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External customers are unable to login in with SSO (OKTA) to our Atlassian spaces

Jason Harwood September 30, 2020

I have been looking around but cannot find the answer to this question anywhere.

Our situation is as follows:

  • We use Jira Cloud, Jira Service Desk and Confluence
  • Internally, everyone within our organisation logs into our Atlassian spaces using SSO via Google Cloud accounts.
  • We have external customers who we grant access to external Confluence pages and Jira Service Desk, most of whom have no problems logging in.
  • However, one of our customers uses OKTA as their SSO provider and these users are unable to login to our atlassian space using SSO.

How do I work around this? Do I need to setup an OKTA integration for one group of external users? Could they just log in with their normal user name and password without using SSO? Please help! As our company scales, I anticipate that we may run into this issue more frequently so I would like to understand what our options are.

Thanks in advance.

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Dave Meyer
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
October 4, 2020

Hi @Jason Harwood , if your customer's users are already seeing the Okta login screen when they attempt to login to your company's Confluence, it means that that customer's IT team has set up Okta SSO for all users managed by that company, even if they are using their accounts to log into your company's Confluence instance. If you can share more details about what error that company's users are seeing, that would be helpful. Otherwise, I would speculate that your customer's IT org has a policy configured in Okta that is preventing those users from logging in, and it needs to be addressed on that side.

It's not possible for you to set up SSO for accounts that you do not manage (i.e. users with email addresses on a domain that you don't own), so I can say with confidence that setting up Okta just for those external users isn't going to be the way to go :)

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