SharePoint 2010 includes many new features that have people excited about moving to it from older versions of SharePoint or from legacy ECM systems. One of these features is a new, more powerful and flexible authentication model called claims-based authentication. Authentication is simply the process of validating a user’s identity. After a user’s identity is validated, the authorization process determines which sites, content, and other features the user can access. In SharePoint 2010, you can choose to use either ‘classic-mode’ authentication or the new ‘claims-based’ authentication.
Claims-based authentication works with any corporate identity system, including Active Directory, LDAP-based directories, application-specific databases, as well as new user-centric identity models, such as Windows Live ID.
The purpose of claims-based authentication is to make authentication simple for all users. For example, you may want to setup a SharePoint site that is accessible by both internal and external users, such as clients. Internal users might use one mechanism such as Windows-based authentication and external users might want to use another method, such as forms-based authentication. No matter what authentication protocol was used, your SharePoint application gets a signed set of claims so it has the information it needs about the user.
The Colligo Contributor product line now supports claims-based authentication and allows organizations using SharePoint 2010 to authenticate using a claims-based identity. The identity can be either the default Windows credentials or the credentials supplied by the user. With more and more organizations deploying new SharePoint 2010 sites with claims-based authentication, these organizations can now use Colligo Contributor for email management, document management, offline access, and all the other great capabilities offered by Colligo.