In the movie, The Matrix: Reloaded, our heroes and the KeyMaker frantically navigated from world to world through a series of doors and locks trying to escape the villains. Fortunately for our heroes, the KeyMaker always had the right key on his ring, he just had to know what key to use and take the time to find it, thus making for a very dramatic escape scene.
For security reasons, many platform solutions with multiple applications and servers require users to provide the correct key or credentials when accessed. For years, the SAS Intelligence Platform has supported a single-key access called single sign-on (SSO) for its applications and servers. Refer to Single Sign-On in the SAS Intelligence Platform for more information on SAS support for this feature.
With the latest release, SAS Data Management Platform is fully integrated with the SAS Intelligence Platform, and single sign-on is now available for applications and servers that comprise the Data Management Platform, such as Data Management Studio and SAS Data Management Console. Once single sign-on is configured, users can log on once to access the platform applications and features without providing additional credentials. Using domain-enabled connections, database access can also be configured within a single sign-on platform deployment.
There are a lot of benefits to using single sign-on with the Data Management Platform. A few that come to mind are:
- Reduce the number of times re-entering the same credentials within the same platform
- Limit the number of user and password combinations across the platform applications
- Remove the need to store database credentials on the desktop or server using domain-enabled connections
- Increase overall productivity and improve perceived ease-of-use for the platform features
Of course, there are always legitimate concerns when allowing a user to become the KeyMaker, with the so-called “keys to the castle” to access to every application, report, or data file accessible from within the platform. Fortunately, the SAS Intelligence Platform has additional security settings such as roles for users and groups to limit access, even with single sign-on enabled. One other concern would be the negative impact on user productivity if the authentication system is unavailable to validate their credentials.
Had the KeyMaker in the movie been able to open the first door and have all of the other doors magically open, perhaps their escape from the villains would have been less dramatic. By contrast, opening all the doors in the Data Management Platform using single sign-on authentication can be very dramatic, so be sure to consider both the required level of security within your organization and the desire security level for users.