Thursday, July 23, 2009

OpenID: Login anywhere with a single id

OpenID Basics
Most websites require a user to login before they can start using their website. So,users are forced to signup at every single website they intend to use.The signup process is usually a time consuming process since email verification is mostly necessary in order to verify the validity of the user.
Yahoo's id can be used across its network (email,groups,answers etc),and Google's id can be used on its network (gmail,gtalk,blogger etc) and Microsoft has Passport (mail,Spaces,and all MS services including Windows itself).
But what about the other majority of internet not owned by Y!,Google or MS? Its where OpenID comes to the rescue.
Started in 2005, OpenID eliminates the need for multiple usernames across different websites.Its designed by the OpenId foundation which provides it as a open source implementation. OpenID can be signed up using one of the OpenID providers. Once signed up,it can be used across the network of websites that support OpenID.OpenID foundation claims that OpenID is supported by more than 50,000 websites.
Some major websites include blogger,wordpress,livejournal,scribd,digg,dailymotion,facebook etc.,and more and more websites are starting to support OpenID gradually.

OpenID offers users ease of use and there is no need to sign up in websites supporting OpenID.
For website owners,the advantage is that more users will be signed up for their website since users dont need to signup separately, and users only need to sign in into OpenID and join the website.
So,users can easily join an OpenId supporting website.Thats a plus for both users as well as website owners.
Moreover, OpenID can be easily implemented by website owners.
And regarding security,the OpenId password will not be submitted to the website, it will be submitted only to the OpenID provider who acts as the middleman in the sign-in process.

Yahoo supports OpenID
Yahoo started to support OpenID in 2008 as a OpenID provider.The implication is that existing Y! ids can be used as OpenID logins (username/password).However, it needs to be enabled separately.
Just go to and login with Y! username/password and enable OpenID.
After that, Y! id can be used to login into any OpenId website.
An important thing to be noted is that the Y! username/password should not be entered directly into any website's login boxes.Enter in the OpenID field.The browser will redirect to Y! authentication servers.Y! username/password should only be entered in Yahoo's login page.
Of course,the user has the option to sign up with any OpenID provider.
Even Google and Microsoft are OpenID providers.

OpenID providers: websites that allow to create OpenIDs (trivially, Y!,G and MS allow creation,but they can't be used for login in their own networks,but usable on all websites implemeting OpenID)
OpenID websites: websites that allow OpenID to be used as a login method (websites that allow users to login)

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