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Get Hooked on Platform Extensibility with OneLogin Smart Hooks

richard.chetwynd | March 23rd, 2021

A critical requirement of a modern technology platform is the ability to extend, customize or integrate with other systems. As a pioneer and value leader in cloud-based identity and access management (IAM), we’re well aware that one size does not fit all. Today, OneLogin is excited to announce the general availability of Smart Hooks, a new capability which is only limited by the imagination, and further compounds OneLogin’s status as an Identity and Access Management industry leader.

What is a Smart Hook?

To better understand the significance of a Smart Hook, it’s important to understand the difference with its well-known but less capable cousin, the webhook.

For many years, webhooks have been the go-to method for sharing information from a software platform and creating event-driven integrations. It’s worth noting that OneLogin does have a webhook system that is commonly used to broadcast events into Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools and works with anything that accepts JSON.

Webhooks are great for this one-way flow of information, but they present challenges when attempting to use them for more interactive workflows or customizations such as:

  • Poor performance
  • Server hosting & infrastructure
  • Scaling

For example, let’s say you wanted to use a webhook to customize an authentication workflow. Perhaps there was a simple condition that you wanted to check for and send the user down one path or another based on this condition. If you attempted to use a regular webhook for this, you would need to set up and host a server to catch the webhook event, perform the conditional logic and then return the result. You would need to monitor the uptime of this server, make sure it scales and also deal with the performance hit of calling out across the internet to your standalone webhook catching service.

Solving these problems is where Smart Hooks really shines. Smart Hooks is like a webhook platform on steroids; it enables the customization and integration benefits of a regular webhook but takes away the burden of having to host servers, monitor uptime, and think about scale and performance.

Smart Hooks is a serverless offering from OneLogin that allows you to interact with common workflows, build customizations and also integrate with just about any external system. Being serverless, it means that you provide the code and OneLogin will take care of the hosting and infrastructure challenges. It automatically scales with your user and platform growth, resulting in an easy-to-manage, extensible platform that can be molded to fit even the most complex of requirements.

OneLogin Smart Hooks

Types of Smart Hooks

Under the Smart Hooks umbrella we have considered a number of useful extension points on the OneLogin platform, including the ability to customize authentication flows as well as interact with user lifecycle events.

Today we are excited to release the first of many Smart Hooks:

The User Migration Hook is targeted at our Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) prospects and customers and offers a way to seamlessly migrate users from an external database or Identity Provider (IDP) into the OneLogin Cloud Directory. This approach allows for a progressive migration of users to a more secure directory without requiring them to change passwords or otherwise interrupt the user experience.

On the other hand, the Pre-Authentication Hook provides extreme flexibility at authentication time. Contextual information about the user’s device, browser, location, registered MFA devices and risk profile is passed into the Smart Hook, allowing for complex conditional access or zero-trust flows.

Imagine, then build

For every problem, there’s a solution. Every industry, customer, or prospect has a nuanced set of requirements which is what led us to create the Smart Hooks platform. After an extensive beta period with our fantastic early adopting customers, we’re really excited to see how Smart Hooks will solve your unique authentication challenges and enable amazing integration experiences.

Want to learn more? Check out our product page, developer documentation, or request a free demo.

OneLogin blog author

Rich Chetwynd founded Litmos, the market-leading learning technology company, as well as ThisData, a data security company leading the way in Account Takeover (ATO) attack detection. After ThisData was acquired by OneLogin in Summer 2017, Rich began working with the OneLogin engineering team with a focus on adaptive authentication.