Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Open ID - What, Where, How, Advantages, Safe ?

I am sure a lot of you must be reading about Open ID and are wondering what it is and how is it useful. I did not care much about it till I read that blogspot was supporting Open ID and so I got curious.

What is Open ID ?

Let me give you my understanding of Open ID. Everyone has a profile page on yahoo, AOL, Flickr and so on or a blog or a website. All these are represented by a unique URL that will give a user more information about ther real you (unless you only exist on that profile in cyberspace). The idea of open id is that instead of using a userid and password everywhere to identify yourself and setting up your profile each time you can use this URL to identify yourself and that way if anyone wants to know more about you they can visit the URL. When you use the open ID if you are logged into your site then there is no authentication required but if you are not logged in then it takes you to the webpage to be authenticated.

To get a geek view of what open ID is you can go to http://openid.net/what/ and read up more on the subject.

Where can you use open ID ?

Let us say you are signing up for something and you already have an open ID and the site you are signing up on supports open ID then you can use your open ID and sign up instead of creating a new user id and password.

If you are commenting/replying to something on a site that requires authentication and that site supports open ID then you can use your open ID.

What is the advantage of open ID ?

The main use of Open ID is that you do not need to maintain multiple profiles and multiple userids and passwords. But the main advantage that I see is that you start to get an identity on the web that is unique. This identity can be in the form of a yahoo profile, flickr photographs or a blogger/wordpress blog and this identity uniquely identifies you. You do not need to provide all your details each and every time.

How safe or secure is this open ID ?

Open ID is created and maintained by a foundation. Third party providers actually provide the service. So you are not tied into any one provider. So it is secure. All the big players are starting to adopt open ID since it is really easy to use.

How do I get an Open ID?

I have made my blog as my open id and I now use it everywhere to uniquely identify myself. On blogger all you have to do is go to your settings and there is a new section called Open ID. You can set it up there.

To get a list of other open ID providers visit http://openid.net/get/.

1 comment:

Kiran banda said...

Very informative :-)

Developers out there will appreciate this concept if u had worked on frameworks like Facebook, Windows Live SDK,etc.