These days I’ve been playing with possible integration of CAS (Central Authentication Service) and MySQL .
The main idea is to deal with the problem of single sign on authentication, so that you can put an intermediate authentication layer between some web applications (let’s say e-learning software, wiki, bugzilla, whatever…) and the user. So, when the user tries to authenticate himself within a specific aplication, the application forward the request to the CAS server, and it manages the authentication stage. And here it comes the nice thing: CAS can be connected with a MySQL database with, let’s say a table composed of “username” and “password” (md5 encoded). This way, you can simply have all your applications authentication (if they support CAS it would be easier, else pray it is open source software so you can implement the CAS module) centralized in JA-SIG CAS (which runs over Apache Tomcat).
Note: We’re supposing here that all users have access to all your web applications (which seems to be ideal, but not real ¿uh?). Anyway, you could always develop your own AuthenticationHandler module in Java, so you can apply your own authentication method.
want some details? just wait for the April or May nº of hakin9 magazine.
The next step is having a look at Shibboleth Project, which manages similar authentication, but it takes into account that the web applications are distributed around some organizations, not only one (imagine that a user would like to authenticate himself in a University A resource and other user in a University B resource, ¿how to centralize that authentication layer? here it comes Shibboleth to rescue you from hell ;). btw, its deployment seems to be harder than CAS.