IDM use-cases and requirements

Version 1

    (Copy of initial DeltaSpike IDM requirements from here)

    Use-cases

    Authentication

    Scenario

    The user must be able to log in by supplying a username and password

    Example JSF code:

     

    Username: <h:inputText value="#{credentials.username}"/> Password: <h:inputSecret id="password" value="#{credentials.password}"/> <h:commandButton value="LOGIN" action="#{identity.login}"/> 

     

    Scenario

    The user must be able to log out

    Example JSF code:

     

    <h:commandButton value="LOGOUT" action="#{identity.logout}"/> 

     

    Scenario

    The developer must be able to easily implement their own custom authentication logic using a provided SPI

    Example

     

    public class SimpleAuthenticator extends BaseAuthenticator implements Authenticator { @Inject Credentials credentials;  @Override public void authenticate() { if ("demo".equals(credentials.getUsername()) && credentials.getCredential() instanceof PasswordCredential && "demo".equals(((PasswordCredential) credentials.getCredential()).getValue())) { setStatus(AuthenticationStatus.SUCCESS); setUser(new SimpleUser("demo")); } else { setStatus(AuthenticationStatus.FAILURE); } } } 

     

    Scenario

    It should be possible to provide an optional password service to create a password-hash based on the given password which will be stored instead of the real password.
    Maybe there should be different default implementations (provided via qualifiers).

    Scenario

    The developer needs to authenticate application users stored inside corporate LDAP server.

    Scenario

    The developer must be able to easily support alternative authentication providers, such as those supporting services such as OpenID or token based authentication. Those can be more complex then just “username/password” scenario and require redirects to or communication with specific external ISP (Identity Service Provider)

    Examples:

    • Web SSO, Desktop SSO (SPNEGO), SAML...
    • Open ID
    • OAuth
    • REST
    • Token based
    • Service authenticating to application

    Requirements:Well thought API and SPI that doesn’t limit integration with those.
    For some of those technologies where authentication is token based identity model needs to be capable of persisting needed information - token and reference to specific identity provider.
    Ability to implement own authenticator that have access to IDM and Securtiy/Permissions API in it.
    Provide automatic mapping between attributes returned by the Identity provider, and attributes stored in the local Identity store.
    Allow authentication from alternative view technologies, (i.e. AJAX)

    Scenario

    The user must be able to authenticate automatically using a “Remember Me” feature, based on a unique cookie value stored by the user’s browser. For authentication performed in this manner, it must be also possible for the developer to configure a validation policy, which determines whether the user is required to provide their actual credentials for critical application operations such as changing passwords or e-mail address, placing orders, etc.The validation policy should also determine how long the validation window lasts, with some possible options being:

    • Validated for this request only
    • Validated for X minutes
    • Validated until end of session

    Scenario

    The developer must be able to easily integrate with AS security layer (JAAS/JAAC). Ideally by plugging DeltaSpike security into LoginModule stack.

    Impersonalization

    Scenario

    Administrator needs to verify assigned access, applied changes or exposed resources for specific user. He authenticates “as a user” or access application imitating his identity - without knowing his password.Examples:

    • Facebook, see your profile as user 'bob'
    • Mary is away from the office and someone needs to execute something on her behalf

    Authorization

    Scenario

    The developer must be able to control which elements of the user interface are displayed to the user based on the user's privilege level

    Example JSF code:

     

    <div class="menu"> <h:commandLink value="Admin functions" rendered="#{identity.hasRole('admin', 'APPLICATION')}" action="..."/> </div> 

     

    Scenario

    The developer must be able to control which elements of the user interface are displayed to the user based on their assigned permissions

    Example JSF code:

     

    <table class="customers"> <ui:repeat value="#{customerSearch.customers}" var="#{customer}"> <tr> <td>#{customer.firstName}</td> <td>#{customer.lastName}</td> <td><h:commandButton value="Edit" rendered="#{identity.hasPermission(customer, 'EDIT')}" action="..."/> </tr> </ui:repeat> </table> 

     

    Scenario

    Sometimes developer may not have available instance of resource, which he wants to protect. It may be useful to ask for permission without need to obtain object from DB. It might be useful to have method: identity.hasPermission(String resourceType, String resourceId, String permission) in addition to current identity.hasPermission(Object resource, String permission)

    Example JSF code:

     

         <h:commandButton value="Edit page" rendered="#{identity.hasPermission('PAGE', 'AcmePage', 'EDIT')}" action="..."/> 

     

    Scenario

    The developer must be able to restrict method access based on the user's privilege level.
    Example:

    (Already addressed with typesafe security annotations, e.g. @SecurityBindingType)

    Scenario

    The framework must provide a system for resolving object permissions, and the developer must have access to an SPI for easily providing their own custom permission resolver logic.

    Scenario

    The user (with the necessary privileges) must be able assign permissions to individual objects within the application’s business domain (i.e. ACL style permissions) and have these permissions persisted. These permissions should:

    • Be assignable to either the individual user, a group, or a role
    • Be stored using an identifier that is unique for the object that the permission is being granted for
    • Have configurable identifier policies, i.e. Entity beans will use an identifier based on the primary key value
    • Have a configurable permission store, i.e. it must be possible to store permissions in a database using JPA, etc.

    Scenario

    Further to the previous requirement, there must be an API for managing persistent permissions. Operations performed by the user on this API (such as granting or revoking permissions to/from other users) may be subjected to an additional security check.

    Scenario

    The developer needs to perform authorization checks based on information stored in corporate LDAP server or dedicated database. This external store contains information about all company employees and maps hierarchy including groups present in the organization with information about their members.Company has a Windows domain and whole security model build around structure of group of users stored in Microsoft Active Directory. Application developer needs to integrate security with this information.
    Examples:

    • Restrict access to employees: identityManager.getUser(userName).hasRole(“member”, “/organization/employees”);
    • Restrict access to publishing content only to marketing
    • identityManager.hasRole(“member”,“john”,”/organization/departments/marketing”);
    • Restrict adding new members to a group only for its administrator
    • identityManager.hasRole(“administrator”, “john”, “/some/specific/group”);

    Scenario

    The developer needs to control access to application resources based on structure of groups and user roles

    Scenario

    Web application has a number of resources that needs to be secured with more fine grained security model. Invoking operations on a given resource needs to be restricted with a given permission. User can inherit set of permissions to the given resource from group to which he belongs or from role he posses.Examples:

    • Application has a structure of pages and needs to restrict access to specific ones
    • Application wants to only allow specific operations on given resource
    • User can add new customers only if it has CREATE permission on Customer resource.
    • User can review and approve new content pending to be published if he has VALIDATE permission assigned for Announcements resource. User inherits this permission because it is member of group “/organization/senior_managers”
      *User belongs to group “/operators/content_creator”. Therefore he inherits a set of permissions (CREATE, EDIT, REMOVE) to add new content on specified page in the application.

    Requirements:

    Permissions model

    Scenario

    Application has a structure of resources. Permissions assigned to user for a given resource in the tree are inherited by other resources. User is able to edit all sub resources based on permissions assigned to parent resource.Example:

    • Application has structure of pages.
    • User assigned to manage specific page should also be able to manage all sub pages.
    • Permissions are inherited.

    Scenario

    Application persists a structure of groups and users that have roles in those groups. Application developer needs to have some permissions related to one group be inherited by their sub groups.Example:

    • Group “/organization” has assigned READ permission associated with “Corporate news” page
    • Group “/organization/it_dept” has assigned READ and CREATE permission associated with “IT Security Event Logs” page in the application.
    • All users with role in “/organizaiton/it_dept” will be able to read “Corporate news” page because READ permission will be inherited from “/organization” group.

    Scenario

    The developer needs to define several types of contexts in which user is connected with a given group to enable flexible authorization of different types of performed operations

    Example:

    John is an “administrator” of “/communities/base_jumping” group and can perform administrative tasks on resources connected with this group
    John is a “member” of “/communities/base_jumping” group and he can access and read resources connected with this group
    John is a “content validator” of “/communities/base_jumping” group and he will be asked to authorize any new content on pages related to this group before it gets published.

    In all examples described above single group can have several users with same role.

    This specifically can be addressed with the Domain ACL type approach, as prototyped in Seam Security:

    One of the biggest problems of Java web app security to date, and what will also be a problem in our framework, is that Java EE, Seam Security have not been able to satisfy a very common type of Authentication, domain authentication, and have focused solely on global role-based security authorisation:

    E.g: Global authentication is "Is the user an Admin of the application," as opposed to domain authentication, which asks, "Is the user an Admin of this Domain Object,"

    Developers typically have to implement their own security system (via direct method calls, or etc...) for this type of business logic.

    REST endpoint or RPC: (Lincoln's prototyped API - functional in Seam Security)

     

        @SecurityBinding public @interface ProjectAdmin { // empty     }  @SecurityMethodBinding public @interface ProjectBinding { // empty     }  @ProjectAdmin public void updateName(@ProjectBinding Project p, String name) { // save project name     }  @Secures @ProjectAdmin public boolean isProjectAdmin(@ProjectBinding Project p, Identity identity) { if(identity.hasRole("project" + p.getId() + "_admin") { ... } } 

     

    Note that the @Project annotation is not a CDI bean Qualifier / Stereotype annotation, it is a method parameter security binding annotation that tells Seam Security to use the value of the Project passed to the method call in the security binding check itself.

    Scenario

    The developer needs to define single user or group that will serve as super users (aka root users. Those will have any available permissions.

    Example:

    • identity.isRootUser()
    • identityManager.getRootUsers();

    Scenario

    Application needs to authorize access based on inherited group membership.Example:Access to information about new trips is restricted to members of “/communities/hiking” group
    Users being members of “/communities/hiking/instructors”, “/communities/hiking/juniors” and /communities/hiking/seniors” will inherit membership in group “/communities/hiking” and gain access to information about new trips.
    On the other hand, access to information about climbing trips should not be available to juniors. So in this case, we want to have it available only for “/communities/hiking” but not for “/communities/hiking/juniors”. So it might be useful if group inheritance is configurable for individual resources.
    Example: You can configure that info about classic trips is available for “/communities/hiking*” which would mean /communities/hiking and all it’s subgroups. On the other hand info about climbing trips is available only for individual groups “/communities/hiking” and “/communities/hiking/seniors” as we don’t want to have group inheritance here.
    For this climbing usecase, it may be useful to DENY permission available from parent groups.
    Example: You can configure that info about climbing trips will be available for “/communities/hiking*” but permission is denied for members for “/communites/hiking/juniors”. In this case, groups “/commuinites/hiking”, “/communities/hiking/instructors”, “/communities/hiking/seniors” will have permission. Members of group “/communities/hiking/juniors” won’t hav permission.

    Scenario

    The developer may want to have permissions based on other criterias than only roles/groups. Some of these requirements can be handled by XACML integration mentioned below.

    • I want page "hobby" to be accessible for employees only after 6pm, to enforce that my employees won't go to hobby page during their working time.
    • I want forum portlet with "Retiree forum" to be accessible only for users older than 60 years. Only exceptions can be "/platform/administrators" group, whose members can access page everytime regardless of their age.

    Scenario

    The developer needs to integrate application with more advanced security resolution mechanisms.Examples:

    • Rules based engine to resolve permissions
    • Integration with external services - XACML architecture with separate Policy Enforcement Point, Policy Decision Point and Policy Store.
    • Simplified model where permissions are hardcoded and resolved based on information about group membership.

    Requirements:Well thought API/SPI that doesn’t limit such integration.

    Scenario

    The developer needs to expose part of application features to be accessible by external services and authorize their access.

    Delegated Administration

    Scenario

    Web application has a number of user groups or resources that needs to be managed. It is desired that management permission to only part of those are delegated to specific userExamples:

    • User gets administration privileges for specific group of users
    • User gets administration privileges for specific set of application resources (group of pages
    • User gets administration privileges to all sub groups of specific group - can include all users belonging there
    • User gets administration privileges to sub resources - all sub pages in navigation hierarchy

    Requirements:

    Advanced enough security and identity model to map required permissions

    Identity Management (IDM)

    All use cases with strong focus around concepts and operations on User, Group and Role

    Scenario

    Application needs to expose basic user management capabilities. To register new user, edit profile and remove old users. Basic provisioning and management API for user, group and role.

    Examples:

     

    User johnUser = identityManager.createUser(“john); johnUser.setEmail(“john@acme.com”); johnUser.enable(); johnUser.addRole(“member”, “/employees”); johnUser.setAttribute(“manager”, “Max Kowalski”); 

     

    Scenario

    Application needs to enable groups management capabilities. Administrators must be able to map organization structure in the application to be able to set proper security restrictions

    Examples:

     

    Group parisOffice = identityManager.createGroup(“paris”, “/global/offices/emea/”); parisOffice.addRole(“manager”, “ John Doe”); parisOffice.setAttribute(“displayName”, “Paris Office”); parisOffice.setAttribute(“address, “......”); 

     

    Scenario

    Application needs to enable group based security that maps relationships from real organization structure. Therefore users need to be associated with specific groups in organization hierarchy and have defined roles in context of those groups

    Examples:

     

    Group itsec = identityManager.createGroup(“itsec”, “/organization/engineering/security”); itsec.addRole(“manager”, “johnDoe”); Group hr = identityManager.createGroup(“hr”, “/organization”); hr.addRole(“supervisor”, “aliceDoe”); hr.addRole(“headhunter”, “chrisDoe”); aliceDoe.hasRole(“headhunter”); List<User> headHunters = identityManager.createUserQuery().setRole(“headhunter”).sort(true).setRange(Range.of(0,50).execute(); 

     

    Scenario

    Application needs to expose capabilities to associate authenticated user with specific roles in application context.

    Examples:

     

    identity.addApplicationRole(“SuperUser”); identity.addApplicationRole(“Authenticated”); 

     

    Scenario

    The developer needs to query user, groups and roles in a way that will not affect performance. He needs to sync into database 500k user entries from corporate LDAP server and quite big group structure. Methods like identityManager.getAllUsers() will be performance bottlenecs. The developer needs to obtain pagainated and sorted results.

    Examples:

     

    identityManager.createGroupQuery().setRelatedUser(“john”).setParentGroup(“/offices”).sort(true).setRange(Range.of(0,10)).execute(); 

     

    Scenario

    The developer needs to query user by unique attribute (email) and group membership when “new user registration” form is submitted in the application.

    Examples:

     

    identityManager.createUserQuery().setRelatedGroup(“/employees”).setAttributeFilter(“personal.email”, values).setRange(Range.of(0.100)); 

     

    Scenario

    The developer needs to persist user, group and role information in database. JPA implementation is his dream.

    Scenario

    The developer want to give freedom to plug different type of identityStore into his application in the future. Not all identity store expose equal operations for pagination, sorting or querying by attributes. He needs to design his GUI so it can query underlying IdentityStore if specific operations are supported.

    Examples:

     

    identityManager.getSupportedFeatures().isUserSortSupported(); identityManager.getSupportedFeatures().isUserQueryPaginationSupported(); 

     

    Events

    Scenario

    Application developer needs to add specific hooks for common IDM or Security operations

    Examples:

    Audit and logging for permission and IDM related changes or information resolution
    Assigning specific permissions for every user that was added to the given group
    Synchronization based integration with LDAP. All changes to users and groups are synced back to external store. On specific event LDAP is queried for a changelog and based on that changes from external store are synced to the internal store.

    Requirements:

    Event API.

    Personalization

    This is not fully related to security but it is tightly coupled with identity model that is already in place

    Scenario

    The developer needs to let application users set their own locale. He also needs to set default ones per group of users. For case that user is member of more groups, we need to specify which group will have priority for determining the defaultLocale (or other attribute) for user. Some groups can be ignored.
    Examples:

    Group “/application_users” have attribute “defalutLocale”. All users with role “member” in this group inherit this attribute. Each user can override this value
    User is member of “/application_users” and “/partners” . Group “/application_users” has default locale “fr” and group “/partners” has default locale “en”. We assume that “/application_users” has bigger priority so defaultLocale of user will be “fr”.

    Scenario

    The developer needs to let application users set their own skin in their application. He also needs to set default skins per group of users.
    Examples:

    Groups “/vendors”, “/partners” and “/employees” have different value of attribute “defaultSkin”. Their members inherit this attribute value.

    LDAP or External Identity Store Integration

    Integrating external identity store is a common scenario for application developers. Most common case is corporate LDAP or MSAD hosting users in Windows Domain. However other custom solutions like Web Service or REST based services for IDM are often spotted in organizations.

    There are 3 ways such internal store can be integrated. At least “Direct Integration” and “Synchronization” scenarios need to be addressed

    Scenario - Direct Integration

    In such case application developer replaces default JPA based identity store implementation with custom one.

    Few limitations apply in such case. Different identity storage services (even LDAP) have certain limitations in compare to full blown IDM framework API. For example LDAP cannot flexibly store any type of attribute unless LDAP schema is extended - which is often not possible in the organization and restricted by administrators. Other example is no direct or easy mapping of roles - just simple notion if user is member of a group or not. Some of strict LDAP schema implementations doesn’t allow group without any member.

    Other limitation is typically less flexible query mechanism. For example in LDAP you cannot easily perform efficient query with multiple conditions that would be sorted and paginated. With flexible Query API and big number of identity entries in the store it is a rising issue. Implementing rich IDM API/SPI can easily create performance bottlenecks

    Scenario - Identity Store Routing

    In this scenario application developer implements routing to invoke methods on several identity stores and merge results. In simplest case part of user attributes (limited by LDAP schema) and information about user roles are kept in JPA implementation. Users and groups can be created in external store based on routing configuration.

    Limitations described in previous scenario still apply in this scenario. Additionally it is easy to introduce serious performance bottlenecks. For example If developer allows situation of having some users stored in database and some in LDAP then queries become non trival. Any kind of more complex query may involve retrieving all results from both sources, merging and applying sort and pagination in the second step. With 500k entries in directory it is impossible to perform such queries efficiently.

    Scenario - Synchronization

    In this scenario all identities are always kept in default JPA based identity store. All queries are performed on it. External identity store content is synchronized based on scheduled plan or event system. Many modern LDAP stores expose feature called “changelog”. It is possible to obtain small delta of frequent changes to apply.

    Still some operations like authentication are performed directly on external store. Reason is that modern authentication systems won’t expose password but just validatePassword type of operation.

    Examples:

    • During user authentication LDAP is queried if user profile or group assignment was updated and this information is synced into default identity store.
    • During identity.setAttribute() operation external store is also updated.
    • During any “write” operation external store is updated with applied change.
    • Scheduler is triggering synchronizing operation.
    • There is manual synchronization hook that can be invoked to trigger synchronization when administrator update information in external store.