Using Single Sign On (SSO) with Your Catalog, Curriculum, or Syllabus Software

March 14, 2023

Single Sign On (SSO) has quickly become the gold standard for tech-savvy companies, including academic institutions, as a means of login authentication. Not only does SSO add an extra layer of security to your site, but it also increases admin efficiency as they navigate between different tasks during their work day. Here at Clean Catalog, we pride ourselves on being the cutting-edge option for course catalog software as we continue to develop our software around modern web standards and evolving security threats online. One offshoot of this is our SSO integration, often used in tandem with two-factor authentication, which helps us launch secure, user-friendly catalog sites for our clients.

SSO Providers We Work With

We work with both SAML and OAuth for SSO integrations, which are two of those most popular and widely used platforms. Your institution likely already uses one of these services, and your IT team will be able to shed light on which provider you use. If your school uses a different authentication protocol, we are happy to look into integrating with your specific provider; generally we're able to work with almost any SSO provider, but we'll confirm before the project starts.

Setting Up SSO with Your Catalog

Integrating your SSO with your new catalog site is a simple process, with unlimited support from our team to help walk you through the steps. Though the exact process varies based on which programs your institution is currently running as a SSO or employee directory, the process is a very minor lift for your IT team. Once the backend is configured, your staff will be able to securely login to the admin portal of your new catalog site using the login credentials they already use. The login process begins with an admin clicking the “staff login” button in the footer of your catalog site, at which point they are then redirected to their existing platform login. This is oftentimes a Microsoft Suite or Google accounts login page. After successfully logging in, they will be redirected back to the catalog site as a logged-in user.

Benefits of SSO

Setting up SSO for your institution’s catalog not only adds an extra level of security to your site, but is also a convenience to your staff. Reducing the need to keep track of multiple passwords helps promote efficiency and productivity for your team. Your IT team will also thank you when they have to field fewer password reset requests, freeing them to handle more critical issues. In terms of security, SSO enables you to have more stringent password requirements, such as needing to include special characters or capital letters, to add a level of protection to your site and make your staff’s passwords much less “guessable.” Your admin will also be able to exercise greater control over who is accessing the backend of your catalog site, deauthenticating users who are no longer with your school, and viewing login records. All of these SSO benefits work in tandem to create a more secure catalog and more efficient user experience for your staff.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can integrate with SSO providers using Clean Catalog software, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.