Okta's API access product targets the trend toward services

The company has also updated its provisioning software to manage privileges as an employee's roles change

Okta has changed key parts of its product portfolio to attract new users to its corporate identity management and access control platforms. The startup is launching a new API access management product and revamping its provisioning service to make it easier to change employees' permissions within a company.

The changes, announced at the company's Oktane conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday, were designed to give Okta more ammunition against a growing field of identity-management rivals, including Microsoft and OneLogin.

Okta API Access Management builds on Okta's existing tools for developers who manage application logins. It lets administrators control how users of those apps access business systems that are surfaced through APIs.

For example, the new service would make it easier for businesses to control who can access which features in a scheduling service that's being delivered to end users through an API. Consumers could be given one role, with privileges to request appointments, while service workers and schedulers could have a different set of privileges that would let them view and manage a list of those appointments.

Simplifying API access management is important because more companies are now deconstructing large, monolithic applications into services that are delivered via APIs.

It's important to secure access to those services, which is where this announcement comes in. It's an extension of Okta's platform push, in which the company is working to give developers a way to control how people access applications -- whether they're only for internal use or are deployed to the public.

In addition to the API Access Management announcement, Okta is also rebranding and tweaking its provisioning software to help companies manage employees throughout their time at an organization. Now they can set up the provisioning service using workflows that automatically give or revoke users' access to certain services.

For more manual processes, the service can also be set up to send emails to people who will then take manual actions like setting up someone's desk or revoking access to services that Okta can't assist in managing.

All this comes at the same time Okta announced that it's now Google's preferred identity management partner for enterprises using large deployments of Google Apps for Work.

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