Access Manager includes an authentication service for verifying the identities of users who request access (by way of HTTP or HTTPS) to web services within an enterprise. For example, a company employee who needs to look up a colleague’s phone number uses a browser to go to the company’s online phone book. To log in to the phone book service, the user has to provide a user ID and password.
The authentication sequence is shown in Figure 3–2. A policy agent intercedes in the request to log on to the phone book (1), and sends the request to the authentication service (2). The authentication service checks the user ID and password against information stored in Directory Server (3). If the log-in request is valid, the user is authenticated (4), (5), and (6), and the company phone book is displayed to the employee (7). If the log-in request is not valid, an error is generated, and authentication fails.
The authentication service also supports certificate-based authentication over HTTPS.