I'm told that it's possible to make a web application that does not require a login. The user logs in to Windows, which authenticates via an Active Directory (LDAP) Lookup. Then, they should be able to go to my webapp and never see a login prompt. These customers have been referring to this as Single Sign On (perhaps incorrectly and part of my confusion).
But, from what I read Single Sign On from the Tomcat docs is:
The Single Sign On Vale is utilized when you wish to give users the ability to sign on to any one of the web applications associated with your virtual host, and then have their identity recognized by all other web applications on the same virtual host.
This is perfectly clear to me. User has to login once and can access every webapp on an instance of tomcat. But, what I need to do is somehow let them login without ever providing any credentials to my tomcat server.
So, in order for this to work I imagine:
- User makes request for some page
- Server sees no session token and then request the client for some credentials.
- The clients browser without any intervention from the user provides some credentials to the server.
- Then, using those credentials provided by the clients browser it does a lookup in an LDAP.
I've seen some examples which use client side certificates... particularly the DoD PKI system which makes some sense to me because in those cases you configure Tomcat to request client side certs, but just logging into windows I don't see how this would work and what information the browser would pass to the server etc. Is this what NTLM is used for?