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logon procedure on websphere application server express

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We want to do authentication with the WAS Express server. I mean, we don't want to have authentication on the application level, but on the server level (either Http-server or the WAS itself).
Now, I have a couple of problems :
-First of all, I don't really know much about security, authentication etc. So I don't really know if it is possible to influence the logon procedure on a system. We know that logging onto the http server is possible, we tried those things. But we need more, not just checking one standard table.
- We want to be able to not just go to eg. the active directory with user information, but before that we want to be able to check another table. More specific, we are dealing with intranet applications, the only people that can logon are those that are still employed at the company, so this information has to be checked first.
- The intranet applications are jus a small part of a bigger project, we will need the same features for eg. AS400 logon

My question might not be very clearly formulated but the most important question is : 'can we influence the logon procedure on a was server, and not on a application level, but on a system level ?'
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