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Identity Context

When an Authorizer evaluates a policy, it receives an Identity Context from the calling application. The type property of that Identity Context instructs the Authorizer how to identify the user:

  • IDENTITY_TYPE_NONE: the policy is evaluated without a user context (input.user is empty)
  • IDENTITY_TYPE_SUB: the user context is passed in as an OAuth subject
  • IDENTITY_TYPE_JWT: the user context is passed in as a JWT access token

Passing a user identity#

In the IDENTITY_TYPE_SUB and IDENTITY_TYPE_JWT cases, the Authorizer will treat the identity string as a OAuth subject or a JWT access, respectively. In the case of a JWT access token, the Authorizer will extract the sub (subject) claim, whereas IDENTITY_TYPE_SUB indicates that the identity string already contains a subject.

Once the Authorizer has obtained the subject, it will use it as a key and look up the user in its local directory instance (known as the Edge Directory Service, or EDS). It will then load the user object identified by the identity context and make it available to the Policy as input.user.

For a user-facing API (for example, a back-end REST API that requires a JSON Web Token (JWT) in the Authorization header), the caller will often extract the sub claim from the JWT and use it in the identity field. That said, the identity can be any key that is used by the Identity Provider to identify the user.

Setting the Identity Context#

The is, query, and decisiontree API calls all take an identityContext map:

POST .../api/v1/authz/is

{  "identityContext": {    "identity": "[aserto-user-guid]",    "type": "IDENTITY_TYPE_SUB"  }, ...}

To access the properties of the user in a policy, you can use input.user:

package sample.GET.api.ordersdefault allowed = false
# only allow salespeopleallowed {  input.user.attributes.properties.department == "Sales"}

Using other JWT claims in a policy#

Note that the identityContext is available as input.identity. If the policy wants to extract additional claims out of a JWT and use them in the policy, it can readily do so.

Assuming the following identityContext:

POST .../api/v1/authz/is

{  "identityContext": {    "identity": "[JWT that could contain a 'manager' claim]",    "type": "IDENTITY_TYPE_JWT"  }, ...}

The following policy will extract the JWT using the io.jwt.decode() Rego built-in, make it available as token.payload, and use claims in the payload within the policy:

package sample.GET.api.ordersdefault allowed = false
# Helper to get the token payloadtoken = {"payload": payload} {  [header, payload, signature] := io.jwt.decode(input.identity.identity)}
# only allow sales managers allowed {  input.user.attributes.properties.department == "Sales"  token.payload.manager}