What are identity management and authentication?
Identity management is one of the essential parts of application security: defining which users exist and what roles they have (which access to what degree of functionality). It comprises creating and defining the list of users with access to the application (and now services) and assigning access rights in the form of roles. To accomplish this, SAP NetWeaver provides a set of tools and functionalities to allow customers to perform these tasks efficiently. Additionally, it is possible to integrate SAP NetWeaver with other identity management solutions through standard interfaces including the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and the Service Provisioning Markup Language (SPML).
Authentication is the process by which a computer, computer program, or another user attempts to confirm that the computer, computer program, or user from whom the second party has received some communication is or is not the claimed first party. Creating a single-sign-on to composite applications depends on being able to pass authentication metadata from service to service.