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Basic idea of flexible authentication can see on Flexible Authentication.

Basic configuration

Flexible authentication is configured in Security Policy, which is used as global security policy in System Configuratin. Base tag is <authentication>.  Configuration consists of modules and sequences. Module is basic building element. Each element has a configuration of a particular authentication element instance. Each modules specified in the container must have unique name. Sequence is a sequence of authentication modules. The modules is invoked in order. The purpose of the sequence is to guide user through a complete authentication process.