At the Forge - Integrating OpenID

Integrate OpenID into any Rails application, using off-the-shelf libraries and a bit of custom code.

OpenID is a simple but powerful idea that is slowly but surely transforming the way we manage identities on the Internet. A growing number of applications use OpenID, and it is becoming increasingly popular among users as well.

Adding OpenID to an application does not need to be complicated or difficult. As I show this month, incorporating OpenID into a Rails application requires understanding one particular Ruby object, namely OpenID::Consumer, and the odd, redirect-based, three-part OpenID login system specification.

Reuven M. Lerner, a longtime Web/database developer and consultant, is a PhD candidate in learning sciences at Northwestern University, studying on-line learning communities. He recently returned (with his wife and three children) to their home in Modi'in, Israel, after four years in the Chicago area.