How to interface with third party web site.

I have a problem and am not sure where to start, so I will just pose the issue.

We have hired a third party to host a retail web site, from which customers will order merchandise.  When a user logs in or establishes a new user account, the third party (web host company) will send me to our corporate location the id (presumeably ssn) for authentication from our server.

We cannot allow the third party to connect directly to the DB on our server.  So, I want to have them send an 'authentication request' of sorts.  I would then look up the ID in our DB and send back a 'yes' or 'no' acknowledgement.

Since I do mostly client software and have had little exposure to web apps, what would be the approach that would make the most sense to pass this authentication request and response?
mdreedAsked:
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Ramone_HamiltonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
This sounds like a job for web services without a doubt.  Web services are a pretty much standard way of passing information back in forth between external vendors.  Depending on the version of .NET that you are using you may be able to use WCF or ASMX web services.  

To get a little more in debt I would need to know what type of database that you have.  The reason why I ask is because if you are using a MS SQL database, you can get this set up rather quickly using Entity Framework and WCF Data Services.
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mdreedAuthor Commented:
Using SQL Server and VB.NET 2008.
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mdreedAuthor Commented:
Finally got around to putting a test app together.
Thanks.
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