What is the difference between an authentication provider and an identity provider.

Can Salesforce be the authentication and identity provider at the same time?

1 Answer 1


Short answer is yes. Salesforce can be Authentication Provider and Identity Provider at same time.

The main difference between Authentication Provider and Identity provider is -

Identity Provider : An identity provider is a trusted provider that lets you use single sign-on to access other websites. A service provider is a website that hosts applications. You can enable Salesforce as an identity provider and define one or more service providers. Your users can then access other applications directly from Salesforce using single sign-on.

Authentication Provider : Create a single sign-on (SSO) authentication provider to let admins and users use their non-Salesforce SSO credentials for your Salesforce orgs.

So Basically in Identity Provider your user can access Other Service (Google , Fb) from salesforce credentials where in Auth provider they can access SF using their non SF credentials.

Steps to create SF as Authentication Provider for Various Websites.

To enable Salesforce as an identity provider:

  1. Set up a domain using My Domain, and deploy it to all users. From Setup, enter Identity Provider in the Quick Find box, then select Identity Provider, and then click Enable Identity Provider.
  2. By default, a Salesforce identity provider uses a self-signed certificate generated automatically with the SHA-256 signature algorithm. If you've already created self-signed certificates, select the certificate to use when securely communicating with other services.
  3. If you want to use a CA-signed certificate instead of self-signed certificate, following these steps.

    • Create and import a new CA-signed certificate. For instructions, see Certificates and Keys.
    • From Setup, enter Identity Provider in the Quick Find box, then select Identity Provider.
    • Click Edit, and then select the CA-signed certificate.
    • Click Save. After you enable Salesforce as an identity provider, you can define service providers by creating connected apps (From Setup, enter Apps in the Quick Find box, then select Apps).

    • Enable Salesforce as an Identity Provider steps in more details

To configure SF as Auth Provider you can follow the steps provided in link.

You can also use Salesforce as an Identity Provider for Customer Portal

  • Thanks a lot for your answer. It's great. Can you please add what the difference is between authentication and identity provider? Oct 17, 2016 at 17:59

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