Automatically create dummy accounts


#1

Hello there!

I am building a small app with angular + ionic that gives the user push notifications if he has enabled it. I intend to use raix:push for that purpose. So far the app does not need user accounts, and I do not want to bother the user with account creation.

Thus the question:
How would I build an account system that, lets say, automatically generates user credentials which are being saved in localstorage, and then automatically tries to log in using those credentials? Would that be a reasonable way of doing it? Has anybody ever done something similar?

Thanks everyone!


#2

I could only think of something like this in combination with this


#3

Is this a real app (actual business)? Or a toy app?

If its a real business app then you should be careful about how user accounts are created. You need explicit opt-in from the user if you ever hope to bind them by a terms of use agreement. Something to think about (assuming you’re in the US).

As far as how to accomplish what you’re trying to do - it would be nice to get more context as to what the app does. Automatically creating user accounts for people is generally a terrible idea because it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to identify unique visitors to the site. If you’re generating user accounts for every visitor then you’re going to have a lot of user accounts that you can’t tie back to a particular user because they aren’t associated with a unique identifier (such as an email or username). In addition, without explicit opt in the user won’t know how to get back in to the authenticated parts of your app because they don’t know what credentials you generated for them. Just my 2 cents.


#4

Agreed. Creating users is an awful idea.
There’re many ways to store a bit of data, starting from route/cookie tokens, ending with local storage.

No context so far.


#5

Thanks for your reply.

First of all, I am not in the US. I am in Switzerland :slight_smile:

It is a toy app for people who surf standing waves on rivers in Switzerland. I have gotten ftp access from the government for all flow data in this country, and I am going to build a simple notifier app for river surfers. Basically, the server checks the flow data each hour or so, and informs the user via push if a particular place that he added to his profile is surfable (that is, if the flow is above a user-specified limit).

You have mentioned some very goog points. I can totally see now why it would be a terrible idea to automatically generate accounts if I would bring the app for desktop. However, this app is going to be on cordova only. So maybe that kinda makes localstorage a slightly better option better option. I hear that localstorage is being synchronized through the icloud among multiple ios devices, which is kinda cool for that purpose.


#6

Interesting app! Sounds like a cool project. If it’s a free mobile app for something very useful (which it sounds like this might be for surfing enthusiasts) I don’t see the harm in having people sign up with an email and password. You can set the login to never expire so they don’t have to do it again but at least you can tie a user account to a specific user.


#7

Thanks :slight_smile:
You’re actually right on this one. I think I am going to test the automatic account generation, and if I see that it doesn’t really work out, then I will need people to make accounts. The reason that I started looking for alternatives was because I realized that push notification was the only reason that I needed accounts. So I thought it might be an overkill, and I started thinking about how to have device-specific push notifications without accounts. If you are interested (maybe you might want to port the app to the US :blush:) check out https://github.com/LucNaterop/riveron
Yeah, it would actually be very useful for river surfers. Currently those people have to look up flow values on the gov’s site every now and then. They could benefit greatly from such a simple app.