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Integrating Python Apps with Centralised Identity Management Systems


Most Python web developers are familiar with authentication and authorisation on the open web, but the requirements and technologies used inside companies and large organisations are different:

  • Identities and groups are probably stored in an external identity management system's directory rather than in an application's database tables.
  • Authorisation decisions will be based on group membership and policies that are defined outside the application.
  • Users may be expected or required to use a single sign-on technology such as Kerberos or SAML to authenticate to applications.

This talk will familiarise the audience with these technologies and demonstrate how Python web applications can be integrated with an identity management system to meet business requirements while providing a positive user experience. Particular technologies covered will include:

  • FreeIPA: an open-source identity management solution, for defining users, groups and authorisation policies
  • mod_auth_gssapi / mod_auth_kerb: Apache modules for Kerberos authentication
  • mod_lookup_identity: Apache module to retrieve user information from a directory

The talk will conclude with discussion about upcoming Kerberos features, techniques for dealing with multiple authentication methods, and progress in making identity management integration easier for Python (and in particular, Django) developers.

People developing or deploying Python web applications in business environments or for large open source projects with centralised identity management will get the most out of this talk.

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