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Keycloak Overview ​

Keycloak, a robust identity management and authentication tool backed by Red Hat, stands as an open-source solution governed by the Apache License 2.0. Designed for Single Sign-On (SSO), it excels in delegating identification across multiple services. Supporting Oauth2 and SAML protocols, Keycloak seamlessly interfaces with LDAP servers, including Microsoft's Active Directory.

What sets Keycloak apart is its remarkable configurability and flexibility. Empowered by a user-friendly UI and the option to integrate custom extensions, Keycloak is synonymous with two key attributes: POWERFUL and FLEXIBLE. Regardless of your architecture or specific requirements, Keycloak effortlessly adapts to meet your needs.

Discover the full potential of Keycloak with Cloud-IAM, as we bring the vanilla Keycloak application to our customers, ensuring a seamless and tailored identity management experience.

Keycloak's Essential Features ​

Single Sign-On (SSO) ​

Keycloak streamlines user experience by enabling a single sign-on mechanism, allowing users to log in once and access multiple applications seamlessly, eliminating the need for repetitive logins.

Identity Brokering ​

With support for identity brokering, Keycloak facilitates logins through existing social media accounts (e.g., Google, Facebook, Twitter) or other identity providers (e.g.,Azure AD, LDAP,...) or all IdP using OpenID Connect or SAML protocol, enhancing user convenience and diversifying authentication options.

User Federation ​

Keycloak seamlessly integrates with external identity stores like LDAP or Active Directory, enabling organizations to harness their existing user repositories efficiently and ensuring a unified user management experience.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) ​

Simplify user role and permission management with Keycloak's robust support for Role-Based Access Control (RBAC). Administrators can easily define and manage user roles, ensuring secure and controlled access to resources.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) ​

Enhance security measures with Keycloak's support for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), offering various methods such as one-time passwords, time-based tokens, and more to fortify user authentication processes.

Token-Based Security ​

Keycloak employs token-based security, utilizing JSON Web Tokens (JWT) for secure communication between services. This approach enables stateless authentication and authorization, enhancing overall system security.

Multiple Protocols Support ​

Keycloak supports three different protocolsβ€”OpenID Connect, OAuth 2.0, and SAML 2.0β€”ensuring compatibility with a variety of authentication and authorization mechanisms.

Admin Console ​

Access a user-friendly web-based GUI within Keycloak to effortlessly configure and manage all settings required for your instance to function as intended. Simplify administrative tasks through a click-based interface.

External Identity Source Sync ​

Sync with external user databases, including LDAP and Active Directory, using Keycloak's External Identity Source Sync feature. Create custom extensions using the Keycloak User Storage API for compatibility with diverse user databases.

Social Identity Providers ​

Keycloak offers built-in support for popular Social Identity Providers such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Stack Overflow. Configure these providers manually through the admin panel for expanded authentication options.

Pages Customization ​

Tailor the user experience by customizing all Keycloak pages displayed to users. Utilize .ftl (Freemarker templates) format, allowing classic HTML markups, CSS styles, and custom JS scripts to align pages with your application style and brand.

Keycloak: Empowering Identity Management - From CIAM to IAM and IDP Broker ​

Keycloak as a Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) ​

Diagram of Keycloak as a Customer Identity and Access Management CIAM
Diagram of Keycloak as a CIAM

Definition ​

Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) is a specialized facet of Identity and Access Management (IAM) dedicated to the unique demands of customer-facing applications. Keycloak, a robust open-source identity management solution, excels in providing CIAM capabilities. It focuses on managing and securing digital identities for external users, including customers, clients, or partners, with the primary goal of enhancing user experience and ensuring robust security measures.

Use Case ​

Keycloak's CIAM functionalities are particularly valuable for businesses offering online services such as e-commerce platforms, mobile applications, or online banking. It empowers organizations to deliver a seamless and personalized user experience. Keycloak's features, including self-service registration, social login, and multi-factor authentication, align with B2C scenarios, where a positive customer experience is paramount for success.

Keycloak Attributes in CIAM ​

  • B2C (Business-to-Consumer): Keycloak is tailored for B2C scenarios, emphasizing the management and security of digital identities for external users.

  • User-Focused Experience: Keycloak places a strong emphasis on user experience, offering features that cater to the convenience and security expectations of consumers.

Keycloak as an Identity and Access Management (IAM) ​

Diagram of Keycloak as an Identity and Access Management IAM
Diagram of Keycloak as an IAM

Definition ​

Keycloak serves as a comprehensive IAM framework, focusing on securely managing digital identities and controlling access to resources within an organization.

Use Case ​

In enterprise environments, Keycloak's IAM capabilities come to the fore, addressing challenges related to user provisioning, authentication, authorization, and lifecycle management. It enables organizations to enforce least privilege principles, streamline user onboarding and offboarding, and maintain a centralized view of user access across various applications and systems.

Keycloak Attributes in IAM ​

  • B2E (Business-to-Employee): Keycloak's IAM features are highly relevant for B2E scenarios, ensuring efficient management of identities and access for employees within an organization.

  • Centralized Access Control: Keycloak's IAM system excels in centralizing access control, making it well-suited for B2E models where organizations need to manage user access across various internal systems and applications.

Keycloak as an Identity Provider (IDP) Broker ​

Diagram of Keycloak as an Identity Provider IdP
Diagram of Keycloak as an IdP

Definition ​

Keycloak, functioning as an IDP Broker, acts as a vital component within an identity management system, facilitating identity federation and authentication across multiple identity providers.

Use Case ​

IDP Brokers, exemplified by Keycloak, find common deployment in scenarios where users maintain accounts with various identity providers, including social media platforms or enterprise directories. In a federated identity environment, Keycloak's IDP Broker ensures a seamless and standardized authentication process, enabling users to access services without juggling separate credentials.

Keycloak Attributes as an IDP Broker ​

  • B2B (Business-to-Business): Keycloak's IDP Broker is particularly relevant in B2B scenarios, serving as an intermediary for secure identity federation and authentication across different organizations.

  • Federated Identity Management: Keycloak's IDP Broker supports federated identity management, allowing users from distinct business entities to access shared resources seamlessly. This is invaluable in B2B collaborations where unified access is essential without the need for separate credentials.