CAS or Central Authentication Service is an enterprise level solution combined with a Java server component and varied client libraries scripted in numerous language including Java, PL/SQL, PHP, and many more. It is a single sign-on, open-source solution and a protocol based on http requiring each of its components being accessed through particular URIs.
Yale University developed CAS for Single Sign on, user authentication procedure or a session that facilitates a user to arrange for his or her credentials once to be able to access several applications.
Features of Single Sign On Solution
It authenticates user to access all applications they have been approved for access. Single sign on removes any requests for future authentication once the user shifts applications for the period of that specific session. All unauthenticated users are averted to authentication service (login service) and returned simply after effective authentication.
Ticket Granting Cookie
Central Authentication Service attains single sign on feature via cookies. These cookies get cracked (destroyed) once the user closes the browser or logs out of CAS. Cookies produced by CAS are referred to as Ticket granting cookie (TGT Cookie) comprising of a unique id and expiration period which is usually 8 hours.
Varied authentication handlers are offered by CAS for authenticating credentials. There is also a choice for developers to use his own authentication handler. The following types of credentials are authenticated by the CAS:
- X509 certificates
- Many more
Varied types of authentication handlers are utilized for authenticating different types of credentials.
Remember Me Feature
CAS Solutions offers “Remember Me” feature which can be configured by a developer in varied configuration files once user clicks on the check box “Remember Me” on the login form. This process will make his credentials remembered for the specific configured period of time. By default, this period is three months. The user will be redirected to respective service url sans displaying a login form. The form will not be displayed even if the user opens a new browser window.
Installation and Configuration of CAS
Successful deployment of CAS demands sound tactic and careful planning. In expert hands are needed to install and configure CAS on the environment chosen by client. Software needs to be installed on the client-owned hardware/system software platform(s). Thereafter, it can be configured and integrated with varied authentication sources. Professional implementation ensures maximum benefits of CAS to the user.
A series of test scripts is run after deploying CAS. This ensures the software works from a functional as well as technical viewpoint. After accomplishment, the client can enjoy a fully operational solution configured professionally and security.
Upgrades of CAS
Consistent adjustments and enhancements are made to the CAS by the open source community. Latest versions are released regularly. Upgrades may be difficult without a commercial vendor. Ease of migration offered by CAS professionals can help adapt and adjust to the latest releases.
A Proper review of client environment is important prior to upgrade. This helps in determining the possibility of the upgrade with respect to the extent of customization.
ROI on CAS will allow user to get maximum benefits of this open source software combined with a professional support coming from a commercial vendor. SLA-driven support services can be supported through experienced technical experts.