Jeremy Stein - Journal

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Single sign-on

Here is part of a telephone conversation with a member of our ITS support staff while he was having me test an issue with Citrix. I was trying to make small talk about the lack of single sign-on.

[It’s not funny when you have to explain it, but it’s even less funny when no one understands, so I’d better explain. Single sign-on is when you only have to sign-on to your local network one time. When you want to access any system on the network, your credentials are forwarded to the system by your computer. As long as you’re logged in to your machine, you shouldn’t have to explicitly log in to any other system on the network. This is tricky when using multiple authentication servers, but we’re standardized on Active Directory.]

Me: So I log in with my network credentials?

ITS: It should be your first initial, last name. [So, yes.]

Me: So why doesn’t it log in automatically?

ITS: Just your first initial and last name.

Me: I mean, why doesn’t it use NTLM to authenticate?

ITS: Just enter your network password.

Me: No, I mean, shouldn’t we have single sign-on?

ITS: That’s right, single sign-on.

[I gave up.]

Single sign-on: when you have only have to log in once… on every site in the network.

August 19, 2009 2 Comments.


  1. Shannon replied:

    I’m glad you have posted- twice! I enjoyed reading them. (You see, I still check in hope.)

    August 19th, 2009 at 11:32 am. Permalink.

  2. Shannon replied:

    Hmmm…you were looking for single sign-on when I have to jump through so many hoops just to leave a comment. :)

    August 19th, 2009 at 11:34 am. Permalink.

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