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Are you Developing an RFP and Need (or think you need) Single Sign-on? Read This First

Are you Developing an RFP and Need (or think you need) Single Sign-on? Read This First
We’ve implemented various degrees of single sign-on between content management systems and association management systems. Often when we receive a Request for Bid for an association website, clients tell us they want Single Sign-On (SSO) capabilities. Seems straight-forward, right? Not so fast.

A lot of times we don’t know going in if an association just needs the ‘light’ version or the ‘full-calorie’ version of Single Sign-On, because RFPs don’t always include the details we need to make that determination. The time for development can range from just a few hours for a light version, to well over 100 hours for a full-calorie version, which is why nailing down the difference between the two early on can save both your developer’s timeline and your deadline and budget.

As a starting point, consider this: with lite single sign-on you get to see. At full calorie, you get to do

Here’s what I mean…

Single Sign-On (Lite). Let’s say you have a scenario where you would like members to login to the website, which then automatically logs them into your Association Management System (AMS). With that, members can now access your AMS as well as see any protected content within your website. That’s the light version, and means a relatively inexpensive SSO. Piece of (lowfat) cake.

Single Sign-On (Full Calorie). In this scenario, you want members to perform advanced functions on the website, such as event registration, eCommerce, dues payments and more. You’d also like to add some convenience features for your members. For example, when the member logs in and registers for an event, you’d like their contact information (address, etc.) to auto-populate the registration form. When they complete whatever they are doing, that data will then be pushed back to your AMS. This is a full calorie version of Single Sign-On. Certainly do-able, but requires much more time in planning and development, which means more cost.

Like snowflakes, no two SSOs are alike. So it’s important to truly know what you need and why you need it, because you may end up be being quoted or billed for the full-calorie SSO, when all you need is the lo-cal version, or vice versa.

In our next post, we’ll talk about 5 critical things you should do for your website for January, 2015.

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