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WSO2 API Manager provides the capability to authorize users based on OAuth 2.0 tokens and this mechanism can be extended to provide role-based access control using OAuth 2.0 scopes. However, as opposed to using OAuth 2.0 scope to provide authorization, XACML provides a standardized way of validating authorization requests. Authorization policies can be written in a standardized way using XACML and can be stored and managed through a policy administration point (PAP). Since the policies are standardized, policies written to one XACML engine can be ported to another engine from a different vendor without any issue. Similarly, XACML provides more control on how access should be enforced as different parameters and possibilities can be evaluated. XACML also provides ‘Obligations’ and ‘Advice’ as part of the XACML response that can be used by the API Manager when enforcing the policy decision to implement fine-grained access control for APIs.

How XACML is used with WSO2 API Manager

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