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AD Authentication hybrid

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    AD Authentication hybrid

    Is there a way to use AD for Authentication of Login ID and password ONLY, and then use the Security Framework for Groups and Members? Our AD infrastructure cannot support Groups and Members for over 25K users and 500+ applications across the Enterprise. SO I would like to set up the Framework in my app as if it is using SQL, but then add code to the Login form to check AD for UID + Password only.
    Last edited by mcbyte2; 04-13-2017, 01:09 PM. Reason: More info on what I want to do.

    Re: AD Authentication hybrid

    I did this for a college many years ago. Their IT department wrote a small utility that used their AD to login. That utility kicked out a hash (using MD5(), see below) of the userID (no password) and that hash value was included as a parameter in a URL that opened a special login.a5w page. My SQL-based Users table also had that hash value for each user.

    Hash example:
    ?md5("[email protected]")
    = "b126137bb8fbbff5793e176e8e4b98b6"

    My login.a5w page did NOT have a login dialog. It just had xbasic that grabbed the hash and did a lookup in my Users table to find a matching hash value. If found, I used a5w_login_user() to login the user without using the login dialog. You can find help on that function in Alpha's help document.

    If I were doing this again today, I would add required expiration parameter to the URL would fail after a few minutes if reused.

    On the Security Framework side the passwords were all the same. So the AD did not have to deliver a password. If you needed unique passwords, you would have to coordinate sync'ing them between AD and Alpha.
    Steve Wood
    See my profile on IADN


      Re: AD Authentication hybrid

      Bruce, is the security frame work for your AA applications going to have very many "Web Security Groups?"

      If you have only a handful of security groups then I suppose it is not much of a hassle to pick which groups a user belongs to when adding a new user record and updating the Web Security Members tables. (I'm assuming you will be putting the Alpha Web Security Tables into SQL and not leaving them as .DBF. Otherwise, you may end up needing multiple copies of the DBF files - a copy for each instance of the AA Web Server - and managing those would be tough.)

      But, if you have a lot of Web Security Groups, how are you going to managing assigning groups to each user?


        Re: AD Authentication hybrid

        If you're going to use a5w_login_user, then have a look at the current security stuff in the Context Object... e.g. the method Context.Security.Login()


          Re: AD Authentication hybrid

          Thanks David, for the reminder. I only recently came across the Context... functions, need to update in various places.
          Steve Wood
          See my profile on IADN


            Re: AD Authentication hybrid

            To all responders: THANK YOU! We are now looking at setting up a generic "Authentication Provider" that will work something like this:

            1) Default page of the AA app does a redirect to a common //Login.a5w?AppKey=XXXX page that is used by all our AA apps.
            2) Common //Login.a5w page uses contents of App Key parm to look up two things in SQL table:
            a) If AD check is successful: The URL to start the calling app with, and that URL ends with a standard ?LoginID= parameter
            b) If AD is not successful: URL to tell the user about the login issue. This can be generic for ALL apps ("Please call the Help Desk"), or specific per App Key
            3) //Login.a5w page redirects the user to URL from 2a or 2b
            4) On successful AD check, the AA app now has the Login ID to use as session variable that just needs to match same person's entry in the AA Framework's User table.

            We can then use the Framework to manage Users and Groups on a per-app basis, while ALL apps have a common way to use AD for Authentication ONLY.

            Of course, this approach will ONLY be used for apps that are housed and used INSIDE our network (or accessed via VPN). Not something we would use for apps published on the web.

            And we are also considering Steve's ideas to use an encrypted hash (instead of the ?LoginID=parameter with UserID in plain text), as well as a time limit.



              Re: AD Authentication hybrid

              To all Responders - THANKS! You have given me some ideas. We are probably going to build some sort of "AD Authentication" service that can be used by any of our AA applications. This would include a config table that identifies the URL's to use for each AA app: Starting page (for successful AD check) and error page (for unsuccessful AD check). The Auth Service would also put up a standard Login Page (showing the App name from the config database) and append the login ID to the redirect URL's for each app. The Login ID could be a time-limited MD5 hash, rather than clear text (as suggested by Steve). After successful login, the AA apps can use the Security Framework to manage Groups and Members for Authorization as normal. Thoughts?


                Re: AD Authentication hybrid

                Good question, Rich! We are just getting started with Alpha, and I have never done anything with the Security Framework because of the "All or nothing" approach to integrating with AD. Is it possible to use the same SQL tables for Security across multiple apps?