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As well as using the system’s own built-in authentication tool, TERMINALFOUR Site Manager can authenticate users via Directory Services (Active Directory, NDS, Open LDAP etc). This is done using a Java standard called JNDI, a driver protocol for Directory Services. JNDI works in a similar manner to the way in which ODBC works as a driver protocol for accessing databases. The idea behind JNDI is that, provided a driver is available for the specific Directory Services Server, authentication against it can be effected in a standard way. (Drivers are available for Active Directory, Open LDAP, eDirectory and many others). TERMINALFOUR also supports SHIBBOLETH and CAS.
Directory services can be used for authentication only, which is usual for most organisations, or to actually define user groups that can in theory be used for the web content management system, each having a particular mix of rights and roles. This can be very useful to separate out a small number of broad user groupings. However, typically hierarchies in LDAP are not ideally suited for the automatic creation of rights and roles within the WCM system. Where there are a large number of WCM users with almost each one having an individually unique rights and roles profile. In this case such access attributes need to be applied within the content management system rather than being pulled from LDAP.