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Cloud Expo: Article

Centrify Introduces Cloud Service for Mobile App Authentication

It’s got a MAS SDK so cloud, mobile and SaaS developers can integrate native and web-based mobile apps with Active Directory

Centrify, the outfit that leverages Microsoft's ubiquitous Active Directory, has extended its cloud-based mobile security widgetry to include Mobile Authentication Services (MAS) and deliver "Zero Sign-On" authentication to mobile apps accessing cloud services via Active Directory.

Earlier this year the company released its solution for Active Directory Group Policy-based management of mobile devices to enable Mobile Device Management (MDM). Now it's making the other major Active Directory-provided service available - authentication - and seamlessly extending it to mobile devices and applications.

That makes Centrify the only vendor to offer both integrated MDM and MAS.

It's got a MAS SDK so cloud, mobile and SaaS developers can integrate native and web-based mobile apps with Active Directory and it's introducing a Mobile Technology Partner Program.

Centrify says that "IT organizations have moved toward Single Sign-On (SSO) for traditional desktop systems and applications, but until now there has been no way to fully leverage a ubiquitous infrastructure, such as Active Directory, for mobile devices and native mobile applications in particular. Until today, mobile apps required separate authentication and authorization that were set up in a siloed back-end service, leading to poor security polices as well as user frustration and loss of productivity from having to remember multiple complex passwords in order to meet security requirements. In addition, independent software vendors must ensure security and productivity of mobile applications, but lack simple, universal mechanisms for adding authentication to their applications."

Figure all that bother's gone now.

Organizations can get centralized control of mobile app authentication and authorizations without adding costly new infrastructure. IT Security can get stronger authentication tied to the users' unique Active Directory credentials. Corporate users can get a "Zero Sign-On" experience and stronger authentication and developers of multi-tier applications can have one simple high-level API for user authentication from the mobile device seamlessly through to their existing back-end infrastructure;

Centrify's MAS widgetry is currently in beta available to qualified partners. Its new partner Program offers free redistribution license grants for the MAS SDK and free use of the Centrify Cloud Service for developers as well as community or premium paid support. Developers with paid support can have their mobile apps certified by Centrify. End-user organizations deploying MAS-enabled mobile apps can use the Centrify Cloud Service for free for up to three mobile applications, after that a monthly per-user charge applies.

As part of a new strategic arrangement, the SDK will be available as part of Appcelerator's Titanium mobile application development platform.

Mobile applications built on Titanium will be equipped with Centrify's new Mobile Authentication Services (MAS). Appcelerator will also distribute Centrify's MAS SDK on its Open Mobile Marketplace.

Appcelerator's more than 350,000 mobile developers will have free access to Centrify's MAS and its 1,200 enterprise customers will be able to integrate stronger authentication for their mobile apps.

Appcelerator's enterprise-grade cross-platform development solution powers more than 50,000 cloud-connected mobile applications used on 80 million devices a day.

Appcelerator expects to have a developer preview of Centrify's MAS SDK for Android in its Open Mobile Marketplace for developers using Appcelerator Titanium Studio in 30 days, followed by an Apple iOS version in 90 days.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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