Launch

Persona Beta 2 launch

Mozilla Persona is an open authentication system that lets you implement sign-in on your site in an afternoon. Today, Persona Beta 2 was released, including a feature called "Identity Bridging" that lets hundreds of millions of users sign into sites supporting Persona with no new username and no new password. The announcement video gives you a good overview of the Beta 2 release:

What's New

In addition to "Identity Bridging", a couple important new features have landed, and we've started to see significant adoption of the service. Details about these features and new websites using Persona are provided in the announcement on the Mozilla Identity Blog.

Persona, The Full Story

Beyond the code and features, we've really made an effort to tell the full story behind Persona to help people understand how it works, and why we believe it's an important improvement to how people log into websites. You can read an interview with lead developer Lloyd to get a feel for some of Mozilla's motivations and goals for Persona.

Identity on the web is complex, and the full story can't be captured in a single conversation. To address this, leading up to this beta, we've published several articles on the identity blog which compare Persona to social sign-in, give an overview of Persona on FirefoxOS, and dig into why the distributed nature of Persona matters.

Beyond the philosophy, we've detailed the technology behind Persona. This has resulted in several articles that present tools and learnings we hope are relevant to anyone building massive scale services with Node.JS.

How Identity Bridging Works

Identity Bridging is the most important feature of today's release, so let's take a minute to get beyond the emphatic language of a press release and down to how it actually works.

The motivating idea is that checking your email and clicking a link during the sign-in process is jarring and can cause a drop in the number of people who sign up. A significant portion of our UX refinements have been targeted at this problem. So, what can you do to eliminate this step completely?

Most popular webmail providers nowadays offer either OpenID or OAuth as a means for other websites to build authentication using the provider's existing user base (and hence, let people log in faster). On the Persona side we have support for any domain to become a Persona enabled identity provider and allow address verification without sending email.

So we built a bridge – a server that speaks the Persona IdP protocol on one side and OpenID or OAuth on the other – to use these existing services. The project's codename is "BigTent", and, as with everything we do, the codebase is open source.

To start, we've enabled this bridge for anyone with a yahoo.com email address. In the coming months, we'll turn on support for other major email providers. We expect to cover over half of the worldwide internet population.

Identity bridging is a huge win. It's significantly more convenient for users by eliminating the need to verify emails. Developers get the convenience of social sign-in just by supporting Persona. And finally, it's better for user privacy: Identity Bridging keeps the sites a user visits out of the purview of their identity provider. This is one of those rare and wonderful cases where we can improve both usability and security at the same time!

Try Persona Today!

Implementing Persona on your site should take about an afternoon. To do so, you:

  1. Include a javascript library in your page
  2. Add javascript code to handle login events
  3. Invoke navigator.id.request() when a user clicks your login button
  4. Implement a server-side handler to verify users and start their session

Each of these steps is described in more detail in our quick setup guide, and if for whatever reason things go awry, we're here to help!

What's Next?

We have a couple clear new features planned, but mostly our roadmap is going to determined by the people who use Persona. If you haven't tried Persona on your website yet, spend an afternoon and give it a whirl. Let us know what you think on our public mailing list, and help us get rid of the password.

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Launcher.io – Launch and run free open-source web applications in just 30 seconds – a WebFWD project

There is no longer any doubt: web apps are the focal point of the cloud. From database-as-a-service to platform-as-a-service to security-as-a-service and beyond, the entire *aaS model has the web app as its center of gravity.

If you’re a full-fledged developer, then taking full advantage of an app-centric universe is no big deal. Creating new web apps from scratch using frameworks like Ruby on Rails, Drupal, Django, or hundreds of others and then deploying those apps in the cloud is part of your daily bread and butter.

The mission

The mission of Launcher.io is quite simply to make it vastly easier for developers and non-developers alike to create and deploy their own web apps with a single click of the mouse. Launcher was founded by me, former AppFog director of product Maciej Skierkowski, and I have taken what I have learned in my time in the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) space and used that knowledge to make app deployment even more dead-simple than a typical PaaS platform does.

How it works

So how does it work? Launcher enables you to deploy so-called “jumpstart” apps with a single click. If you’ve signed up for a Launcher account, all you have to do is click on a jumpstart’s button and you’ll be prompted for basic information, and Launcher will do the rest of the work.

From there, you can manage your app however you like. Frameworks like Drupal, WordPress, or Concrete5 provide you with an intuitive in-browser interface for modifying your app, whereas frameworks like Ruby on Rails, Flask, ActionHero.js, and others will require more in-depth web development knowledge.

Launcher: great for non-developers

The benefit for non-developers is that it makes using all of these platforms easier than ever before. Want to start a new WordPress blog? All it takes is signing up to Launcher and clicking a button, and your blog is up and running in the cloud. The rest is up to you. Are you starting a company and want to set up Drupal to run your content management system and ThinkUp for social media analytics? Also a click and a few keystrokes away.

Launcher: even better for developers

For developers, the benefits of Launcher involve speedier adoption of new apps and frameworks amongst potential users. Let’s say that I’m a Java developer and I just created the most bleeding-edge CMS currently available. If Drupal is a Cadillac, then my new CMS platform is a fresh-off-the-assembly-line Maserati: it’s blazingly fast, it has a wonderful in-browser console, and it has millions of useful plugins that Just Work.

If users wanted to use my CMS in a pre-Launcher world, they’d have to do it the hard way: download it onto their machine, run appropriate configs to make it cloud-ready, learn how to use a VPS (or a PaaS, which is a very recent development), and so on. But with Launcher, potential users can give my new CMS a spin in just a few seconds and have it running in the cloud, and making my CMS Launcher-ready provides little to no modification on my part.

The app landscape is extremely competitive, and anything that can speed potential adoption that quickly is a massive win for me as a developer. Launcher is simply an unprecedentedly direct pipeline to my new SaaS product.

Under the hood

Surprisingly enough, Launcher is amazingly simple in how it works behind the scenes. When an end user clicks on a jumpstart, the browser makes an AJAX request to a remote service kicking-off a Resque worker that deploys the app with AppFog or CloudFoundry.com. Setting up an HTML page to handle a Launcher jumpstart involves simply loading the jQuery and Pusher JavaScript libraries and inserting a few lines of JavaScript (check out the docs for more info).

Your app will, however, need to be registered with Launcher to be included in the Launcher App Store. If you’re interested in doing so, don’t hesitate to get in contact with me, as I am looking to expand the range of offerings in the app store in the coming months.

He’s also looking to expand the number of PaaS providers that support jumpstarts. At the moment, Launcher enables you to instantaneously deploy apps on either AppFog or Cloud Foundry, but Launcher is in principle compatible with any Cloud Foundry-compatible PaaS API. If you’d like to add a new PaaS, simply go to the Providers page, click “Add Provider,” and input a name, API endpoint, and other information.

More on the way

Launcher is a new project, and has a great deal more in store for both developers and end users. Jumpstarts for OpenPhoto, Redmine, and SugarCRM, to name just a few are coming soon.

If you’re a developer, startup, or enterprise looking to take advantage of Launcher, email maciej@skierkowski.com for more information.

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Shawn Prendergast of US Joomla Pros (USJoomlaPros.com) Announces the Successful Launch of the http://www …

Shawn Prendergast of US Joomla Pros (USJoomlaPros.com) announces the successful launch of the http://www.DoorCountyNavigator.com website, providing cutting edge web functionality to the largest independent website in Door County, WI.(PRWEB) July 15, 2011 US Joomla Pros (USJoomlaPros.com) today announced the launch of DoorCountyNavigator.com. US Joomla Pros was hired to …

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Online Printing Company 4OVER4.COM to Launch New Digital Services Division Offering Graphic Design, Web Development …

Online Printing pioneer 4OVER4.COM has announced the scheduled launch of its new Digital Services division, which will see the addition of new media services, website design and development and Internet marketing services to 4OVER4.COM’s repertoire of quality printing services.

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Onstream Media Announces Launch of MarketPlace365® Web Portal

Onstream Media Corporation , a leading online service provider of live and on-demand corporate audio and web communications, virtual event technology and social media marketing, today announced the launch of the MarketPlace365® web portal , designed to highlight existing and future online virtual tradeshows and communities , share relevant content related to virtual events and increase …

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Tampa Web Development Firm Bayshore Solutions Announces the Launch of the Lykes Insurance Website

Commercial Insurance Brokerage and Risk Service Provider Lykes Insurance Launches Their New Website as a Helpful Resource for Clients (PRWeb May 20, 2011) Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/Bayshore-Solutions/florida-business-insuranc/prweb8458326.htm

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