[OpenID board] ReadWriteWeb: R.I.P. OpenID: Janrain Raises Millions to Do Just the Opposite

Don Thibeau don at oidf.org
Thu Aug 4 15:54:33 UTC 2011


One of the topics discussed recently at Ping Identity's OpenID Summit at its Cloud Identity Conference and again at last week's Gartner Catalyst conference was a "consumerisation of the enterprise" or IT trend.  OpenID was at the center of those discussions as technology bulls and bears debated its value in both enterprise and consumer use cases. OpenID's evolution from little corners of the internet to mainstream adoption tracks the changes in internet identity best understood in hindsight. One leading edge adopter's review of how OpenID's user centricity morphed to a provider centric architecture is seen in Salesforce.com's Chuck Mortimore's blunt but bullish preso is at  'Does OpenID work for the Enterprise?"  

In deciding wether one is bearish or bullish on OpenID it may be useful to "follow the money" and follow the leaders. 

OpenID Connect, like OAuth 2.0, is among the few standards that has real technical engagement from Google, Microsoft and Facebook. While no one can predict what these companies, relying parties and small companies will do.  We can see where they invest.  Wether at industry conferences or launching pilots, industry leaders and developers like JanRain, Ping Identity and others making multi year /multi million dollar bets on protocols like OpenID Connect as it tracks with OAuth in enabling new claims and data centric architectures.  Following the money supports a bullish view of the value beyond social/single sign-on in today's web.  As noted companies like Ping Identity, JanRain and others have raised significant funding to pursue opportunities in this space. Analysts note a strong demand for identity management solutions globally.

Bears among us rightfully point to how OpenID has been quiet over the past year as it adjusted to the new market conditions like those ChuckM described.  Sausage and standards making isn't pretty and takes a maddening amount of time and money. Engineers, be they community volunteers or "volunteered" by large industry leaders take care when re-architecting a core offering like OpenID. Meanwhile OpenID Foundation members like Symantec, PayPal, Google, and others continue to co-sponsor OpenID Summits and other events with industry, where the evolution of OpenID is talked about and its adoption continues to increase around the world. Although OpenID may become more plumbing than the next big thing for the Silicon Valley tech press, its premise and technological underpinnings are proving to be solid and future-facing. 

Finally, take a look at the work being done at Google and the OpenID Foundation on the Account Chooser, a scalable, user-friendly way to bring OpenID technologies to the masses, while still supporting a philosophy of decentralized, interoperable identity solutions.  Bears and Bulls can judge for themselves as OpenID Connect is tried, tested and toughened at a OpenID Summit hosted by Microsoft on September 12 and 13 in Mountain View CA at Microsoft's offices  the OpenID Foundation will be hosting a technical interop and testing workshop for engineers and developers interested in OpenID Connect.

In other words, wether bearish or bullish don't touch the remote, stay tuned for more of the very ambitious, widely discussed project called OpenID Connect.

Don Thibeau
Executive Director 

On Aug 3, 2011, at 10:37 AM, Chris Messina wrote:

Tough article to read:


Especially in light of the work on OpenID Connect, do we have a response?


Chris Messina
Developer Advocate, Google

//chrismessina.me | + | @chrismessina

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