I’m quite fond of saying that Portland is the de facto hub of OpenID development. And it’s days like today that make me sound like I actually know what I’m talking about.
Google (maybe you’ve heard of them?) has just announced two new enhancements to the Google OpenID API. And it just so happens that Portland-based JanRain and their RPX solution have come to play a critical role in the announcement: they’re one of the first examples of the new features in use.
The new popup style UI, which implements the OpenID User Interface Extension Specification, is designed to streamline the federated login experience for users. Specifically, it’s designed to ensure that the context of the Relying Party website is always available and visible, even in the extreme case where a confused user closes the Google approval window. JanRain, a provider of OpenID solutions, is an early adopter of the new API, and already offers it as part of their RPX product. As demonstrated by UserVoice using JanRain’s RPX, the initial step on the sign-in page of the Relying Party website is identical to that of the “full page” version, and does not require any changes in the Relying Party UI.
Not only is this great news for JanRain, it’s great news for OpenID in general, as they continue to make strides to make the use of the technology more and more user friendly.
According to David Recordon of the OpenID Foundation:
User experience continues to be one of our key priorities for the community and foundation this year, and progress like seeing Google and JanRain ship the first implementation of the OpenID popup flow is demonstrating that we’ve been able to seize the momentum coming into this year and make real progress in a short period of time.
JanRain working to quickly incorporate these features is sure to help.
If you’re interested in testing the new popup, just contact JanRain:
Immediate mode and the extended Google data fields are now live for every RPX based site. If you are interested in testing out the Google popup support, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Following a short testing period the popup will be automatically turned on for all RPX customers.
For more on this announcement, see the Google post on the OpenID API or JanRain’s post on incorporating the new features into RPX.