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Writing a Custom Policy Info Point

According to the XACML reference architecture, PIP (Policy Info Point) is the system entity that acts as a source of attribute values. Basically if there are missing attributes in the XACML request sent by PEP (Policy Enforcement Point), PIP would find them for the PDP (Policy Decision Point) to evaluate the policy.

This topic provides instructions on how to write a simple PIP attribute finder module to plug in to the WSO2 Identity Server. There are two ways that you can write a PIP attribute finder module.

  1. By implementing the PIPAttributeFinder interface. You can find the latest interface here.
  2. By extending the AbstractPIPAttributeFinder abstract class You can find the latest abstract class here.

Of the above methods, it would be easier to extend the AbstractPIPAttributeFinder abstract class and write a PIP attribute finder module.

Sample scenario

K-Market is an online trading company that has control over online trading based on the customer’s privileges and attributes of the customers. These attributes can be age, email, etc. To achieve Attribute-based Access Control (ABAC); user attributes that are stored in a JDBC-based user store must be retrieved by the PDP of the WSO2 Identity Server. This sample project can be downloaded here.

  1. In our sample scenario, the "K-Market attribute store" is a MySQL database. See here for a sample script that is used to create the tables.

  2. Write a PIP module by extending AbstractPIPAttributeFinder. Download the KMarketJDBCAttributeFinder class here . The following are the methods you need to implement in order to write this module.

    1. init (Properties properties) : Here you can write the logic to initialize your module. Any properties that are defined in the <IS_HOME>/repository/conf/security/ file can be accessed here. The JNDI name of the datasource can be defined as the property value in the file and is read here. Also, supported attributes are initialized inside this method.
    2. getAttributeValues (String subject, String resource, String action, String environment, String attributeId, URI issuer) : Here you can write the logic to find your attribute value.
      • The subject –> attribute value can be identified by the following attribute value in the request:
      • The resource –> attribute value can be identified by the following attribute value in the request:
      • The action –> attribute value can be identified by the following attribute value in the request:
      • The environment –> attribute value can be identified by the following attribute value in the request:
      • The attributeId –> attribute id value is defined in the policy and must be resolved
      • The issuer –> issuer value is related to the attributeId and must be resolved
    3. getSupportedAttributes() : Here you can write the logic to find all the attribute IDs supported by your module.
    4. getModuleName() : The name of the module.
  3. Create a .jar file from your class. To do this, you can build the project using maven 3 and create the .jar file.

  4. Copy the created org.xacmlinfo.xacml.pip.jdbc-1.0.0.jar to the <IS_HOME>/repository/components/lib directory.

  5. Copy any dependency libraries for the PIP module to <IS_HOME>/repository/components/lib directory. This includes the JDBC driver .jar file that helps to create the JDBC connection (e.g., mysql-connector-java-5.1.10-bin.jar ).

  6. Optionally, you can configure new datasources using deployment.toml file found in the <IS_HOME>/repository/conf/ directory.


    This only applies if you are defining datasource configurations using the deployment.toml file.

    Following is a sample datasource configuration for this scenario.

    id = "KMARKET_USER_DB"
    url = "jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/kmarketdb"
    username = "wso2istest"
    password = "wso2istest"
  7. If you configure a new datasource, register your PIP module by adding the following properties to the deployment.toml. The following is a sample configuration for this scenario.

    class = "org.xacmlinfo.xacml.pip.jdbc.KMarketJDBCAttributeFinder"
    DataSourceName = "jdbc/KMARKETUSERDB" 
  8. Restart the server if it has been started already.

Now you have successfully registered a PIP attribute finder with WSO2 Identity Server.

Testing the sample PIP module

Use the following steps to check the PIP module.

  1. Restart the WSO2 Identity Server and log in to the management console.
  2. Go to the Main menu of the management console and click Extension under PDP.
  3. You can see that PIP attribute finder has been registered successfully and is visible under the Attribute Finder Extensions list. You can re-initialize this at run time.
  4. To test this attribute finder, you can use this policy and this request.

  5. Please upload the policy into the WSO2 Identity Server, then publish it to PDP and enable it.

  6. You can then try out the policy with TryIt PEP.

    About debugging the sample code

    This sample code can be debugged by starting the WSO2 Identity Server in the debug mode as follows.

    UNIX : –debug 5005

    Windows : wso2server.bat –debug 5005

    Then you can clearly see how methods in the “KMarketJDBCAttributeFinder” are called by the PDP.