Distributed authentication enables a new user to input a username and password into the login box, and immediately be recognized, even if that user never registered at drupal.org. This works because Drupal knows how to communicate with external registration databases.
The concept of Distributed Computing has been around for almost a decade; however, Distributed Computing has mainly been confined within the walls of the organization and most importantly, vendor-specific platforms. the topic of my article will touch one aspect of application development which I believe makes some sense to be farmed out to Distributed Computing: Identity Management.
A tomcat-like authentication system. With no need to write code in every file that requires authentication. Simply give the directories/files that shall be protected and the authentication will take place whenever required.
A modular, flexible and extensible Identity and Access Management system for integrated login, access and profile management across disparate security domains. Supports Apache, PAM, Webcrossing, XMLRPC and SOAP from C, Perl, and Java with more to come.