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Authorising users for access to a service#

NFDI AAI enables authorisation on three different types of information:


All these methods can be combined, which can easily result in highly complex or even chaotic authorisation schemas if not planned well beforehand. If you as a service provider plan to establish a non-trivial authorisation schema to heterogenous user groups, please check the following methods carefully.

Types of Authorisation#

Virtual Organisation#

In this authorisation type, services provide resources to Virtual Organisations. Membership is managed by the community itself, e.g. by VO administrators that add (or remove) users to their VO.

The VO membership is transmitted via entitlements claims and the group keyword (see AARC-G069. This and the already registered VOs are defined at the Community AAI instances. Users can be organised in hierarchical (tree-topology) groups (i.e. VOs and sub-VOs).



Resource capabilities#

Some services or Communities require an additional authorisation structure, that shifts the authorisation decision away from the service towards the Community-AAI. Then, the Community AAI makes specific statements about what a user may do, e.g. whether or not to start VMs, or which datasets may be accessed.

This information is also transmitted via the entitlements claim, but then using the res keyword (see AARC-G027).



Home-IdP based authorisation#

Enables authorisation based on attributes that are administered by a Home-IdP. This includes what kind of status or affiliation a person has (e.g. student) or whether specific access legitimation was given to a user. Attributes and values used in this case need to be agreed upon between Identity Providers and Services.

In addition, a Home-IdP may communicate entitlements such as VO membership or Resource capabilities. In order to prevent conflicting statements, this should be done in close collaboration between the administrators of Home-IdPs, Community-AAIs, VO Admins and Services.

Assurance based authorisation#

Assurance describes the quality of an identity. This enables to differentiate between specific quality levels of an identity.

IdPs provide assurance information on the identity of the user, for example stating that a photo ID has been checked and/or that multi factor authentication is employed. This is expressed by the user’s Home organisation and forwarded within the AAI. If the organisation provides only the assurance information but not the fulfilled profiles, the AAI adds the profile information.

The REFEDS Assurance Framework (RAF) defines individual assurance components that describe a users identity. This allows for differentiation between the quality of the ID-Vetting, the attribute freshness and the uniqueness of the identifiers used.

Further information is provided in [these slides of Wolfgang Pempe on identity assurance[(