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Oracle® Fusion Middleware User's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager
11g Release 1 (11.1.1)

Part Number E14316-08
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16 Managing Access Policies

Access policies are a list of roles and the resources with which roles are to be provisioned or deprovisioned. Access policies are used to automate the provisioning of target systems to users. This is explained with the help of the following example:

A user belongs to multiple roles created in Oracle Identity Manager. Suppose a role Role1 have membership rule assigned to it. Membership rules can be designed based on the organization that the user belongs to, such as "Organization Name = "Org1". Roles can have access policies assigned to them. An access policies states which resource would be provisioned and/or denied to a role when the access policy is applicable. Therefore, when a user is created in the Org1 organization, it satisfies a membership rule and grants the Role1 role to the user. This in turn triggers the access policy assigned to the role and then provisions or denies the resources mentioned in the access policy.

This chapter describes how to create and use access policies for users and resources in Oracle Identity Manager. It contains the following sections:

16.1 Terminologies Used in Access Policies

The following terminologies are associated with access policies:

Resource

A resource is a logical entity in Oracle Identity Manager that can be provisioned to a user or an organization in Oracle Identity Manager. For example, Microsoft Active Directory (AD), Microsoft Exchange, SAP, UNIX, and Database is modeled as a resource in Oracle Identity Manager.

Resources are templated definitions that are associated with one or more workflows called Provisioning Process in Oracle Identity Manager, which model the lifecycle management, such as how to provision, revoke, enable, and disable.

Resources also have entities called forms associated with them. Forms represent a collection of attributes associated with the resource. For instance, a form associated with AD server includes attributes such as SAM Account Name, Common Name, and User Principal Name. Forms also contain an attribute of type IT Resource (see "IT Resource Type" for details).

Resources can be marked Allow Multiple, which would multiple instances of a resource to be provisioned to a user or an organization.

Account

Accounts are actual instances of a resource that are created and provisioned to a user or organization in Oracle Identity Manager. For example, an e-mail account on an Exchange server is an account (instance) of resource type Exchange.

Accounts have specific values for the attributes of the associated form.

IT Resource Type

IT resource type is a logical entity in Oracle Identity Manager used to model a physical target and all its attributes including (but not limited to) the connectivity information and the credentials required to connect to the physical computer. For example, IT resource type AD server is used to model an actual AD server.

IT Resource Instance

These are actual instances of specific IT resource type that represent the actual physical target. They also have specific values for all the attributes of the physical target, such as IP address, port, user name, and password. Two physical AD servers in a deployment are represented by two instances of IT resource type AD Server.

Account Discriminator

Account discriminator is a collection of attributes on a form that uniquely identify the logical entity on which accounts are created. This term is sometimes loosely referred to as a target. For instance, for an AD server, an account discriminator can be a combination of AD server (an attribute of type IT Resource) and Organization Name.

Typically account discriminators are attributes of type IT Resource.

Attributes are marked as account discriminators by setting the Account Discriminator property of a Form field to True.

16.2 Features of Access Policies

This section describes the various features offered by the policy engine in the following sections:

16.2.1 Provisioning Options

Whenever an access policy is applied, provisioning of resources can take place in any one of the following ways:

  • The resources are either directly provisioned to the user without any request being generated.

  • A request is created, and provisioning of resources is subject to request approval.

Using the Administrative and User Console, you can specify whether you want to create the access policy with request approval or without request approval.

In an access policy with request:

  • The default process form for access policy is supported. This means that the data entered for default process form while creating access policy is used to populate request dataset.

  • Mandatory fields of request dataset must be populated by one of the following:

    • Process form defaults of access policy while defining access policy: This is because process form access policy defaults are used to populate corresponding request dataset.

    • Prepopulate adapters defined for request dataset.

    • Default data in the request dataset.

  • Access policy-based request is not created if all mandatory fields of request dataset are not populated by any one of process form defaults, prepopulate adapters, or default data in request dataset.

  • If request has already been created for a user for a specific resource and it is NOT in one of the following status, then new request is not created for the same user and resource combination:

    • Request Closed

    • Request Completed

    • Request Withdrawn

    • Request Failed

    • Template Approval Rejected

    • Request Approval Rejected

    • Operation Approval Rejected

16.2.2 Revoking the Policy

Oracle Identity Manager access policies are not applied to subroles. Policies are only applied to direct-membership users (that is, users who are not in subroles) in the roles that are defined on the access policies. You can specify if a resource in a policy must be revoked when the policy no longer applies. If you do so, then these resources are automatically revoked from the users by Oracle Identity Manager when the policy no longer applies to the users.

16.2.3 Denying a Resource

While creating an access policy, you can select resources to be denied along with resources to be provisioned for roles. If you first select a resource for provisioning and then select the same resource to be denied, then Oracle Identity Manager removes the resource from the list of resources to be provisioned. If two policies are defined for a role in which one is defined to provision a resource and the other is defined to deny the resource, then Oracle Identity Manager does not provision the resource irrespective of the priority of the policies.

16.2.4 Evaluating Policies

In Oracle Identity Manager, access policies can be evaluated in the following scenarios:

  • When a user is made a part of a role or removed from a role

    The policy for the user is evaluated as part of the add or remove operation.

  • If the retrofit flag is set for the policy

    These evaluations do not happen immediately after the action. Instead, they happen during the next run of the Evaluate User Policies schedule task. The evaluations can happen in the following scenarios:

    • Policy definition is updated so that the retrofit flag is set to ON. Policies are evaluated for all applicable users.

    • A role is added or removed from the policy definition. Policies are evaluated only for roles that is added or removed.

    • A resource is added, removed, or the Revoke If No Longer Applies flag value is changed for the resource.

      In earlier releases of Oracle Identity Manager, when the Revoke if no longer applies option is selected in an access policy and the policy is no longer applicable, both the account and entitlements (child records) associated with the access policy are revoked. However, when the flag is not selected and the policy is no longer applicable, the account remains and the entitlements are revoked. Therefore, entitlements are revoked irrespective of the value of the Revoke if no longer applies option set for the policy when policy ceases to apply.

      In Oracle Identity Manager 11g Release 1 (11.1.1), the Revoke if no longer applies option works not only at the account level, but also at the entitlements level so that the entitlements are not revoked if the option is not selected. For this enhancement to work, you must set the value of the XL.AccessPolicyRevokeIfNoLongerAppliesEnhancement system property to true.

      When the value of the XL.AccessPolicyRevokeIfNoLongerAppliesEnhancement system property is true, then the Revoke if no longer applies option is changed to Revoke resource and entitlements if no longer applies. When the value of this system property is false, then the Revoke if no longer applies option remains the same. By default, both the options are selected. For more information about this system property, see "Administering System Properties" in the Oracle Fusion Middleware Administrator's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager.

    • When policy data is updated or deleted. This includes both parent and child form data. Policies are evaluated for all applicable users.

16.2.5 Access Policy Priority

Policy priority is a numeric field containing a number that is unique for each access policy you create. The lower the number, the higher is the priority of the access policy. For example, if you specify Priority =1, it means that the policy has the highest priority. When you define access policies through Oracle Identity Manager Administrative and User Console, the value 1 is always added to the value of the current lowest priority and the resultant value is automatically populated in the Priority field. Changing this value to a different number might result in readjusting the priority of all the other access policies, thus ensuring that the priorities remain consistent. The following actions are associated with the priority number:

  • If the priority number entered is less than 1, then Oracle Identity Manager will change the value to 1 (highest priority).

  • If the priority number entered is greater than M, in which M is the current lowest priority, then Oracle Identity Manager will specify the value as less than or equal to M+1.

  • Two access policies cannot have the same priority number. Therefore, assigning an already existing priority number to an access policy will lower the priority by 1 for all policies of lesser priority.

Conflicts can arise from multiple access policies being applied to the same user. Because a single instance of a resource is provisioned to the user through access policies, Oracle Identity Manager uses the highest priority policy data for a parent form. For child forms, Oracle Identity Manager uses cumulative records from all applicable policies.

16.2.6 Access Policy Data

There are multiple ways in which process form data is supplied for resources during provisioning. The following is the order of preference built into Oracle Identity Manager:

  1. Default values from the form definition

  2. Organization defaults

  3. Values obtained through data flow from dataset to process form

  4. Prepopulate adapters

  5. Access policy data if resource is provisioned because of a policy

  6. Data updated by Process Task or Entity Adapters

If a given option is available, then the rest of the options that are at a lower order of preference are overridden. For example, if Option 4 is available, then Options 3, 2, and 1 are ignored.

16.2.7 Provisioning Multiple Instances of the Same Resource via Access Policy by Using Account Discriminator

In earlier releases of Oracle Identity Manager, access policies can be used to manage only a single account for a resource object. In other words, if you already have resource provisioned to user (account has been created in the target system) and if another instance of the same resource is to be provisioned to the same user via access policy, then it is not possible in earlier releases of Oracle Identity Manager. To achieve the functionality of provisioning multiple instances of resource to a user, prior to access policy enhancement in Oracle Identity Manager 11g Release 1 (11.1.1), you must clone the connector that represents the target system in Oracle Identity Manager. Cloning of connector was error prone needed lot of effort for testing/maintenance of cloned resource. Access Policy enhancement done for provisioning of multiple instances of resource in Oracle Identity Manager 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) saves the time and effort on cloning connectors.

A target system, such as UNIX server, Active Directory (AD) server, database, SAP, or JD Edwards, is the external system to Oracle Identity Manager that must be provisioned to users in Oracle Identity Manager. The target system is represented by an entity called resource in Oracle Identity Manager. The server on which target system is installed is represented by IT resource in Oracle Identity Manager. And the login credentials provided to user accessing this target system is represented by an account in Oracle Identity Manager. A user can have multiple accounts on a single target system. For example, one account can be a service (administrator) account and another a regular account. Therefore, it is mandatory to have two accounts for a same user in a single target system. In addition, it is possible to have different instances of target system, such as multiple UNIX servers, database servers, and AD servers. As a result, it is required to create accounts on each instance of the target system for the same user. For implementation details, see "Creating Separate Accounts for the Same User and Same Resource on a Single Target System".

In Oracle Identity Manager 11g Release 1 (11.1.1), access policies can provision multiple accounts in the same target system as well as a single account in multiple instance of the same target system. While evaluating access policies and provisioning resources to user, Oracle Identity Manager checks if the resource has already been provisioned to the user or not. This is determined by checking the resource key (OBJ_KEY) of the resource provisioned to user. To have multiple instances to be provisioned through access policy, another criteria called account discriminator along with OBJ_KEY is required to distinguish the multiple instances of the same resource. Therefore, access policy checks the resource key as well as account discriminator to decide if the resource has been provisioned or not.

The account discriminator is a field on a process form (account data) that distinguishes two accounts of the same user, which can be present on the same target system or different target systems. For example:

  • If user Jane.Doe is to be provisioned two accounts on two different UNIX servers, then IT resource can be used as account discriminator.

  • If user John.Doe is to be provisioned two accounts on the same database instance, then distinct login IDs can be used as account discriminator.

If there are multiple resources that need to be provisioned because of access policy evaluation, a single bulk request is created. The bulk request requires a single request-level approval, but multiple operation-level approvals for which approver can approve each request individually at operation level.

See Also:

16.3 Creating Access Policies

You can define an access policy for provisioning resources to users who have roles defined in the policy by using the Access Policy Wizard.

To create an access policy:

  1. Login to the Oracle Identity Manager Administrative and User Console, and navigate to Advanced Administration.

  2. To open the Create Access Policies page, under Policies, click Create Access Policy.

  3. Enter information in the required fields indicated with an asterisk (*), such as access policy name and description.

    Note:

    The following special characters are not allowed in the access policy name:

    Semicolon (;)

    Hash (#)

    Percentage (%)

    Equal to (=)

    Bar (|)

    Plus (+)

    Comma (,)

    Forward slash (/)

    Back slash (\)

    Single quote (')

    Double quote (")

    Less than (<)

    Greater than (>)

  4. For the Provision field, select any one of the following options:

    • Without Approval: Selecting this option creates the access policy without request approval. The resources are directly provisioned to the user without any request being generated.

    • With Approval: Selecting this option creates the access policy with request approval. On creating the access policy, a request is created, and provisioning of resources is subject to request approval.

  5. Select Retrofit Access Policy to retrofit this access policy when it is created.

    Note:

    If you select Retrofit Access Policy, then the access policy is applied to all existing roles that you select in Step 13 of this procedure.

    If you do not select this option, then existing role memberships are not taken into consideration.

  6. Click Continue.

    The Create Access Policy - Step 2: Select Resources (to provision) page is displayed.

  7. Specify the resource to be provisioned for this access policy.

    Search for resources by using the filter search menu.

    • Select the name of the resource from the results table, and then click Add.

    • The names of the desired resources to provision appear in the Selected list. If you want to create an access policy that only denies resources, click Continue without selecting a resource.

    • To unassign the selected resources, highlight the resource in the Selected list and click Remove.

  8. Click Continue.

    If there is a form associated with this resource, the subsequent pages display the required fields. Otherwise, the Create Access Policy - Step 2: Select Resources to Revoke page is displayed. It is recommended that you do not specify policy defaults for passwords and encrypted attributes.

  9. Specify whether or not access policies are to be revoked if they no longer apply.

    Select the check boxes for the resources you want to revoke automatically from the results table.

  10. Click Continue.

    The Create Access Policy - Step 3: Selected Resources (to deny) page is displayed.

  11. Use this page to select resources to be denied by this access policy.

    To select resources to be denied:

    1. Select the resources from the results table.

    2. Click Add to place the resource in the Selected list.

      You must select at least one resource to deny if you have not selected any resources to be provisioned. Selecting the same resources to be denied as to be provisioned will automatically unassign them from the resources to be provisioned selection.

      Similarly, in Step a, assigning the same resources to be provisioned as you have already selected to be denied will automatically remove them from the resources to be denied selection. You can remove the resources that were selected to be denied. You do this by selecting those resources from the Selected list, and clicking Remove.

    3. Click Continue.

    The Create Access Policy - Step 4: Select Roles page is displayed.

  12. Use the Create Access Policy - Step 4: Select Group page to associate a group with the access policy.

  13. To associate a role with this access policy:

    • Select the role from the results table, and then click Add. You must select at least one role. The names of the selected roles appear in the Selected list.

    • You can delete the role name by clicking Remove.

  14. Click Continue.

    The Create Access Policy - Step 5: Verify Access Policy Information page is displayed.

  15. If you want to modify any of the selections you made in the preceding steps of this procedure, then click Change to go to the corresponding page of the wizard. After making the required modifications, click Continue to return to the Step 5: Verify Access Policy Information page.

  16. Click Create Access Policy to create the access policy.

Note:

When you create an access policy on a resource having a process form with Password field, the password policy is not evaluated. For information about password policies, see Oracle Fusion Middleware Administrator's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager.

16.4 Managing Access Policies

You can use Oracle Identity Manager Administrative and User Console to modify information in existing access policies.

To manage access policies:

  1. Click Manage Access Policies under the Policies menu.

    The Manage Access Policies page is displayed.

    Use the menu in the search criteria field to select an access policy attribute. You can use the asterisk (*) wildcard character to search for all access policy instances that have any value for the attribute selected. Click Search Access Policies.

    The Manage Access Policies page is displayed with your search results.

  2. To view the details of the Access Policy you want, click Access Policy Name.

    The Access Policy Details page is displayed.

    To make modifications to this access policy, use the Change link at the end of each selection category.

  3. After you make the required modifications, click Update Access Policy.

    This access policy is updated, and the updated information is displayed on the Access Policy Details page.

16.5 Provisioning Multiple Instances of the Same Resource via Access Policy

Provisioning multiple instances of the same resource via access policy by using account discriminator involves the following:

16.5.1 Creating Separate Accounts for the Same User and Same Resource on a Single Target System

Two distinct accounts can be created for the same user and same resource on a single target system via access policy. For example, it is required to create two accounts, a user account and service account on a single AD instance. The Active Directory target system is represented by the AD User resource in Oracle Identity Manager. This is implemented in the following way:

  1. Create a AD User resource.

  2. Create the user, such as JohnD.

  3. In the process form, mark UD_ADUSER and UD_ADUSER_UID as the discriminator field so that two distinct accounts have different login IDs.

  4. Create two access policies as follows:

    • For regular account:

      Access policy name: AP1

      Associated to role: Role1

      Resource to provision: AD User

      Process form having Discriminator field: User ID (UD_ADUSER_UID)

      Default value in access policy: Account1

    • For service account:

      Access policy name: AP2

      Associated to role: Role2

      Resource to provision: AD User

      Process form having Discriminator field: User ID (UD_ADUSER_UID)

      Default value in access policy: Account2

    Note:

    You must create a prepopulate adapter associated with dataset to generate the values for User ID so that unique values are generated for this field.

  5. Assign Role1 and Role2 to JohnD.

    When Role1 is assigned to JohnD, the Account1 account is created in the AD User target system via the AP1 access policy. When Role2 is assigned to JohnD, Account2 is created in AD User via AP2. Therefore, two distinct accounts can be created for the same user and same resource on a single target system via access policy.

16.5.2 Enabling Multiple Account Provisioning

By default, Oracle Identity Manager does not support multiple account provisioning. To enable multiple account provisioning:

  1. Set the value of the XL.AccessPolicyMultipleResourceEnhancement system property to TRUE.

    See "Predefined System Properties" in the Oracle Fusion Middleware Administrator's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager for information about this system property. See "Creating and Managing System Properties" in the same guide for information about setting the value of a system property.

  2. Restart Oracle Identity Manager for the change in the system property to take effect.

When multiple account provisioning is enabled, you must define the appropriate account discriminator attributes. To do so:

  1. Log in to the Design Console.

  2. Update the process form as follows:

    1. Expand Development Tools, and then double-click Form Designer.

    2. Search and open the process form.

    3. On the Form Designer tab, click Create New Version.

    4. In the Create a New Version dialog box, enter a label in the Label field, and then click Save.

    5. From the Current Version list, select the version that you created.

    6. On the Properties tab, select the field that you want to designate as the discriminator field, and then click Add Property.

    7. In the Add Property dialog box, select Account Discriminator as the property name, enter True in the Property Value field, and then click Save.

    8. Click Make Version Active, and then click OK.

    9. Click Save.

  3. Run the Form Version Control (FVC) utility if you modified existing process forms. See "Using the Form Version Control Utility" for information about running the FVC utility.

16.5.3 Provisioning Multiple Instances of a Resource to Multiple Target Systems

The following are the broad-level steps to provision multiple instances of a resource object to multiple target systems via access policy:

  1. Create an IT resource type by using the IT Resources Type Definition Form in the Oracle Identity Manager Design Console. For information about using this form, see "IT Resources Type Definition Form" in the Oracle Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager.

  2. Create multiple IT resource instances of the IT resource type that you created in step 1. For information about creating IT resources, see "Creating IT Resources" in the Oracle Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager.

    Here, IT resource instance is the account discriminator. See "Provisioning Multiple Instances of the Same Resource via Access Policy by Using Account Discriminator" for information about account discriminator.

  3. Create a process form with a field of type that you created in step 1. For information about creating process forms, see "Developing Process Forms" in the Oracle Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager.

  4. Create a resource object. For information about creating a resource object, see "Creating a Resource Object" in the Oracle Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager.

  5. Create a process definition, and associate the resource object and process form. For information about creating a process definition, see "Creating a Process Definition" in the Oracle Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager.

  6. Create access policies associating a role and resource object. See "Creating Access Policies" for details.

When you have two instances of the same resource on different physical server, you can use access policy to provision both the instances of a resource to the same user, JohnD. This is described with the help of the following scenario:

You have tow AD instances, one hosted on server with IP as 10.151.14.82 and another hosted on server with IP 130.35.66.254. The user is to be provisioned to both the instances via access policy-based provisioning. To achieve this:

  1. Create a AD User resource.

  2. Create an IT resource with name ADServer1 that represents the server with IP address as 10.151.14.82.

  3. Create an IT resource with name ADServer2 that represents the server with IP address as 130.35.66.254.

  4. Mark the AD Server (UD_ADUSER_AD) process form field as the discriminator field.

  5. Create two access policies as follows:

    • For the account to be created on ADServer1:

      Access policy name: AP3

      Associated to role: Role3

      Resource to provision: AD User

      Process form having Discriminator field: AD Server (UD_ADUSER_AD)

      Default value for ITResourceLookup field: ADServer1

    • For the account to be created on ADServer2:

      Access policy name: AP4

      Associated to role: Role4

      Resource to provision: AD User

      Process form having Discriminator field: AD Server (UD_ADUSER_AD)

      Default value for ITResourceLookup field: ADServer2

  6. Assign Role3 and Role4 to the user JohnD.

    When Role3 is assigned to JohnD, the account is created in the target system on ADServer1 via the AP3 access policy. When Role4 is assigned to JohnD, the account is created in the target system on ADServer2 via the AP4 access policy. Therefore, two distinct accounts are created for the same user and same resource on two different instances of the target system via access policy.

16.5.4 Limitation of Provisioning Multiple Instances of a Resource via Access Policy

Provisioning multiple instances of a resource via access policy has the following limitations:

  • A single access policy cannot provision multiple instances of a resource to a user. Multiple access policies must be created to provision multiple instances of resource. You must create the same number of access policies as that of instances of same resource that is to be provisioned.

  • If a resource object has a process form that has fields marked as account discriminator fields, then the value of these fields must be specified in any access policy that provisions that resource. Not doing this can result in behavior that cannot be determined, for example, provisioning of multiple accounts the next time policies are evaluated.

  • If a resource object has a process form that has fields marked as account discriminator fields and if you use the access policy engine to provision this resource to one or more users, then the values of the account discriminator fields must remain constant throughout the lifecycle of the account. In other words, the values of the account discriminator fields must not be changed. This is because the access policy engine uses the resource object key and the account discriminator values to decide whether or not to provision a new account to the user.

    By modifying account discriminator values, you modify the basis on which the provisioning decision had been taken. and the behavior of the access policy engine cannot be determined. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not modify account discriminator values. And the process form values of the account discriminator fields must not be changed.

  • If access policies are configured with different account discriminator values, they provision different accounts to the user. A resource object of this type must have the Allow Multiple flag set. Otherwise, provisioning fails.

    Note:

    Account discriminator values that are different only in casing (for example, abc and aBc) are also treated as different values. With this data, two accounts are provisioned to the end user.

    Consider the following scenario:Two access policies are provisioning the same resource with the same account discriminator data. The policies are applied through a request.

    These two policies apply to a user, and policies are re-evaluated for the user. Here, only one resource is provisioned to the user through a request. Now, suppose request approval is in progress. In the meantime, the priorities of these two policies are swapped, which means that the higher priority policy becomes the lower one and the other becomes the higher priority policy.While the request is in progress, if policies are re-evaluated for the user, a second request is created to provision the same resource but through the current higher priority policy. This issue is not currently handled by the policy engine. To avoid this issue, you must ensure that all pending requests for a specific resource are either approved or rejected before modifying the properties of the access policy that provision the resource, especially through a request.