Authorization

This document covers information about authorization and how permissions handled

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TL;DR

Authorization VS. Authentication - While Authentication is the process of ascertaining that a user really is who he claims to be, Authorization refers to rules that determine who is allowed to do what (e.g. Jane may be authorized to create and delete databases, while John is only authorised to read).

wunderbon uses a simple Role and Scope based access control system (RBAC/ABAC). A Role is a composition of Scope based access rights. A Scope is either the representation of an entity (e.g. User, Identifier, Location, ...), the representation of a collection of entities or a group of different kind of entities. Access rights are subdivided into Create, Read, Update and Delete permissions.

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Access Rights

The access rights for each entity will be split by the well known CRUD principle into the following 4 basic operations and its respective permission to execute it:

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Permissions

  • Create (c)
  • Read (r)
  • Update (u)
  • Delete (d)

An example of scope definitions for the entity User:

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Entity User (as Example)

Permissions regarding single entity:

  • user:create
  • user:read
  • user:update
  • user:delete

Permissions regarding collection(s) of entity:

  • users:read

This example shows the CRUD operations which are reflected by their HTTP-Methods or -Verbs (POST, GET, PATCH, DELETE).

Possession

The ownership or possession is important when applying RBAC/ABAC rules on endpoints (resources/entities).

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Owner (special scope)

Owner will inherit automatically ${entity}:delete or other (e.g. ${entity}:update if available) when calling an owned entity through a provided endpoint.

This special scope takes place where ever a user is the owner of an entity. For example - if a user creates a new Identifier (Loyalty-Card or something like that) then he will of course take the ownership of this new Identifier in his account. So if he now sends a Delete request, then the ACL will only need to check if the owner of the resource being requested for deletion is in ownership of the calling user.

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Any (special scope)

As opposite and for the Ying and Yang equality, there is another special scope. This one is the opposite to owner. Every resource that is not covered by the primary scope owner is covered by any. As an example: While a User entity is protected and can only be accessed by the user itself or a wunderbon Administrator, a Location entity of a Merchant is treated as public good and so it is scoped as any. Every user of wunderbon is allowed to read all Locations through the Location endpoint.


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