Skip to main content

Authentication Wars

First came username/password combination. That quickly got old and unwieldily. Then came Microsoft Passport to makes authentication easier. Of course like all proprietory schemes, it failed woefully. Then came openID. While it hasn't gain much traction with regular folks, tech-savvy users have been embracing it. But oh no, here's comes Google and Facebook with their closed authentication schemes. Closed in the sense that, unlike OpenID, only Facebook can be a provider of facebook connect. Likewise Google is the only supplier of Google Friend Connect. I am sure Microsoft and Yahoo won't be far behind in coming up with their authentication schemes (not counting Microsoft Live since I have yet to see it on a non-Microsoft site).

The question isn't so much who'll win but whether coming up with all these different authentication schemes isn't creating more problems than it's solving. The original problem was this: each website requires authentication. This leads to a management issue for people that visit multiple sites. The solution: create a scheme where users can login to multiple sites with a single set of credentials. Everything else (social features, profiles etc) are just gravy on top.

So now the next time I visit a website, I won't have to remember a username/password combination. But I better remember which authentication scheme I used to create my account. Was it Faceboob Connect? Google Friend Connect? OpenID? Windows Live? yikes! I almost wish for the old days where I could simply use the same freaking username/password combo across the entire internet

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

InfoPath & SharePoint (Part 1)

A departure from sports and politics. This one is about technology.

InfoPath sucks and SharePoint is the most expensive piece of crap ever. InfoPath, as a development environment, has absolutely no redeeming value. It's worthless and if your boss ever thinks of using it, you have three options:

convince him not to (not easy once he's been brainwashed by the Microsoft marketing presentations)use one of Al Gore's lockboxes to store away your sanity 'cos you'll lose it. Also, pad your estimates very generously. You'll need every bit of time you can get.
quit immediately while you still have your sanityFirst, InfoPath:

To me InfoPath is like programming in assembly language. Sure it makes it easy (too easy in fact) to bind data to controls. But it doesn't provide you with easy access to your controls. Why is this important? Say you want to disable a button:

in most technology: buttonA.enabled = false (or something similar).

In InfoPath, you simply can't do this.…

Technical Certifications are worthless

Technical certifications, especially in the IT field, are totally worthless. Why? All a technical certification prove is that you were able to buy a couple of exam prep books, cram them in a week or two and take an exam. My monkey (if I had one) could do that. I can't tell you how many times I have interviewed certification-carrying candidates for open positions at my company only to find them severely lacking in thorough understanding of computer science. I don't care that you have an MSCD or MCP or whatever it's called these days if you don't know foundational concepts in computer science and database design.
For example, I don't want someone who just knows that you store things in a hashtable using keys. I need you to know why a hashtable is better than an array in some cases. I need you to know when an interface is better than an abstract class; when to use recursion; the different kinds of joins and when to use each one; I need you to understand how crucial sou…

Does InfoPath (still) suck?

A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post titled "InfoPath & SharePoint (Part 1)". Back then I had just started working on a project using InfoPath 2007. So, expectedly, the post wasn't very complimentary to InfoPath (or SharePoint). In fact, I said:
InfoPath sucks and SharePoint is the most expensive piece of crap ever. InfoPath, as a development environment, has absolutely no redeeming value. It's worthless.... (more)Since then my opinion of InfoPath has changed slightly. It still suffers from all the flaws I pointed out in that post. However, I think when used right, InfoPath can be an OK tool. I think it's well suited for designing one off forms and not for anything that requires complex logic or multiple iterations (like most software development requires). Alas, most CTOs fall in love with its point & click simplicity and integration with SharePoint that they try to use it to replace more developed technologies like ASP.NET. What do you get? A horri…