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Deep help

Hi everybody
I'm completely new in LDAP and Directories. I have the following situation.
I'm building a portal with free web-mail access. The portal is in Windows 2000 Server with IIS and access a database in SQL Server. In the other hand, the mail server is in a Red Hat Linux 7.2 box with sendmail and webmail, the mail users are store in a MySQL database. As all portals do, we offer several services and we want to establish a single sign-on for all the services. The problem is that we have the mail users separated from the other services's users located in the SQL Server database, so when a user log to the Mail Server we have to log by program in the SQL Server to garantize that if the user want to use another services don't have to log-on again. I heard that if I use a directory the user can log into it so the single sign-on is resolved.
The questions without answer for me are the following:
- If I install a directory in the linux Box (for example OpenLDAP) and install a directory in Windows (for example Active Directory) could they communicate each other and share information ?. If this is the case, what should I do ?
- In the Linux Box, can I configure the Web-mail to log the users into the OpenLDAP server instead of into the MySQL Database?. Could I blend the MySQL DB with the OpenLDAP or I have to enter the user one by one into the directory?
- Can I create a global database that the two platforms could access?. I mean a global directory with the user data.
Please I ask you to forgive me if I talk about senseless things.
I hope somebody have the patience to explain all this to me.
Thanks a lot