This post introduces you to the concept of OpenID and also explains how you can use your Gmail account as an OpenID.
To begin with, lets start with the basics. So what exactly is an OpenID?
OpenID is a free framework that eliminates the need for multiple usernames across different websites. If you have a Microsoft Live Mail account, a Yahoo account, or a Google account, you can log in with those same credentials on other websites like AOL, MySpace, Plaxo,Zoho or Buxfer, without having to create a new account on any of these sites.
Where all can you use OpenID?
You can use your OpenID on any one of a growing number of sites (nearly ten-thousand) which support OpenID. Here are some places you can visit to see where you can use your OpenID to log in today:
How can you get an OpenID for yourself?
A lot of popular services like Yahoo, Gmail, Technorati, WordPress etc are already OpenID providers. You can check out a comprehensive list of OpenID providers here.
How to use your Gmail account as an OpenID?
In order to use your Gmail account as an OpenID, all you need to do is visit the website with the support for OpenID. While on this website, If the user enters a Gmail address and indicates that he or she does not have a password for this site, then the site can redirect him or her to Google. Lets assume the website being surfed is Kidmallpics.com.
The user would then be taken to the Google website and asked to confirm whether he or she wants to sign in to KidMallPics.
Finally, the user would be redirected back to KidMallPics, where he or she would be immediately signed in.
However, this was for those websites which allow you to enter a user id. There do exist quite a lot of websites which require you to enter a URL when logging in using OpenID. In such scenario, check out openid-provider.appspot.com. This site, built on Google App Engine, allows you to create a OpenID URL from your Google Account Credentials. Login with your Gmail username and password and the site will provide you a URL likehttp://openid-provider.appspot.com/<username>, which you can use on regular OpenID accepting sites.
Source: Google Code Blog
Also read: [How-To] Create Group Mailing Lists in Gmail
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