Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Login through Google and Yahoo

In order to have an account in Teamness one needs an email address. The reasons for this are simple. Firstly, the email address is part of the login credentials. Secondly, Teamness sends notifications by email, so asking the users for a valid email address is a guarantee that they will have a good and consistent experience.

Delegating the login

By analyzing our logs we noticed that the most of the accounts were created with Gmail addresses. Yahoo came second.

In this case, why not take advantage of the authentication delegation mechanism from these services? Yahoo puts it best here: You build great web applications. We have millions of users who store their data on Yahoo!. Browser-Based Authentication (BBAuth) makes it possible for your applications to use that data (with their permission).

Why delegated authentication?

It's easier for everyone to remember her or his Gmail or Yahoo account, which she/he has been using for a while, instead of a new one specially created.

The decision to make it easier for new users to try Teamness was eased by the fact that both Google and Yahoo offer the support of delegating the authentication.

What about the existing users?

New users don't have to remember new passwords now. But what about the exiting ones, that already created accounts?

They can associate their Yahoo and/or Gmail accounts to the account they're already using. I can now use my old Teamness account, along with my Gmail and my Yahoo account, so I can use all these three to login into the same account in Teamness.

Is this safe?

Yes. The authentication process is delegated to Google or Yahoo, which ask you if it's ok for Teamness to access your details, consisting in your name and your email address.

If you're still skeptical, just think about this: why would Google and Yahoo give away users' sensitive data, like passwords? They won't and they don't do it.

You may find more information about these services in the following places:

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