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Google Apps users to get OpenID authentication

Google is about to announce OpenID log-in functionality for enterprise users of its Apps productivity suite.The search giant has already adopted the authentication standard — whereby a single log-in can be used to access a variety of sites — to a very limited degree, but the upcoming announcement will extend that functionality to the millions of users of the business and educational versions of Google Apps.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

Google is about to announce OpenID log-in functionality for enterprise users of its Apps productivity suite.

The search giant has already adopted the authentication standard — whereby a single log-in can be used to access a variety of sites — to a very limited degree, but the upcoming announcement will extend that functionality to the millions of users of the business and educational versions of Google Apps.

On Wednesday, Google's Eric Sachs wrote on an OpenID board that two blog posts would appear "in the upcoming weeks", detailing the news. "We would appreciate this not being circulated beyond the board until it is public," he wrote on the publicly published messageboard.

"This new support required that we work with the community to define some extensions to the OpenID discovery process," Sachs wrote. "While those discussions have been going on in the community the last few months, those extensions are not yet formalized and probably won't be until they are proven in production environments."

Sachs noted that were "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".

"It would be nice to have a blog post on the formal OpenID blog that was supportive of our approach, so I wanted to see if the board members are comfortable with that," he wrote.

Here's the introduction to the first draft blog post:

Enterprise blog: Google Apps + OpenID = identity hub for all your SaaS

We are happy to announce that the Google OpenID Federated Login API has been extended to Google Apps accounts used by businesses, schools, and other organizations. The service is important not only to the individuals in those organizations, who can interact with a variety of consumer websites with a single credential, but also to the organizations themselves, who are increasingly reliant on multiple Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions from different vendors.

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