Authentication is the process of determining whether someone or something is, in fact, who or what it is declared to be. In private and public computer networks (including the Internet), authentication is commonly done through the use of logon passwords. Knowledge of the password is assumed to guarantee that the user is authentic.

Each user registers initially (or is registered by someone else), using an assigned or self-declared password. On each subsequent use, the user must know and use the previously declared password. The weakness in this system for transactions that are significant (such as the exchange of money) is that passwords can often be stolen, accidentally revealed, or forgotten.

For this reason, Internet business and many other transactions require a more stringent authentication process. The use of digital certificates issued and verified by a Certificate Authority (CA) as part of a public key infrastructure is considered likely to become the standard way to perform authentication on the Internet.

Logically, authentication precedes authorization (although they may often seem to be combined).

PeopleSoft has several methods of authentication. Directory Authentication, local auth, single signon auth, signon peoplecode auth etc..

Consider how you plan to authorize users as they sign in to your PeopleSoft system. Do you want to store and maintain the PeopleSoft user passwords within PeopleSoft, or do you plan to take advantage of existing user profiles in an external directory server?

PeopleSoft-Based Authentication

This option is, generally, the way PeopleSoft customers have authorized users in previous releases. PeopleSoft user passwords are stored and maintained solely within PeopleSoft. Although this method does not require a large amount of storage, it does add administration issues, mainly because PeopleSoft passwords are yet another password users need to remember.

With this option there are only two database-level IDs, the access ID and the connect ID. The passwords reside in the PSOPRDEFN along with the other user information.

Directory-Based Authentication

You can also use a central repository for user information in a directory server that uses the LDAP protocol.

The advantage of this option is that a user has one user ID and password that allows access to numerous software systems.

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