Authentication Options for Self-Hosted and Cloud Users (LDAP, AD, Crowd, SSO, SAML)

Amanda Jennewein
Amanda Jennewein
  • Updated

Jama Software offers several options for authentication beyond our native simple-authentication method. However, the differences between these options can be subtle, and they tend to start looking a bit like alphabet soup to an uninitiated user. This article is meant to demystify those differences and what your options are depending on where your Jama Software instance is hosted; for more technical implementation details, please see our Help Guide or open a Support ticket.

Please note that, whichever authentication scheme you use, Jama Software will be unable to fall back on native authentication for any users; if you have any task-specific users in Jama Software (for example, a designated JIRA-to-Jama Software sync user), you’ll need to make sure that user has credentials in your external authentication system as well.

What Are My Options for a Self-Hosted Environment?
For our Self-Hosted environments, we offer three different options for authentication:  LDAP, Active Directory, Atlassian Crowd, and SAML. Each is a single sign-on system and functions in roughly the same way; however, small implementation details exist between the three.

  • LDAP is our most commonly-used integration, as it is a well-established open-standard protocol for providing identity and directory services.
  • Active Directory (AD) is a Microsoft Windows-based implementation of LDAP; its management is tightly integrated into Windows and may be a better choice if your organization is already familiar with administering Windows Server machines. Its implementation in Jama Software is essentially the same as LDAP’s and should behave equivalently.
  • Crowd is Atlassian’s web-based directory service. It features the most robust user interface and has a few extra features (such as the ability to batch-import users and groups into Jama Software).
  • SAML is available only for versions released after 8.31 and offers a simple solution that requires much more direct interaction between the user and the authentication system. 
  • Multi-Mode Authentication is the combination of our Default Authentication process and SAML, which gives you the ability to separate your internal users from your external partners, vendors, and contractors. Multi-mode authentication provides an extra layer of protection for external users so they can be part of the requirement, approval, and tracking process in Jama Connect.

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