What Is SAP NetWeaver Single Sign-On?

  • by Dr. Susanne Rothaug, Solution Manager, SOA Middleware, SAP AG
  • Matthias Kaempfer, Solution Manager, SAP NetWeaver Foundation, SAP
  • August 20, 2013
Follow these typical scenarios of an implementation of SAP NetWeaver Single Sign-On. They reflect the challenges that users face with authentication in heterogeneous environments and show how SAP NetWeaver Single Sign-On can help overcome them. You can use it in the most diverse environments, including on-premise, on-demand, and legacy applications.
Key Concept
Single sign-on (SSO) in general refers to a security mechanism to provide user access to multiple systems within a system landscape. With SSO users log in only once with their user credentials. Subsequent logon to other systems is taken care of behind the scenes. From an end-user perspective this might simply be convenient, but for an organization, the benefits of such a solution go far beyond being merely convenient.

With the acquisition of SECUDE assets in 2011, SAP was able to enhance its security offerings with new functionality, combining existing and new features into the SAP NetWeaver Single Sign-On offering. Together with SAP NetWeaver Identity Management for managing users and SAP Access Control, SAP now provides a comprehensive security suite to run a landscape in a secure and compliant way. Following are some of SAP NetWeaver Single Sign-On’s benefits:

  • Fewer help-desk calls are required to reset forgotten passwords, reducing IT costs
  • User efficiency and productivity increase because users don’t have to reenter passwords multiple times
  • Changes in legal regulations concerning access management, which occur more frequently, can be easily implemented
  • Password fatigue from required different user name and password combinations and the potential storage of login information in unsafe locations are eliminated
  • Password phishing becomes a lot more difficult because the password has to be entered only once; thereafter, a security token is used
  • Encryption options help protect sensitive business data
  • Authentication techniques can be leveraged across company boundaries to incorporate business partners and subsidiaries

SAP NetWeaver Single Sign-On covers diverse single sign-on (SSO) requirements. Changes in your system landscape or extending your applications into the cloud, for example, do not mean that you have to purchase a new SSO solution. The modular structure of the SAP solution allows you to easily adjust to new requirements. By using public standards it can also support non-SAP applications, and allows you to integrate existing central authentication mechanisms.

We’ll explain the main capabilities of SAP NetWeaver Single Sign-On before discussing some common scenarios implemented at organizations. Finally, we’ll show you a compatibility matrix you can use to see which SSO options are available for different SAP systems.

Dr. Susanne Rothaug

Dr. Susanne Rothaug has been with SAP since 2001, working in various areas of SAP NetWeaver product management. Currently, she is a solution manager for SAP NetWeaver foundation topics. 

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Matthias Kaempfer

Matthias Kaempfer is a solution manager for the SAP NetWeaver foundation. He focuses on authentication, identity management, and various SAP NetWeaver security platform topics. Before joining SAP AG in 2000, Matthias was an applications developer to automate IT-related processes. Later, he worked as an IT service architect to optimize the end-to-end IT business processes and moved to SAP NetWeaver Lifecycle Management as a product manager.

Matthias will be presenting at the upcoming SAPinsider GRC 2017 conference, June 14-16, 2017, in Amsterdam. For information on the event, click here

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