If you are one of those who login to lot of sites/forums often, you may have gone through the headache of registration by filling up long forms and then comes the headache of managing passwords, remembering them. Well, there is a solution for your woes. its called OpenID, another brilliant concept from the house of open source Community.
What is OpenID:
OpenID is decentralized authentication protocol that makes it easy for people to sign up and access web accounts. Once you sign up at Open ID provider’s website, you will be using the id that you used to create OpenID for logging in to any of the supports websites/forums/blogs. If you are already using services like Blogger/Wordpress/Flickr, you may already have an OpenID. the OpenID that WordPress generates for you is your blog URL (which in my case is bandla.Wordpress.com). Yes, this will be your id and everytime you use this id on any other service/network/website, you will be redirected to your WordPress page for authentication and confirmation to use your id on the network. One good reason to use is when you read lot of blogs, explore new blogs and comment on posts. All you need to do is use a single ID (instead of using blogger-id for Blogger, WordPress or other ids on WordPress and Tumblr or other ids for Tumblr) to comment on posts. Isn’t it easy and negates the headache of remembering lot of passwords and also makes sure that your WordPress blog is known to others without you advertising for it.
Get an OpenID:
Like I said earlier, if you have used any of the following services, you already have an OpenID and you can check here for more info on what the respective OpenID is:
- Google Account
There are other well known OpenID providers like myopenid, claimID, Verisign Labs etc where you can generate your own OpenID. For example, if you create id as ‘test123’ on myopenid.com, your OpenID will be test123.myopenid.com.
How to use:
Let’s take a scenario where I read a blog written by an unknown person and that I want to comment on the post.
If the blog/site supports OpenID, I can select OpenID to authenticate my id:
Once I select OpenID and provide my OpenID URL, I am forwarded to my OpenID provider page, which in this case is desiibond.myopenid.com. Since my password is already cached and remembered, I will get a confirmation request as shown below (asking whether to allow signin to the website) as shown below:
And voila, the comment is posted:
Also, you can notice the OpenID logo next to the name.
The procedure is similar if you want to Sign-Up an account at an OpenID supported website. There will be two extra steps where some websites ask you for mail id and name to send activation request (which is usual ritual) instead of asking truckload of information (which, in this case is provided by OpenID).
For more information on how to use Open ID, you can check here
Adding to your site:
You can easily setup OpenID support for your website/blog without much effort. If you use blogging services (WordPress etc) or CMS or forum tools (phpbb etc), there are many free plug-ins that you can use to accept OpenID for your website. You can go here to get more info on available plug-ins. There are third-party solutions like ‘Janrain Engage’ that adds OpenID to websites and they offer free and paid management tools for individuals and enterprises.
One can join OpenID foundation and be a part of the developer community and help them in following areas:
- Maintain libraries
- Add new features
- Explore new extensions to add to protocol
- Write documentation
- Improve specification
- Find and file bugs
Be careful with your OpenID and password as losing it means losing access to lot of data. And do think twice where you are entering the id and make sure that you are not redirected to fake/phishing openid provider website (I use browser plugin WOT that keeps my browsing safe). Also, it can be a real pain if the ID and password fall in the hands of a cracker. Hence, make the password as complex as you can. Since you are going to use single login id and password for multiple sites, it is better to make it as hard to remember (for those who peek over your shoulder).