Superconducting insertion devices rely on high DC transport current density of current commercial superconductors with nearly no dissipation. This important characteristic, that is found at cryogenic temperatures, allows building electromagnets that can produce a tunable high magnetic flux density along the axis of wigglers and undulators. Hence, it is possible to achieve a larger stored energy than the convencional devices for a given gap. However, the advantages of this technology are mitigated by technical challenges. These challenges include the magnetic field quality, the use of a cryogenic system operated at 4.2 K in liquid helium and the need for detection and protection schemes to ensure the physical integrity of the device against any losses of the superconducting state. The latter issue, called a quench, can lead to permanent damage of the superconducting winding. In this presentation, a brief account of the superconductivity is presented followed by a specific review of its applications and challenges in insertion devices.