ESciDoc User Account Attributes

From MPDLMediaWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

User Attributes

General Concept

The escidoc core framework must be able to store attributes of users, like the full name or the organizational unit. There are two types of user attributes considered by the core services:

  • external attributes: attributes delivered via ShibbolethLogging-in system for computer networks/LDAPLightweight Directory Access Protocol
  • internal attributes: attributes delivered via user-account-handler-interface-call

Important: a user attribute may have several values e.g. attribute "Location" may have both values of "Munich" and "Karlsruhe"

The user-attributes must be retrievable and updated from the interface of the user-account-handler. The user-attributes are stored as key-value-pairs with key=attribute-name and value=attribute-value.

It must be possible to define groups of users:

  • based on the value of one or more specific user-attributes
    • e.g. to define group of all users belonging to an external orgUnit X plus and have same lastname Y).
    • e.g. to define group of all users which have user attribute "Location" to value "Munich"
  • based on users affiliation to an internal (eSciDocEnhanced Scientific Documentation-managed) organizational unit or children of this organizational unit
    • This is a special case, as eSciDocEnhanced Scientific Documentation manages the organizational unit data as well internally
      • for this purpose we need a reserved name for a user attribute based on which the system would know how to resolve OUOrganizational Unit-based group-definition (for the OUOrganizational Unit and OUOrganizational Unit children).
  • based on users affiliation to an external (non-eSciDocEnhanced Scientific Documentation-managed) organizational unit or children of this organizational unit
    • these user attributes are treated as any other user attribute as their control is out of eSciDocEnhanced Scientific Documentation.

Requirements

  • store user-attributes in the escidoc-core-framework.
    • user-attributes either come from ShibbolethLogging-in system for computer networks, LDAPLightweight Directory Access Protocol (external) or via the user-account-interface of the escidoc-framework (internal).
  • retrieve user-attributes
  • update internal user-attributes
  • define group via key and value of user-attributes.
  • define groups of users belonging to an organizational unit or children of this organizational-unit.
  • define groups based on combination of organizational unit and user-attribute

Database Table

  • user_attribute:
    • contains the user-attributes as key-value
    • fields: primkey, user_id, name, value, internal
would here add also a timestamp of attribute creation and timestamp of last attribute modification

Interface

There will be new methods in the user-account-handler-interface for user-attributes:

  • createAttribute(userId, attributeXml) to create a new internal attribute
  • deleteAttribute(userId, attributeId) to delete an internal attribute
  • retrieveAttribute(userId, attributeId) to retrieve an attribute by it's id
  • retrieveAttributes(userId) to retrieve all internal + external attributes
  • retrieveNamedAttributes(userId, attributeName) to retrieve all internal and external attributes with that name
  • updateAttribute(userId, attributeId, attributeXml) to update an internal attribute

Questions + Remarks

  • ShibbolethLogging-in system for computer networks has to get configured to deliver the desired user-attributes to the core-service. These attributes are transferred/updated with each authentication of the user. These are external attributes.
  • With LDAPLightweight Directory Access Protocol, all attributes stored with the user are read and written as external user-attributes into the core-service database.
  • When defining groups based on user-attributes, the name and value of the user-attribute that defines the group has to match the user-attribute delivered by ShibbolethLogging-in system for computer networks/LDAPLightweight Directory Access Protocol.
  • User-attributes delivered via ShibbolethLogging-in system for computer networks/LDAPLightweight Directory Access Protocol are automatically stored as external attributes in the system whenever the user logs in. If the user formerly logged in via ShibbolethLogging-in system for computer networks/LDAPLightweight Directory Access Protocol and external user-attributes are already stored in the system, these external attributes are deleted and the new attributes are stored.
    • probably here attributes should not be deleted, but updated with the new value, and new attributes should be created.
    • the reasons: by deletion, at some point one may have attribute-based group definition where no attributes existed before, and this will open new more discrepancy, also it is better controllable and testable, i.e. last user log-in etc. --Natasa 14:58, 26 February 2009 (UTCCoordinated Universal Time)
    • imho an attribute should be deleted only in case when it is no longer delivered at all via Shib/LDAPLightweight Directory Access Protocol, in all other cases, value of the attribute should be updated --Natasa 14:58, 26 February 2009 (UTCCoordinated Universal Time)


  • If the user logs in via the core-service-internal authentication mechanism, no user-attributes are written or deleted.
  • There will be one special user-attribute that has to get handled specially: the org-unit-id. This attribute needs a reserved name so the system knows that for this attribute, the children also should be resolved when authenticating via a group.

Questions

  • is it possible for same instance of core-service to have two authentication mechanisms in place at the same time (e.g. both local and LDAPLightweight Directory Access Protocol)?

XMLExtensible Markup Language

Structure of the user-attributes-xml:

<attributes user-objid="escidoc:user42">

<attribute name="email">michael.hoppe@fiz-karlsruhe.de</attribute>

</attributes>


should not this XMLExtensible Markup Language also contain the type of the attribute (internal/external)? --Natasa 14:51, 26 February 2009 (UTCCoordinated Universal Time)