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WSO2 Identity Server supports the XACML 3.0 Multiple Decision Profile (MDP), and also supports the hierarchical resource profile. Therefore, you can use MDP requests to authorize hierarchical resources via WSO2 Identity Server.

Let’s take a look at a sample authorization scenario to understand how you can work with MDP requests to authorize resources that are organized in hierarchies.

Consider a sample scenario where a web application needs to verify the actions that a user named Sam is allowed to perform on a resource named index.jsp. Assume that the web application sends only the root resources, and needs to filter out the actions that are permitted in the response and allow them to the user.

The following topics walk you through the steps you need to follow to try out the sample scenario:

Prerequisites

Procedure

Upload and publish the following sample policies to the XACML PDP in WSO2 Identity Server as enabled policies:

Follow the steps below to publish a sample policy to the PDP in WSO2 Identity Server:

  1. Access the WSO2 IS Management Console via https://localhost:9443/carbon/, and sign in using admin/admin as credentials.
  2. Click the Main tab on the Management Console, go to Entitlement -> PAP and then click Policy Administration. The Policy Administration screen appears.
  3. Click Add New Entitlement Policy. This displays the available policy creation methods.
  4. Click Write Policy in XML. This allows you to write a XACML policy based on your requirement using the XML editor.
  5. Add the sample policy and click Save Policy. This adds the sample policy to the Available Entitlement Policies list.

  6. Click Publish to My PDP applicable to the sample policy that you added. This takes you to the Publish Policy screen.
  7. Click Publish. This displays a confirmation message asking whether you want to continue publishing to PDP.
  8. Click Yes. This publishes the policy to the PDP.

After you publish all the sample policies from the given location, you need to create and send a multiple decision request with the scope attribute to see how the policies evaluate the request.

Testing the authorization flow

  1. Create a XACML MDP request similar to the following:

    <Request xmlns="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:3.0:core:schema:wd-17" CombinedDecision="false" ReturnPolicyIdList="false">
    <Attributes Category="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:3.0:attribute-category:action">
    <Attribute AttributeId="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:action:action-id" IncludeInResult="false">
    <AttributeValue DataType="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#string">read</AttributeValue>
    </Attribute>
    </Attributes>
    <Attributes Category="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:subject-category:access-subject">
    <Attribute AttributeId="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:subject:subject-id" IncludeInResult="false">
    <AttributeValue DataType="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#string">asela</AttributeValue>
    </Attribute>
    </Attributes>
    <Attributes Category="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:3.0:attribute-category:resource">
    <Attribute AttributeId="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:2.0:resource:scope" IncludeInResult="false">
    <AttributeValue DataType="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#string">Children</AttributeValue>
    </Attribute>
    <Attribute AttributeId="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:resource:resource-id" IncludeInResult="true">
    <AttributeValue DataType="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#string">index.jsp</AttributeValue>
    </Attribute>
    <Attribute AttributeId="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:resource:root-resource-id" IncludeInResult="false">
    <AttributeValue DataType="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#string">index.jsp</AttributeValue>
    </Attribute>
    </Attributes>
    </Request>

    This is a multiple decision request with the scope attribute.

    Following are a few important points to note with regard to the above request:

    • The root resource of the XACML request is identified by the attribute values with the resource category (i.e urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:3.0:attribute-category:resource) and the default resource id (i.e urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:resource:resource-id).
    • The scope element of the XACML request is identified by the category urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:3.0:attribute-category:resource and attribute id urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:2.0:resource:scope.
    • The scope value can either be Children or Descendants. Descendants mean all the resources under the root resource. Children mean only the level 1 descendants. However, this depends on your resource finder implementation.

    • This request sends the root resource name as a different attribute (i.e., Attribute id is different. In general, attribute id can be any id depending on the policy. Here, it is urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:resource:root-resource-id) because the polices are written that way, and the PDP expects it to be that way for evaluation.

    • In the request, IncludeInResult is important to distinguish the results of the XACML response, and It is specified in the root resource element so that the XACML response would contain all child/descendant resources.

  2. Use either the PEP TryIt  tool invoke the PDP, or invoke the getDecision method of the PDP API using SOAP UI.

Analyzing the response

You will see a response that contains authorization decisions for all actions that the user Sam is allowed to perform. It will be similar to the following:

<Response>
<Result>
<Decision>Permit</Decision>
<Status>
<StatusCode Value="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:status:ok"/>
</Status>
<Attributes Category="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:3.0:attribute-category:action">
<Attribute AttributeId="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:action:action-id" IncludeInResult="true">
<AttributeValue DataType="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#string">view-welcome</AttributeValue>
</Attribute>
</Attributes>
</Result>
<Result>
<Decision>Deny</Decision>
<Status>
<StatusCode Value="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:status:ok"/>
</Status>
<Attributes Category="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:3.0:attribute-category:action">
<Attribute AttributeId="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:action:action-id" IncludeInResult="true">
<AttributeValue DataType="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#string">modify-summary</AttributeValue>
</Attribute>
</Attributes>
</Result>
<Result>
<Decision>Permit</Decision>
<Status>
<StatusCode Value="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:status:ok"/>
</Status>
<Attributes Category="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:3.0:attribute-category:action">
<Attribute AttributeId="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:action:action-id" IncludeInResult="true">
<AttributeValue DataType="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#string">view-summary</AttributeValue>
</Attribute>
</Attributes>
</Result>
<Result>
<Decision>Permit</Decision>
<Status>
<StatusCode Value="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:status:ok"/>
</Status>
<Attributes Category="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:3.0:attribute-category:action">
<Attribute AttributeId="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:action:action-id" IncludeInResult="true">
<AttributeValue DataType="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#string">view-status</AttributeValue>
</Attribute>
</Attributes>
</Result>
<Result>
<Decision>Deny</Decision>
<Status>
<StatusCode Value="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:status:ok"/>
</Status>
<Attributes Category="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:3.0:attribute-category:action">
<Attribute AttributeId="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:action:action-id" IncludeInResult="true">
<AttributeValue DataType="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#string">modify-welcome</AttributeValue>
</Attribute>
</Attributes>
</Result>
</Response>

If you take a look at the response, you will see multiple decisions within the same XACML response, and you can distinguish each decision using the attribute values that are returned. 

This shows that the XACML engine extracts the child resources corresponding to the root resources.

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