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Why Choose Okta vs. ADFS?



You’re moving towards Office 365 and you want true single sign-on for users. You also want to ensure authentication is directly tied back to the policies and user status in Active Directory. Microsoft makes ADFS available for enabling true single sign-on with a user’s Active Directory account. No need to reenter a password to access Office 365. A user that is logged into their AD domain gets right in. And, all authentication happens directly against on-prem Active Directory.

Okta is an alternative to ADFS for giving you true single sign-on for Office 365 and secure authentication using AD. Here are the top 3 reasons to use Okta instead of ADFS:

1. Low Total Cost of Ownership

Setting up on-prem SSO servers for high availability and access outside the firewall has several costs to consider:


Initial Configuration and Setup:


Integration to Office 365:


Hardware (4 servers minimum):


Hardware maintenance:

$4k / year

Updates to OS, certificates, software patches:

$10k / year


Total Year 1 Cost:


Total Yearly Maintenance Cost:

$14k / year


Okta connects Office 365 back to Active Directory with a modern, lightweight agent. It runs on any Windows machine you already have deployed. No dedicated servers and no firewall changes needed. Set up a 2nd agent on any Windows box in your environment and get automatic high availability. Okta handles HA and load balancing across agents automatically from the Okta cloud service.

With Okta’s lightweight agent, you can minimize your on-prem footprint as you move to the cloud. Zero servers and on-prem software to deploy, update and manage means lower TCO.

2. Faster Deployment

It can take 6 months or longer to properly and securely configure an on-prem SSO tool for federation of Office 365 back to Active Directory.

Okta can be connected to your on-prem Active Directory and set up for your Office 365 tenant in less than an hour and is built to be secure without any work on your part. Adobe deployed Okta for Office 365 for 25,000 employees and went live in 3 weeks. Seton Hall University went live with Okta and Office 365 for 32,000 Staff and Students within 4 weeks.

3. Solves Complex Active Directory or Office 365 Environments

Do you have multiple AD forests, potentially with different username formats? Or multiple Office 365 tenants? One Okta tenant can connect to all your directories and Office 365 environments. Okta gives you one place to bring all your users together, make things consistent, and give users access to the right Office 365 tenant.

Whether your complex environment is due to mergers and acquisitions or just simply how your AD evolved over time, don’t delay an Office 365 rollout for an AD cleanup project.

Why Choose Okta vs. ADFS?