ZITADEL's 2023 in Review: Key Highlights and Updates

As we approach the end of 2023, it's an excellent time to reflect on how ZITADEL progressed throughout the year. We've remained committed to our promise of continuous innovation and delivering exceptional user experiences, as we set out to do at the beginning of the year.

ZITADEL significantly enhanced the developer experience by focusing on two key areas: API design and documentation. Firstly, we made a significant shift in our API design, moving towards a resource-based approach. This shift wasn't just a change; it was a strategic move to make our APIs more intuitive and developer-friendly.

Then there's our documentation overhaul, making it more informative and user-friendly. This revamp was coupled with a streamlined onboarding process, designed to be quicker and more intuitive, particularly benefiting new users who are integrating ZITADEL into their systems for the first time.

Here's a look back at the significant milestones we achieved:

A Detailed Recap of ZITADEL's Product Features and Enhancements in 2023

Authentication and Identity Management

  • Configurable Social/Enterprise Identity Provider Templates: We launched new social and enterprise SSO options, expanding our identity provider support to include Google, Github, Gitlab, Microsoft Azure AD, and Apple.
  • Self-Hosting with Terraform: Simplified management of ZITADEL resources for a seamless setup.
  • OIDC Version 2.0 Release: This was a significant update to our OpenID Connect library, including device authorization and token exchange.
  • LDAP Login: Integration with Active Directory/LDAP for enabling the use of legacy systems as identity providers.
  • Device Authorization Grant: Acknowledging the challenge of text input on certain devices, we implemented OAuth 2.0 Device Authorization Grant for a smoother user experience on input-constrained devices.
  • Email and SMS OTP Support: Introduced one-time password for two-factor authentication.
  • ZITADEL API V2: We've boosted our API with enhanced user registration and email verification features. Now in the beta stage, it allows you to create custom login interfaces and enables effective session management. Additionally, it supports integration with external providers, multifactor authentication options like TOTP and U2F/WebAuthN, streamlined password reset processes, and customizable methods for crafting your own login UI. This upgrade is all about giving you more control and flexibility.

Security and Compliance

  • Event Audit Log with Advanced Filters and Threat Detection: Our new audit log feature provides a comprehensive view of all actions and modifications, enhancing security and compliance capabilities.
  • Client Credentials as JWT & PAT Alternative: We introduced a third authentication method for service accounts, offering more flexibility.
  • Improved Password Change Notifications and Logging: Enhanced security measures for user account management.
  • Support for Multiple Hashing Algorithms, Including PBKDF2: Strengthened password hashing and migration capabilities. See the ZITADEL passwap package, which provides a unified implementation between different password hashing algorithms.
  • Technical Advisories and Updates: We introduced technical advisories to inform users about critical issues and updates for seamless operations.
  • Amplified Penetration Testing: Complementing our secure coding practices, we intensified third-party penetration tests and continued to encourage researchers to responsibly test and disclose vulnerabilities through our disclosure policy. Adhering to this process, we consistently published security advisories on GitHub and proactively informed affected users and customers about any vulnerabilities.

Developer Experience and Customization

  • Custom Claims and Role Integration: Actions now allow for enhanced token customization, such as flat role claims and custom claims. This adds flexibility to include additional attributes in SAML responses as well.
  • Customizable Login UI: ZITADEL now allows businesses to craft their own user interface for login, offering greater flexibility and personalization, along with guides to customize the login experiences using ZITADEL APIs.
  • Language Support: Added Polish, Japanese, Spanish, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, and Dutch thanks to many contributions from our community.
  • Improved Onboarding Process: An interactive in-app approach for a smoother user experience.

Platform Enhancements and Integrations

  • Event Store Optimizations: With ZITADEL's unique approach to event sourcing and CQRS, users can follow along the change track of the system. During the year, we took a big step forward in improving performance and parallel requests, and we prepared the storage layer for future improvements. Stay tuned for the upcoming blog series, which covers all the details of our journey.
  • General Availability of PostgreSQL Support in ZITADEL: PostgreSQL support is now fully integrated and generally available in ZITADEL, complete with Enterprise support. For more details, visit our guide on managing databases with ZITADEL.
  • Migration Guides: We've developed thorough guides to smoothly transition your systems from platforms like Auth0 and Keycloak to ZITADEL, ensuring a hassle-free migration experience.

Team and Community Updates

Team Retreat

The ZITADEL Team in Bucharest in October

Welcoming New Team Members

Tim Mohlmann joined as a Software Engineer, enhancing our development team with his technical expertise. Next, Jason Burkhead came on board as an Account Executive, bringing a new dynamism to our sales strategies.

Team Retreats

Our first retreat in May in the scenic town of Habkern in Interlaken was a blend of team bonding and strategic planning amidst the beauty of Switzerland. In October, the team gathered in Bucharest, absorbing the vibrant culture of Romania and fostering strong team unity.

Community Engagement and Achievements

  • Contributions from the Community: We had over a hundred contributions this year and would like to acknowledge and thank all our external contributors for their significant role in enhancing ZITADEL's features and functionalities.

  • Discord Community Grows to 1500 Members: This milestone is a clear reflection of the engaging nature of our platform and the supportive spirit of our user base. We have an expanding community of enthusiasts and professionals who actively contribute to and benefit from our Discord channel.

  • 5750 GitHub Stars: ZITADEL hit 5750 GitHub stars, a clear indicator of our growing influence and acceptance in the open-source community. This achievement is a collective success, made possible by the incredible support of our community members. Our GitHub repository continues to be a hub of innovation and collaboration.

New Updated Subscription Model: Aligning with Customer Needs

In 2023, ZITADEL took a customer-centric approach to update our subscription model for ZITADEL Cloud.

In response to feedback from our users, we transitioned to using Daily Active Users (DAUs) as the primary metric for our subscriptions. We designed this shift from the previous request-based model to provide a clearer, more predictable structure that closely aligns with user engagement. The updated subscription plans are now more intuitive and tailored to actual usage, ensuring that our services resonate with your daily operations. The plans were made available for all customers, with existing subscribers given the option to switch at their convenience.

For a comprehensive overview of the subscription model, please see ZITADEL's New Pricing. Here, you'll find all the necessary details to understand how these changes might affect your current usage and future plans.

This update was a significant step in ZITADEL's journey this year, reflecting our commitment to evolving with market needs and enhancing customer experience.

Recognition and Achievements in 2023

  • Featured in Star History Monthly Pick: In January 2023, ZITADEL was featured in the Star History Monthly Pick. This feature by Star History HQ delved into the story behind our project, showcasing our journey and the impactful strides we've made in the identity and access management domain. The article is available for a detailed read at Star History.

  • Top 100+ Developer Tools for 2022 by StackShare: ZITADEL's commitment to simplifying identity and access management for developers was further acknowledged when we were listed among the Top 100+ Developer Tools for 2022 by StackShare. For more information, visit StackShare.

  • Fastest-Growing Open-Source Startups in Q1 2023 ROSS Index: The first quarter of 2023 brought us another significant milestone. ZITADEL was ranked among the fastest-growing open-source startups in the Q1 2023 ROSS Index. We extend our gratitude to Runa Capital for this recognition. To learn more about our ranking, visit the ROSS Index.

  • Switzerland's Most Influential Information Services Startups for 2023: ZITADEL was honored with this award by Startup Bubble, recognizing our significant role in the information services sector. They positioned ZITADEL prominently in the fields of cybersecurity and web security in Switzerland. For more information about this recognition, visit Startup Bubble.

Thank You

Thank you

These updates highlight ZITADEL's commitment to providing a robust, secure, and user-friendly platform. We've made changes across the board to ensure our platform not only meets but exceeds the expectations of our users and the developer community.

As we wave goodbye to 2023, we're buzzing with excitement for the new horizons 2024 will bring. A huge shoutout to our awesome community and customers—your support, feedback, and ideas have been the secret sauce in ZITADEL's growth this year.

So, here's raising a toast to more innovation and even better user experiences! Wishing you all a fantastic and happy 2024!

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