Single Sign On

Discussion in 'ASP .Net' started by Guest, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I work for a medium-sized insurance company, developing web-based systems for
    our independent agents. There are four primary applications we provide - one
    that serves as an agent portal (ASP), and three others that serve
    applications specific to each line of business (one ASP, two ASP.NET). Each
    of these applications reside on their own server/environment, all of which
    are in the same AD domain. We also have multiple top-level domains that
    different sets of users visit to access the sites.

    Currently, this is how we are tackling Single Sign On. The user logs in to
    the portal site which is locked down via Basic authentication (okay, "locked
    down" and "Basic authentication" in the same sentence...I know...I know).
    Once authenticated, the portal site makes a call to an ASP.NET web service
    that creates and returns a FormsAuthentication ticket for the user that
    logged in. It then sets a persistent cookie containing that ticket. When
    the user accesses one of the ASP apps on another server, we check for the
    cookie and call in to the same web service to decrypt it and extract the user
    - at that point, their session is built and they are logged in. When the
    user accesses one of the ASP.NET apps, it is a bit easier. The machine keys
    are all in sync, so enabling Forms Authentication allows the ASP.NET app to
    recognize the cookie as a ticket, and the user is logged in. If a user
    visits any of the LOB sites without going through the portal, they are
    presented with that site's login page which essentially does the same thing
    as the portal, except the cookie is not persistent.

    Here is how I envision it working in a perfect world. The user logs in to
    our portal site using their account which is stored in AD. When they visit
    any of the other LOB apps, they do not have to provide credentials a second
    time. True Single Sign-On. Granted, this is pretty much how it works today,
    but I would prefer something more secure. Now my questions. Given our
    mutli-server envrionment and the mix of ASP/ASP.NET, what other SSO options
    do we have? I've read bits and pieces about Active Directory's ability to
    provide an SSO experience, but I have been coming up short finding out how to
    implement this when the bulk of our users are outside the corporate firewall.
    Can anyone point me in the right direction? I am not opposed to third-party
    solutions if they will meet our needs and are easy to implement/integrate. I
    am interested in hearing others' experiences with this as well.

    Thanks in advance!
    Eric Matz
    Guest, Apr 12, 2005
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  2. Guest

    Dave Fancher Guest

    I work for a $9.7 bil. company (Truck manufacturer) that is using Tivoli
    Access Manager (from IBM) for single sign on. I have recently inherited a
    project (traditional ASP) that authenticates against TAM and am developing
    another (ASP.NET) that will authenticate against it. Take a look at for more

    I don't have much first-hand experience with it yet but the documentation I
    have read makes it sound pretty straight-forward to implement and some other
    developers I have spoken with seem to like it. TAM is being used heavily by
    our dealer network and we are slowly migrating to it for our purchasing

    Dave Fancher, Apr 13, 2005
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