Weave Sync: Enhanced Identity Recognition in Firefox
Article by George Norman
On 07 May 2009
Weave Sync, the Firefox add-on developed by Mozilla Labs as a means to encrypt and synchronize your Firefox experience across multiple browsers, now features an enhanced identity component, meaning that you can login via Weave on multiple web pages that have OpenID support. But it doesn’t stop there; it features a single login experience for other sites as well, as well as automated login.

“The Weave team took advantage of the Mozilla all-hands, and decided to sprint on the Weave Identity component to open it up to the Web. Our sprint changes the browser to provide single-click login to sites with saved passwords as well as sites that support a federated identity (OpenID in this case). It also provides the option to automatically sign in when the page is loaded, essentially providing a single-sign-on-like experience regardless of the login method being used. In the case of OpenID, we intercept the login procedure and, taking advantage of the fact that you’re already logged into your browser, and then use Weave identity to let you into the site, explains Weave Development Team member, Dan Mills.


According to the development team behind Weave Sync, most users take advantage of the password manager feature in Firefox, thus turning the browser into a “limited identity manager”. What Weave Sync does is take this identity manager one step further; since Wave Sync is already capable of synchronizing you login credentials across different platforms, so it makes sense to enhance it with single sign-on and automated provisioning.

“We think that regardless of the inner mechanism (a federated identity, a simple username and password, or something else), in the end the action of logging in is essentially the same,” says Dan Mills. “Therefore, as the browser we should try to provide a similar experience, regardless of the method being used. As the user’s agent we should also strive to act on the user’s behalf when possible, and we believe this is one of those cases.”

A video presentation of the new functionality that Weave Sync provides is available here.
Additional details on Weave Sync availalbe here.

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox, Weave Sync
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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