A co-worker asked me an interesting question. What would be necessary to introduce a single sign-on for multiple existing properties?
Seem like a straight forward questions, but then I started thinking about it and more questions came to mind. Well, what is you primary key? So I answered myself with email address. So, ok, I'm off to a good start, what's next.
What data exists? None, ok, well that's a problem. How do I convince users to give there information again? Not as easy, would probably be best to give them an option to port their existing data from the site they are currently using.
Ok, so now I have the data from one site, how do I get it to work with data from another site. I'll have to match up the fields. Crap, none of the fields match up and all the data is different. This means a large scale data mapping exercise. Now I'm really in trouble, because I have some idea what to expect and the last time I went through an exercise like this I had to bring eye drops to work for reviewing all the data. We'll also have to develop some kind of middle-ware that translate fields from app to app. Now this is starting to get complicated.
That was my though process and when I realized this is not going to be an easy question to answer. So I thought it was time to ask the heavy hitters and see if anyone has any experience with such a thing.
So this is my question, what is the best method(s) for creating a single sign on for multiple existing sites, each with their own unique data fields and sign on credentials? A follow up question for the really brave few would be how do you attempt the same without forcing the users to re-enter their account information?