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Lesson 13. Authenticating Users > User Authentication as a Web Application

User Authentication as a Web Application

As always, before we jump in and start using the server behaviors that create the authentication framework, it's important to understand at least conceptually how they work. Users can only access restricted pages once they've successfully logged in. To log in, a user supplies a username and password combination. ASP or ColdFusion queries the database to see if any records contain both the username and the password together. If it does, the log-in is successful, and the user is flagged as having logged in (more on that in a moment). If there are no records with both the username and password, the log-in fails, and the user is redirected to a page indicating that log-in has failed.

Each restricted page has a script at the top that checks to verify that the user is logged in, and if so, processes and displays the page. If the user is not logged in, she or he is typically redirected to a page that enables log-in, and the restricted page never actually loads.


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