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Microsoft identity platform — The confusion

Photo by Ty Feague on Unsplash

As with any developer with some repute, I also follow some cool developers from my github account. Github is almost becoming like a social media for developers, and I like that feature. This is a short rant about the confusion surrounding the identity platform usage.

The Confusion

This morning, a developer starred the “Microsoft identity platform” repository, and it showed up on my GitHub. It’s available here — github.com/AzureAD/microsoft-identity-web

I am a full on .NET guy, and I like everything MS. At the same time, I seriously cannot recommend any identity solution from MS. If it’s an enterprise solution, sure. However, I mostly work with 1 person startups and university students. I cannot recommend this, and its also frustrating.

The documentation is all over the place. They keep changing their names. I think, in the earlier days, it was simply called, Identity Platform. Then, it became Azure Active Directory. I could be wrong. Now, its microsoft identity platform. This reminds me of the “Bing” situation, which seems to go through a marketing reset every other financial quarter.

On a more personal note, despite the shame, I am a regular Bing user.

At the end of the day, as a startup/small business focused developer, I just want to plug an authentication and authorisation solution into my full stack project. That does not seem to exist. It’s there. somewhere. I cannot seem to find it.

Final Note

Photo by Windows on Unsplash

Ultimately, I ended up using Auth0 (auth0.com) in all of my commercial projects. This isn’t an ad post for them. I dont get any commision from them. Their documentation is up to date. Easy to use, and the developers are always available to help on their GitHub issues section.

There is also identitserver4 (github.com/IdentityServer/IdentityServer4). That is free, open source software. You have to configure, setup everything on your own. I have experimented with it, and it’s good. However, I dont use it in any of my projects. I feel that, for small businesses, it’s better to keep the complications to a minimum. Outsource the identity management to a 3rd party.

Later, if that small business becomes big, they have the money and people, they can always migrate away to their own custom solution.

I work as a full time freelance software developer and coding tutor. Hire me at UpWork or Fiverr. My personal website is here. I also have a Podcast. Thanks for reading.

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