Is it possible to use a Google Apps username + password in order to log in to Stack Overflow and its sister websites?

So far I've been unsucessful with this, but since i'm not familiar with the way OpenID works, I might be missing something obvious.

If this is possible, could you please tell me how to log in using a Google Apps account?

Thanks in advance!


Very helpful response from Andrew Arnott, who maintains the open source OpenID library we use:

Google Apps for Domains doesn't use the OpenID 2.0-spec compliant method for discovery on an identifier. They have their own proprietary mechanism that they would like all OpenID RPs to add support for. Google says it's a temporary mechanism until OpenID officially adds support for what they're trying to do. But the implementation is scary (to me). Basically you turn over identifier discovery entirely to Google, before performing your own discovery, and if Google claims the identifier as one it controls, you have to trust Google. So basically Google becomes a single-point of control and security. Personally I think that flies in the face of OpenID and the security that comes from having independent OPs. So, suffice it to say I haven't added support for it to DotNetOpenAuth.

Now, the fact that this guy is typing in a longer OpenID that just his google apps for domains URL suggests that since his is a paid Apps account, perhaps Google is offering a more standards-compliant way to do it, and perhaps there's a genuine interop bug somewhere. I can't tell because I don't have a paid Apps account myself, but I'll talk to my contact at Google and see what the possibilities are here to solve the problem if there is a bug.

Regarding the "feature" of turning discovery over to Google in order to support Google Apps for Domains customers, if there's sufficient interest in supporting it, I may write an add-in module for DotNetOpenAuth that provides support for it, but I doubt it will ever ship with the standard library because I disagree with the idea. When OpenID > 2.0 specs out the standard way of what Google is trying to do, then of course DNOA will follow.

I'll let you know what I find out from Google regarding this paid Apps account.

  • Jeff, thank you very much for posting such a thorough answer. So it seems that until Google gets its act together with regard to the OpenID implementation, Google Apps users will be out of luck. – luciomartini Aug 9 '09 at 1:28
  • Jeff, Google is now transitioning our "apps" accounts to a "new infrastructure". Optional now but will be completed by fall, whenever that is. As I can now use my google apps account in place of my gmail account, it would sure be nice to work this all out. Personally, I have zero need for my old gmail account other than logging into SO. thanks, googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/09/… – andleer Sep 14 '10 at 20:50
  • Also, as I no longer log into gmail, SO is seeing my apps account. It is a pain to log out of google apps, back into gmail only for the purpose of using SO. I might just have to use a different openID? – andleer Sep 14 '10 at 20:53
  • @andrew sure, it's possible this might have changed since a year ago. If it's working, then go for it! email us if you need us to assist. – Jeff Atwood Sep 14 '10 at 21:35
  • sorry but it isn't working. I can use open ID against my gmail account but not my google apps account. This seems consistent with what you have detailed above. The issue now is that as google begins to transition people to their "new" account / login for those of us with apps accounts, there isn't any need for us to log in using gmail any more. If I want to use a google account for open ID and I use Apps, I need to logout of apps, log into gmail, log into SO, log out of gmail, back into apps any time I want to use SO. Looks like I might have to use a different OpenID. Yet another ID. – andleer Sep 15 '10 at 14:15

Edit: looks like it should be possible - i initially misread this, and assumed it wasn't available for Standard - but judging by the comments, it's just not configurable...

However, i've not been able to make it work with SO. Might take some extra work, either on the part of the domain owner... or possibly SO itself.

  • 1
    Do you mean that it's not supported by Stack Overflow? I've been able to log in to other websites using my Google Apps account (which belongs to a Standard Edition domain), and haven't had problems (for example, manymoon.com) If this limitation is specific to SO, do you know if are there any plans to support Google Apps IDs in the future? Thanks again! – luciomartini Aug 5 '09 at 3:52
  • Hmm... Looks like i may have misinterpreted that page. Now i'm confused as to whether the problem is with SO or with my setup... – Shog9 Aug 5 '09 at 5:54

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