Let me start by saying I am very new to Java. I'm trying to create a portal - a fairly simple web page where each user who logs in will see only those application links that they are authorized to access. User A will see links to applications X, Y and Z and user B will see links to applications R and Q.
I'm running a Tomcat 6 server, and will be using Java 6 (jsp pages, servlets, etc). I've done some research on things like tomcat realms, ldap, ad, jaas, etc. but I'm still not sure what direction I should be going in. My 'portal'/web page will consist of about 20 application links - some are links out to external web sites/applications (public web sites outside of our network), some are internal applications housed on various in-house servers on our network, some are home-grown, others are 3rd party applications, eventually some will be home-grown java applications. Each application currently has it's own login and password.
I know that I can build a table in a relational database, or update an xml file in Tomcat and use Tomcat realms to determine who has access to what. Are there other options? I can certainly build a table, but I don't want to if there are easier ways - can AD tell me what applications a particular user has access to (so I can determine what links to display)? If so, how? (I don't know much about ad (yet)).
I just don't want to end up building something overly complex, and missing out on something that would make this simpler. Any ideas, suggestions, etc on what I could/should be looking at would be most appreciated.