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Posts Tagged ‘Authentication’

Authentication reference

Posted by sharepoinTony on September 6, 2009


This post is reference material on a topic that can cause confusion and not everyone that should read this has read it.  I can’t word it better than has already been done so I am simply posting it with my formatting and emphasis added.  I hope SharePoint Magazine doesn’t mind.

In order for people to use a MOSS web application, the web application must validate the person’s identity. This process is known as authentication.  MOSS is not a directory service and the actual authentication process is handled by IIS, not MOSS.  However, MOSS is responsible for authorization to MOSS sites and content after a user successfully authenticates.  Authentication happens like this: A user points their browser at a MOSS site and IIS performs the user validation using the authentication method that is configured for the environment. If the user authentication is successful, then MOSS renders the web pages based on the access level of the user. If authentication fails, the user is denied access to the MOSS site.

Authentication methods determine which type of identity directory can be used and how users are authenticated by IIS. MOSS supports three methods of authentication: Windows, ASP.NET Forms, and Web Single Sign-On.

Windows Authentication is the most common authentication type used in MOSS intranet deployments because it uses Active Directory to validate users.  When Windows Authentication is configured, IIS uses the Windows authentication protocol that is configured in IIS.  NTLM, Kerberos, certificates, basic, and digest protocols are supported.  When Windows authentication is configured, the security policies which are applied to the user accounts are configured within Active Directory.  For example, account expiration policies, password complexity policies, and password history policies are all defined in Active Directory and not in MOSS.

When a user attempts to authenticate to a MOSS web application using Windows authentication, IIS validates the user against NTFS and Active Directory, and once the validation occurs the user is authenticated and the access levels of that user are then applied by MOSS.

REFERENCE (taken from):


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