Single Sign-On (SSO) implementation Using custom built authentication server


To explain the SSO implementation approach using this approach, this article scoped with two web applications e.g. Portal A and Portal B.
  • User login to the Portal A application using username and password.
  • Portal A application validates the user and sends the request to Authentication Server for generating the auth token (Auth token – is a unique value generated by the Authentication server for each user login. This auth token will be used as a user identifier for subsequent user requests)
  • Authentication server will generate the auth token.
  • Authentication server stores auth token and username in the memory (or in the Database).
  • Authentication server sends response along with the auth token to Portal A application.
  • The user clicks the on the link of Portal B application, Portal A application will send the request to Portal B application along with the username and auth token.
  • Portal B application retrieves the data username and auth token and sends the request to Authentication server to validate the user’s login session.
  • Authentication server validates the user login session and sends the response to Portal B application.
  • Portal B application validates the response and starts further interaction between the Portal A application.


Session Management
  • Auth token will serve as a session identifier for both the application.
  • When user logged out (or timed out) from Portal A Site auth token will be removed from Authentication server.
  • Portal A site will always check the auth token with the Authentication Server by sending the User ID to Authentication server.
  • Can be extended for integration with other enterprise systems like SAP,SIEBEL.
  • Since written in java can be deployed on any platform.
  • No extra license required.

  • Needs extra development effort for Authentication Server and its integration with each application/enterprise system.
  • Needs enhanced network security to communicate with the application.

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