OpenID for Dummies

Apparently in my enthusiasm and the fact that I never used it myself, I really didn’t know much about OpenID. In fact, I still don’t but I did learn a couple things trying to incorporate OpenID into a pet project that I’ve been working on.

If you want to cut to the chase with a concrete demonstration just watch Simon’s screencast linked below. I mistakenly confused OpenID with a distributed ID system much like your typical user id that you use for various services. You know, register once and forget the rest.

Well, it seems OpenID is more like a central profile that can be accessed from a variety of services. It basically cuts down on the typical repetitive cycle of register, confirm email and complete by taking care of it in one step. Actually, it’s still a couple steps going back and forth between the service you’re registering for and the OpenID server that you’re using.

OpenID allows you to pull information from the OpenID profile and reuse it when registering for other services. Having said that it still is a significant boost in efficiency and can speed up registration. It also lets you control a variety of profiles and the level of information shared so it is nice.

How to use OpenID (a screencast)

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