Authenticating Users

Google offers multiple methods of authenticating your app's users in Cloud Platform applications. Each method has different purposes, listed below:

Authentication Service Purpose
Firebase Authentication Provides multiple user authentication options including with Google, Facebook, and Twitter. It also supports the largest number of users while maintaining the smallest amount of code.
Google Sign-In Google Sign-In provides Gmail and G Suite account sign in along with support for one-time passwords (OTP). It’s the easiest method of supporting Google-only accounts, or supporting Google accounts in an existing sign-in system.
OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect OpenID Connect allows you to handle and use authentication tokens from the ground up with the most customization.

Firebase Authentication

Firebase Authentication gives you a robust, secure authentication system-in-a-box that helps you do sign in with any account your users want to use. Firebase Authentication supports password authentication in addition to federated sign in with Google, Facebook, Twitter, and more, allowing you to easily scale your authentication system as you grow on desktop and mobile.

Firebase Authentication is the easiest way to set up user authentication for a Google App Engine app. To learn more about Firebase Authentication, try the following:

  • Firebase Web Tutorial highlights how to use Firebase on a website, including user sign in with Google as the Identity Provider.

  • Firebase Quickstart Apps show how to integrate Firebase across platforms, using both federated sign-in and username/password sign-in examples. Samples demonstrate Firebase Authentication using the JavaScript SDK as well as on iOS and Android.

Google Sign-In

If you want to provide a Google login button for your website or app, or you’re using G Suite for your domain and you want to authenticate users based on that login, you can use Google Sign-in, which is our sign-in client library built on the OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect protocols.

Google Sign-In is available for Web Apps, iOS, and Android.

Google Sign-in provides OpenID Connect formatted ID tokens, and OAuth 2.0 access tokens for further interaction with Google APIs. To configure Google Sign-In to return profile information in OpenID Connect format, use the openid scope and get the profile by calling the people.getOpenIdConnect endpoint.

OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect

OpenID Connect is an identity layer on top of the OAuth 2.0 protocol. You can use the directions provided in our OpenID Connect documentation to set up OAuth 2.0 and authenticate users.

Our implementation of OpenID Connect on OAuth 2.0 conforms to the OpenID Connect specification, and is OpenID Certified.

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