Development tools, OpenID Connect compatibility streamline identity management
World Vision believes in making the world a better place, and with an annual revenue of over $1 billion in just the United States, it has the means to do just that. World Vision is active in nearly 100 countries, with 45,000 staff members participating in disaster response, refugee efforts, and community transformation models worldwide.
The organization raises money primarily through a combination of public donations, corporate donations, and government grants, and one of the most common donation methods is sponsorship of a specific child. Dan Roney, a project manager in World Vision’s internet business unit, explains that World Vision considers it important for donors to be able to build a personal relationship with their child — complete with photos, videos, and even Christmas cards — and see how their donations are impacting the child’s community.
“They can send emails to their children, they can look at the latest pictures, they can read about the progress we’re making in that community,” he says. “We want them coming back to our site multiple times a year. Therefore, the website needs to be a fun experience for them, a rewarding experience, and obviously the more user-friendly we can make it, the more likely they are to come back.”
World Vision began to research authentication providers to facilitate a better user experience across the organization’s different platforms. Discussions with several industry leaders proved fruitless, with none able to provide the integrations that World Vision needed in the necessary time frame; however, as the organization dug deeper into the world of authentication, one name kept popping up.
“Time and time again we were discovering that, wow, there’s this company called Auth0, and they really have this stellar documentation that nobody else seemed to have,” says Josiah Williams, World Vision technical program manager. “Not only about [Auth0’s] system, but about ID management.”
World Vision discovered that Auth0’s compatibility with OpenID Connect would allow the company to integrate with a wide range of authentication clients, streamlining the identity management process. As decision makers weighed the different authentication options available to World Vision, the development team began developing a proof of concept to demonstrate the added value that Auth0’s solution could provide.
“We kind of went rogue on it,” admits Williams. “We [decided to] go ahead and build out a proof of concept with Auth0 and prove to our managers that this was the right tool for the opportunity.”
“The whole OpenID Connect support, several folks claim to have it, but [Auth0 was] the only one that actually had that full support that [we needed to have] to integrate with our backend systems,” adds Roney.
Auth0’s ability to facilitate a gradual user migration was another benefit. Roney admits that World Vision was concerned about the risks involved in a bulk migration since forced password resets are known to reduce conversions, but Auth0 was able to provide a more measured solution.
“We didn’t want to try and do everything all at once and have a lot of different spinning plates that could fall,” says Williams. “So we used the Auth0 platform and released out that login piece and integrated it with the trickle migration.”
World Vision was pleased to discover that Auth0 supported much of the technology the organization already employed, such as PHP backend integration. They were equally pleased to learn that Auth0 also provided access to new developer toolkits, such as React and Node. Auth0 was able to perfectly fill an area of need for World Vision while facilitating and even enhancing its own development operations.
“[Auth0] gave us a set of tools that we didn’t have before and it didn’t look like we were going to get from the other vendors,” says Roney. “It just naturally meshed with the technologies that we wanted to use. We could do the part that we’re good at. Filling in the right part of the puzzle for us so that we could be successful was really key.”
When you manage over $1 billion in donations, trust is key. The ease of integration and customization that World Vision has enjoyed with Auth0 has made the process of building a user-friendly system that donors can trust considerably simpler.
“It was a developer’s dream,” says Williams. “We were like, okay, this is the tool for us, and if they decide not to go with this tool, there may be a revolt on their hands because this was going to be perfect for the job.”
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.