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Definition of Single Sign-On

A Single Sign-On system is a set of software components, usually distributed over a network, which allow a User to log into his workstation once, and thereafter start applications and network Login Session's without any further Authentication. The initial Login may be carried out using Credentials, such as a User ID and Password, or another technology, such as a Public Key Infrastructure or a Smart Card.

A Single Sign-On system normally works as follows:

This technology addresses some common support problems:

Unfortunately, this technology also has some deployment and security problems:

An alternative technology, which resolves some of the same issues, but is not subject to the same problems, is Password Synchronization.