Permission Resolution

Consider, for instance, the following security policy:

Consider also a user belonging to both admin and manager roles.

What does the following call return?

boolean result = authzManager.authorize(perspective1, user);

This is a conflictive scenario wich requires to understand how the permission resolution mechanism works.

Voting strategy

The AuthorizationManager interface provides different voting strategies. A voting strategy is a very simple algorithm that given a partial list of results chooses a winner. There exists 4 available strategies:

Strategy Description
AFFIRMATIVE It is the most lenient strategy. Only a single positive vote is required
CONSENSUS It is based on general agreement. It requires a majority of positive votes
UNANIMOUS It is the least lenient strategy. It requires a 100% of positive votes
PRIORITY It is based on role/group priorities. The highest priority result wins

The voting strategy can be passed as a parameter to any of the methods provided by the AuthorizationManager. For example:

boolean result = authzManager.authorize(perspective1, user, VotingStrategy.AFFIRMATIVE);

Given the example at the beginning of this section, the answer to the question varies depending on the strategy chosen:

Strategy Result
PRIORITY (Role priority, see below)

When no voting strategy is passed as a parameter then the system's default voting strategy is used, which can be read or changed as follows:

PermissionManager permissionManager;

int defaultStrategy = permissionManager.getDefaultVotingStrategy();

Notice, the system is configured by default to use the VotingStrategy.PRIORITY

Role priority

The PRIORITY based strategy is a bit special since it requires to set a priority level for each role within the security policy. If no priority is defined then the value 0 is taken.

Given so, the answer to the question at the initial of this section would be true since the two roles have priority=0, in such case the first role (admin) is taken, which means result=true.

Now consider the following changes to the policy:


In this case the result would be false since the manager role has higher priority.

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