Blog on Email Productivity & Outlook Add-ins

Apr/10

7

Google OAuth Support Reads as “Better Outlook Add-ins”


Tags: Email & Outlook · Gmail · OAuth


A few days ago, Google announced the availability of the OAuth standard for Gmail applications. Basically, OAuth is an open source protocol that allows developers to code software that require access to web applications (such as Gmail) without requesting users to share their username/password in order to let the related program access their web account. Practically, the OAuth standard removes the bad feelings related to the popular question “is my account/password safe with this software?”. Also, it makes it a lot easier for users to disallow such an application from accessing their Gmail accounts, if they don’t want to use it anymore – pretty much like you manage Outlook add-ins or browser plugins.

You may wonder what does Gmail & OAuth have in common with Outlook. Well, using the OAuth standard, we can now enhance our Outlook add-ins and add support to Gmail features or data without dealing with the frustrations of asking users to share their Gmail login information with our products. It also means we don’t have to worry about protecting that username/password combination, within our product’s code. On the other hand, it means that web applications can now support each other in a safer, faster way – for example, Facebook can let its users to invite their contacts to join the social network, without having to ask for the Gmail login details.

For now, the Gmail integration with OAuth only supports the IMAP/SMTP features.

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