OpenID is a shared identity service, which allows Internet users to log on to many different web sites using a single digital identity, eliminating the need for a different user name and password for each site. OpenID is a decentralized, free and open standard that lets users control the amount of personal information they provide.
Using OpenID-enabled sites, web users do not need to remember traditional items of identity such as username and password. Instead, they only need to be registered with any OpenID "identity provider" (IdP). Since OpenID is decentralized, any website can use OpenID as a way for users to sign in; OpenID does not require a centralized authority to confirm a user's digital identity.
OpenID is increasingly gaining adoption among large sites, with organizations like AOL, BBC, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Orange, VeriSign, Yandex and Yahoo! acting as providers. In addition, integrated OpenID support has been made a high priority in Firefox 3 and OpenID can be used with Windows CardSpace.
Here is documentation about protocols etc.
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