About Backplane Protocol

Backplane Protocol is a proposed open standard that solves an interoperability problem for brands integrating multiple JavaScript applications into web pages.

What is Backplane Protocol?

Backplane Protocol serves as a “message bus,”enabling applications developed by disparate vendors to communicate with each other in real time.

Most websites on the Internet embed JavaScript applications into their web pages to provide social functionality such as single sign-on, commenting, sharing, polling, and chatting.  Because each of these applications are developed by a different provider, they are effectively silos that can’t communicate with each other. This presents a significant problem because the user experience is disjointed and broken, which forces publishers to invest time and money to integrate these services through proprietary APIs.

Backplane Protocol is a proposed open standard that solves this problem, enabling applications coexisting on a web page to communicate securely with each other, and with the site that embeds them, providing a unified user experience.

Interested in contributing to Backplane?

If you are interested in participating in the development of the Backplane spec or joining the discussion please join the OpenID Foundation working group mailing list or you can check out the backplane community page.

How does it work?

Backplane Protocol builds on proven and popular open standards work by leveraging technologies such as OpenID, OAuth, and Portable Contacts. As a proposed open standard, it reduces the need for companies and independent developers to learn and develop against other vendors’ proprietary APIs. The protocol designed to be extremely flexible and can support a growing number of  application scenarios.

For ease of integration, Backplane Protocol can be quickly added to any page, application, or login system using a little bit of JavaScript, reducing time to market and costs in deployment.

  • Site owners install Backplane Protocol on their pages so that apps can communicate. It can run on top of any existing CMS or static website.
  • Application vendors support Backplane Protocol in their apps so they can tune into the Backplane Bus.
  • Server operators run Backplane Servers so that site operators can quickly run Backplane on their site.

History of Backplane Protocol

Echo conceived of the protocol and designed it as an open standard. They partnered with Janrain and together have evolved the protocol to an enterprise grade offering and built an ecosystem of other application vendors around it. The Backplane Protocol is currently in use by some of the largest brands in the world, including ABC, AMC Networks, Discovery Channel, NBC Universal, Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, Universal Music Group, USA Networks and WWE.