ProgrammableWeb series on the Green Button

Tech Articles & Briefs,

As energy consumers (people, businesses, and other organizations) consume power, they generate an enormous amount of metadata about that consumption. When was it consumed? Where was it consumed? Where did the energy came from? How much did that energy cost? And so on. This data, made available in the right contexts, not only belongs to energy consumers, it can be leveraged to optimize both the provision and consumption sides of the energy industry in a way that better matches the supply to the demand in an era where sustainability is a major underlying concern.

But, in order to achieve that degree of optimization means that the data will have to flow rather frictionlessly across multiple parties with multiple business interests and who have varying degrees of authority and permission to see some or all of that data. In the interests of their security and privacy, energy consumers must be able to federate access to their personal data which itself might be stored with the original energy provider (ie: the local electric utility). On the surface, it sounds a bit like a three-party Oauth workflow. And it essentially is. But to make Oauth work for this use case, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) would have to push Oauth to the very limits of its flexibility with some inventions of its own. And that's exactly what NIST did. At the request of ProgrammableWeb, the chief architects of the Green Button Initiative have chronicled the details of their journey so that other similar use cases around the world can freely benefit from their inventions.

  • Intro: Understanding the Green Button API Initiative and Why It Matters
  • Part 1: Getting To Know The Primary Use Cases of The Green Button API initiative
  • Part 2: Understanding The Requirements and Standards Behind The Green Button API Initiative
  • Part 3: How Green Button Ingeniously Extended The OAuth Standard Without Forking It
  • Part 4: How The Green Button API Initiative Takes Advantage of OAuth's Scope Parameter
  • Part 5: How Green Button Made The "Pull-Only" OAuth Standard Support Push APIs Too
  • Conclusion: How Can Other API Implementations Benefit From Green Button's OAuth Inventions?