Jump to content
Mark
 Share


IP.Board 3.4 Dev Update: IPS Connect

The IPS Community Suite provides a fantastic community solution for all kinds of websites.
For many of our customers, the community is just one component of their site. Many of these customers utilise single sign-on systems for integrating the community with the other areas.

At IPS, we get requests for this on a regular basis, and over the years, I've worked on many of these solutions as part of my day-to-day workload.
Companies like Evernote and Roxio have created a single sign-on solution with the IPS Community Suite and their existing user databases.
Other companies which manage large numbers of communities like the NFL and the NHL have created a single sign-on solution allowing all their communities to share the same user database.

Creating these systems can be quite arduous though. Every setup has different ways of handling data and systems must be created bespoke to each situation.

6 years ago, we had an idea to simplify this. What if we could create a solution that would allow a network of web applications to share user information? We created a solution and called it IP.Converge.

Over these 6 years though, the internet has changed. IP.Converge was designed to be a "master" in a network of "Converge compatible" applications. This approach had two main shortcomings: firstly, it is often the case that our software needs to be the "slave" in a single sign-on network, secondly, the approach was too general which made both facilitating full single sign-on (where users are automatically logged into all applications after logging into one) was difficult, and making non-IPS software compatible with Converge was extremely difficult.



Fortunately, we think we've come up with a better solution. As of IP.Board 3.4, we are completely removing support for IP.Converge, and have developed a new system, which we're calling IPS Connect.


IPS Connect has no central application. In an IPS Connect network, one of the applications will serve as the master, and there will be any number of slaves working off it.
When writing IPS Connect, we had three main objectives: So what does this mean? As of IP.Board 3.4, it will be easy, and completely seamless to create a single sign-on network between 2 or more IP.Boards, and 3rd party developers will also be able to write support for any other web application to join in in the network. How does it work? For the simplicity of this example, let's say you're networking 2 IP.Board installations. The "master" installation has a secret key which will be given the "slave" installation. When a user visits the "slave" installation, IP.Board will check if they are logged into the "master" installation - if they are it will log them in automatically, creating the account if necessary. If they're not logged in, but then choose to log in on the "slave" installation - they will automatically be logged into the "master" installation. This happens transparently, without the user leaving the "slave" installation. When a user registers or updates their account, the "master" application will be pinged and updated. Again, this happens transparently. How simple is it to write support for my custom web application? Really simple! If you want your application to be the "master", all you need to do is create a single php file which "slave" applications will send requests to. This needs to do things like facilitate log ins, account registrations, etc. If you want your application to be the "slave", you simply ping that file on the "master" application when stuff happens. We've created 2 completely functional example websites which demonstrate exactly how to do this, which will be available to download when 3.4 is released.

    [*]Single Sign-On must be completely automatic and effortless. After logging into any application in the network, the user should be automatically logged into all others. And similarly, after logging out, the same. [*]The process should be completely transparent to the user. The user should be able to register an account, or update account information on any application in the network, and these changes should be pushed transparently to the other applications. [*]It should be easy for developers to make their web applications compatible with IPS Connect - and they should be able to make their web applications serve as either the master or the slave.


























 Share

Comments

Recommended Comments



This is something that (including myself) alot of people have been wanting. Those of us with multiple sites or if we add something to our current site, IPS.Connect will be such a dream saver!!! can't wait for its release!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

that sounds great - and I'm looking forward testing it. As developer of IPBWI I'm already providing a free, GPL licensed Single Sign On API for IP.board and with IPBWI for WordPress there is a plugin for WordPress. At the moment there is a crowdfunding project for Drupal Single Sign On plugin with IP.board

Mark from Invision Power is right that IP.converge wasn't the best solution as SSO API, in my opinion it was kinda useless and it was not well maintenanced. So I'm very happy about the new feature promise for IP.board 3.4.

At the moment, when customers ask me integrating a SSO solution, IP.board (or IPBWI) needs to be the "master". I hope the new feature will be more flexible as promised in the news above, so I am able to enhance the already existing SSO feature in IPBWI.

Unfortunately, Invisionpower is not granting all plugin authors access to alpha/beta versions of board, so I'll need to wait until final is released - that's really bad when I want to use the new feature or prepare my API until new IP.board release is out. But that's another story of Invision Power Community Support :-/

Kind regards,
Matthias

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be great if I can use Joomla as master and Ipboard as slave with it. And would be greater is group memberships from the master could be used in the slave too. Now I use the external logon feature in Ip board with Joomla.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could people with one existing database of users be logged in on two websites [one forums, second portal] because of that sollution ? [i mean you log off on one you log off on second also, and in other direction]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='Dawid Agro' timestamp='1348731436']
Does IPS Connect allows to use IP.Content on domain1.com and Board on domain2.com and user will be able to log on both apps?

i will have same issue !:) thanks in advance for answer IPS!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='Dawid Agro' timestamp='1348731436']
Does IPS Connect allows to use IP.Content on domain1.com and Board on domain2.com and user will be able to log on both apps?


Yes, although for Single Sign-On to work properly they need to be the same domain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will this by default work with Joomla , we just point to joomla and ipb choose master and thats that , or we need add-on modules for Joomla and simliar like in Converge ?

 

And is IP.Connect going to be free for current IPB clients ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am very interested in implementing IPS Connect.

 

For a community, it would allow start-up sites to leverage an existing (large) member base, which would help them get started. We all hate registering on 101 different forums, many with dubious owners (you know it's not safe to use the same password, so you have to keep track of dozens of different passwords).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to say, I'm really interested in this add on, but I just wondering:

 

1. Will it be easy/possible to write modules to connect IPB to third party forum scripts like vBulletin/XenForo/MyBB/etc?  Because I'd ideally like to use free forum software for additional forums to start with and migrate them to IPB individually in future.

 

2. Will it be an application like the blogs/gallery/downloads and at much the same price?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Im curious to uograde path from ip.converge. I know you said just turn converge off but I dont think thst would work... its been a long time. I will have to dive in to the db to be sure... but as I remember it. When we started using converge the password field in ipb forum stopped getting updated and onky the coverge db is uo to date... so turning off converge would lock many people out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also its sort of nice that we were able to have the passwords be stored on a separate server than the forums... which protects from db dumps and rainbow table attacks.... especially when new ip board zero day exploits come out.... this seems to be something you didnt think about when designing ip connect

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am currently using IPS Connect with Wordpress and I have a problem.

 

I would like only the following functionality:

 

- pasting new Wordpress posts into a dedicated forum on IP.Board (got this working!)

- no SSO: I would like IP.Board logins not to integrate with the Wordpress user system (and be able to delete all the WP users that have "no role"

- no comment sync between WP and IP.Board (I'm using DISQUS for those who don't want to use the forums)

 

How would I go about configuring Wordpress IPS Connect to get the above to work?

Link to comment
Share on other sites




Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...