Applications - Overview | Admin Guide - Zoho Directory

Adding apps - Overview

General Info: The Free plan allows you to add only up to 10 non-Zoho apps.
Zoho Directory supports adding and managing four different types of apps:

Directory apps
These are pre-integrated SSO apps available in the app directory.
SAML custom apps
On-prem SAML apps, or cloud SAML apps not available in the app directory can be added to Zoho Directory as SAML custom apps. These apps will require you to manually set up the SAML configuration.
Associated custom apps
If multiple apps (not available in the app directory) use the same authentication server, they can be added as associated custom apps.
Bookmarked custom apps
URLs or web pages that do not need authentication can be added as bookmarked custom apps.

Directory apps

Directory apps are pre-integrated enterprise cloud apps. You can add them to Zoho Directory in a few simple steps, without any SSO expertise. We have over 250 apps in our app directory. Browse the directory, or request a missing app.

Directory apps have the following features:
  1. One-click SSO: Your users can access these apps from Zoho Directory with a single click.
  2. Conditional assignment: You can set up conditions to automatically assign these apps to new users matching predefined criteria.
  3. User account provisioning (only for Zoho apps and JIT-enabled apps): When the app is assigned to a user in Zoho Directory, a user account will automatically be created in the app. You don't have to add the user in both places, making Zoho Directory a one-stop management solution.
  4. In-app user privileges (only for Zoho apps): When provisioning user accounts, you can also choose the roles and privileges to be assigned to the user. For example, you can assign Zoho CRM to a user, and appoint them as an Administrator inside CRM.

SAML custom apps

If the SAML app you need is not available in the app directory, you can manually configure a SAML connection between Zoho Directory and your app. Any app that can implement SAML 2.0 can be added in Zoho Directory as a SAML custom app.

SAML custom apps have the following features:
  1. One-click SSO: Your users can access these apps from Zoho Directory with a single click.
  2. Conditional assignment: You can set up conditions to automatically assign these apps to new users matching predefined criteria.

Associated custom apps

Apps sharing the same authentication server can be added as associated custom apps. For example, all individual Zoho apps use accounts.zoho.com for authentication. To set up SSO for Zoho, you can add Zoho Accounts as a SAML custom app, then add the individual apps as Associated custom apps. You will only have to configure SAML for Zoho Accounts. You can then associate the other apps with Zoho Accounts, and they will inherit the SAML configuration automatically.

This also simplifies user access—you won't have to assign users or set up Conditional Assignment for these apps separately. The users who have been granted access to the parent app will automatically be able to view and access the associated apps as well.

Associated custom apps have the following features:
  1. One-click SSO: Your users can access these apps from Zoho Directory with a single click.
  2. Easy configuration: You won't need to configure anything. Just choose an existing app, and its configuration will be inherited.

Bookmarked custom apps

URLs or webpages that do not need authentication can be added as bookmarked custom apps. Bookmarked apps act like browser bookmarks. They do not provide SSO or perform any authentication service. They merely provide users easy access to specific webpages from Zoho Directory.

For example, you might have intranet pages that can only be accessed when a user is connected to your local area network (LAN), but do not need any authentication. Alternatively, you may need to give your mobile developers access to a publicly hosted resource, such as Google's Android Developer Best Practices guide. Rather than asking users to bookmark these in their browsers, you can create bookmarked apps and display them to the users who may need them.

Bookmarked custom apps have the following features:
  1. Easy access: Users can find everything they need for work in a single place—Zoho Directory.
  2. Conditional assignment: You can set up conditions to automatically assign these apps to new users matching predefined criteria.
  3. Administrative convenience: You can ensure the right users always have the right resources, reducing user tickets.

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