User authentication in apps is a pain, even if you've built an authentication system dozens of times. Forms, sessions, user tables, validation, password management, the list goes on in the seemingly never-ending to-do list for setting up a simple signup, login, and logout system for your app. OpenID company Janrain makes it easier, building on top of social networks.
Most people these days are users of at least one social network that you can leverage to handle this issues and help with the issue signup fatigue. But even with that, there are some headaches. Which service do you use? Twitter? Facebook Connect? Google oAuth? Or maybe you want to include everything just to make sure no user is turned away at the login screen. Diving in to these APIs to build a combo-login system is a hassle unto itself. At the end of the day, you've lost hours setting things up and they may not work right.
Janrain has been simplifying this entire process for almost two years by creating a single, modular, widget that you can use to quickly bring in authentication powered by many popular services. Twitter, Facebook Connect, Windows Live, Google oAuth, OpenID, and more. It's all in there.
Janrain's API creates a universal layer between the connection systems and your web app that lets your users login however they want and you can treat the information as if it were from one users, signed up through your own system.
Very handy for most web apps being built these days.
The Janrain API aims to be simple, so you stay focused on the core of your app and not have to spend more time than you'd like on setting up authentication. You can pull a user's contacts, data, update status, get activity, and even analytics data from your users via the API. Even better, the Janrain API is RESTful and returns JSON and XML data structures, making it easier to integrate into any app.
Have you used the Janrain API? How has it changed the way you handle registration in your applications?