Stytch Launches New, Flexibility-First SDK

Passwordless solutions have been a trend for a while now, improving user experience (UX) while reducing exposure to common attack vectors. Now, Stytch’s new JavaScript SDK aims to make password-free authentication a bit easier by increasing customization and flexibility while offering fully baked authentication out of the box.

Julianna Lamb, Stytch CTO, said the solution provides dual benefits by doing the heavy lifting of implementation while providing the flexibility to create a powerfully branded UX from the customer’s first sign-on experience. The Stytch JavaScript SDK can offer an all-in-one experience that handles the entire user auth journey with a pre-built frontend component. But it can also give teams complete control over designing a sophisticated and tailored authentication journey. In an era where tech companies chase the ultimate customer experience as their holy grail, this should appeal to teams wanting to improve a customer’s first impression of their brand, Lamb said.

Multiple Options for a Smarter Front Door

Like many authentication tools, Stytch’s product suite originally offered two options: One was a standard widget to handle frontend components while backend APIs provided logins. The other option provided direct API integration, in which the developers built their frontend, handled tasks like session management and setting cookies on the frontend and used the API to do things like send a one-time passcode or email a magic link.

“But we found people really want flexibility when it comes to any solution they’re using,” Lamb said. “They also don’t want to do the heavy lifting when it comes to things like session management. Those things can be complex to reason through and having those out of the box is really compelling.”

The new SDK decouples drop-in UIs from helper functions, giving teams multiple options. They can place Stytch’s UI components anywhere they want in the product, sculpting the authentication flow to their specifications. As a headless SDK, it can be embedded client-side in the application to handle all the calls to the API, do the authentication, create a session and check its validity. The result: Less backend code to write and less logic to implement.

Customizable UI flows mean that teams can fully own the UX experience and build a UI that is customized exactly how they want it to look—and they can do this without having to build an internal API to route authentication requests from client to server. Teams looking for ways to make a brand impact right out of the gate can capitalize on this ability by creating a unique user experience.

“Authentication is the front door to your application,” Lamb said. “Sign-up is the first impression the user has of your app—and the ability to customize it with your brand look and feel so the UI fits your aesthetic is super-critical.”

Frictionless Flexibility in Identity Verification

Because teams may have different authentication needs within one product, the SDK can be used in tandem with the core Stytch API to meet shifting needs. Teams could generate embedded magic links via the API while providing Google OAuth and Google One-Tap sign-in options via the SDK.

The solution also reduces friction by making it easier to not only authenticate users but verify them on return visits to continue the same session. By loading the SDK on the frontend, teams can automatically connect Stytch’s sessions product to the browser cookie, feeding user session data directly into the cookie.

The Stytch team is currently building out more SDK functionality and frontend components, Lamb said. Given the ongoing evolution of simple authentication tools that meet complex requirements, it will be interesting to see where innovative authentication goes next.

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