OpenID Connect: ECAR-WG Technology Spotlight


OpenID Connect is an “interoperable authentication protocol based on the OAuth 2.0 family of specifications”—that is, it uses the standardized message flows that OAuth makes available in order to provide identity services. Whereas OAuth is limited to authorization, OpenID Connect goes one step further to allow for authentication—that is, ensuring that the person accessing your apps is who he says he is. OAuth works using access tokens, while OpenID Connect uses that plus an ID token that contains information about the authorized user.

This bulletin is one of a series of papers from ECAR working groups designed to help institutional leaders learn about and understand the implications of emerging technologies in higher education. These technologies have been identified as the “Top 10 Confusing Technologies” in the ECAR report Higher Education’s Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2015. Other papers and related resources are available at the research hub for Higher Education’s Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2015.

CITATION FOR THIS WORK: Wetzel, Karen. OpenID Connect: ECAR-WG Technology Spotlight. Research bulletin. Louisville, CO: ECAR, April 9, 2015. Available from  

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