Google OAuth, OpenID and federated login research
In recent meetings on access management and single sign-on I've mentioned the usability work being done by the Kantara ULX Working Group and suggested that it represents real progress in terms of how the relatively complex 'federated login' experience should be presented to the end-user.
Eric Sachs of Google has written up some research that they've been doing in the same space - research that includes a significant mocked-up ecommerce website and videos covering the kinds of 'login' scenarios that they've been thinking about.
I think this represents a really interesting piece of work, especially if some of it is made available as open source code (as the post suggests might happen).
The website at openidsamplestore.com was built to demonstrate how a website that already allows users to login can help those users (and new users) leverage OpenID to login. This provides a number of advantages for website owners such as:
- Higher signup rates for new users and higher return/login rates by existing users
- Lower customer support costs for handling problems with accounts
- Improved account security by leveraging the security features and scale of large identity providers like Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, AOL, etc.
Users obviously also benefit from the improved user experience that can be achieved with OpenID.
The advantages outlined here seem, at first glance, to be most appropriate to e-commerce sites but I think they apply much more widely - to academic publishers, educational service providers, government websites, health websites and so on.
It'll be interesting to see how this work develops and whether the fact that it is being undertaken by Google means that it gains more traction and acceptance than might be the case with the Kantara work.