After three years of development, the OpenID Connect protocol is out for final review and the timing could not be better as the mobile computing industry is hungry for an open identity infrastructure.
Tuesday, Mike Jones, board member and OpenID Connect working group member at the OpenID Foundation and standards architect at Microsoft, sat at a table during the fall Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) evaluating comments and making edits to the spec, which was sent to its final release stage on Oct. 15.
The previous day at the foundation's meeting, Jones asked members for their final reviews in a development process that began in 2010 and is shaping up to be worth the wait.
OpenID Connect is coming to completion just as a hub model for identity is taking shape among mobile operators, service providers and identity initiatives around the world such as NSTIC in the U.S. and the U.K.'s Identity Assurance Program (IDAP), which will go operational next month.
"It's hubba, hubba time," said Don Thibeau, chairman and president of the Open Identity Exchange (OIX) and executive director of the OpenID Foundation, making reference to the way the global digital identity infrastructure is shaping into a hub model. He said the road that links mobile and identity is complete and the two are streaking toward that union, with OpenID Connect now an additive in the fuel.
Interest is high among service providers, vendors, consortiums, and governments, but perhaps the most significant development involves work between OIX and the U.K.'s IDAP leaders.
A number of U.K. mobile providers have enlisted OIX in evaluating OpenID Connect to fill in a piece of their identity strategy. The group attended last summer's Cloud Identity Summit conference to meet with OpenID Connect leaders and inspect the technology.