It’s time for OpenID
I believe it was two years ago when I first saw Dick Hardt’s Identity 2.0 presentation at OSCON 2005. Back then, Dick hinted at how the world needed a unified identity system to relieve people from having to keep all these bits and pieces of information related to themselves around (think usernames and passwords).
Two years later, OpenID is quickly emerging as the de facto standard for an open, decentralized and free identity framework. Just in the course of three weeks, several companies and projects announced their support of the platform: Microsoft, VeriSign, Symantec, AOL, Digg. These join a growing number of sites and services (like Wikipedia, Livejournal) that use OpenID to identify users.
See Simon Willison’s screencast to get a brief introduction on what OpenID is and does.
What can you do?
If you’re working on a web-based product, you’ll most likely need to build a solution to manage and store the identity of your users. Usually you do this by setting up a system that allows them to register a new username and password to access your service. But what if you could simplify that and use OpenID to log people in?
One of the problems with services (those Web 2.0 applications you keep hearing about) these days is that by forcing you to remember credentials, they’re putting your coming back in jeopardy – because you’ll be frustrated anyway. OpenID solves that problem by allowing everyone to have one identity – a unique URL that identifies them everywhere.
When you build your next application, think about the possibility of implementing OpenID and joining the ranks of companies that want to make managing identity as simple as it should be. It’s a big step towards interoperability everywhere.
OpenID Enabled – a site for those of you who want to know how to integrate OpenID into your products or services. Has some really good developer information.
Simon Willison’s Weblog – Simon’s blog is a great resource when it comes to the latest news on OpenID.