Backplane Protocol Work Group
Note: This charter proposal was accepted in June 2012
Following the OpenID Foundation’s IPR policies and procedures, this note proposes the formation of a new working group chartered to broaden input into the development of a Backplane Protocol specification. The proposed charter is below and may change during the initial feedback period.
Backplane Protocol Working Group
II. Statement of Purpose
Facilitate the creation of a trust framework between end users, websites and third-party applications such that all can exchange information with each other in a standardized way.
While the messages exchanged through the Backplane Protocol are not required to be identity related or reference OpenID-authenticated users, these represent the most interesting use case and have constituted one of the main drivers behind the Backplane Protocol efforts to date.
If Backplane Protocol continues to build momentum and becomes widely adopted for inter-widget/inter-application identity message exchange, it would benefit all parties involved if the development of the protocol continued within the OpenID Foundation.
This workgroup intends to solidify the current proposed protocol by ensuring the specifications, reference and production implementations
adhere to best practices in online security as it pertains to broadcasting of user identity between multiple applications on a website
are extensible to support other application scenarios or message types to broaden the scope of inter-widget communications beyond identity messages
Echo conceived the protocol and designed it as an open standard. They later partnered with Janrain and together have evolved the protocol, incorporating feedback received from interested Relying Parties as well as the community, including the Internet Identity Workshops in the Spring and Fall of 2011.
The Backplane Protocol is currently used today by application vendors including Echo and Janrain and by website operators including ABC, Discovery Channel, NBC Universal, Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, Universal Music Group and USA Networks.
The initial scope of effort by the working group is to ensure that the protocol:
- adheres to best practices in online security as it pertains to broadcasting of user identity between multiple applications on a website
- is extensible to support other application scenarios or message types to broaden the scope of inter-widget communications beyond identity messages
Scope also involves standardizing the definition and nomenclature of constructs that describe various aspects of the protocol e.g. message types or application scenarios, such that it appeals to the technology community at large.
Scope does not include definition of additional message types (also currently known as application scenarios) or recruiting additional members beyond the initially formed working group.
The core Backplane Protocol specifications can be found at the URLs below:
Version 2.0 (Latest Work)
Backplane Protocol Specification 2.0 (draft 12, May 2012, HTML)
Backplane Protocol Specification 2.0 (draft 11, March 2012, HTML)
Backplane Protocol Specification 2.0 (draft 07, January 2012, HTML)
Version 1.0 (Currently in Production)
Backplane Protocol Specification 1.2 (June 2011, HTML)
Backplane Protocol Specification 1.1 (June 2011, HTML)
Backplane Protocol Specification 1.0 (November 2010, HTML)
VI. Anticipated Audience
Interested parties would include:
Website Operators that need to use third-party applications on their sites and want to improve usability and interoperability.
Relying Parties that are looking to distribute personalized services on other portals versus their own websites.
A number of participating websites and vendors interested in Backplane Protocol and the advancement of the specifications are listed here.
VII. Language of business
VIII. Method of work
IX. Basis for completion of the activity
When all items set forth in Section IV Scope have been addressed and agreed upon by members of the working group.
X. Initial Membership
Johnny Bufu, Janrain
Brian McGinnis, Janrain
Tom Raney, Janrain
Vlad Skvortsov, Echo
Chris Saad, Echo
Jeff Mills, Janrain
Greg Keegstra, Janrain
Vidya Shivkumar, Janrain
XI. Expected contribution