Give Me Unified Login or Give Me Death!

A question came across the ASAE Technology Section list this week about how to manage multiple logins for a variety of web-based services offered to members of an association. I chose to deliver a bit of a rant rather than a direct answer. I’ve posted my note below:

I think the time has come where any serious vendor in the association market should support authentication from another system for their product and associations should begin to demand it.

As others have posted, this level of integration is relatively easy to achieve via web services. Sure, each association/system will have its quirks that may require some tweaking but the basics are well defined.

Hostile user/login management systems immediately cripple your ability to create member value on the web. We, as an industry, shouldn’t tolerate it any longer.

I think that people these days are willing to create a new login for organizations/companies that they interact with and receive value from. One login. Unless the value you provide is incredibly high, most will not be happy to create multiple logins for just you and many will not bother. Vendors take note: you’ll be at an increasingly greater competitive disadvantage the longer you fail to support external authentication mechanisms in your services and products.

7 thoughts on “Give Me Unified Login or Give Me Death!

  1. ASAE and it’s career center is one example. The situation comes about most commonly when an association adds a third party, hosted, system to the mix of offerings on their site.

  2. Well, let’s say they use iMIS. Business objects cost $10k, upgrading to the e-suite is $50k. Ok, so you get your in-house developer to connect your third party app to the iMIS database. Wrong. That voids your iMIS warranty.

  3. AMS is certainly one piece of the problem. Basically, everyone needs to work on supporting either providing authentication services to other systems or tying in an external auth service.

  4. Then don’t buy iMis, or any other AMS that isn’t willing to play in this game. David’s absolutely right. A big problem is that many associations have invested huge dollars (in almost all cases, more than they should have) in systems that are proprietary and singular in their approach. Setting standards like the ASDC is doing is a step in the right direction (though I fail to see how the business models of the “big” AMS providers would allow them to really embrace it), but what we really need is a good open source AMS. Imagine a modular AMS app built in MySQL or one of the other os dbs that can then be customized for individual organizations by any number of external or internal consultants. I’ll keep dreaming….

  5. Pingback: C. David Gammel, High Context Consulting » Blog Archive » Quoted in The Washington Post: Access Denied

  6. Pingback: Integrating Third Party Web Sites: Don’t Forget the Template! | C. David Gammel, High Context Consulting: Unleashing the strategic potential of the Web.

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