The Power of Okta Workflows

Release Date: 07/09/2020

Author: Jamie Turbill

Introduction

Okta Lifecycle Management is great. You are able to manage the creation and deactivation of your identities in all of your applications, and you can ensure that your leavers don’t have any lingering access to things they really shouldn’t have.

But, that’s not very flexible if you need to run other processes in between your basic create update and delete functions. For instance:

  • what if I need to transfer data to a line manager before they are deleted? 
  • Or I have a requirement to keep an account alive for an x number of days first? 
  • Or even just send a message in Slack when someone joins the company?

This is quite common, and up until now it has unfortunately been a barrier in some use cases. So I was excited to learn that at Oktane20 Live this year, Okta have introduced Okta Workflows.

What is Okta Workflows?

Well, it’s a complete cloud-based graphical workflow automation solution leveraging REST APIs and out of the box connectors to achieve that additional granularity you need to automate your onboarding and offboarding processes, and much more than that!

With a drag and drop interface you can get started quickly with simple workflows that you’ve been doing manually for years…

Connectors are available for Box, Salesforce, Slack and more. If a connector isn’t available, you can still create and use custom REST API functions for your applications.

The below is an example of the user interface for building a workflow

In the leftmost column we have the event that will trigger the workflow (in this example it’s a user being created in Okta)

As the workflow progresses, we use the Okta user data to create a record in Salesforce, and then we send a message in Slack to inform users that a lead has been created. This is really useful – but notice that we don’t need to write custom scripts or program anything to link different applications together. We are expanding Okta’s functionality but we aren’t doing it by reducing accessibility. Your normal Okta Admin could get up and running with Workflows quickly.

If you need to do more complex logic in your flow, you can do this too. If/Else, Convert, JSON parse, lookup, encrypt functions and more are all supported. See the full list here. If you need to store values for later use in other flows, you can create tables natively.

I’m really excited about Okta Workflows, and I’m looking forward – not only to see how this product evolves over time – but to actually seeing what customers come up with with this new powerful tool. The many different ways of using this means possibilities are almost endless! 

Here at Somerford we have deployed Okta Workflows and as a Premier Partner we are able to provide Professional Services to our customers. To find out more reach out to us and we can share use case examples to automate onboarding and offboard.

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