Gartner Research

Enterprise Use Cases for Open Identity: OpenID and OAuth

Published: 29 September 2011

ID: G00212593

Analyst(s): Bob Blakley


Open identity protocols were invented to solve problems such as comment spam and account linkage for individuals using Web 2.0 applications, but these protocols are increasingly being used to solve enterprise problems -- particularly those involving mobile devices and cloud applications. This assessment surveys common enterprise use cases for OpenID and OAuth.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • The Scenarios
  • Mobile App Scenarios
    • Customer Activates Mobile App for Access to Enterprise Service
    • Employee Accesses SaaS Application via Mobile App
  • Inbound Access Scenarios
    • Customer Accesses Enterprise Web Application via Browser
  • Application Linkage Scenarios
    • Enterprise User Accesses Partner REST Application
    • Partner Application Accesses Enterprise REST Application
  • Outbound Access Scenarios
    • Enterprise User Accesses SAML-Enabled Partner's REST App Without Additional Logon
    • Enterprise Controls Employee's Enrollment in Cloud Application
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Adopt OAuth if Cross-Organizational Access to REST Applications Is Required
  • Consider Implementing OAuth for Mobile Apps
  • Consider Implementing an OpenID IDP to Control Employee Access to Cloud Applications
  • Choose Trust Relationships Carefully
  • Avoid Creating Shadow Accounts if Possible

The Details

  • OpenID
  • OAuth
  • UMA
  • Trust
  • Authorization

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