Users/Groups Managment

Is there an effective way to use the non-privileged users on a system
account to use as authentication?

For instance I want to build a internal web application that uses the
information from the passwd and shadow file for user information and
groups for group information. If that information could already be
filled that would save a lot of time.

This application will handle the configuration and setup of a
jumpstart server on solaris.

There is a ruby PAM module, but have no idea if it will compile
against solaris pam libraries, they are probably different then the
linux ones.

Chris