Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Authentication Made Easy

I am swamped by the number of user names and passwords I have to remember and, quite frankly, if a new resource I stumble upon requires me to remember yet another account for me to access or do something I need, it's a deterrent and I'll go elsewhere. While developing features for SimpleMappr, it occurred to me that users probably would like to save a template of a naked map and then populate it with various bits of data at various times. In other words, it would be handy to just draw-up a template and use it whenever creating something new. Rather than making yet another user account system (ugh!) for this map template saving tool, I made use of Janrain's (formerly RPX) OpenID system. In less than an hour, I made a 2-click user authentication system for users. While Janrain is a for-profit company, it's only a matter of time for an open-source equivalent at which time I can probably just switch and not have to adjust the database schema or much of my code.