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using pre-existing certificates for accounts

edited December 2009 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
I'm trying to use vanilla to set up a school-wide forum at my university. All the students already have certificates, and I want to leverage those to allow students to log into their accounts on my forum.

One idea I had was to have a separate page detect the certificate, and, upon detection, install a cookie for the forum (i.e. log them in). But I'm not sure what to do for registration--I don't want to have to approve registrations; it would be nice if the first time their certificate is read an account is created for them (probably with an autogenerated password that gets emailed to them). Does this sound like a good strategy and does anyone have suggestions for how to solve this registration problem?

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