Authentication (Authentication)


Authentication is the process by which the system validates a user's logon information. A user's name and password are compared to an authorized list, and if the system detects a match, access is granted to the extent specified in the permission list for that user.

Microsoft authentication technologies include LSA Authentication, Credentials Management, Smart Card Authentication, Network Provider, Security Support Provider Interface (SSPI), Winlogon, and GINA.

Developer audience

Microsoft authentication technologies are intended for use by developers of applications that are based on the Windows Server, Windows Vista, and Windows operating systems that authenticate clients. Developers should be familiar with Windows-based programming. Although not required, an understanding of authentication or security-related subjects is advised.

Run-time requirements

For information about run-time requirements for a particular programming element, see the Requirements section of the reference page for that element.

In this section

Topic Description
About Authentication
Key authentication concepts and a high-level view of Microsoft authentication technologies.
Using Authentication
Authentication processes, procedures, and examples of programs that use Microsoft authentication technologies.
Authentication Reference
Detailed information about authentication functions, interfaces, objects, structures, and other programming elements.