By Heidi Marjamäki & Kieran Tan, on Mar 25, 2020

Get your content platform ready for governance in the cloud with SCIM

A man, holding a SCIM key in front of a door

Every business change comes with a risk. Whether you’re changing a process, platform or team members, there’s room for error and potential for security threats. Digital leaders need to ensure that access to the tools powering their daily workflows remain secure — even as new SaaS tools are adopted at an accelerating rate. With SCIM, a standard protocol for access and identity management, digital organizations can simplify user authentication and access management.

Contentful now supports user and team management through a SCIM API, allowing you to automate user and team access management for hundreds or even thousands of users. Cloud-scale user management keeps your enterprise secure as teams change and reduces manual IT provisioning.

Identity providers 

You’ve probably used one or two identity providers (IdPs) today. You might be using one now without realizing it. Every time you log into a new website by clicking “Sign in with Google,” you let Google act as an IdP. Google authenticated you on behalf of the new website, saving you the time and hassle of creating a new login.

IdPs are trusted systems that authenticate users for the benefit of affiliated websites or digital resources. They create, maintain and manage identity information, so that you only need to sign in once to have access to an entire network of digital resources. 

IdPs are particularly valuable to enterprises running a modern web stack. Your team members can securely use all of the microservices in their stack with a single IdP, which keeps security tight and doesn’t slow them down. One Contentful customer admitted to running 1,500 services in their stack — that represents a huge amount of manual effort each time an employee joins or leaves the organization. If those services take advantage of the SCIM standard or offer integration with an IdP, administrators only need to provision a user once rather than individually for each service or application. 

Contentful and IdPs

We’ve launched our first integration with an IdP. Securely connect your critical resources via Okta a leading identity and access management product. You’ll find the integration, installation instructions and FAQs in the help center

Okta is only the first IdP integration. We want to hear from you — which IdPs should we add next? 

Until your preferred provider is officially supported, your developers can use Contentful’s SCIM API. We’ve made it public, so it’s available for your team to develop your own integrations. You can find more details for how to use the SCIM API in our developer documentation

Unifying your teams 

Imagine you have a large team that needs to access the same spaces. Maybe you have a team of fifty copywriters that need to access the same marketing and editor spaces. Rather than provision each copywriter one at a time in Contentful, you can connect to your IdP to provision users and teams to Contentful directly based on how user access is defined in the IdP. This expedites the provisioning process, giving your administrators more time to focus on what’s important. 

We’re continuing to improve team management in Contentful. The web app now has team filters and userviews. The team filter lets you see which users belong in a team and which users have not yet been assigned to a team. Administrators can now navigate to an individual user and add them to a team in the web app. Best of all, you can invite users directly into a team — not just an organization. 

The bigger the better

Automated governance is most valuable to large teams, and we’re happy to offer IdP capabilities to all enterprise customers with Scale or High Availability platforms. All enterprise customers on Professional platforms continue to have access to team features and SSO — you can continue to handle governance the same way you always have if that’s what’s best for your team. 

Want to explore the benefits of SCIM for yourself? Request an enterprise trial.

Heidi Marjamäki

Heidi is a product manager at Contentful. Together with her team, she helps customers scale their content operations by building features enterprises love. She has been working in product for the better part of a decade, and still gets excited to launch new things.

Kieran Tan

As a product manager at Contentful, Kieran helps his team improve the Contentful web app with agile practices.