Top 6 Open Source Identity and Access Management (IAM) Solutions For Enterprises

Top 6 Open Source Identity and Access Management (IAM) Solutions For Enterprises

In this piece, you will explore the six most popular open-source IAM solutions that enterprises choose, and learn about the factors to consider when selecting an enterprise IAM solution provider.

By Boemo Wame ·


When an enterprise user base grows, managing user permissions and access rights becomes complex and time-consuming.

To solve these issues, enterprises can streamline processes efficiently by implementing Identity Access Management (IAM) solutions.

IAM gives administrators the ability to control who can access specific resources and applications.

Choosing an IAM solution that offers enterprise solutions can be tough given the fact that there are thousands of IAM solutions available on the market.

In this article, you will learn 6 open source IAM solutions for enterprises. In addition, you will learn factors that you should consider when choosing an enterprise IAM solution provider.

But before we delve into solutions, let's give a brief overview of aspects of IAM systems.

Aspects of Identity Access Management (IAM)

IAM is a framework of processes that makes it easier to manage digital identities and ensure that the right people can access the right resources at the right time.

To make processes faster, IAM employs automations to assign users roles and generate behavior analytics. Behavior analytics is important during auditing as it gives valuable patterns and insights.

IAM is beneficial as it helps you become compliant with security standards such as:

  • Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS).
  • Service Organization Control 2 (SOC 2)
  • CIS Benchmarks
  • Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS)

Below are aspects of a typical IAM solution:

  • User management dashboard: This acts as a control center for your IAM tasks. It allows you to manage user accounts and assign roles and permissions.
  • Two-factor Authentication (2FA): 2FA adds an extra layer of security to your login process. Instead of just using a password, users need a second factor, like: A one-time code (OTP) and fingerprint or facial recognition.
  • Single Sign-on Systems: Single Sign-On is an authentication process that allows a user to access multiple applications or services with a single set of login credentials.
  • Privileged access management (PAM): This is a security approach that focuses on managing and securing the access rights of privileged accounts within an organization. Privileged access management establishes a secure environment where access to vital systems and data are monitored and supervised. Practically, this implies that only a limited group of approved individuals are given higher privileges only when needed.

IAM solutions help enterprises accomplish the following tasks:

  1. Recording user login information

  2. Managing identity databases

  3. Facilitating the creation and removal of identities

  4. Carryout authentication and authorization

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Top 6 Open Source IAM solutions for Enterprises

Businesses that want to make their identity management strategies fit their specific needs often choose open-source identity management solutions. Open-source IAM solutions boast strong community support and are cost-effective.

The biggest advantage of open source IAM solutions is that they allow you to own your own data and deploy it within your own services. This way, you can secure your information without the need to share it with third-party applications.

Below are the six most popular open-source IAM solutions you should consider using in your enterprise.


KeyCloak is a Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) project that offers enterprise IAM solutions. Keycloak emphasizes proficient enterprise authorization solutions by providing:

  1. User Federation
  2. Strong authentication, and authorization
  3. Generation of password policies

KeyCloak offers multiple ways to authenticate users. Firstly, it offers Single-Sign On (SSO) which enables your users to login into different systems using one digital identity. It is efficient because it is lightweight, fast, and scalable. KeyCloak creates the login forms and manages the authentication and storing of user credentials.

Users find it hard to memorize and keep track of many passwords. To solve this problem KeyCloak allows users to authenticate using social media platforms such as Facebook and Google. On top of that, it supports standard protocols such as OpenID Connect, OAuth 2.0, and SAML.

To manage users, Keycloak has an admin console that offers control over user permission, services, user sessions, and managed applications. You can also connect your existing relational database to Keycloak if it has users in it.


Description: The above image shows the KeyCloak dashboard. Image Credit: KeyCloak

MidPoint - Evolveum

MidPoint has a high scalability ability as it can scale users up to 100 million identities. Automation boosts its scalability as it automates access requests. MidPoint is keen to reinvent open-source identity governance platforms. Midpoint has developed many features such as:

  1. User provisioning and de-provisioning
  2. Account and profile management
  3. Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  4. Single sign-on (SSO)
  5. LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) support
  6. Certification and attestation
  7. Segregation of duties (SoD) enforcement


Description: The above image shows the MidPoint IAM platform.

MidPoint is deployment friendly as it offers a simulation environment. You can test your changes and see how they perform without having to deploy them to the live environment. This is important as you can stop faulty versions from being deployed into the live environment. Incorrect configuration causes drastic harm to your IAM.

MidPoint offers license management features that keep track of third-party licenses and show metrics of how many licenses were used by one user. Midpoint also prevents incompatible licenses from being assigned to users.

Data provenance and customer consent management are offered by Midpoint to help enterprises comply with GDPR.

Users are able to revoke and view all permissions they gave to third-party platforms. In addition, Midpoint has a self-service portal that enables users to manage their passwords, profiles, identity recovery, and request access.


OpenIAM prioritizes zero-trust initiatives and compliance. It offers IAM solutions that cater to the workforce identity and customer identity.

Their customer identity product offers authentication and multi-factor authentication. Just like KeyCloak, OpenIAM offers SSO using SAML, openAuth, and OIDC. OpenIAM also enforces password policies that force users to set stronger passwords.


Description: The above image shows the OpenIAM dashboard. Image credit: OpenIAM.

On the other hand, there is workforce identity which offers more enterprise IAM solutions than customer identity. With workforce identity, you can integrate OpenIAM with on-premise applications and existing identity providers.

To improve customer service you get a self-service portal for managing end-user activities and the end user can leave reviews to request improvements.

OpenIAM has automation as it automates the process of adding, moving, and deleting users. Users can also request access and they will be approved using a phased approval process.


Shibboleth was built on top of SAML(Security Assertion Markup Language), a widely accepted standard for exchanging authentication and authorization data.

Shibboleth offers Single Sign-On solutions that work across multiple organizations that are connected. shibboleth is highly scalable and customizable as it supports 1 million authentication requests per day.

Shibboleth offers data aggregation capabilities that speed up the process of querying metadata and verifying digitally signed metadata.

Shibboleth goes further by providing IAM solutions for enterprises that use WordPress as a content management system. WordPress users can add Shibboleth as a plugin.


Shibboleth enables identity federation, allowing different organizations to share identity information. This is useful in scenarios where users from one organization need to access resources of another organization securely.


FusionAuth is one of the most decorated and successful open-source IAM solutions. It has been downloaded by more than 10 million customers and hosts over 1 million digital identities.

FusionAuth is used by big enterprises such as PWC,, and PureVPN.

FusionAuth has advanced threat detection that identifies malicious activities. If a malicious attacker tries to gain unauthorized access and fails multiple times, FusionAuth will notify the admin and block the malicious actor based on their IP address. Also, the administrators can set how many requests can be made within one minute by a user.

FusionAuth offers SSO, passwordless authentication, and account recovery features. FusionAuth’sWith Fusionauth you don't have to start from scratch as it gives you pre-built connectors and templates to help you build IAM solutions.


Description: The above image shows the FusionAuth dashboard. Image credit: FusionAuth.


Apache Syncope is an open-source system for handling digital identities in business settings. As an Apache Software Foundation project, Syncope has a strong community support structure that provides regular updates, security patches, and follows best practices in the business.


Description: The above image shows the Syncope dashboard. Image credit: Syncope.

One thing that makes Syncope stand out is how it handles identity provision and de-provisioning in a complete way.

It comes with many useful tools for making, managing, and deleting user accounts and setting entry rights for many different systems and programs.

This includes the ability to keep identity data in sync and correct across various outside sources, like Active Directory, databases, and LDAP servers. Syncope's provisioning features go beyond simple CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) operations.

They let managers set up complex workflows and rules. This lets companies automate and streamline their identity lifecycle processes, making sure that access rights are always handled and updated in line with the rules of the company.

Additionally, it comes with a lot of RESTful APIs and a web-based management console that make it simple to connect to current IT systems and third-party apps.

Modern security standards and practices can be used with this platform because it allows many authentication and authorization methods, such as SAML 2.0, OpenID Connect, and OAuth 2.0.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Open Source IAM Solution

Below are factors you should consider when choosing an open source IAM solution provider.

Documentation and Support

Implementing an IAM application integration is hard when there is little to no documentation. There should be no trial and error procedure when implementing IAM because this could lead to authentication issues.

If you choose an IAM solution that has no clear documentation you will be forced to do trial and error at some point.

Well-written and articulate documentation is crucial. You should also consider how active the community support or helpline is.

Getting help when you are stuck and getting errors is crucial. Some projects get terminated because of consistent errors that don't have solutions. These cases are common if you choose an IAM solution that is new to the industry.

Security and Compliance

If you are going to give a third-party the power to facilitate your authorization and authentication, it is essential to check if the IAM solution is compliant with security compliance standards.

Compliance standards give companies that comply with the guidelines certificates and badges.

As for IAM solution providers they need to have the highest level of security. Shift left strategy and zero trust should be at the core of the algorithm.

Below are examples of security standards that enterprise IAM solution providers have to comply with:

  1. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  2. Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
  3. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  4. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
  5. Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP)


Security is the consistency in applying measures that keep the platform safe from malicious intents. IAM solution providers have to be reliable and trustworthy when it comes to delivering secure products.

If an IAM platform gets attacked, millions of accounts are at risk of being stolen and lost. You completely have no power when your IAM platform gets attacked, your user base gets destroyed; because of the weak security measures implemented by your IAM solution provider.

It is best to choose open-source IAM solutions that are known for delivering secure products and implementing security measures that prevent security breaches. Choosing an IAM solution provider that offers a backup plan is also crucial.

Enterprise Features

SSO and multi-factor authentication are important but they are not what differentiates an enterprise IAM solution from a customer IAM solution. An enterprise IAM solution needs to have the following aspects:

  1. Be able to connect to an existing relational database
  2. Admin console
  3. User management console
  4. Password policies
  5. Self-service portal
  6. Profile management
  7. Scalable Identity Governance and Administration

The above aspects should be available in the IAM solution that you choose.

However, there are specific aspects to consider when looking at your enterprise’s unique needs. For example, if you already have an existing digital identity database, it is important to make sure that the IAM solution you choose offers Lightweight Directory Access Protocol(LDAP) and can integrate or fetch data from your existing digital identity database.

If your enterprise has a large user base and many resources that have many complex permissions. You should choose an IAM solution that has robust privileged access management and allows you to write identity policies that specify which users are allowed to access specific systems.

Your customer profile should also determine the IAM solution you are choosing. As an example, if your enterprise is targeting Apple users then it is important to choose an IAM solution that allows users to log in using their Apple ID.


Enterprises are on the forever quest of increasing profits and customers.

Scaling the number of customers or users calls for complex managerial tasks. However, the task of managing digital identities can be easy when third-party IAM solutions are implemented.

IAM enterprise solutions offer so many solutions that facilitate user authentication and protect your digital assets. Thus, saving the company from making a loss due to unauthorized access.