CAS — Central Authentication Service — has no logo, but it’s still cool. Heterogeneous environments like mine offer hundreds of different online services or applications that each need to authenticate the user. Instead of throwing our passwords around like confetti, CAS allows those applications to identify their users based on session information managed by the CAS service. It also obviates the need for users to offer their credentials to potentially untrusted systems — think externally hosted systems.
So CAS is great, but what about WordPress integration? Andrej Ciho and Stephen Schwink both worked on the problem and were kind enough to share their solutions with the community. Now, building on their work, I’ve released the WordPress CAS plugin we’re using at Plymouth State.
It’s compatible with both regular WordPress and WordPress MU. You can configure it via a settings menu, or a conf file. And if the CAS user doesn’t exist in WordPress, the plugin can call a function you define to provision an account for them or do whatever you want. It’s written for easy maintenance — your configuration info won’t be lost if you
svn up, for example — and convenience, but then, you also have to have a working CAS environment going before it’s useful.