Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2003 enables enterprises to develop an intelligent portal that seamlessly connects users, teams, and knowledge so that people can take advantage of relevant information across business processes to help them work more efficiently. Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server 2003 have become very popular in recent years and have helped many businesses create an infrastructure for sharing and collaborating internal information.

Intranet users are commonly required to use a separate password to authenticate themselves to each server they need to access in the course of their work. Multiple passwords are an ongoing headache for both users and system administrators. Users have difficulty keeping track of different passwords, tend to choose poor ones, and then write them down in obvious places. Administrators must keep track of a separate password database on each server and deal with potential security problems related to the fact that passwords are sent over the network routinely and frequently.

Single sign-on (SSO) is mechanism whereby a single action of user authentication and authorization can permit a user to access all computers and systems that he or she has access permissions for, without the need to enter multiple passwords.

In large enterprises, It is a very challenging task to authenticate users against SharePoint Portal with the existing single sign on solutions. For example one company might use Netegrity single sign-on solution to authenticate its different applications like HR, Intranet, Employee self service, etc. That same user base wants to use SharePoint Portal solutions also.

This article examines how to integrate 3rd party single sign on solutions such as Netegrity Site Minder with Windows SharePoint Portal 2003 using web page authentication. It explains how to protect SharePoint sites with 3rd party SSO and use the same credentials to login into SharePoint Portal Server.

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