Get ready for the Pardot Spring21 SSO

Salesforce bought Pardot back in 2013 and with every release, both systems have been moving closer together. Most clients using the Pardot Lightning App today seem to forget that these are actually two separate systems, appearing in one user interface. 

With the upcoming release Spring21, around Mid-February 2021, we face the next step in the goal of a seamless experience.

As of today, you could set up as many Users in Pardot, with Pardot-only permission, as you want. Additionally, the Single-Sign-On between Salesforce and Pardot has been around for some time. Enabling the Salesforce user to use a single login in both systems, either via the Pardot Web app ( or via the installed Pardot classic or Pardot Lightning App from Salesforce directly. 

Salesforce argues that this step is necessary to allow Salesforce Admins to leverage the more advanced rules and tools for security settings, like IP restricted logins or defined permissions for fields and objects, as well accessing additional functionality within Salesforce like the new Email Template builder. 

If you now think that Salesforce wants to sell you an additional SalesCloud/ServiceCloud license, then you are absolutely right. But this also comes with the great benefit of accessing your sales reps’ data in more detail and using Salesforce-only features like the report builder and new Email Template builder.

If you think now that Salesforce forces you to buy licences, then you don’t need to worry – Pardot got you covered with 100 free identity licences to make sure you run not into extra costs. 

The moment your Org will be moved onto the Spring21 release, all Pardot-only users will not be able to log into Pardot. To prevent getting logged out of your precious marketing data, make sure to follow the steps below. 

  • Do you still have Pardot users without access to Salesforce? 
    1. Yes – follow steps below (1-5)
    2. No – then you are covered for your users, but please check the part for integrations. 

  • Check your identity licenses

Go to Setup > Company Information and confirm the availability of 100 identity licenses. 

  • Setup every Pardot user without a Salesforce license in Salesforce
      1. Go to Salesforce > Setup > User > Create user 
      2. Enter First Name, Last Name, Email and use the identity license
      3. Scroll to the bottom and make sure that the checkbox “Send Activation Email” is checked. Otherwise, your user cannot set a password.  
  • Go to Pardot and assign a Salesforce user per Pardot user
      1. Open the Pardot user record for editing. 
      2. From the CRM Username dropdown, select the Salesforce user. 
      3. Save the user. 
      4. Click the verify now link in the CRM Username line of the user record.
  • Enable user sync (if not already done)
      1. Pardot does not force you to enable it, but it is recommended for easier management of access to Pardot assets and it auto-creates Pardot users in case of new users joining. 
  • Login to Pardot
    1. Identity license users can log in via but now click “Log In with Salesforce” instead of entering their user details.


    How do I know exactly which of my users this change will affect?

    The View filter on the user’s screen in Pardot has an option to show all Pardot-only users. Every user on the filtered list will need to be linked to a Salesforce user and enabled with SSO before February 15, 2021. Otherwise, they will lose the ability to log into Pardot.

    What will happen to Salesforce SSO users who also have a Pardot password?

    Pardot refers to these users as Pardot + Salesforce SSO users. These users have both Pardot credentials and Salesforce credentials and are also enabled with SSO, so they effectively have two different ways to log in to Pardot. This change will eliminate the ability for these users to log in to Pardot with their Pardot credentials and they will have to log in to Pardot via SSO with their Salesforce credentials

    What is an Identity license?

    The Salesforce Identity license allows Salesforce users to access external applications, like Pardot’s standalone application, while giving administrators control over authentication and authorization for these users

    Can users with an Identity license be upgraded to a full Sales Cloud/Service Cloud license?

    Yes. A Salesforce user assigned an Identity license can be upgraded to a full Sales or Service Cloud license; however, the opposite is not true. A Salesforce user assigned a Sales or Service Cloud license cannot be downgraded to an Identity license.

    Will users assigned an Identity license need to have any additional Permission Set assignments?

    No. For Identity users to be able to access Pardot via, they will not need any additional Permission Sets assigned to them.

    What happens to integrations?
    • Custom plugins or integrations, like Zoom, sometimes require a Pardot-only user to access Pardot. Please check the documentation of your existing plugins/integrations to estimate the potential impact and reach out to your tool suppliers’ support for further clarification. 
    • The Pardot standard connectors are covered and won’t expect any impact.
    • Statement of Salesforce:

    All integrations with the Pardot API will need to be updated to use Salesforce authentication instead of Pardot authentication. More information on accessing the Pardot API with Salesforce authentication is available on the Pardot API documentation site.

    If you are using a third-party API integration, like Zapier, then you’ll need to wait for the owner of that service to update their integration. Pardot is proactively reaching out to Drift, FeedOtter, On24, TaxiForEmail,, Qualified, Zapier, and Zoom to make them aware of this change. Given Pardot’s open API integration policy, there are certainly third-party integrations in existence that Pardot is not aware of. If you are a consumer of a service not included in the list above, please reach out to that service provider to make sure that they’re aware of this change.
    Pardot’s WordPress plugin now supports Salesforce authentication. All customers using Pardot’s WordPress plugin will need to make a small change to utilize Salesforce authentication.

    In case of additional questions – check the latest Salesforce documentation/migration.