This post is by Tore Steen, VP of Business Development at Janrain. Tore works with the dozens of technology companies that have selected Janrain for the authentication/social login component of their platform over building it in-house or alternative solutions.
When we began development of Janrain Engage in early 2008 we talked with online marketers at brand and destination websites about their frustrations and challenges with user authentication, as well as their perceptions of using a third party identity login method (ie, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, etc) to resolve these issues. At the same time I reached out to a variety of SaaS companies that provided products such as community and commenting functionality.
These technology companies had very real concerns about integrating third party login into their platforms: usability, deployment requirements and time, impact on internal development resources, future feature enhancements, and ongoing maintenance requirements.
As a result, we developed the first version of Janrain Engage based on the requirements of both brand websites and technology platforms, essentially building it with extensibility and integration to other platforms in mind from day one. Those development decisions have been proven out by the great partners we have today that have selected Janrain Engage to power some of the most critical parts of their platform – user identity and authentication.
One of the partners I have had the privilege and enjoyment of working with for almost two years is Ning. Ning is the world’s largest platform for creating social websites and is constantly bringing new features and enhancements to their customers. In early 2010 when Patrick Mee, Ning’s Vice President of Engineering, reached out to discuss their requirements for offering social login and invite friends as features on the Ning platform it was another proof point, that we had made the right decisions to design Engage for interoperability and easy integration.
Based on Ning’s extensive customer base and solid platform, I anticipated Patrick and the Ning product team to conduct a very extensive technical due diligence. I wouldn’t have expected anything else since the integration of an outsourced component raises the bar on feature requirements (both today and in the future), architecture, scalability, security, reliability of both the product and services, deployment support, leadership in the industry, viability, and much more.
Ning did not let me down – it was a thorough due diligence of Janrain Enagage. After several months they made the choice and Janrain was selected to be their partner to provide some of these great social features for the Ning communities.
Some of the great aspects of working closely with other SaaS companies are the insights, new feature ideas, and general technology knowledge sharing that goes on. And we continue to optimize our solutions for easy integration with other platforms, including the release last year of the Janrain Partner API.
The just published Ning Case Study summarizes some of the success they have seen from incorporating Janrain Engage. Ning has been a great partner to work with and many thanks to Patrick, Cristian, Anne, Paul, Nick and Evan for the continued support.