Authentication is the process that a client uses to identify themselves to the server.
This includes three basic components:
- Identify the account that is trying to authenticate. This is often provided in the form of a DN or username, but it can come in other forms like a Kerberos principal or information in a certificate or OAuth bearer token.
- Provide proof of that identity. This can include a password, optionally combined with a second factor like a one-time password, a certificate, or interaction with a trusted system like a Kerberos KDC or an OAuth introspection endpoint.
- Optionally specify an alternate authorization identity. Usually, when a client authenticates, subsequent operations on that connection are processed using the authority of the authenticated user. However, in some cases, it might be possible for the client to request that subsequent operations be processed under the authority of a different user.
For LDAP clients, the PingDirectory Server supports both simple authentication and several SASL mechanisms. For HTTP clients, the server supports basic authentication and OAuth 2.0.
This section covers the set of authentication mechanisms that the PingDirectory Server supports. It also provides information about its extensive support for password policy functionality, some of which also applies to non-password-based authentication.