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I'm running a Magento store and also have another site that is based on Django that also needs an authentication.

Magento is currently authenticated against its own internal user base.

Is it possible to have Django authenticate against Magento's user base?

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While I'm not familiar with Django, I would assume that extending the Magento API to authenticate users would be possible, provided you're within the same domain or subdomain or have defined a cross-origin policy.

Some AJAX login extensions may provide this sort of functionality for you - here's one such extension:

http://www.magalter.com/fast-login-pro.html

There are a number of plugins available that provide single-sign-on with other platforms: Wordpress, SugarCRM, others. Perhaps looking into the source of those integrations would help you.

Some integrations:

http://jckemp.com/documentation/magento-wordpress-single-signon/

http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/wordpress-integration.html

A how-to series:

http://developer.blueearth.net/2011/11/16/magento-wordpress-integration-part-2/

Additionally, Magento's API provides the ability to fetch customers from the framework:

http://www.magentocommerce.com/api/rest/introduction.html#RESTAPIIntroduction-Customers

Lastly, consider using a single-sign-on solution with one of the major providers - OpenID, Google, Facebook, Twitter - all of which have Magento plugins available for user authentication. Then source something that provides this functionality in your Django app.

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