5 SSO providers you can choose from.

Do you really need an SSO provider?

With a plethora of auth libraries and open source options available, it can be tempting to just put together your own SSO stack and be done with it.

But doing authentication right is notoriously difficult - it takes many man-hours to implement, and then each subsequent customer you onboard is likely to have their own identity provider (IdP), requiring custom integration. And of course, all of these integrations need to be maintained, kept secure and kept current.

Here are some of the reasons you’ll want to use a dedicated provider to handle SSO for your next app:

  • You can Avoid The Complexity: Using a good SSO provider will significantly reduce the amount of code and complexity you need to deal with. You won’t need to worry about auth servers, signing keys, access token formats, or worse - SAML XML assertions.

  • Your App Will Be More Secure: Chances are that, on top of actually building SSO, you don’t have the time or resources to bake the best-practice security features into your auth flow and keep these up to date.

    Using an SSO provider means you’ll always have the latest in-vogue features, like “time-to-travel” authentication, leaked password detection and more

  • Multi-Provider Support: It’s likely that every new enterprise client you onboard is going to use a different identity provider than the last one you integrated. Over time, you might need to support as many as 10-20+ different providers.

    While you may have built support for the obvious ones like Okta and Azure Active Directory (now known as Entra ID), are you prepared for lesser-known IdPs like PingFederate, CyberArk, and Shibboleth?

  • Economical Deployment: Owing to all of this complexity, rolling your own auth stack can be an expensive undertaking in man-hours.

    While you might balk at paying a monthly fee to a provider, the salary costs of your engineering team multiplied by all of the hours of work you’ll incur in setup, maintenance and future integration of SSO are likely to dwarf what you’ll pay a 3rd-party SSO provider.

  • Reduced Downtime: Given the complexities of maintenance and frequency of security or feature updates, it’s not uncommon for developers who have rolled their own auth to experience more downtime than those who used a dedicated provider. 

    Given that auth is the front door to your app, leaving your customers unable to log in for an indefinite period of time is likely untenable. A dedicated provider will be able to guarantee a high level of uptime and relieve your customers of that burden.

If your startup is serious about moving upmarket, you need the peace of mind, broad provider support and professional approach to SSO that a dedicated provider can give you.

What to look for in an SSO provider

If you’re ready to select an SSO provider for your app, it’s worth knowing exactly what to look out for. Here are the four areas we recommend paying attention to:

  • Ease of Integration: Perhaps the most important aspect of all, you’ll want to make sure that your SSO provider of choice is actually easy to integrate into your app.

    Look for well-documented, API-based integrations, intuitive onboarding dashboards you can share with your customer’s IT team and great technical support if you do run into an issue.

  • Sensible Pricing: Typically, an auth solution will be charged either by monthly active users (MAUs) or by the number of companies you have an SSO integration with (per-company pricing).

    These pricing models suit different business models, and picking the wrong one can make your authentication costs far more expensive than they need to be. One key thing to know is that this market is not commoditized - similar providers often have vastly different pricing even if they’re using the same pricing model.

  • Scalable: Unlike the linear user growth you expect from selling to normal SaaS customers, a single enterprise customer can bring on thousands of extra users overnight. Great for your bank account, but not so much for your infrastructure.

    Look for an SSO provider who have proven themselves at scale and who can provide an uptime SLA (Preferably at 99.99%).

Bells and Whistles: If you’re going to use an SSO provider, you may as well pick one who can do it all - Those extra features can make all the difference and edge out the lesser-equipped competition when your prospective customer’s IT team is giving their recommendation. Look for SCIM provisioning support, audit logging syncable to your customer’s IdP and additional login methods like magic links and multi-factor authentication.

The best SSO providers 

  • WorkOS is the overall best SSO provider, with the easiest integration, best pricing, support for every major IdP and plenty of extra features.
  • Frontegg is an all-in-one user management and authentication platform.
  • Auth0 if you want a mature, dependable MAU-based SSO and you’re willing to pay for it.
  • OneLogin Secure is the service provider SSO product by the company better known for its enterprise-grade identity provider platform.
  • Keycloak if you still want an open-source solution, but a much fuller solution than a SSO NPM library.

#1 WorkOS

WorkOS is an all-in-one enterprise-readiness platform for SaaS companies, which covers everything from SSO to user provisioning with SCIM, to audit logs. Unlike more sales-driven companies on this list, WorkOS’ core values are to be developer-centric, fully transparent and focused on usability.

WorkOS’ fundamental SSO offering is by far the easiest to implement on this list thanks to a simple API, SDKs for every platform you can think of and extensive but accessible documentation. 

Added to this, the connection-based pricing model means your customers can onboard as many end-users as they like without increasing your bill. Unlike an MAU-based pricing model, fixed pricing per SSO connection makes it easy to forecast your authentication costs - without trying to predict how many users an average customer might onboard.

As for extra bells and whistles, WorkOS provides both Directory Sync, a product which makes it easy for your customers to provision new users.

One of WorkOS’ best-loved features is their Admin Portal, an onboarding portal you can share with your customer’s IT team to make SSO configuration a breeze. Onboarding an enterprise customer is often a drawn-out, complicated and frustrating process for both sides, but Admin Portal allows your customer to self-serve every step, and makes sure you start the relationship on the right foot.

Pros:

  • Simple, developer-centric API documentation and SDKs.
  • Intuitive admin portal which can be shared with your customer’s IT team, allowing them to easily self-serve their SSO configuration for your app.
  • Competitive pricing and a fully accessible platform without sales-led conversation.

Cons:

  • Hasn’t been around as long as other options on this list.

Pricing:

  • Priced Per IdP Connection.
  • $125/month, with automatic bulk discounts applied as you scale.
  • All SSO features included.

Explore Unified SSO by WorkOS.

#2 Frontegg

Frontegg is an all-in-one user management and authentication platform, complete with advanced features like Entitlements for granular access controls and an org-chart creator built straight into the admin portal for easy visibility.

Frontegg is a fantastic all-rounder platform with few faults, though it does have an expensive and multi-faceted pricing model. Frustratingly, you’ll need to speak to sales for basic features like white labeling. 

Pros:

  • Fully-featured Security and Observability suites with the most up-to-date, emerging industry-standard security features.
  • Discounts available for early-stage startups.
  • Accessible early-stage pricing for up to 10 end-customers with 1,000 end-users.

Cons:

  • Confusing pricing model.
  • Required to speak to sales and sign up for the top-tier pricing plan if you want to remove the “Powered by Frontegg” branding.
  • Key features are gated at plans which start at $799/month and above.

Pricing: 

  • Priced on Monthly Active Users.
  • Starts at $99/month for up to 1000 end-users.

#3 Auth0

Auth0 by Okta is one of the oldest and best-established authentication platforms available, offering a tried-and-tested SSO as a service product.

While it lacks some of the features of platforms like WorkOS and Frontegg, Auth0 focuses on being easy to implement: the platform is renowned for its documentation and guides, and even provides a marketplace for plugins and integrations which make it easy to slot into your stack.

Of course, being the most mature platform on this list, Auth0 does come at a price. Once you move beyond your first 3 enterprise customers (which starts at $150/month and scales fast from there), you’ll need to negotiate a contractual agreement with their sales team, where you can expect multi-year lock-in and minimum five-figure pricing.

Pros:

  • Mature, established platform, founded in 2013.
  • Extensive documentation. 
  • One of few HIPAA-compliant providers, ideal for healthtech startups.

Cons:

  • Lacking some of the more modern features and capabilities of newer platforms.
  • Most expensive option on the list, with a rapidly-scaling pricing model. 
  • Sales-led approach: Must speak to sales if you have more than 3 enterprise customers you wish to provide with SSO.

Pricing:

  • Priced on Monthly Active Users
  • $150/month for up to 500 end-users across 3 “SSO connections” (your end customers).

#4 OneLogin Secure

OneLogin Secure is the service provider SSO product by the company better known for its enterprise-grade identity provider platform.

While it feels less focused on startups than other providers on this list, OneLogin Secure does offer fairly transparent and reasonable pricing - though you’ll need to speak to sales for a few items, such as a sandbox environment. 

Ultimately, OneLogin Secure is likely to appeal most to those companies which need an MAU-based pricing model, but don’t need the extra addons from Auth0 and Frontegg which drive their prices high.

Pros:

  • Straight-forward, simple platform without frills or bloat.
  • Transparent pricing.
  • Deep integration with OneLogin IdP.

Cons:

  • Not API-focused; documentation and SDKs don’t match the quality of competitors.
  • Uptime SLAs are not as strong as others on this list.
  • Sandbox for testing requires a sales call.

Pricing:

  • Priced on Monthly Active Users.
  • SSO starts from $2/month/user; the price doubles if you need integrations with more than one identity provider.

#5 Keycloak

Keycloak is a popular open-source project which provides most of the benefits of a dedicated single sign-on provider.

While you do need to host your own Keycloak server (or outsource the job to another company), the project gives you much more control and flexibility over your SSO setup. Being both ten years old and involved with Red Hat’s SSO offering, it’s not surprising that Keycloak is a comparatively mature product, on par with the dedicated providers on this list.

Support for Keycloak is a double-edged sword. Given its age, the product is very well documented and most problems have been identified and resolved. On the other hand, Keycloak is updated very frequently - but when something goes wrong, you’ll have to rely on their Slack-based community for support.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Must be self-hosted.
  • Community support only.
  • Documentation could be better.

Pricing:

  • Free.
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