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    bedrock-permission

    3.2.0 • Public • Published

    bedrock-permission

    Build Status

    A bedrock module that provides an API for managing access control to resources via configurable permissions and roles. It is most commonly used with the bedrock-identity module.

    Requirements

    • npm v3+

    Quick Examples

    npm install bedrock-permission
    

    The following example shows how to configure permissions and roles for a system where an identity is assigned a role to grant it the permission to edit other identities. Suppose the following permission and role are configured:

    var config = require('bedrock').config;
     
    var permissions = config.permission.permissions;
    permissions.IDENTITY_EDIT = {
      id: 'IDENTITY_EDIT',
      label: 'Edit Identity',
      comment: 'Required to edit an Identity.'
    };
     
    var roles = config.permission.roles;
    roles['identity.manager'] = {
      id: 'identity.manager',
      label: 'Identity Manager',
      comment: 'Role for managing identities.',
      sysPermission: ['IDENTITY_EDIT']
    };

    Now to test to see if an entity with the role identity.manager, that isn't restricted to any particular resource, has the permission to edit any identity we can do:

    var permission = require('bedrock-permission');
     
    permission.createPermissionTable(
      [{sysRole:'identity.manager'}], function(err, table) {
      permission.checkPermission(table, 'IDENTITY_EDIT', function(err) {
        if(err) {
          console.log('permission denied');
        } else {
          console.log('permission granted');
        }
      });
    });

    To restrict a role to a particular resource and check against that resource we can do:

    var permission = require('bedrock-permission');
     
    permission.createPermissionTable([{
      sysRole:'identity.manager',
      resource: 'http://example.com/i/foo'
    }], function(err, table) {
      permission.checkPermission(
        table, 'IDENTITY_EDIT', {resource: 'http://example.com/i/foo'},
        function(err) {
          if(err) {
            console.log('permission denied');
          } else {
            console.log('permission granted');
          }
        });
    });

    When using the bedrock-identity module, roles will be stored in a database for a particular identity and permission tables will be cached and reused when checking a number of different permissions for the identity.

    For example, suppose the identity.manager role is assigned to the identity http://example.com/i/member for the identity http://example.com/i/org. This models granting permission to a member of an organization to edit aspects of that organization's identity. Actors that include a sysPermissionTable or sysResourceRole may be passed to permission.checkPermission.

    For example, the following bedrock-identity API call can be used before updating an identity:

    var brIdentity = require('bedrock-identity');
     
    var PERMISSIONS = config.permission.permissions;
    brIdentity.get(null, 'http://example.com/i/member', (err, actor) => {
      if(err) {
        // handle error ...
      }
      brIdentity.checkPermission(
        actor, PERMISSIONS.IDENTITY_EDIT,
        {resource: 'http://example.com/i/org'}, callback);
      // ...
    });

    A more complicated check could be made against resources the identity owns:

    var brIdentity = require('bedrock-identity');
     
    var PERMISSIONS = config.permission.permissions;
    brIdentity.get(null, 'http://example.com/i/member', (err, actor) => {
      if(err) {
        // handle error ...
      }
      var resource = {
        id: 'http://example.com/i/org/keys/1',
        owner: 'http://example.com/i/org'
      };
      brIdentity.checkPermission(
        actor, PERMISSIONS.IDENTITY_EDIT,
        {resource: resource, translate: 'owner'}, callback);
      // ...
    });

    How It Works

    Overview

    The permission system is driven by configuration options and an API. The permission configuration defines roles and permissions. The API allows checks on permissions.

    Permissions

    A permission refers to an action or class of actions that can be taken in Bedrock. Permissions have identifiers and meta information associated with them such as descriptions for what the permissions are for. The permission system's API is only concerned with permission identifiers. Permissions are used to control resources. Permissions may be aggregated under what is referred to as a role.

    Roles

    A role is a collection of permissions. An association between a role and a set of resource identifiers is referred to as a resource role. Resource roles can be assigned to identities in order to grant identities certain permissions for particular resources. In its simplest form a resource role grants all of the permissions in its role for all of the resource identifiers it lists. However, resource access control can be further abstracted via the API. When checking to see if an identity has been granted a particular permission for a resource, the API allows translation functions to be given that can use other properties of the resource to determine which resource identifiers should be checked against the permission.

    For example, an identity may have a resource role that contains the permission to edit a resource, R. When code is written for editing that resource, the permission API may be used to check to see if the acting identity (the identity attempting the edit) has been granted the permission to edit the resource. However, it could alternatively be implemented to instead check the resource's "owner" property and use the identifier it finds there instead when running the permission check. This, in effect, means that if the identity has been granted permission to edit a resource R, it can edit any resources that R owns (via the code that is using the permission API in this way).

    Permission Table

    When checking a permission, the permission API requires a permission table. This table is created by processing a set of resource roles. For each resource role, all of the permissions are saved in the table and mapped either to the value 'true' if the permissions are granted for all resources, or mapped to another table of resource identifiers that are themselves mapped to the value 'true'.

    Actor

    In bedrock, the typical usage pattern for checking permissions occurs when an actor attempts to perform an action on a resource. An actor is any identity as defined via bedrock-identity. In order to check to see if an actor has a permission to act on a resource, it may be passed to the checkPermission API, provided that its sysResourceRole or sysPermissionTable has been set.

    The bedrock-identity get API will create and cache the retrieved identity's (aka actor) permission table. When this actor is passed to the checkPermission API, it will check the table to see if a particular permission exists. If it does, and the actor is granted the permission for all resources, the permission check succeeds. Otherwise, if a resource or set of resources has been given to the API, these must be checked. In order to check resources, first a translate function, if given, is applied to determine which identifiers should be looked for in the table for the given resources. This translation can be arbitrary; the default behavior is to use the identifiers for the resources themselves. There are some built-in options that allow different properties of the resources (eg: 'owner') to be scanned to find alternative identifiers. If a look up of the resource is necessary to check those properties, a custom function may be provided to obtain that information during identifier translation.

    Once the identifiers for the resources have been determined, they are checked against the actor's permission table as well. If they exist, the permission check will pass, if not, it will fail. There are variants of this where options to the API may specify that only one must pass or they must all pass, etc.

    Keywords

    Install

    npm i bedrock-permission

    DownloadsWeekly Downloads

    308

    Version

    3.2.0

    License

    SEE LICENSE IN LICENSE.md

    Unpacked Size

    50.9 kB

    Total Files

    15

    Last publish

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