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Google Apps Now Supports OpenID

3 August 2009

Now this is an interesting slant on the latest news on the OpenID adoption front:

Google has announced that its implementation of the OpenID login standard, Google OpenID Federated Login API, has been extended to support Google Apps. This will allow individuals who have accounts on a service or application deployed by a business, school or other organization on Apps to use their login credentials on any site that supports OpenID. This should greatly boost the standard’s reach but there are those in the community who are apprehensive about Google’s approach.

“Google Apps can now become an identity hub for multiple SaaS providers, simplifying identity management for organizations. For example, when integrated with partner solutions such as PingConnect from Ping Identity, the Google Open ID Federated Login API enables a single Google Apps login to help provide secure access to services like Salesforce.com, SuccessFactors, and WebEX — as well as B2B partners, internal applications, and of course consumer web sites,” Yariv Adan, Google Security Team, wrote on the Google Code blog.

OpenID aims to provide a unified login experience over various services online by allowing users to have just one set of credentials that would work on any site. There are a number of similar products, some proprietary, like Facebook Connect, but also open standards, but OpenID is the open-source project that shows the most promise. The major problem for it, and other similar products, is that most people, even the tech savvy, find it hard to understand and cumbersome to use and this has generally staved off growth.

So a move like Google’s, which boasts one million domain names on Apps, should be very welcomed by OpenID. However, it’s not what the search giant is doing but how it’s doing it that has risen the greatest number of concerns. In order to provide the functionality the company had to use a non-standard library. The extension, developed by Janrain, allows relying parties, the sites that will allow Google Apps users to login with those credentials, to redirect to the Google OpenID service.


http://blog.restafarian.org/2009/08/google-apps-now-supports-openid/

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