Google Apps to become OpenID provider

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Google Apps to become OpenID provider

Leaked blog posts reveal latest plans.

Google will soon announce the extension of its OpenID federated login application programming interface (API) to Google Apps accounts used by businesses, schools and other organisations.

The move will allow web users to sign into numerous sites using their Google Apps login details.

"Google Apps can now become an identity and data hub for multiple software-as-a-service [SaaS] providers," said Eric Sachs, senior product manager for Google security, on a public OpenID board.

"The service is important not only to the individuals in those organisations who can interact with a variety of consumer web sites with a single credential, but to the organisations themselves who are increasingly reliant on multiple SaaS solutions from different vendors.

"The Google Open ID Federated Login API enables a single Google Apps login to provide secure access to services like Salesforce.com, SuccessFactors and WebEX, as well as business-to-business partners, internal applications and, of course, consumer web sites."

Sachs had intended his announcements on the public board to be seen only by board members. He expressed concerns that Google would receive negative publicity because the new OpenID support requires "extensions to the OpenID discovery process".

"There is the potential for some community members or press to assume, or at least imply in articles, some evil intent by Google to co-opt OpenID with these extensions," he said.

Sachs had drafted two blog posts that were set to go public in a couple of weeks on the Google Enterprise blog and the Google Code blog.

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