Integrated Windows Authentication is also known as HTTP Negotiate authentication, NT Authentication, NTLM Authentication, Domain authentication, Windows Integrated Authentication, Windows NT Challenge/Response authentication, or simply Windows Authentication.
In Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS), the system administrator can protect a website or folder with "Integrated Windows Authentication". When you browse to this website or folder, you must enter your Windows (domain) username and password to get access (although Internet Explorer will, depending on your security settings, send your credentials automatically without showing a login dialog box). Note that unlike Basic Authentication, which sends the password as plaintext to the web server, the NTLM protocol does not send the password but rather performs a cryptographic "handshake" with the server to establish your identity.
Use of Integrated Windows Authentication via NTLM on IIS is very common inside many companies (ie on intranets and internal web servers), where both the client and web server computers are part of the same, or trusting, domains.
Using NTLM from PL/SQL with UTL_HTTP
Unfortunately, from the PL/SQL developer's perspective, Oracle's UTL_HTTP package does not support NTLM authentication (it only supports Basic authentication via the SET_AUTHENTICATION procedure).
So, if you wanted to retrieve information from your intranet or call a web service (protected by Integrated Windows Authentication) from the database via PL/SQL and UTL_HTTP, you were out of luck.
Until now, that is... :-)
A pure PL/SQL implementation of the NTLM protocol
I came across a Python implementation of the NTLM protocol, and I decided that it should be possible to port this code to PL/SQL. Assisted by a couple of good friends and colleagues, and after a lot of bit-fiddling, reverse-engineering, study of protocol specifications, and liberal use of network packet sniffers, we got it working!
A pure PL/SQL implementation of the NTLM protocol is now available and included in the Alexandria Utility Library for PL/SQL.
The code is organized into two packages: NTLM_UTIL_PKG, which contains protocol-specific functions, and NTLM_HTTP_PKG, which is the package you actually use to make HTTP callouts, and which handles the initial NTLM "handshaking" with the web server.
Example 1: Simple request
This code simply grabs the page you direct it towards, and returns the contents as a CLOB. (What is really going on behind the scenes is a series of requests and responses to establish the authenticated connection, before the actual URL contents is served.)
l_clob := ntlm_http_pkg.get_response_clob('http://servername/page', 'domain\username', 'password');
debug_pkg.print(substr(l_clob, 1, 32000));
Example 2: Web service call
Here, a (persistent) connection is explicitly established before making one or more requests to the server. Note the returnvalue from the BEGIN_REQUEST function, which is the authorization string which must be passed along in the "Authorization" HTTP header on any subsequent requests. The connection is then is closed. Note that NTLM is a connection-based protocol, and will not work without the use of persistent connections.
l_url varchar2(2000) := 'http://servername/page';
l_soap_env clob := 'your_soap_envelope_here';
-- perform the initial request to set up a persistent, authenticated connection
l_ntlm_auth_str := ntlm_http_pkg.begin_request (l_url, 'domain\username', 'password');
-- pass authorization header to next call(s)
apex_web_service.g_request_headers(1).name := 'Authorization';
apex_web_service.g_request_headers(1).value := l_ntlm_auth_str;
-- perform the actual call
-- NOTE: for this to work, you must be using a version of apex_web_service that allows persistent connections (fixed in Apex 4.1 ???)
-- see http://jastraub.blogspot.com/2008/06/flexible-web-service-api.html?showComment=1310198286769#c8685039598916415836
l_xml := apex_web_service.make_request(l_url, 'soap_action_name_here', '1.1', l_soap_env);
-- or use the latest version of flex_ws_api
-- flex_ws_api.g_request_headers(1).name := 'Authorization';
-- flex_ws_api.g_request_headers(1).value := l_ntlm_auth_str;
-- l_xml := flex_ws_api.make_request(l_url, 'soap_action_name_here', '1.1', l_soap_env);
-- this will close the persistent connection
debug_pkg.print('XML response from webservice', l_xml);
- Tested successfully on Oracle 10g XE (with AL32UTF8 character set) and Oracle 10g EE (with WE8MSWIN1252 character set).
- Tested successfully against IIS 6.0 with non-SSL "plain" website and SSL-enabled Sharepoint website (both set up with Integrated Windows Authentication, obviously).
- The current version ignores cookies when setting up the connection. If you depend on cookies being present, you may have to deal with this specifically.
Given the diverse nature of network configuration, there may be bugs or unhandled cases in the code. So please test the code in your environment and leave a comment below, letting me me know if it works for you or not.