Cloud Services / Security

GitHub Now Offers Single Sign-On

1 Mar 2017 10:00am, by

GitHub, the open source code-sharing platform supporting 52 million projects, has upgraded its code-hosting services with single sign-on (SSO) authentication. The company used SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language), an industry standard data format for exchanging authentication and authorization data between identity and service providers, which can support a variety of federated identity services.

GitHub users can start using the new feature immediately, which is also included in Version 2.9 of GitHub Enterprise, which ships today.

GitHub.com users can now log in from federated identity services such as Ping Identity, Okta, OneLogin, Azure Active Directory, and the open source Shibboleth project.

The move to SSO represents a larger movement in the market, said Connor Sears, GitHub senior director of product, in a phone interview. Companies are moving away from siloed software and services and to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), such as chat, email, and code hosting.

SSO allows the automated sharing of login credentials across each of these services, streamlining the process for both users and system administrators. For the enterprise, it allows for the automated provisioning and de-provisioning of employees and allows employees to have a have a single username/password combination to remember. Also, when an employee leaves the company, SSO offers a single point where all the ex-employee’s accesses can be revoked, thus increasing security.

Along with SSO, GitHub is pushing upgrades to the system to increase the uptime guarantee to 99.95 percent. It is also offering less than eight-hour response times for support requests made during business hours. Monday through Friday GitHub will deliver twenty-four-hour support with eight-hour response time.

“We want to give our business customers an extra level of love throughout the week, said Connor.

Weekend support is still available, but not with the guaranteed 8-hour response time.

For those customers who want or need an on-premises, data-segregated GitHub running behind a firewall, version 2.9 of GitHub Enterprise makes it easier for them to connect an in-house instance across more platforms than before. Google Cloud is now supported, for instance. “GitHub can go wherever they are,” said Connors.

Interestingly, the need for on-premises solutions is not tied to company size, he noted. Several huge companies run all their development on GitHub.com. But other companies, notably in the finance or healthcare industries, require data segregation, mostly for legal compliance reasons. Some of these companies run hybrid versions of GitHub, with some projects running on GitHub.com and some behind their firewall in the enterprise edition.

Connors said it will be interesting to watch the shift from on-premises companies moving to open source over time, predicting that companies will move to fully SaaS mode on GitHub.com.

Feature image via Pixabay.

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