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Provisioning Architecture

The provisioning framework is responsible for all provisioning work done by the WSO2 Identity Server. This framework integrates with the User Store Manager component and also receives provisioning requests from the authentication framework.

Inbound provisioning

Inbound provisioning focuses on how to provision users to the Identity Server. Out-of-the-box, the Identity Server supports inbound provisioning via a SOAP-based API as well as the SCIM 1.1 API. Both the APIs support HTTP Basic Authentication. If you invoke the provisioning API with Basic Authentication credentials, then where to provision the user (to which user store) will be decided based on the inbound provisioning configuration of the resident service provider.

The SCIM API also supports OAuth 2.0. If the user authenticates to the SCIM API with OAuth credentials, then the system will load the configuration corresponding to the service provider who owns the OAuth client id. If you plan to invoke the SCIM API via a web application or a mobile application, we would highly recommend you to use OAuth instead of Basic Authentication. You simply need to register your application as a service provider in Identity Server and then generate OAuth keys.

JIT provisioning

Just-in-time provisioning talks about how to provision users to the Identity Server at the time of federated authentication. A service provider initiates the authentication request, the user gets redirected to the Identity Server and then Identity Server redirects the user to an external identity provider for authentication. Just-in-time provisioning gets triggered in such a scenario when the Identity Server receives a positive authentication response from the external identity provider. The Identity Server will provision the user to its internal user store with the user claims from the authentication response.

You configure JIT provisioning against an identity provider - not against service providers. Whenever you associate an identity provider with a service provider for outbound authentication, if the JIT provisioning is enabled for that particular identity provider, then the users from the external identity provider will be provisioned into the Identity Server's internal user store. In the JIT provisioning configuration you can also pick the provisioning user store.

Outbound provisioning

Outbound provisioning talks about provisioning users to external systems. This can be initiated by any of the following.

  • Inbound provisioning request (initiated by a service provider or the resident service provider)
  • JIT provisioning (initiated by a service provider)
  • Adding a user via the management console (initiated by the resident service provider)
  • Assigning a user to a provisioning role (initiated by the resident service provider)

WSO2 Identity Server supports outbound provisioning with the following connectors. You need to configure one or more outbound provisioning connectors with a given identity provider, and associate the identity provider with a service provider. All the provisioning requests must be initiated by a service provider - and will be provisioned to all the identity providers configured in the outbound provisioning configuration of the corresponding service provider.

  • SCIM
  • SPML
  • SOAP
  • Google Apps provisioning API
  • Salesforce provisioning API

JIT provisioning happens while in the middle of an authentication flow. The provisioning can happen in a blocking mode or in a non-blocking mode. In the blocking mode, the authentication flow will be blocked until the provisioning finishes - while in the non-blocking mode, provisioning happens in a different thread.

Conditional provisioning with roles

If you want to provision a user to an external identity provider, for example to Salesforce or Google Apps, based on the user's role, then you need to define one or more provisioning roles in the outbound provisioning configuration of the corresponding identity provider.

SCIM implementation using WSO2 Charon

WSO2 Charon is an open source implementation of SCIM protocol, which is an open standard for Identity Provisioning. It can be used by anyone who wants to add SCIM-based provisioning support for their applications. WSO2 Charon is integrated with WSO2 Identity Server. This page demonstrates the utilization of SCIM endpoints which expose User and Group resources in a RESTful way.

The following is a high level overview of SCIM Service Provider architecture of IS.


WSO2 Charon is one of the SCIM implementations that are made available under Apache 2.0 license. Charon includes libraries used by SCIM in the WSO2 Identity Server.

The following diagram provides an overview of the module breakdown of Charon along with purpose of each module and planned tasks of them.


The following includes a brief introduction on each of the modules.

  • Charon-Core : This is the API that exposes an implementation of the SCIM specification. It can be used by any SCIM service provider or client implementation to support SCIM operations/functionalities. In addition to that, it also allows room for extension points to be plugged in according to the particular server side/client side implementation, such as authentication handler, user storage, encoders/decoders etc.
  • Charon-Utils : This contains a set of default implementations of the extension points mentioned above. For example: Basic Auth, OAuth handlers, LDAP based user storage etc. A particular implementation that uses charon-core as SCIM API can use these default implementations as building blocks.
  • Charon-Deployment (Note: this is renamed as Charon-Impl): A reference implementation of SCIM service provider is shipped with this module. Currently it is a Apache Wink based web app that can be deployed in any application server - such as Tomcat, and enables the SCIM endpoints to be exposed. This is based on the above two modules: charon-core and charon-utils, and illustrates how any SCIM implementation can utilize the API and supporting module provided by Charon.
  • Charon-Samples : This contains samples illustrating the SCIM use cases. Samples mainly contain the SCIM client side implementations which can be run against a SCIM server, and hence can also be referenced to get to know how the API provided by Charon can be used to implement SCIM client side.


Charon-Deployment is the reference implementation of SCIM service provider that is shipped with Charon. The following illustrates how any concrete implementation of a SCIM service provider can make use of Charon-Core (the SCIM API) with Charon-Utils (optional).

The SCIM service provider needs to be a RESTful web application. REST is an architectural style of building networked applications. There are several ways to implement REST style based applications - such as Servlets and JAX-RS based frameworks. In the reference implementation of Charon-SCIM service provider, the latter approach is selected since JAX-RS hides underlying HTTP handling and binds the servlets nicely to individual methods in the Java classes using annotations. Annotations can also dynamically extract information from HTTP requests and map application-generated exceptions to HTTP response codes.

Out of the JAX-RS implementations, Apache-Wink was selected since it better catered to the requirements. The Charon-Impl module creates an Apache-Wink based web application which can be deployed in an application server like Tomcat and which acts as a SCIM service provider.

The following is a deployment diagram of Charon-SCIM service provider (the web application provided by Charon-Impl module). It also gives a high level idea on how Charon-Core and Charon-Utils modules are utilized.


As this diagram of the reference implementation illustrates, a SCIM service provider can be developed using any REST implementation and SCIM-defined resources can be exposed utilizing the API provided by the Charon-Core. On the other hand, SCIM Consumers can also be implemented using the client API of Charon-Core.

Extensible SCIM user schemas

The SCIM (System for Cross-Domain Identity Management) specification defines a fixed set of default attributes for the user object. This set is defined to ensure the interoperability and it can cater to most of the industry's identity management requirements. Given below is a sample user object with the default attributes set.


However the SCIM specification itself introduces the Enterprise User Extension to support extra attributes for the SCIM user object.


However the reality in the industry is that organizations have their own attributes defined for the users. These attributes are already there in their LDAP schemas. Therefore SCIM should be extensible enough to cope with these custom attributes of the users.

WSO2 Identity Server allows users to define their own user schema in a configuration file ( [IS-HOME]/repository/conf/scim-schema-extension.config ). Then these configured schema are used while creating, validating user objects. With this the users can pass their custom attributes of users over SCIM for Identity Management requirements. The implementation is adhering to the Schema Extension Model . Given below is a sample extended user object with the default schema configuration.


Claims Mapping

Log into the Identity Server and do the claim mapping for the following claim URIs (see here for more information on how to do claim mappings).

  • urn:scim:schemas:extension:wso2:1.0:wso2Extension.costCenter
  • urn:scim:schemas:extension:wso2:1.0:wso2Extension.department
  • urn:scim:schemas:extension:wso2:1.0:wso2Extension.division
  • urn:scim:schemas:extension:wso2:1.0:wso2Extension.employeeNumber
  • urn:scim:schemas:extension:wso2:1.0:wso2Extension.organization
  • urn:scim:schemas:extension:wso2:1.0:wso2Extension.manager.displayName
  • urn:scim:schemas:extension:wso2:1.0:wso2Extension.manager.managerId

Now the server is up and running with the new extended user schema. The claim mappings can map the SCIM user attributes to the LDAP user attributes.

Create a new user with the new schema. The following screen depicts the user to be added with the wso2Extension attributes.


cURL commands

Given below are the cURL commands to add a user. The attribute name for the wso2Extension is EnterpriseUser.

  • Primary Userstore Command
curl -v -k --user admin:admin --data "{"schemas":[],"userName":"SureshAtt","password":"[email protected]","EnterpriseUser":{"employeeNumber":"000111","costCenter":"111111","organization":"WSO2Org","division":"Engineering","department":"Intigration","manager":{"managerId":"111000","displayName":"Prabath"}}}" --header "Content-Type:application/json" https://localhost:9443/wso2/scim/Users
  • Secondary Userstore Command
curl -v -k --user admin:admin --data "{"schemas":[],"userName":'mysql/uresh67',"password":"[email protected]"}" --header "Content-Type:application/json" https://localhost:9443/wso2/scim/Users 

Note that the user name is preceded by the domain and is within single quotes 'mysql/uresh67'. Also note that 'mysql' here is a reference to a domain name.

The above command provides the following results:

  • Primary Userstore Output
  • Secondary Userstore Output
{"id":"2e89cac0-17f3-40e7-8a07-ff1047a70cf1","schemas":["urn:scim:schemas:core:1.0"],"userName":"mysql/uresh67","meta":{"lastModified":"2013-12-17T14:31:30","location":"https://localhost:9443/wso2/scim/Users/2e89cac0-17f3-40e7-8a07-ff1047a70cf1","created":"2013-12-17T14:31:30"}}* Closing connection #0

The created SCIM user object can be viewed in the following screen:


  • See SCIM 1.1 APIs for more cURL commands that can be used to do various functions using the SCIM endpoints available.