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The past recently caught up me in the form of an old client still running SharePoint 2003. They have for political reasons chosen to secure all their systems with Oracle OpenSSO and that includes their SharePoint farms. That broke a Web part talking to the SPS2003 portal search Web service. The Web part runs on many WSS 2.0 team sites, which is why it queries the search engine through the portal search Web service. Web parts running on WSS 2.0 sites cannot talk to the SPS2003 search engine through the search object model - doing so yields a null reference error. The Web part needs to run in a portal context for this to work.

My question now is how to authenticate with the SPS 2003 search service when the OpenSSO policy agent is engaged. My knowledge about Oracle OpenSSO is very limited. But I have learned that it uses the iPlanetDirectoryPro cookie for an authenticated session.

Do any of you know how to authenticate the current user with the SPS 2003 search service from a Web part running in a WSS 2.0 context? Is it at all possible? Have I overlooked any simple solutions?

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