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Backplane Protocol 2.0 ? Eases Identity Sharing Between Trusted Apps

By Eric Rickson | Posted on March 26, 2012

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The Backplane working group has been hard at work on the latest version of Backplane Protocol and is proud to announce the launch of its second generation. Backplane Protocol 2.0 is a proposed open standard that enables authorized, independent applications coexisting on a website to easily and securely communicate with each other.

Back plane

What is Backplane Protocol?

Backplane diagram

Backplane Protocol solves a key interoperability problem that emerged when brands started integrating multiple 3rd party web applications like real-time commenting, social login and game mechanics into their sites in order to provide web visitors with a modern, social user experience. Backplane Protocol serves as a “message bus” for social applications, enabling applications developed by disparate vendors to communicate with each other in real-time.

How does this add value for websites and their users?

Gone are the days of disparate component technologies acting as “walled gardens” on a site. Backplane Protocol ensures an optimal user experience by eliminating the need for consumers to identify themselves multiple times to different applications on a website.

As an example, The Sun, which is one of the United Kingdom’s largest daily newspapers, is using Janrain Engage to power its site-wide authentication and Livefyre as its commenting solution. Through Backplane Protocol, a reader on the site can register via Janrain, or sign up via Livefyre to post a comment, and her identity is immediately recognized by both applications.

Backplane diagram

Backplane Protocol builds on proven and popular open standards work by leveraging technologies such as OpenID, OAuth, and Portable Contacts. As a proposed open standard, it reduces the need for companies and independent developers to learn and develop against other vendors’ proprietary APIs.

For ease of integration, Backplane Protocol can be quickly added to any page, application, or login system using a little bit of JavaScript, reducing time to market and costs in website publisher deployments. If you are a Janrain customer please check out our documentation for how to implement Backplane on your site. Janrain also operates Backplane servers as a service that is available to all Janrain customers.

Calling Application Vendors

If you are an application vendor looking to make your app Backplane compliant please check out the following documentation and drop us a note drop us a note for some extra guidance through the process or to provide suggestions about our implementation of the Backplane Protocol.

Application providers that currently or plan to support the Backplane Protocol include: Echo, Janrain, 500 Friends, Arktan, BigDoor, BunchBall, Crowd Factory, Envolve, JetJaw, Livefyre, Realtidbits, Stocial, and Tokbox.

Looking for more information?

More information about the specification and community surrounding Backplane Protocol can be found on the newly launched Backplane Exchange site. This site is designed for brand website owners, application developers and server operators to learn about the protocol and exchange ideas to help fuel its adoption.

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