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Okta identity management extends to APIs

The new API Access Management platform from Okta lets businesses build mobile apps that have identity-based access to third-party software and services.

Businesses trying to stay ahead of the mobile curve can use Okta Inc.'s new API management platform to build business apps that securely tie into third-party services.

API Access Management takes Okta identity management technology and uses it to secure the API connections in apps based on the user's identity and profile. Such a platform is not what Okta, which also offers single sign-on (SSO) and enterprise mobility management (EMM), is typically known for. But this addition to its portfolio will help businesses adjust and stay ahead when it comes to mobility, said James Fairweather, senior vice president at Pitney Bowes Inc., an e-commerce software provider and Okta customer in Stamford, Conn.

"We like that [Okta is] able to help in authentication and identity management at scale," Fairweather said. "We thought that was really important in our mobile use cases."

Okta announced the product this week at its Oktane 2016 conference in Las Vegas.

For companies to keep up with mobile technology, they will have to do it through advanced apps that tie into different types of software services, Okta said. That's where API Access Management comes in. With the new product, IT admins can set policies on whether or not a user can access data in an app based on his or her profile, network, device and more.

Okta API Access Management allows companies to connect an app to different external software and services by securing the API connections and giving admins more access controls. By securing these types of API connections, businesses can build more robust apps, allowing users to access payment features, maps, contacts, data analytics and more.  

The Okta platform is extremely powerful [and] the user interface is fantastic.
Jeff Janovichcloud solutions architect, Carlisle Construction Materials

Pitney Bowes integrated its SendPro app, which is made for employees and clients to oversee the entire process of shipping packages, with the beta version of API Access Management. Users can view and manage payments for shipping, manage the address books of package destinations on a large scale, produce labels across multiple shipping carriers for these packages and track where these packages are in their routes.

"We wanted to provide an app that is easy to use," Fairweather said. "Early signs have been great. Integration has been great, and our teams have been very supportive."

The API management platform will give mobile devices and apps an extra layer of security, said Jeff Janovich, a cloud solutions architect at Carlisle Construction Materials, an Okta SSO and EMM customer in Carlisle, Pa. "The Okta platform, in general, is extremely powerful," Janovich said. "Their user interface is fantastic, and I know they put out a lot of time into the UI and really take customer recommendations and implement them in future releases."

Pricing depends on each customer's size and needs, Okta said.

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