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Save Time and Frustration With Single Sign-On (SSO)

Save Time and Frustration With Single Sign-On (SSO)

Signing in to an awards program isn’t complicated, but it can be a bit confusing. If we receive one popular question about signing in it’s this: “Does OpenWater integrate with my existing system or do I need single sign-on?”

The simple answer: OpenWater supports both social logins and single sign-on. It’s important for your organization to consider both options and make a final decision that makes sense for both you and your entrants.



But before we get to that, let’s start at the beginning: What is single sign-on?

An Introduction to Single Sign-On

You’ve likely used single sign-on, even if you don’t think you’ve heard of it.

SSO is when you use existing credentials to log in to another account. You can do so through platforms like Google or even Facebook on OpenWater.

There are three main benefits to using single sign-on. It:

  • Saves you and your entrants time by eliminating the need for double data entry.
  • Simplifies the login process because users can enter existing passwords rather than creating and remembering a new password.
  • Pulls read-only information automatically, applying discounts and other conditions with no additional information required.

OpenWater Supports Social Login and Single Sign-On

OpenWater’s primary goal is to simplify processes for both you and your applicants. As such, we support both single sign-on and social login for your convenience.

Here is how both work:

  • Social Login – Social login is a type of single sign-on that is specific to public social networks. Through OpenWater, individuals can log in using a Google+, Facebook, or LinkedIn account. By choosing to use social logins as a free option with your program, you will keep the standard OpenWater login and be able to offer social login is an additional option.
  • Single Sign-On – Unlike social logins, single sign-on requires a database run by your organization. Typically, this database is specific to employees or your organization or members of organizations. If you choose to use single sign-on as a premium option, it will be the only sign on option and will replace the standard OpenWater login rather than be added as an additional choice like the social login is.

Getting Started With Single Sign-On and OpenWater

If you believe single sign-on is the appropriate option for your organization, you have additional choices to make. This is because OpenWater supports two modes of SSO on our platform: “Shared” and “handshake” authentication.

“Shared” authentication means an entrant or judge never leaves the OpenWater platform during the sign-on process. You can choose to allow non-members to register in OpenWater or restrict access to only those in your existing SSO. This mode is supported only by some canned integrations, such as iMIS, MemberClicks, MemberSuite, NetForum, Personify, and YourMembership. If you’d like to see an example of “shared” authentication, check out the Reggie Awards.

“Handshake” authentication is the opposite in that an entrant or judge will leave OpenWater to sign on and then be redirected back to OpenWater once they have. Currently, this is the only SSO mode we can use with custom databases and there is no option for the OpenWater login. If you’d like to see an example of “handshake” authentication, check out CUNA.

Setting up either login is simple through canned integrations. For custom integrations, we’ll need basic information such as the system you’re currently on and sample logins to get things up and running.

Make Signing On Simple for Judges and Entrants Alike

If you’ve ever been confused about how sign on works with OpenWater, your options are simple:

  • Regular Username + Password specific to OpenWater
  • Social login; or
  • Single sign-on.

Remember the benefits of each and how you can easily integrate both with your OpenWater platform through either “shared” or “handshake” authentication. Of course, your OpenWater support staff is here for you every step of the way to implement single sign-on so something as simple as logging in is never complicated again.

Looking for additional information? Find it in our Resource Center for integration tips and other information you need to know!

Kunal Johar
Kunal Johar is the OpenWater platform evangelist. He currently manages our development teams and enjoys diving into the fray. Find him in our community chat room.

2 Comments

  1. R George

    Hi there,

    We would like to find out some info for SSO integration. We are planning to implement Open IAM and wondering whether it is supported by Openwater

    1. Katie McCaskey

      Hello! Yes, we support Open IAM. Please contact sales@getopenwater.com to discuss.

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