Prioritizing SSO authentication with easy integration saves $100,000 each year and enables a microservice architecture
An international leader in the direct-to-consumer (DTC) wine industry, WineDirect processes millions of orders each year across the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Headquartered deep in the heart of California wine country with its technology operations based out of Vancouver, BC, WineDirect provides commerce, marketing, and logistics solutions to help wineries grow their businesses. These services have revolutionized many wineries which have traditionally focused on selling to customers within their own tasting rooms.
“WineDirect revolutionized winery e-commerce by consolidating all their sales channels – from tasting room to online shopping, email marketing and wine club – into a single platform,” says Devin Loftis, VP of Product at WineDirect. “We provide them with a comprehensive, 360-degree view of their customer base which enables them to provide better customer service and deepen their customer relationships. This in turn leads to increased revenue, customer retention and overall customer satisfaction.”
With 1,800 wineries counted among WineDirect’s members, Single Sign On (SSO) quickly became a priority. The company needed a solution that would allow customers at different levels of technology to easily integrate with the WineDirect platform. They also needed a scalable solution that would allow them to transition to a microservice-based approach as the business continued to grow.
“We needed to make sure that they were all secured through a standardized approach, and Auth0 really offers a good solution to that,” says Lucas Klaassen, Full Stack Web Developer with WineDirect. “It becomes the hub where users log in, how you generate secured tokens to talk to your services, and it offers a really nice way to connect to an existing user database.”
Before turning to Auth0, WineDirect experimented with the idea of developing SSO technology in-house — but they quickly ran into questions they couldn’t answer.
“We were running into issues in production with managing JWT tokens and managing new services overtime… figuring out how to manage expiry. Other questions we had were, ‘Do we store it in the cookies in the browser? Do we store it on the server? Do we session cache it?’ All these questions that Auth0 just comes in and answers for you,” said Klaassen. “It’d probably take at least two full-time developers to initially build that and continue to maintain it, depending on how quickly we scale.”
Klaassen explains that hiring a senior and a junior developer to oversee the technology would be cost prohibitive in the long term. Instead, Auth0 was able to quickly and seamlessly step in and provide a comprehensive SSO solution.
“Everyone thinks they need to reinvent the wheel with authentication until they realize that companies out there or experts in the field are providing the tools to be able to do it really quickly. Within a week we had a working prototype within Auth0,” said Klaassen. “I’d say [full implementation took] less than six months for us, into the point where we were actually running it in production … When we flipped the switch, it was super seamless. We haven’t run into a lot of issues with Auth0. There’s been hardly any.”
Thanks to the SSO authentication services provided by Auth0, WineDirect has been able to identify the customers using each of its services and allocate resources across multiple applications — all under one login umbrella.
“[Users] have a seamless experience with being able to log in in one place, and with SSO popping to all of these new services that we boot up,” said Klaassen. “They don’t know technically that they are authenticating to multiple different services, and that’s the beauty of it. They don’t have to login multiple times to use this microservice-based approach that allows us to scale up things as needed.”
“You get all the benefits of the OAuth [open authorization] and OpenID standards through Auth0 as it authorizes for all of your different applications that you set up,” he continued. “So, in a high level, it’s because we’re moving to microservices and Auth0 was a centralized place for us to handle authentication across all these services.”
Klaassen believes that the support provided by Auth0 is critical to WineDirect’s plans for the future.
“We are looking to create some game-changing tools for wineries that are different than what we’ve done in the past,” he said. “And we’re using Auth0 to do that through our microservice architecture approach.”
Auth0, a global leader in Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS), provides thousands of customers in every market sector with the only identity solution they need for their web, mobile, IoT, and internal applications. Its extensible platform seamlessly authenticates and secures more than 2.5 billion logins per month, making it loved by developers and trusted by global enterprises. The company’s U.S. headquarters in Bellevue, WA, and additional offices in Buenos Aires, London, Tokyo, and Sydney, support its global customers that are located in 70+ countries.