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Amazon Cognito vs Auth0: What are the differences?

Developers describe Amazon Cognito as "Securely manage and synchronize app data for your users across their mobile devices". You can create unique identities for your users through a number of public login providers (Amazon, Facebook, and Google) and also support unauthenticated guests. You can save app data locally on users’ devices allowing your applications to work even when the devices are offline. On the other hand, Auth0 is detailed as "Token-based Single Sign On for your Apps and APIs with social, databases and enterprise identities". A set of unified APIs and tools that instantly enables Single Sign On and user management to all your applications.

Amazon Cognito and Auth0 can be primarily classified as "User Management and Authentication" tools.

Some of the features offered by Amazon Cognito are:

  • Manage Unique Identities
  • Work Offline
  • Store and Sync across Devices

On the other hand, Auth0 provides the following key features:

  • User and Password support with verification and forgot password email workflow
  • Painless SAML Auth with Enterprises
  • Integration with 20+ Social Providers

"Backed by Amazon" is the primary reason why developers consider Amazon Cognito over the competitors, whereas "JSON web token" was stated as the key factor in picking Auth0.

Binary.com, Chattermill, and White Rabbit Express are some of the popular companies that use Auth0, whereas Amazon Cognito is used by ChromaDex, Sendhelper Pte Ltd, and Strain Merchant. Auth0 has a broader approval, being mentioned in 121 company stacks & 55 developers stacks; compared to Amazon Cognito, which is listed in 41 company stacks and 13 developer stacks.

Advice on Amazon Cognito and Auth0
Needs advice
on
PassportPassport
and
Auth0Auth0

Currently, Passport.js repo has 324 open issues, and Jared (the original author) seems to be the one doing most of the work. Also, given that the documentation is not proper. Is it worth using Passport.js?

As of now, StackShare shows it has 29 companies using it. How do you implement auth in your project or your company? Are there any good alternatives to Passport.js? Should I implement auth from scratch?

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Replies (1)
Recommends
Auth0Auth0

I would recommend Auth0 only if you are willing to shell out money. You can keep up with their free version only for a very limited time and as per our experience as a growing startup where budget is an issue, their support was not very helpful as they first asked us to sign a commercial agreement even before helping us t o find out whether Auth0 fits our use case or not! But otherwise Auth0 is a great platform to speed up authentication. In our case we had to move to alternatives like Casbin for multi-tenant authorization!

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Decisions about Amazon Cognito and Auth0
Ryan Wans

Using Auth0 and JWT with a simple session management server is easy and takes care of a lot of the hassle of setting up authentication. We feel safe having Auth0 handle and store our user data knowing their databases are way more secure than anything we could have setup ourselves. They also provide great tools like WebHooks and action events to pull critical metadata to our API when we need it.

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Brent Maxwell
Migrated
from
Amazon CognitoAmazon Cognito
to
Auth0Auth0

I started our team on Amazon Cognito because I was a Solutions Architect at AWS and found it really easy to follow the tutorials and get a basic app up and running with it.

When our team started working with it, they very quickly became frustrated because of the poor documentation. After 4 days of trying to get all the basic passwordless auth working, our lead engineer made the decision to abandon it and try Auth0... and managed to get everything implemented in 4 hours.

The consensus was that Cognito just isn't mature enough or well-documented, and that the implementation does not cater for real world use cases the way that it should. I believe Amplify has made some of this simpler, but I would still recommend Auth0 as it's been bulletproof for us, and is a sensible price.

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