Multi user authentication solved in PhoneBurner App 2.0 Release!

Hey Fellow Developers -

We recently completed a new component for one of our applications, PhoneBurner, that allows a user to connect multiple PhoneBurner accounts to multiple accounts. This feature, shorted Multi-Auth, has taken months of research and development to release into the live branch of the App. Throughout this R&D we ran into several walls that we had to work around in order the achieve the long term goal. There were many times that we thought of doing it in an easier way but we wanted to have the most dynamic app on the marketplace.

The Challenge:

First, we needed to understand if this feature was actually needed or if we had developed the app in the wrong realm initially. After a deep review of other apps it appeared that other integrations such as the Gmail integration also allow Multi-Auth. As seen in the picture below the Gmail integration allows a user to select an account when adding the specific integration thus allowing the user to use multiple accounts with a single account

It was not until the recent months that this app allowed full multi-auth capabilities of adding multiple Gmail accounts to multiple accounts. If you recall in the past a user could not add their Gmail account to two different accounts which caused lots of workflow hiccups.

Once our development team realized that other integrations use this multi-auth component we explored all of the documentation, support channels, and community but could not find anything to help us reproduce this screen. It was at this point we realized that this feature was only integrated in apps created by and that we would have to develop this component ourselves.

The Resolution:

From advanced data structure to well styled web pages this component took us near 4 months to fully develop and complete testing. We decided to create a web page that is similar to the page seen in the Gmail integration that would allow a user to authorize their PhoneBurner account to multiple accounts and authorize multiple PhoneBurner accounts within one account.

The web page is simple, but there is still one large downside and that is because it is hosted on our server, an external page, from the account. This is secure to our user base however it may cause some confusion of the flow of the apps marketplace holistically. Here is our Multi Auth Page:

Now, because this page is developed externally we are able to use it for more than just integrations as board views tie to a specific PhoneBurner account within our app. We are allowing a user to select one of their accounts when adding a new integration or authorizing a board view. Additionally, in the board view we are allowing the user to “manage accounts” which can be used to delete or re-authorize an account.

Overall, we have a lot of trust in this component working well for us in the long run and being able to support an exponential number of users. We have a few larger concerns however for the future of app development and the apps marketplace.

  • What is the longevity of this solution? Say changes its flow in the apps, this will effect this application and require a resources to rebuild and likely app downtime.

  • Secondly, how can we avoid spending such a large amount of resources developing out a component that already exists for the system? I feel that we as third-party developers should be provided the same tools that the internal development team has when developing applications.

What our your thoughts on our solution? Would your team have taken a different approach or do you feel that this was our best course of action?

Try the app out yourself here and tell us what you think: Where Teams Get Work Done