Pardot Authentication Model: What’s Changing in February 2021

You may have received recent “in-app” notifications or an email regarding an upcoming change to the Pardot authentication model and process. To help boil down what this means for your Pardot users we have assembled a few questions and answers to ensure you are prepared for the change. With the updates not taking place until February 2021 there is time to get prepared but this is a great time to review your user setup and current Pardot configuration.


Pardot Authentication Model: What’s changing

With the Feb ‘21 release of Pardot there will no longer be a separate Pardot authentication model. All authentication will take place via Salesforce. What that means in straightforward terms is to sign into Pardot you will need to do that through a Salesforce login. You will no longer be able to create a Pardot Only User who does not have Salesforce credentials.


What’s not changing?

Pardot “classic” or Pi as it is often called will not be going away. For users that used to log into Pardot via they will still be able to access that same interface via their Salesforce login if they choose. Or if they are fully licensed CRM users they may access Pardot via the preferred Pardot for Lightning interface.

The Pardot authorization model is also not changing. This means whatever roles Pardot users have today will stay. The change is only related to authentication, not authorization.


Why is it changing?

This is a major change from the authentication model that has been in place for 13 years. A change like this wouldn’t be made lightly and without a purpose. One of the main benefits of the change is the ability for Pardot to now leverage the robust authentication tools Salesforce already offers. This leads to better user experiences and more flexible authentication models at the administrator’s disposal.

The change at this time makes sense from a feature perspective too. For a while now all newly released features for Pardot have only been made available via the Pardot for Lightning app. Making Salesforce the home base for all Pardot users makes sense and reduces the need for dual users.


What you need to do

With the Feb ‘21 release of Pardot all users will be required to access Pardot via Salesforce. Do an assessment of your current Pardot users to determine if any of your users are Pardot Only Users. If they are you will want to either purchase a Salesforce license for them or utilize and “Identity License.” You can easily find Pardot Only Users by navigating to Administration -> User Management and then select the dropdown at the top left.

Salesforce will be providing a number of these free of charge in your organization. If you have a large number of Pardot Only Users additional licenses can be purchased for $5/mo/user. Identity licenses will be made available in your organization starting in August 2020 providing six months to make the transition.

Since this change affects authentication you will also want to assess if you currently are using the Pardot API for third party integrations. If so you will need to update those properties with any new user information created with either a CRM user license or an Identity License.


How we can help

While it is true this is only a change to the authentication process it is also an indicator of changes to come and recent changes to the Pardot platform. With six Pardot releases every year there are new, beneficial features rolling out all of the time. This may be a great time for a Pardot audit to review your current Pardot setup and what you can do to leverage newly released features you may be missing out on today. We recommend this to all of our Pardot clients and would be happy to chat with you about setting up a free Pardot audit today!

Written by

Judson Voss

Marketing Strategy Consultant

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