I’ve had a set of rather bespoke requirements for authentication on a recent project and thought I’d give Devise a go.
Devise uses Warden, which is an authentication solution build on Rack making it extremely flexible and usable across multiple frameworks e.g. Rails/Sinatra. Also, Devise is extremely modular meaning to can easily write custom “strategies” for specific behaviour.
I have used Clearance in the past which is great if you want an engine that will just work. Devise however is by far the most flexible and extensible solution that I have come across with the same ease of use as Clearance. The only thing that you don’t get with devise that you do with Clearance is the signup stage, however as this is normally custom on a per-app basis I can live with this.
One more thing to note is that Devise lets you have multiple auth systems in play e.g. one for users and one for admins.