Design Cloud

Unleash your design teams with Single Sign-on

In the rapidly growing world of cloud powered applications and web apps, IT teams are finding new ways to manage the ever growing list of tools their users need access to. With this growing user demand for cloud based tools and utilities several of the worlds top AEC firms are moving toward SAML based Single Sign-on (SSO) user identity tools.

What is Single Sign-on? “a property of access control of multiple related, but independent software systems. With this property a user logs in once and gains access to all systems without being prompted to log in again at each of them.” – Wikipedia

The chart above shows a typical top 20 list of apps for an organization.

The chart above shows a typical top 20 list of apps for an organization.

When it comes to configuring and customizing apps used by every employee it makes sense for IT teams to spend weeks doing deployments. When you start moving down the list to the apps that only a certain department needs access to it may not make sense to make large investments in on-premise software and deployments. This is the point where IT personnel in AEC firms across the globe are trying to find a middle ground between security, providing their users the tools they need when they need them, and speed of deploying these tools. No IT team wants to be a barrier to their colleagues, but they are the gatekeepers of a firm. They must keep data security and employee access to this data a top priority.

Single Sign-on identity providers such as OneLogin, LoginRadius, OKTA, and PingIdentity are leaders in providing a single source of truth for users access to various cloud applications across an entire design firm.

Cloud identity providers are built in the cloud for the cloud, making deploying cloud software a breeze. Most SSO providers have app stores where you can search for thousands of existing cloud software and connect the two quickly and easily.

What are the top 5 reasons for looking into a SSO solution for your design firm?

  1. Lowered IT costs
  2. Improved security
  3. Increased workforce productivity
  4. More utilization of mobile
  5. Improved user experience

Design technology is moving rapidly and how AEC IT personnel adapt to it will be critical over the next few years. Security, ease of use, and scalability will be key factors of which technologies we choose for our design firms. This is why you will find the Unifi app in each of the four providers app stores listed above with more to come upon request! We have listened to our customers and made Unifi compliant with the SAML 2.0 protocol which will allow you to integrate Unifi with any compatible Single Sign-on provider.

I would bet we end up seeing more AEC software leaders move down this path eventually with SSO. SSO integration is just the beginning, its a fully connected world and API’s can turn a great product into a powerful platform. We fully plan to continue to expand our platform integration options further with various API’s and integrations into some of the most popular platforms such as Slack and Trello! More to come on that front in a future post.

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment or question below.

Unifi Wins a Race!

I needed to see for myself how much faster I can work with Unifi vs. without.  Some of you ROI hunters out there need to know also, so pay attention!

So I put my lab coat on, got scientific and put together an experiment.  (We are after all a LAB!) A fair experiment.  An honest to goodness, fair experiment.  Remember, I needed to know for myself too.

I built a sample environment.  Then I created a script of components to use in a mock design.  First, 2 walls, then, an opening, then the doors, and on down till the last item. This script was on my other monitor so I could replicate the sequence for each video.  I then placed these components into a large Unifi library.  I also placed them into their respective folders in the generic content library in Windows Explorer.

I wanted to test the time difference to complete the design.

  • Method #1: Use the ‘Load Family’ button to load the families, then use the project browser or component drop down to place instances.
  • Method#2: Use Unifi to load and place instances.

Here is the recorded result:

Unifi WINS!!  By a lot, actually. (2.1 times faster to be exact – There’s that ROI!!)

In both tests I was honestly trying to complete the design as fast as possible.  I found that the traditional load/insert method is plain clunky to use.  There’s a lot of mouse movement required and there are multiple points of access for load and insert commands.  With Unifi, there’s only one place you need to go.  This is especially easy when Unifi is pinned to the top and auto collapsed.

We’re looking into ways of making it even faster, so keep paying attention!