I wasn't sure what to write about this week, but while working on a new project I discovered Auth0, who offer SSO for the enterprise. I'm sure you're thinking, "yeah sure, same stuff, different day", but what set these guys apart—and has inspired me to write this post—is their tenacity regarding customer service, and they know that their customers are developers.
Love At First Sight?
It's right there, on the home page: "Designed for Developers". And they're not lying. There's a live-chat option when they're online, and on my very first visit to their site this caught my eye because it said I could chat with a developer; I had some questions so I clicked it, and found myself chatting not to some tier one sales guy, but to the CTO. Sure that's easier to achieve when your company is small, but this guy (Matias Woloski knew his stuff in-and-out like you'd expect.
I asked whether my line of thinking regarding what I wanted to achieve was correct and he politely informed me that it wasn't, before going on to explain step-by-step what the process was. Then he fired me links to two GitHub repos, saying that the first would take care of steps 1-6, and the other step 7 (this was on two difference systems, hence the two tools).
With that, I was sold. As a developer, this is the type of service I'd like to see from everybody: tell me what I need to do, where to get the goods, and where to go to get help.
As always, once I'd signed up with the insanely smooth sign-up process (which I guess you'd expect from an SSO provider) I did have one or two further questions while working on implementation. I hit up their chat channel hosted on their site, and this time Eugenio Pace came to the rescue, quickly pointing me in the direction of the docs I'd somehow failed to find (this was totally on me, just being blind).
This is where these guys really hit things out of the park. If you've ever done any kind of connected application you've probably come across documentation that has sample code with strings like
<client secret here> and
<client id here> scattered around the place.
With Auth0, if you're looking at the iOS documentation for example, and you happen to be signed into the site with your app definition already created, the documentation is rendered dynamically, meaning that your client ids and secrets are where they need to be. You might have been wondering what was up with the screenshot above, now you know: there was literally nothing to do except copy and paste the code into the correct place.
I'm really looking forward to working with and talking to these guys more as this project moves on, though now it's setup and working I'm not sure I'll need to lift a finger around my authentication code again. Before signing off though, I do want to stress that even though I only signed up for the free tier, the team members I've talked to have gone above and beyond to help. If every service provider was like auth0 there'd be a lot more smiles on developers' faces.