access control item (ACI)

Access control information represents the permissions that various entities or subjects have to perform operations on a given object in the directory. This information is stored in Oracle Internet Directory as user-modifiable operational attributes, each of which is called an access control item (ACI). An ACI determines user access rights to directory data. It contains a set of rules for controlling access to entries (structural access items) and attributes (content access items). Access to both structural and content access items may be granted to one or more users or groups.

access control list (ACL)

A list of resources and the user names of people who are permitted access to those resources within a computer system. In Oracle Internet Directory, an ACL is a list of access control item (ACI) attribute values that is associated with directory objects. The attribute values on that list represent the permissions that various directory user entities (or subjects) have on a given object.

access control policy point (ACP)

A directory entry that contains access control policy information that applies downward to all entries at lower positions in the directory information tree (DIT). This information affects the entry itself and all entries below it. In Oracle Internet Directory, you can create ACPs to apply an access control policy throughout a subtree of your directory.

account lockout

A security feature that locks a user account if repeated failed logon attempts occur within a specified amount of time, based on security policy settings. Account lockout occurs in Oracle Single Sign-On when a user submits an account and password combination from any number of workstations more times than is permitted by Oracle Internet Directory. The default lockout period is 24 hours.

administrative area

A subtree on a directory server whose entries are under the control of a single administrative authority. The designated administrator controls each entry in that administrative area, as well as the directory schema, access control list (ACL), and attributes for those entries.

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a symmetric cryptography algorithm that is intended to replace Data Encryption Standard (DES). AES is a Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) for the encryption of commercial and government data.

advanced replication

See Oracle Database Advanced Replication.

advanced symmetric replication (ASR)

See Oracle Database Advanced Replication.

anonymous authentication

The process by which a directory authenticates a user without requiring a user name and password combination. Each anonymous user then exercises the privileges specified for anonymous users.

application programming interface (API)

A series of software routines and development tools that comprise an interface between a computer application and lower-level services and functions (such as the operating system, device drivers, and other software applications). APIs serve as building blocks for programmers putting together software applications. For example, LDAP-enabled clients access Oracle Internet Directory information through programmatic calls available in the LDAP API.

application service provider

Application Service Providers (ASPs) are third-party entities that manage and distribute software-based services and solutions to customers across a wide area network from a central data center. In essence, ASPs are a way for companies to outsource some or almost all aspects of their information technology needs.

artifact profile

An authentication mechanism which transmits data using a compact reference to an assertion, called an artifact, instead of sending the full assertion. This profile accomodates browsers which handle a limited number of characters.


Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN.1) is an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) notation used to define the syntax of information data. ASN.1 is used to describe structured information, typically information that is to be conveyed across some communications medium. It is widely used in the specification of Internet protocols.


An assertion is a statement used by providers in security domains to exchange information about a subject seeking access to a resource. Identity providers, as well as service providers, exchange assertions about identities to make authentication and authorization decisions, and to determine and enforce security policies protecting the resource.

asymmetric algorithm

A cryptographic algorithm that uses different keys for encryption and decryption.

See also: public key cryptography.

asymmetric cryptography

See public key cryptography.


Directory attributes hold a specific data element such as a name, phone number, or job title. Each directory entry is comprised of a set of attributes, each of which belongs to an object class. Moreover, each attribute has both a type, which describes the kind of information in the attribute, and a value, which contains the actual data.

attribute configuration file

In an Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning environment, a file that specifies attributes of interest in a connected directory.

attribute type

Attribute types specify information about a data element, such as the data type, maximum length, and whether it is single-valued or multivalued. The attribute type provides the real-world meaning for a value, and specifies the rules for creating and storing specific pieces of data, such as a name or an e-mail address.

attribute uniqueness

An Oracle Internet Directory feature that ensures that no two specified attributes have the same value. It enables applications synchronizing with the enterprise directory to use attributes as unique keys.

attribute value

Attribute values are the actual data contained within an attribute for a particular entry. For example, for the attribute type email, an attribute value might be


The process of verifying the identity claimed by an entity based on its credentials. Authentication of a user is generally based on something the user knows or has (for example, a password or a certificate).

Authentication of an electronic message involves the use of some kind of system (such as public key cryptography) to ensure that a file or message which claims to originate from a given individual or company actually does, and a check based on the contents of a message to ensure that it was not modified in transit.

authentication level

An Oracle Single Sign-On parameter that enables you to specify a particular authentication behavior for an application. You can link this parameter with a specific authentication plugin.

authentication plugin

An implementation of a specific authentication method. Oracle Single Sign-On has Java plugins for password authentication, digital certificates, Windows native authentication, and third-party access management.


The process of granting or denying access to a service or network resource. Most security systems are based on a two step process. The first stage is authentication, in which a user proves his or her identity. The second stage is authorization, in which a user is allowed to access various resources based on his or her identity and the defined authorization policy.

authorization policy

Authorization policy describes how access to a protected resource is governed. Policy maps identities and objects to collections of rights according to some system model. For example, a particular authorization policy might state that users can access a sales report only if they belong to the sales group.

basic authentication

An authentication protocol supported by most browsers in which a Web server authenticates an entity with an encoded user name and password passed via data transmissions. Basic authentication is sometimes called plaintext authentication because the base-64 encoding can be decoded by anyone with a freely available decoding utility. Note that encoding is not the same as encryption.

Basic Encoding Rules (BER)

Basic Encoding Rules (BER) are the standard rules for encoding data units set forth in ASN.1. BER is sometimes incorrectly paired with ASN.1, which applies only to the abstract syntax description language, not the encoding technique.


In networking, binding is the establishment of a logical connection between communicating entities.

In the case of Oracle Internet Directory, binding refers to the process of authenticating to the directory.

The formal set of rules for carrying a SOAP message within or on top of another protocol (underlying protocol) for the purpose of exchange is also called a binding.

block cipher

Block ciphers are a type of symmetric algorithm. A block cipher encrypts a message by breaking it down into fixed-size blocks (often 64 bits) and encrypting each block with a key. Some well known block ciphers include Blowfish, DES, and AES.

See also: stream cipher.


Blowfish is a symmetric cryptography algorithm developed by Bruce Schneier in 1993 as a faster replacement for DES. It is a block cipher using 64-bit blocks and keys of up to 448 bits.

CA certificate

A Certificate Authority (CA) signs all certificates that it issues with its private key. The corresponding Certificate Authority's public key is itself contained within a certificate, called a CA Certificate (also referred to as a root certificate). A browser must contain the CA Certificate in its list of trusted root certificates in order to trust messages signed by the CA's private key.


Generally refers to an amount of quickly accessible memory in your computer. However, on the Web it more commonly refers to where the browser stores downloaded files and graphics on the user's computer.

central directory

In an Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning environment, the directory that acts as the central repository. In an Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning environment, Oracle Internet Directory is the central directory.


A certificate is a specially formatted data structure that associates a public key with the identity of its owner. A certificate is issued by a Certificate Authority (CA). It contains the name, serial number, expiration dates, and public key of a particular entity. The certificate is digitally signed by the issuing CA so that a recipient can verify that the certificate is real. Most digital certificates conform to the X.509 standard.

Certificate Authority (CA)

A Certificate Authority (CA) is a trusted third party that issues, renews, and revokes digital certificates. The CA essentially vouches for a entity's identity, and may delegate the verification of an applicant to a Registration Authority (RA). Some well known Certificate Authorities (CAs) include Digital Signature Trust, Thawte, and VeriSign.

certificate chain

An ordered list of certificates containing one or more pairs of a user certificate and its associated CA certificate.

certificate management protocol (CMP)

Certificate Management Protocol (CMP) handles all relevant aspects of certificate creation and management. CMP supports interactions between public key infrastructure (PKI)) components, such as the Certificate Authority (CA), Registration Authority (RA), and the user or application that is issued a certificate.

certificate request message format (CRMF)

Certificate Request Message Format (CRMF) is a format used for messages related to the life-cycle management of X.509 certificates, as described in the RFC 2511 specification.

certificate revocation list (CRL)

A Certificate Revocation List (CRL) is a list of digital certificates which have been revoked by the Certificate Authority (CA) that issued them.

change logs

A database that records changes made to a directory server.

cipher block chaining (CBC)

Cipher block chaining (CBC) is a mode of operation for a block cipher. CBC uses what is known as an initialization vector (IV) of a certain length. One of its key characteristics is that it uses a chaining mechanism that causes the decryption of a block of ciphertext to depend on all the preceding ciphertext blocks. As a result, the entire validity of all preceding blocks is contained in the immediately previous ciphertext block.

cipher suite

In Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), a set of authentication, encryption, and data integrity algorithms used for exchanging messages between network nodes. During an SSL handshake, the two nodes negotiate to see which cipher suite they will use when transmitting messages back and forth.


Ciphertext is the result of applying a cryptographic algorithm to readable data (plaintext) in order to render the data unreadable by all entities except those in possession of the appropriate key.

circle of trust

A trust relationship among a set of identity providers and service providers that allows a principal to use a single federated identity and single sign-on (SSO) when conducting business transactions with providers within that set.

Businesses federate or affiliate together into circles of trust based on Liberty-enabled technology and on operational agreements that define trust relationships between the businesses.

See also: federated identity management (FIM), Liberty Alliance.


A claim is a declaration made by an entity (for example, a name, identity, key, group, and so on).

client SSL certificates

A type of certificate used to identify a client machine to a server through Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) (client authentication).


A collection of interconnected usable whole computers that is used as a single computing resource. Hardware clusters provide high availability and scalability.

code signing certificates

A type of certificate used to identify the entity who signed a Java program, Java Script, or other signed file.

cold backup

In Oracle Internet Directory, this refers to the procedure of adding a new directory system agent (DSA) node to an existing replicating system by using the database copy procedure.


The ability to handle multiple requests simultaneously. Threads and processes are examples of concurrency mechanisms.

concurrent clients

The total number of clients that have established a session with Oracle Internet Directory.

concurrent operations

The number of operations that are being executed on Oracle Internet Directory from all of the concurrent clients. Note that this is not necessarily the same as the concurrent clients, because some of the clients may be keeping their sessions idle.


In cryptography, confidentiality (also known as privacy) is the ability to prevent unauthorized entities from reading data. This is typically achieved through encryption.


See configuration set entry.

configuration set entry

An Oracle Internet Directory entry holding the configuration parameters for a specific instance of the directory server. Multiple configuration set entries can be stored and referenced at runtime. The configuration set entries are maintained in the subtree specified by the subConfigsubEntry attribute of the directory-specific entry (DSE), which itself resides in the associated directory information base (DIB) against which the servers are started.

connect descriptor

A specially formatted description of the destination for a network connection. A connect descriptor contains destination service and network route information.The destination service is indicated by using its service name for the Oracle Database or its Oracle System Identifier (SID) for Oracle release 8.0 or version 7 databases. The network route provides, at a minimum, the location of the listener through use of a network address.

connected directory

In an Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning environment, an information repository requiring full synchronization of data between Oracle Internet Directory and itself—for example, an Oracle human resources database.


A directory server that is the destination of replication updates. Sometimes called a slave.


Competition for resources.

context prefix

The distinguished name (DN) of the root of a naming context.

cryptographic algorithm

A cryptographic algorithm is a defined sequence of processes to convert readable data (plaintext) to unreadable data (ciphertext) and vice versa. These conversions require some secret knowledge, normally contained in a key. Examples of cryptographic algorithms include DES, AES, Blowfish, and RSA.

Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS)

Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) is a syntax defined in RFC 3369 for signing, digesting, authenticating, and encrypting digital messages.


The process of protecting information by transforming it into an unreadable format. The information is encrypted using a key, which makes the data unreadable, and is then decrypted later when the information needs to be used again. See also public key cryptography and symmetric cryptography.


A configuration file for Oracle HTTP Server that is used to configure a database access descriptor (DAD).

Data Encryption Standard (DES)

Data Encryption Standard (DES) is a widely used symmetric cryptography algorithm developed in 1974 by IBM. It applies a 56-bit key to each 64-bit block of data. DES and 3DES are typically used as encryption algorithms by S/MIME.

data integrity

The guarantee that the contents of the message received were not altered from the contents of the original message sent.

See also: integrity.

database access descriptor (DAD)

Database connection information for a particular Oracle WebLogic Server component, such as the Oracle Single Sign-On schema.


The process of converting the contents of an encrypted message (ciphertext) back into its original readable format (plaintext).

default identity management realm

In a hosted environment, one enterprise—for example, an application service provider—makes Oracle components available to multiple other enterprises and stores information for them. In such hosted environments, the enterprise performing the hosting is called the default identity management realm, and the enterprises that are hosted are each associated with their own identity management realm in the directory information tree (DIT).

default knowledge reference

A knowledge reference that is returned when the base object is not in the directory, and the operation is performed in a naming context not held locally by the server. A default knowledge reference typically sends the user to a server that has more knowledge about the directory partitioning arrangement.

default realm location

An attribute in the root Oracle Context that identifies the root of the default identity management realm.


The act of unlinking a user's account from an identity provider or service provider.

Delegated Administration Services

See Oracle Delegated Administration Services.

delegated administrator

In a hosted environment, one enterprise—for example, an application service provider—makes Oracle components available to multiple other enterprises and stores information for them. In such an environment, a global administrator performs activities that span the entire directory. Other administrators—called delegated administrators—may exercise roles in specific identity management realms, or for specific applications.


Diffie-Hellman (DH) is a public key cryptography protocol that allows two parties to establish a shared secret over an unsecure communications channel. First published in 1976, it was the first workable public key cryptographic system.

See also: symmetric algorithm.


See message digest.

digital certificate

See certificate.

digital signature

A digital signature is the result of a two-step process applied to a given block of data. First, a hash function is applied to the data to obtain a result. Second, that result is encrypted using the signer's private key. Digital signatures can be used to ensure integrity, message authentication, and non-repudiation of data. Examples of digital signature algorithms include DSA and RSA.

Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA)

The Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA) is an asymmetric algorithm that is used as part of the Digital Signature Standard (DSS). It cannot be used for encryption, only for digital signatures. The algorithm produces a pair of large numbers that enable the authentication of the signatory, and consequently, the integrity of the data attached. DSA is used both in generating and verifying digital signatures.

directory information base (DIB)

The complete set of all information held in the directory. The DIB consists of entries that are related to each other hierarchically in a directory information tree (DIT).

directory information tree (DIT)

A hierarchical tree-like structure consisting of the DNs of the entries.

directory integration and provisioning server

In an Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning environment, the server that drives the synchronization of data between Oracle Internet Directory and a connected directory.

directory integration profile

In an Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning environment, an entry in Oracle Internet Directory that describes how Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning communicates with external systems and what is communicated.

Directory Manager

See Oracle Directory Manager.

directory naming context

See naming context.

directory provisioning profile

A special kind of directory integration profile that describes the nature of provisioning-related notifications that Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning sends to the directory-enabled applications.

directory replication group (DRG)

The directory servers participating in a replication agreement.

directory server instance

A discrete invocation of a directory server. Different invocations of a directory server, each started with the same or different configuration set entries and startup flags, are said to be different directory server instances.

directory synchronization profile

A special kind of directory integration profile that describes how synchronization is carried out between Oracle Internet Directory and an external system.

directory system agent (DSA)

The X.500 term for a directory server.

directory-specific entry (DSE)

An entry specific to a directory server. Different directory servers may hold the same directory information tree (DIT) name, but have different contents—that is, the contents can be specific to the directory holding it. A DSE is an entry with contents specific to the directory server holding it.

directory user agent (DUA)

The software that accesses a directory service on behalf of the directory user. The directory user may be a person or another software element.

Distinguished Encoding Rules (DER)

Distinguished Encoding Rules (DER) are a set of rules for encoding ASN.1 objects in byte-sequences. DER is a special case of Basic Encoding Rules (BER).

distinguished name (DN)

A X.500 distinguished name (DN) is a unique name for a node in a directory tree. A DN is used to provide a unique name for a person or any other directory entry. A DN is a concatenation of selected attributes from each node in the tree along the path from the root node to the named entry's node. For example, in LDAP notation, the DN for a person named John Smith working at Oracle's US office would be: "cn=John Smith, ou=People, o=Oracle, c=us".


A domain includes the Web site and applications that enable a principal to utilize resources. A federated site acts as an identity provider (also known as the source domain), a service provider (also known as the destination domain), or both.

domain component attribute

The domain component (dc) attribute can be used in constructing a distinguished name (DN) from a domain name. For example, using a domain name such as "", one could construct a DN beginning with "dc=oracle, dc=com", and then use this DN as the root of its subtree of directory information.

Document Object Model

The Document Object Model (DOM) is an object model for representing an HTML or XML document as a tree structure of nodes.

Document Type Definition (DTD)

A Document Type Definition (DTD) is a document that specifies constraints on the tags and tag sequences that are valid for a given XML document. DTDs follow the rules of Simple Generalized Markup Language (SGML), the parent language of XML.


Encryption is the process of converting plaintext to ciphertext by applying a cryptographic algorithm.

encryption certificate

An encryption certificate is a certificate containing a public key that is used to encrypt electronic messages, files, documents, or data transmission, or to establish or exchange a session key for these same purposes.

end-to-end security

This is a property of message-level security that is established when a message traverses multiple applications within and between business entities and is secure over its full route through and between the business entities.

Enterprise Java Bean (EJB)

Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs) are a Java API developed by Sun Microsystems that defines a component architecture for multi-tier client/server systems. Because EJB systems are written in Java, they are platform independent. Being object oriented, they can be implemented into existing systems with little or no recompiling and configuring.

Enterprise Manager

See Oracle Enterprise Manager.


An entry is a unique record in a directory that describes an object, such as a person. An entry consists of attributes and their associated attribute values, as dictated by the object class that describes that entry object. All entries in an LDAP directory structure are uniquely identified through their distinguished name (DN).

export agent

In an Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning environment, an agent that exports data out of Oracle Internet Directory.

export data file

In an Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning environment, the file that contains data exported by an export agent.

export file

See export data file.

external agent

A directory integration agent that is independent of Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning server. Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning server does not provide scheduling, mapping, or error handling services for it. An external agent is typically used when a third party metadirectory solution is integrated with Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning.

external application

Applications that do not delegate authentication to the Oracle Single Sign-On server. Instead, they display HTML login forms that ask for application user names and passwords. At the first login, users can choose to have the Oracle Single Sign-On server retrieve these credentials for them. Thereafter, they are logged in to these applications transparently.


The process of failure recognition and recovery. In an Oracle Application Server Cold Failover Cluster (Identity Management), an application running on one cluster node is transparently migrated to another cluster node. During this migration, clients accessing the service on the cluster see a momentary outage and may need to reconnect once the failover is complete.

fan-out replication

Also called a point-to-point replication, a type of replication in which a supplier replicates directly to a consumer. That consumer can then replicate to one or more other consumers. The replication can be either full or partial.

Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS)

Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) are standards for information processing issued by the US government Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

federated identity management (FIM)

The agreements, standards, and technologies that make identity and entitlements portable across autonomous domains. FIM makes it possible for an authenticated user to be recognized and take part in personalized services across multiple domains. It avoids pitfalls of centralized storage of personal information, while allowing users to link identity information between different accounts. Federated identity requires two key components: trust and standards. The trust model of federated identity management is based on circle of trust. The standards are defined by the Liberty Alliance Project.


See identity federation.


A filter is an expression that defines the entries to be returned from a request or search on a directory. Filters are typically expressed as DNs, for example: cn=susie smith,o=acme,c=us.

forced authentication

The act of forcing a user to reauthenticate if he or she has been idle for a preconfigured amount of time. Oracle Single Sign-On enables you to specify a global user inactivity timeout. This feature is intended for installations that have sensitive applications.


An authentication method whereby login credentials are submitted as part of the login URL.

global administrator

In a hosted environment, one enterprise—for example, an application service provider—makes Oracle components available to multiple other enterprises and stores information for them. In such an environment, a global administrator performs activities that span the entire directory.

global unique identifier (GUID)

An identifier generated by the system and inserted into an entry when the entry is added to the directory. In a multimaster replicated environment, the GUID, not the DN, uniquely identifies an entry. The GUID of an entry cannot be modified by a user.

global user inactivity timeout

An optional feature of Oracle Single Sign-On that forces users to reauthenticate if they have been idle for a preconfigured amount of time. The global user inactivity timeout is much shorter than the single sign-out session timeout.

globalization support

Multilanguage support for graphical user interfaces. Oracle Single Sign-On supports 29 languages.

globally unique user ID

A numeric string that uniquely identifies a user. A person may change or add user names, passwords, and distinguished names, but her globally unique user ID always remains the same.

grace login

A login occurring within the specified period before password expiration.

group search base

In the Oracle Internet Directory default directory information tree (DIT), the node in the identity management realm under which all the groups can be found.

guest user

One who is not an anonymous user, and, at the same time, does not have a specific user entry.


A protocol two computers use to initiate a communication session.


A number generated from a string of text with an algorithm. The hash value is substantially smaller than the text itself. Hash numbers are used for security and for faster access to data.

See also: hash function.

hash function

In cryptography, a hash function or one-way hash function is an algorithm that produces a given value when applied to a given block of data. The result of a hash function can be used to ensure the integrity of a given block of data. For a hash function to be considered secure, it must be very difficult, given a known data block and a known result, to produce another data block that produces the same result.

Hashed Message Authentication Code (HMAC)

Hashed Message Authentication Code (HMAC) is a hash function technique used to create a secret hash function output. This strengthens existing hash functions such as MD5 and SHA. It is used in transport layer security (TLS).


The Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the protocol used between a Web browser and a server to request a document and transfer its contents. The specification is maintained and developed by the World Wide Web Consortium.

HTTP Redirect Profile

A federation profile which indicates that the requested resource resides under a different URL.

HTTP Server

See Oracle HTTP Server.


The file used to configure Oracle HTTP Server.


The administrative group responsible for user and group management functions in Oracle WebLogic Server. The Oracle Single Sign-On administrator is a member of the group iASAdmins.

identity federation

The linking of two or more accounts a principal may hold with one or more identity providers or service providers within a given circle of trust.

When users federate the otherwise isolated accounts they have with businesses, known as their local identities, they create a relationship between two entities, an association comprising any number of service providers and identity providers.

See also: identity provider, service provider.

identity management

The process by which the complete security lifecycle for network entities is managed in an organization. It typically refers to the management of an organization's application users, where steps in the security life cycle include account creation, suspension, privilege modification, and account deletion. The network entities managed may also include devices, processes, applications, or anything else that needs to interact in a networked environment. Entities managed by an identity management process may also include users outside of the organization, for example customers, trading partners, or Web services.

identity management infrastructure database

The database that contains data for Oracle Single Sign-On and Oracle Internet Directory.

identity management realm

A collection of identities, all of which are governed by the same administrative policies. In an enterprise, all employees having access to the intranet may belong to one realm, while all external users who access the public applications of the enterprise may belong to another realm. An identity management realm is represented in the directory by a specific entry with a special object class associated with it.

identity management realm-specific Oracle Context

An Oracle Context contained in each identity management realm. It stores the following information:

  • User naming policy of the identity management realm—that is, how users are named and located.

  • Mandatory authentication attributes.

  • Location of groups in the identity management realm.

  • Privilege assignments for the identity management realm—for example: who has privileges to add more users to the realm.

  • Application specific data for that realm including authorizations.

identity provider

One of the three primary roles defined in the identity federation protocols supported by Oracle Identity Federation. The other primary roles are service provider and principal. The identity provider is responsible for managing and authenticating a set of identities within a given circle of trust.

A service provider, in turn, provides services or goods to a principal based on the identity provider's authentication of a principal's identity.

Identity providers are service providers offering business incentives so that other service providers affiliate with them. An identity provider typically authenticates and asserts a principal's identity.

import agent

In an Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning environment, an agent that imports data into Oracle Internet Directory.

import data file

In an Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning environment, the file containing the data imported by an import agent.

infrastructure tier

The Oracle WebLogic Server components responsible for identity management. These components are Oracle Single Sign-On, Oracle Delegated Administration Services, and Oracle Internet Directory.


When an object class has been derived from another class, it also derives, or inherits, many of the characteristics of that other class. Similarly, an attribute subtype inherits the characteristics of its supertype.


In cryptography, integrity is the ability to detect if data has been modified by entities that are not authorized to modify it.

Internet Directory

See Oracle Internet Directory.

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)

The principal body engaged in the development of new Internet standard specifications. It is an international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet.

Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP)

A protocol allowing a client to access and manipulate electronic mail messages on a server. It permits manipulation of remote message folders, also called mailboxes, in a way that is functionally equivalent to local mailboxes.

Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE)

Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) is an environment for developing and deploying enterprise applications, defined by Sun Microsystems Inc. The J2EE platform consists of a set of services, application programming interfaces (APIs), and protocols that provide the functionality for developing multitiered, Web-based applications.

Java Server Page (JSP)

JavaServer Pages (JSP), a server-side technology, are an extension to the Java servlet technology that was developed by Sun Microsystems. JSPs have dynamic scripting capability that works in tandem with HTML code, separating the page logic from the static elements (the design and display of the page). Embedded in the HTML page, the Java source code and its extensions help make the HTML more functional, being used in dynamic database queries, for example.


A key is a data structure that contains some secret knowledge necessary to successfully encrypt or decrypt a given block of data. The larger the key, the harder it is to crack a block of encrypted data. For example, a 256-bit key is more secure than a 128-bit key.

key pair

A public key and its associated private key.

See also: public/private key pair.

knowledge reference

The access information (name and address) for a remote directory system agent (DSA) and the name of the directory information tree (DIT) subtree that the remote DSA holds. Knowledge references are also called referrals.


The time a client has to wait for a given directory operation to complete. Latency can be defined as wasted time. In networking discussions, latency is defined as the travel time of a packet from source to destination.

LDAP connection cache

To improve throughput, the Oracle Single Sign-On server caches and then reuses connections to Oracle Internet Directory.

LDAP Data Interchange Format (LDIF)

A common, text-based format for exchanging directory data between systems. The set of standards for formatting an input file for any of the LDAP command-line utilities.

legacy application

Older application that cannot be modified to delegate authentication to the Oracle Single Sign-On server. Also known as an external application.

Liberty Alliance

The Liberty Alliance Project is a consortium of companies, non-profits, and non-government organizations around the globe. It is committed to developing an open standard for federated identity management (FIM) and identity-based Web services supporting current and emerging network devices.

Liberty ID-FF

Liberty Identity Federation Framework (Liberty ID-FF) provides an architecture for Web-based single sign-on (SSO) with federated identities.

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)

A set of protocols for accessing information in directories. LDAP supports TCP/IP, which is necessary for any type of Internet access. Its framework of design conventions supports industry-standard directory products, such as Oracle Internet Directory. Because it is a simpler version of the X.500 standard, LDAP is sometimes called X.500 light.

load balancer

Hardware devices and software that balance connection requests between two or more servers, either due to heavy load or failover. BigIP, Alteon, or Local Director are all popular hardware devices. Oracle Web Cache is an example of load balancing software.

logical host

In an Oracle Application Server Cold Failover Cluster (Identity Management), one or more disk groups and pairs of host names and IP addresses. It is mapped to a physical host in the cluster. This physical host impersonates the host name and IP address of the logical host.


A security attack characterized by the third-party, surreptitious interception of a message. The third-party, the man-in-the-middle, decrypts the message, re-encrypts it (with or without alteration of the original message), and retransmits it to the originally-intended recipient—all without the knowledge of the legitimate sender and receiver. This type of security attack works only in the absence of authentication.

mapping rules file

In an Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning environment, the file that specifies mappings between Oracle Internet Directory attributes and those in a connected directory.

master definition site (MDS)

In replication, a master definition site is the Oracle Internet Directory database from which the administrator runs the configuration scripts.

master site

In replication, a master site is any site other than the master definition site (MDS) that participates in LDAP replication.

matching rule

In a search or compare operation, determines equality between the attribute value sought and the attribute value stored. For example, matching rules associated with the telephoneNumber attribute could cause "(650) 123-4567" to be matched with either "(650) 123-4567" or "6501234567" or both. When you create an attribute, you associate a matching rule with it.


Message Digest Two (MD2) is a message digest hash function. The algorithm processes input text and creates a 128-bit message digest which is unique to the message and can be used to verify data integrity. MD2 was developed by Ron Rivest for RSA Security and is intended to be used in systems with limited memory, such as smart cards.


Message Digest Four (MD4) is similar to MD2 but designed specifically for fast processing in software.


Message Digest Five (MD5) is a message digest hash function. The algorithm processes input text and creates a 128-bit message digest which is unique to the message and can be used to verify data integrity. MD5 was developed by Ron Rivest after potential weaknesses were reported in MD4. MD5 is similar to MD4 but slower because more manipulation is made to the original data.

message authentication

The process of verifying that a particular message came from a particular entity.

See also: authentication.

message authentication code (MAC)

The Message Authentication Code (MAC) is a result of a two-step process applied to a given block of data. First, the result of a hash function is obtained. Second, that result is encrypted using a secret key. The MAC can be used to authenticate the source of a given block of data.

message digest

The result of a hash function.

See also: hash.


A directory solution that shares information between all enterprise directories, integrating them into one virtual directory. It centralizes administration, thereby reducing administrative costs. It synchronizes data between directories, thereby ensuring that it is consistent and up-to-date across the enterprise.

middle tier

That portion of a Oracle Single Sign-On instance that consists of the Oracle HTTP Server and OC4J. The Oracle Single Sign-On middle tier is situated between the identity management infrastructure database and the client.


A module on the Oracle HTTP Server that enables applications protected by Oracle Single Sign-On to accept HTTP headers in lieu of a user name and password once the user has logged into the Oracle Single Sign-On server. The values for these headers are stored in the mod_osso cookie.

mod_osso cookie

User data stored on the HTTP server. The cookie is created when a user authenticates. When the same user requests another application, the Web server uses the information in the mod_osso cookie to log the user in to the application. This feature speeds server response time.


A module on the Oracle HTTP Server that makes it possible to use mod_osso to enable single sign-on to legacy, or external applications.


See shared server.

multimaster replication

Also called peer-to-peer or n-way replication, a type of replication that enables multiple sites, acting as equals, to manage groups of replicated data. In a multimaster replication environment, each node is both a supplier and a consumer node, and the entire directory is replicated on each node.

name identifier profile

A federation profile which allows a provider to inform it's peers when assigning or updating a name identifier for one of their common users.

naming attribute

The attribute used to compose the RDN of a new user entry created through Oracle Delegated Administration Services or Oracle Internet Directory Java APIs. The default value for this is cn.

naming context

A subtree that resides entirely on one server. It must be contiguous, that is, it must begin at an entry that serves as the top of the subtree, and extend downward to either leaf entries or knowledge references (also called referrals) to subordinate naming contexts. It can range in size from a single entry to the entire directory information tree (DIT).

native agent

In an Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning environment, an agent that runs under the control of the directory integration and provisioning server. It is in contrast to an external agent.

net service name

A simple name for a service that resolves to a connect descriptor. Users initiate a connect request by passing a user name and password along with a net service name in a connect string for the service to which they wish to connect, for example:

CONNECT username/password@net_service_name

Depending on your needs, net service names can be stored in a variety of places, including:

  • Local configuration file, tnsnames.ora, on each client

  • Directory server

  • Oracle Names server

  • External naming service, such as NDS, NIS or CDS

Net Services

See Oracle Net Services.

nickname attribute

The attribute used to uniquely identify a user in the entire directory. The default value for this is uid. Applications use this to resolve a simple user name to the complete distinguished name. The user nickname attribute cannot be multi-valued—that is, a given user cannot have multiple nicknames stored under the same attribute name.


In cryptography, the ability to prove that a given digital signature was produced with a given entity's private key, and that a message was sent untampered at a given point in time.


Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards. OASIS is a worldwide not-for-profit consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of e-business standards.

object class

In LDAP, object classes are used to group information. Typically an object class models a real-world object such as a person or a server. Each directory entry belongs to one or more object classes. The object class determines the attributes that make up an entry. One object class can be derived from another, thereby inheriting some of the characteristics of the other class.

OID Control Utility

A command-line tool for issuing run-server and stop-server commands. The commands are interpreted and executed by the OID Monitor process.

OID Database Password Utility

The utility used to change the password with which Oracle Internet Directory connects to an Oracle Database.

OID Monitor

The Oracle Internet Directory component that initiates, monitors, and terminates the Oracle Internet Directory Server processes. It also controls the replication server if one is installed, and Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning Server.

Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP)

Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) is one of two common schemes for checking the validity of digital certificates. The other, older method, which OCSP has superseded in some scenarios, is certificate revocation list (CRL). OCSP is specified in RFC 2560.

one-way function

A function that is easy to compute in one direction but quite difficult to reverse compute, that is, to compute in the opposite direction.

one-way hash function

A one-way function that takes a variable sized input and creates a fixed size output.

See also: hash function.

Oracle Application Server Single Sign-On

Oracle Single Sign-On consists of program logic that enables you to log in securely to applications such as expense reports, mail, and benefits. These applications take two forms: partner applications and external applications. In both cases, you gain access to several applications by authenticating only once.

Oracle Call Interface (OCI)

An application programming interface (API) that enables you to create applications that use the native procedures or function calls of a third-generation language to access an Oracle Database server and control all phases of SQL statement execution.

Oracle CMS

Oracle CMS implements the IETF Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) protocol. CMS defines data protection schemes that allow for secure message envelopes.

Oracle Containers for J2EE (OC4J)

A lightweight, scalable container for Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE).

Oracle Crypto

Oracle Crypto is a pure Java library that provides core cryptography algorithms.

Oracle Database Advanced Replication

A feature in the Oracle Database that enables database tables to be kept synchronized across two Oracle databases.

Oracle Delegated Administration Services

A set of individual, pre-defined services—called Oracle Delegated Administration Services units—for performing directory operations on behalf of a user. Oracle Internet Directory Self-Service Console makes it easier to develop and deploy administration solutions for both Oracle and third-party applications that use Oracle Internet Directory.

Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning

A collection of interfaces and services for integrating multiple directories by using Oracle Internet Directory and several associated plug-ins and connectors. A feature of Oracle Internet Directory that enables an enterprise to use an external user repository to authenticate to Oracle products.

Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning Server

In an Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning environment, a daemon process that monitors Oracle Internet Directory for change events and takes action based on the information present in the directory integration profile.

Oracle Directory Integration Platform

A component of Oracle Internet Directory. It is a framework developed to integrate applications around a central LDAP directory like Oracle Internet Directory.

Oracle Directory Manager

A Java-based tool with a graphical user interface for administering Oracle Internet Directory.

Oracle Enterprise Manager

A separate Oracle product that combines a graphical console, agents, common services, and tools to provide an integrated and comprehensive systems management platform for managing Oracle products.

Oracle HTTP Server

Software that processes Web transactions that use the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). Oracle uses HTTP software developed by the Apache Group.

Oracle Identity Management

An infrastructure enabling deployments to manage centrally and securely all enterprise identities and their access to various applications in the enterprise.

Oracle Internet Directory

A general purpose directory service that enables retrieval of information about dispersed users and network resources. It combines Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) Version 3 with the high performance, scalability, robustness, and availability of the Oracle Database.

Oracle Liberty SDK

Oracle Liberty SDK implements the Liberty Alliance Project specifications enabling federated single sign-on between third-party Liberty-compliant applications.

Oracle Net Services

The foundation of the Oracle family of networking products, allowing services and their client applications to reside on different computers and communicate. The main function of Oracle Net Services is to establish network sessions and transfer data between a client application and a server. Oracle Net Services is located on each computer in the network. Once a network session is established, Oracle Net Services acts as a data courier for the client and the server.

Oracle PKI certificate usages

Defines Oracle application types that a certificate supports.

Oracle PKI SDK

Oracle PKI SDK implements the security protocols that are necessary within public key infrastructure (PKI) implementations.

Oracle SAML

Oracle SAML provides a framework for the exchange of security credentials among disparate systems and applications in an XML-based format as outlined in the OASIS specification for the Security Assertions Markup Language (SAML).

Oracle Security Engine

Oracle Security Engine extends Oracle Crypto by offering X.509 based certificate management functions. Oracle Security Engine is a superset of Oracle Crypto.

Oracle S/MIME

Oracle S/MIME implements the Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (S/MIME) specifications from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for secure e-mail.

Oracle Wallet Manager

A Java-based application that security administrators use to manage public-key security credentials on clients and servers.

Oracle Web Services Security

Oracle Web Services Security provides a framework for authentication and authorization using existing security technologies as outlined in the OASIS specification for Web Services Security.

Oracle XML Security

Oracle XML Security implements the W3C specifications for XML Encryption and XML Signature.

OracleAS Portal

An Oracle Single Sign-On partner application that provides a mechanism for integrating files, images, applications, and Web sites. The External Applications portlet provides access to external applications.

other information repository

In an Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning environment, in which Oracle Internet Directory serves as the central directory, any information repository except Oracle Internet Directory.


A unique, non-overlapping directory naming context that is stored on one directory server.

partner application

An Oracle WebLogic Server application or non-Oracle application that delegates the authentication function to the Oracle Single Sign-On server. This type of application spares users from reauthenticating by accepting mod_osso headers.

peer-to-peer replication

Also called multimaster replication or n-way replication. A type of replication that enables multiple sites, acting as equals, to manage groups of replicated data. In such a replication environment, each node is both a supplier and a consumer node, and the entire directory is replicated on each node.


The Public Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS) are specifications produced by RSA Laboratories. PKCS#1 provides recommendations for the implementation of public-key cryptography based on the RSA algorithm, covering the following aspects: cryptographic primitives; encryption schemes; signature schemes; ASN.1 syntax for representing keys and for identifying the schemes.


The Public Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS) are specifications produced by RSA Laboratories. PKCS#5 provides recommendations for the implementation of password-based cryptography.


The Public Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS) are specifications produced by RSA Laboratories. PKCS #7 describes general syntax for data that may have cryptography applied to it, such as digital signatures and digital envelopes.


The Public Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS) are specifications produced by RSA Laboratories. PKCS #8 describes syntax for private key information, including a private key for some public key algorithms and a set of attributes. The standard also describes syntax for encrypted private keys.


The Public Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS) are specifications produced by RSA Laboratories. PKCS #10 describes syntax for a request for certification of a public key, a name, and possibly a set of attributes.


The Public Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS) are specifications produced by RSA Laboratories. PKCS #12 describes a transfer syntax for personal identity information, including private keys, certificates, miscellaneous secrets, and extensions. Systems (such as browsers or operating systems) that support this standard allow a user to import, export, and exercise a single set of personal identity information—typically in a format called a wallet.


Plaintext is readable data prior to a transformation to ciphertext using encryption, or readable data that is the result of a transformation from ciphertext using decryption.

point-to-point replication

Also called fan-out replication is a type of replication in which a supplier replicates directly to a consumer. That consumer can then replicate to one or more other consumers. The replication can be either full or partial.

policy precedence

In Oracle Application Server Certificate Authority (OCA), policies are applied to incoming requests in the order that they are displayed on the main policy page. When the OCA policy processor module parses policies, those that appear toward the top of the policy list are applied to requests first. Those that appear toward the bottom of the list are applied last and take precedence over the others. Only enabled policies are applied to incoming requests.

A multipurpose configuration file for Oracle Single Sign-On that contains basic parameters required by the single sign-on server. Also used to configure advanced features of Oracle Single Sign-On, such as multilevel authentication.


Portable Operating System Interface for UNIX. A set of programming interface standards governing how to write application source code so that the applications are portable between operating systems. A series of standards being developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

POST Profile

An authentication method whereby login credentials are submitted within the body of the login form.


In Oracle Application Server Certificate Authority (OCA), a policy predicate is a logical expression that can be applied to a policy to limit how it is applied to incoming certificate requests or revocations. For example, the following predicate expression specifies that the policy in which it appears can have a different effect for requests or revocations from clients with DNs that include "ou=sales,o=acme,c=us":

Type=="client" AND DN=="ou=sales,o=acme,c=us"


One of the three primary roles defined in the identity federation protocols supported by Oracle Identity Federation. The other roles are identity provider and service provider.

A principal is any entity capable of using a service and capable of acquiring a federated identity. Typically, a principal is a person or user, or a system entity whose identity can be authenticated.

primary node

In an Oracle Application Server Cold Failover Cluster (Identity Management), the cluster node on which the application runs at any given time.

See also: secondary node.

private key

A private key is the secret key in a public/private key pair used in public key cryptography. An entity uses its private key to decrypt data that has been encrypted with its public key. The entity can also use its private key to create digital signatures. The security of data encrypted with the entity's public key as well as signatures created by the private key depends on the private key remaining secret.

private key cryptography

See symmetric cryptography.

Project Liberty

See Liberty Alliance.

provisioned applications

Applications in an environment where user and group information is centralized in Oracle Internet Directory. These applications are typically interested in changes to that information in Oracle Internet Directory.


The process of providing users with access to applications and other resources that may be available in an enterprise environment.

provisioning agent

An application or process that translates Oracle-specific provisioning events to external or third-party application-specific events.

provisioning integration profile

A special kind of directory integration profile that describes the nature of provisioning-related notifications that Oracle Directory Integration and Provisioning sends to the directory-enabled applications.

proxy server

A server between a client application, such as a Web browser, and a real server. It intercepts all requests to the real server to see if it can fulfil the requests itself. If not, it forwards the request to the real server. In Oracle Single Sign-On, proxies are used for load balancing and as an extra layer of security.

See also: load balancer.

proxy user

A kind of user typically employed in an environment with a middle tier such as a firewall. In such an environment, the end user authenticates to the middle tier. The middle tier then logs into the directory on the end user's behalf. A proxy user has the privilege to switch identities and, once it has logged into the directory, switches to the end user's identity. It then performs operations on the end user's behalf, using the authorization appropriate to that particular end user.

public key

A public key is the non-secret key in a public/private key pair used in public key cryptography. A public key allows entities to encrypt data that can only then be decrypted with the public key's owner using the corresponding private key. A public key can also be used to verify digital signatures created with the corresponding private key.

public key certificate

See certificate.

public key cryptography

Public key cryptography (also known as asymmetric cryptography) uses two keys, one public and the other private. These keys are called a key pair. The private key must be kept secret, while the public key can be transmitted to any party. The private key and the public key are mathematically related. A message that is signed by a private key can be verified by the corresponding public key. Similarly, a message encrypted by the public key can be decrypted by the private key. This method ensures privacy because only the owner of the private key can decrypt the message.

public key encryption

The process in which the sender of a message encrypts the message with the public key of the recipient. Upon delivery, the message is decrypted by the recipient using the recipient's private key.

public key infrastructure (PKI)

A public key infrastructure (PKI) is a system that manages the issuing, distribution, and authentication of public keys and private keys. A PKI typically comprises the following components:

public/private key pair

A mathematically related set of two numbers where one is called the private key and the other is called the public key. Public keys are typically made widely available, while private keys are available only to their owners. Data encrypted with a public key can only be decrypted with its associated private key and vice versa. Data encrypted with a public key cannot be decrypted with the same public key.


Rivest Cipher Two (RC2) is a 64-bit block cipher developed by Ronald Rivest for RSA Security, and was designed as a replacement for Data Encryption Standard (DES).


Rivest Cipher Four (RC4) is a stream cipher developed by Ronald Rivest for RSA Security. RC4 allows variable key lengths up to 1024 bits. RC4 is most commonly used to secure data communications by encrypting traffic between Web sites that use the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol.

readable data

Data prior to a transformation to ciphertext via encryption or data that is the result of a transformation from ciphertext via decryption.

realm search base

An attribute in the root Oracle Context that identifies the entry in the directory information tree (DIT) that contains all identity management realms. This attribute is used when mapping a simple realm name to the corresponding entry in the directory.


Information that a directory server provides to a client and which points to other servers the client must contact to find the information it is requesting.

See also: knowledge reference.

Registration Authority (RA)

The Registration Authority (RA) is responsible for verifying and enrolling users before a certificate is issued by a Certificate Authority (CA). The RA may assign each applicant a relative distinguished value or name for the new certificate applied. The RA does not sign or issue certificates.

registry entry

An entry containing runtime information associated with invocations of Oracle Internet Directory servers, called a directory server instance. Registry entries are stored in the directory itself, and remain there until the corresponding directory server instance stops.

relational database

A structured collection of data that stores data in tables consisting of one or more rows, each containing the same set of columns. Oracle makes it very easy to link the data in multiple tables. This is what makes Oracle a relational database management system, or RDBMS. It stores data in two or more tables and enables you to define relationships between the tables. The link is based on one or more fields common to both tables.

relative distinguished name (RDN)

The local, most granular level entry name. It has no other qualifying entry names that would serve to uniquely address the entry. In the example, cn=Smith,o=acme,c=US, the RDN is cn=Smith.

remote master site (RMS)

In a replicated environment, any site, other than the master definition site (MDS), that participates in Oracle Database Advanced Replication.


Each copy of a naming context that is contained within a single server.

replication agreement

A special directory entry that represents the replication relationship among the directory servers in a directory replication group (DRG).

response time

The time between the submission of a request and the completion of the response.


The Internet Request For Comments (or RFC) documents are the written definitions of the protocols and policies of the Internet. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) facilitates the discussion, development, and establishment of new standards. A standard is published using the RFC acronym and a reference number. For example, the official standard for e-mail is RFC 822.

root CA

In a hierarchical public key infrastructure (PKI), the root Certificate Authority (CA) is the CA whose public key serves as the most trusted datum for a security domain.

root directory specific entry (DSE)

An entry storing operational information about the directory. The information is stored in a number of attributes.

root Oracle Context

In the Oracle Identity Management infrastructure, the root Oracle Context is an entry in Oracle Internet Directory containing a pointer to the default identity management realm in the infrastructure. It also contains information on how to locate an identity management realm given a simple name of the realm.


RSA is a public key cryptography algorithm named after its inventors (Rivest, Shamir, and Adelman). The RSA algorithm is the most commonly used encryption and authentication algorithm and is included as part of the Web browsers from Netscape and Microsoft, and many other products.


The RSA Encryption Scheme - Optimal Asymmetric Encryption Padding (RSAES-OAEP) is a public key encryption scheme combining the RSA algorithm with the OAEP method. Optimal Asymmetric Encryption Padding (OAEP) is a method for encoding messages developed by Mihir Bellare and Phil Rogaway.


The ability of a system to provide throughput in proportion to, and limited only by, available hardware resources.


The collection of attributes, object classes, and their corresponding matching rules.

secondary node

In an Oracle Application Server Cold Failover Cluster (Identity Management), the cluster node to which an application is moved during a failover.

See also: primary node.

secret key

A secret key is the key used in a symmetric algorithm. Since a secret key is used for both encryption and decryption, it must be shared between parties that are transmitting ciphertext to one another but must be kept secret from all unauthorized entities.

secret key cryptography

See symmetric cryptography.

Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA)

Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) is a hash function algorithm that produces a 160-bit message digest based upon the input. The algorithm is used in the Digital Signature Standard (DSS). With the introduction of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) which offers three key sizes: 128, 192 and 256 bits, there has been a need for a companion hash algorithm with a similar level of security. The newer SHA-256, SHA-284 and SHA-512 hash algorithms comply with these enhanced requirements.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a protocol designed by Netscape Communications to enable encrypted, authenticated communications across networks (such as the Internet). SSL uses the public key encryption system from RSA, which also includes the use of a digital certificate. SSL provides three elements of secure communications: confidentiality, authentication, and integrity.

SSL has evolved into Transport Layer Security (TLS). TLS and SSL are not interoperable. However, a message sent with TLS can be handled by a client that handles SSL.

Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (S/MIME)

Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (S/MIME) is an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard for securing MIME data through the use of digital signatures and encryption.

Security Assertions Markup Language (SAML)

An XML-based framework which defines mechanisms for exchanging security information about a subject by making assertions about the subject that are used to make access control decisions. SAML enables the exchange of authentication and authorization information between identity providers and service providers who otherwise may not be able to interoperate.

SAML 2.0 is a major revision of the standard which updates SAML 1.1 and combines input from both Shibboleth and Liberty ID-FF specifications. A key aspect of SAML 2.0 is the ability for two sites to establish and maintain an identifier for a user, with that user's cooperation. Additional features include privacy mechanisms and support for global logout.

security token

In the Liberty protocol, refers to a set of security information that represents and substantiates a claim.

server certificate

A certificate that attests to the identity of an organization that uses a secure Web server to serve data. A server certificate must be associated with a public/private key pair issued by a mutually trusted Certificate Authority (CA). Server certificates are required for secure communications between a browser and a Web server.

service provider

One of the three primary roles defined in the identity federation protocols supported by Oracle Identity Federation. The other roles are identity provider and principal.

A service provider, which is the relying party in SAML, provides services or goods to a principal while relying on an identity provider to authenticate the principal's identity.

service time

The time between the initiation of a request and the completion of the response to the request.

session key

A secret key that is used for the duration of one message or communication session.

shared server

A server that is configured to allow many user processes to share very few server processes, so the number of users that can be supported is increased. With shared server configuration, many user processes connect to a dispatcher. The dispatcher directs multiple incoming network session requests to a common queue. An idle shared server process from a shared pool of server processes picks up a request from the queue. This means a small pool of server processes can server a large amount of clients. Contrast with dedicated server.


An entry that has the same parent as one or more other entries.

Signed Public Key And Challenge (SPKAC)

Signed Public Key And Challenge (SPKAC) is a proprietary protocol used by the Netscape Navigator browser to request certificates.

simple authentication

The process by which the client identifies itself to the server by means of a DN and a password which are not encrypted when sent over the network. In the simple authentication option, the server verifies that the DN and password sent by the client match the DN and password stored in the directory.

Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL)

Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL) is a method for adding authentication and authorization capabilities to application protocols. SASL provides a security layer between the protocol and the connection, so that users can be authenticated to a server. A security layer can also be negotiated to protect subsequent protocol interactions.

Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)

Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is an XML-based protocol that defines a framework for exchanging messages between systems over the Internet. A common protocol for Web Services, SOAP is used with transport protocols such as HTTP and FTP. A SOAP message consists of three parts — an envelope that describes the message and how to process it, a set of encoding rules for expressing instances of application-defined datatypes, and a convention for representing remote procedure calls and responses.

single key-pair wallet

A PKCS#12-format wallet that contains a single user certificate and its associated private key. The public key is imbedded in the certificate.

single sign-off

The process by which you terminate an Oracle Single Sign-On session and log out of all active partner applications simultaneously. You can do this by logging out of the application that you are working in.

single sign-on (SSO)

In a federated environment, single sign-on enables users to sign on once with a member of a federated group of identity providers and service providers, and later use resources available from members witout needing to sign on again.

single sign-on SDK

Legacy APIs to enable Oracle Single Sign-On partner applications for single sign-on. The SDK consists of PL/SQL and Java APIs as well as sample code that demonstrates how these APIs are implemented. This SDK is now deprecated and mod_osso is used instead.

single sign-on server

Program logic that enables users to log in securely to single sign-on applications such as expense reports, mail, and benefits.


Standalone LDAP daemon. An LDAP directory server service that is responsible for most functions of a directory except replication.


See consumer.

smart knowledge reference

A knowledge reference that is returned when the knowledge reference entry is in the scope of the search. It points the user to the server that stores the requested information.

specific administrative area

Administrative areas control:

  • Subschema administration

  • Access control administration

  • Collective attribute administration

A specific administrative area controls one of these aspects of administration. A specific administrative area is part of an autonomous administrative area.

sponsor node

In replication, the node that is used to provide initial data to a new node.

stream cipher

Stream ciphers are a type of symmetric algorithm. A stream cipher encrypts in small units, often a bit or a byte at a time, and implements some form of feedback mechanism so that the key is constantly changing. RC4 is an example of a stream cipher.

See also: block cipher.


A specific type of subentry that contains access control list (ACL) information.


An object class derived from another object class. The object class from which it is derived is called its superclass.


A type of entry containing information applicable to a group of entries in a subtree. The information can be of these types:

  • Access control policy points

  • Schema rules

  • Collective attributes

Subentries are located immediately below the root of an administrative area.

subordinate CA

In a hierarchical public key infrastructure (PKI), the subordinate Certificate Authority (CA) is a CA whose certificate signature key is certified by another CA, and whose activities are constrained by that other CA.

subordinate reference

A knowledge reference pointing downward in the directory information tree (DIT) to a naming context that starts immediately below an entry

subschema DN

The list of directory information tree (DIT) areas having independent schema definitions.


A specific type of subentry containing schema information.


A section of a directory hierarchy, which is also called a directory information tree (DIT). The subtree typically starts at a particular directory node and includes all subdirectories and objects below that node in the directory hierarchy.


An attribute with one or more options, in contrast to that same attribute without the options. For example, a commonName (cn) attribute with American English as an option is a subtype of the commonName (cn) attribute without that option. Conversely, the commonName (cn) attribute without an option is the supertype of the same attribute with an option.

success URL

When using Oracle Single Sign-On, the URL to the routine responsible for establishing the session and session cookies for an application.

super user

A special directory administrator who typically has full access to directory information.


The object class from which another object class is derived. For example, the object class person is the superclass of the object class organizationalPerson. The latter, namely, organizationalPerson, is a subclass of person and inherits the attributes contained in person.

superior reference

A knowledge reference pointing upward to a directory system agent (DSA) that holds a naming context higher in the directory information tree (DIT) than all the naming contexts held by the referencing DSA.


An attribute without options, in contrast to the same attribute with one or more options. For example, the commonName (cn) attribute without an option is the supertype of the same attribute with an option. Conversely, a commonName (cn) attribute with American English as an option is a subtype of the commonName (cn) attribute without that option.


In replication, the server that holds the master copy of the naming context. It supplies updates from the master copy to the consumer server.

symmetric algorithm

A symmetric algorithm is a cryptographic algorithm that uses the same key for encryption and decryption. There are essentially two types of symmetric (or secret key) algorithms — stream ciphers and block ciphers.

symmetric cryptography

Symmetric cryptography (or shared secret cryptography) systems use the same key to encipher and decipher data. The problem with symmetric cryptography is ensuring a secure method by which the sender and recipient can agree on the secret key. If a third party were to intercept the secret key in transit, they could then use it to decipher anything it was used to encipher. Symmetric cryptography is usually faster than asymmetric cryptography, and is often used when large quantities of data need to be exchanged. DES, RC2, and RC4 are examples of symmetric cryptography algorithms.

symmetric key

See secret key.

System Global Area (SGA)

A group of shared memory structures that contain data and control information for one Oracle database instance. If multiple users are concurrently connected to the same instance, the data in the instance SGA is shared among the users. Consequently, the SGA is sometimes referred to as the "shared global area." The combination of the background processes and memory buffers is called an Oracle instance.

system operational attribute

An attribute holding information that pertains to the operation of the directory itself. Some operational information is specified by the directory to control the server, for example, the time stamp for an entry. Other operational information, such as access information, is defined by administrators and is used by the directory program in its processing.

think time

The time the user is not engaged in actual use of the processor.

third-party access management system

Non-Oracle single sign-on system that can be modified to use Oracle Single Sign-On to gain access to Oracle WebLogic Server applications.


The number of requests processed byOracle Internet Directory for each unit of time. This is typically represented as "operations per second."

Time Stamp Protocol (TSP)

Time Stamp Protocol (TSP), as specified in RFC 3161, defines the participating entities, the message formats, and the transport protocol involved in time stamping a digital message. In a TSP system, a trusted third-party Time Stamp Authority (TSA) issues time stamps for messages.


The process of mapping data from its source form to a derived form. Typical transformations include XML canonicalization (C14N), XPath, Base64 and XSLT.

Transport Layer Security (TLS)

A protocol providing communications privacy over the Internet. The protocol enables client/server applications to communicate in a way that prevents eavesdropping, tampering, or message forgery.

Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES)

Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES) is based on the Data Encryption Standard (DES) algorithm developed by IBM in 1974, and was adopted as a national standard in 1977. 3DES uses three 64-bit long keys (overall key length is 192 bits, although actual key length is 56 bits). Data is encrypted with the first key, decrypted with the second key, and finally encrypted again with the third key. This makes 3DES three times slower than standard DES but also three times more secure.

trusted certificate

A third party identity that is qualified with a level of trust. The trust is used when an identity is being validated as the entity it claims to be. Typically, trusted certificates come from a Certificate Authority (CA) you trust to issue user certificates.


See trusted certificate.


A type of universal character set, a collection of 64K characters encoded in a 16-bit space. It encodes nearly every character in just about every existing character set standard, covering most written scripts used in the world. It is owned and defined by Unicode Inc. Unicode is canonical encoding which means its value can be passed around in different locales. But it does not guarantee a round-trip conversion between it and every Oracle character set without information loss.

UNIX Crypt

The UNIX encryption algorithm.


Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). A way to identify any point of content on the Web, whether it be a page of text, a video or sound clip, a still or animated image, or a program. The most common form of URI is the Web page address, which is a particular form or subset of URI called a URL.


Uniform Resource Locator (URL). The address of a file accessible on the Internet. The file can be a text file, HTML page, image file, a program, or any other file supported by HTTP. The URL contains the name of the protocol required to access the resource, a domain name that identifies a specific computer on the Internet, and a hierarchical description of the file location on the computer.

URLC token

The Oracle Single Sign-On code that passes authenticated user information to the partner application. The partner application uses this information to construct the session cookie.

user name mapping module

A Oracle Single Sign-On Java module that maps a user certificate to the user's nickname. The nickname is then passed to an authentication module, which uses this nickname to retrieve the user's certificate from the directory.

user search base

In the Oracle Internet Directory default directory information tree (DIT), the node in the identity management realm under which all the users are placed.

UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)

The standard time common to every place in the world. Formerly and still widely called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and also World Time, UTC nominally reflects the mean solar time along the Earth's prime meridian. UTC is indicated by a z at the end of the value, for example, 200011281010z.


A variable-width 8-bit encoding of Unicode that uses sequences of 1, 2, 3, or 4 bytes for each character. Characters from 0-127 (the 7-bit ASCII characters) are encoded with one byte, characters from 128-2047 require two bytes, characters from 2048-65535 require three bytes, and characters beyond 65535 require four bytes. The Oracle character set name for this is AL32UTF8 (for the Unicode 3.1 standard).


16-bit encoding of Unicode.The Latin-1 characters are the first 256 code points in this standard.


Verification is the process of ensuring that a given digital signature is valid, given the public key that corresponds to the private key purported to create the signature and the data block to which the signature purportedly applies.

virtual host

A single physical Web server machine that is hosting one or more Web sites or domains, or a server that is acting as a proxy to other machines (accepts incoming requests and reroutes them to the appropriate server).

In the case of Oracle Single Sign-On, virtual hosts are used for load balancing between two or more Oracle Single Sign-On servers. They also provide an extra layer of security.

virtual host name

In an Oracle Application Server Cold Failover Cluster (Identity Management), the host name corresponding to a particular virtual IP address.

virtual IP address

In an Oracle Application Server Cold Failover Cluster (Identity Management), each physical node has its own physical IP address and physical host name. To present a single system image to the outside world, the cluster uses a dynamic IP address that can be moved to any physical node in the cluster. This is called the virtual IP address.

wait time

The time between the submission of the request and initiation of the response.


An abstraction used to store and manage security credentials for an individual entity. It implements the storage and retrieval of credentials for use with various cryptographic services. A wallet resource locator (WRL) provides all the necessary information to locate the wallet.

Wallet Manager

See Oracle Wallet Manager.

Web service

A Web service is application or business logic that is accessible using standard Internet protocols, such as HTTP, XML, and SOAP. Web Services combine the best aspects of component-based development and the World Wide Web. Like components, Web Services represent black-box functionality that can be used and reused without regard to how the service is implemented.

Web Services Description Language (WSDL)

Web Services Description Language (WSDL) is the standard format for describing a Web service using XML. A WSDL definition describes how to access a Web service and what operations it will perform.


Web Services Federation Language (WS-Federation) is a specification developed by Microsoft, IBM, BEA, VeriSign, and RSA Security. It defines mechanisms to allow federation between entities using different or like mechanisms by allowing and brokering trust of identities, attributes, and authentication between participating Web services.

See also: Liberty Alliance.


X.500 is a standard from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) that defines how global directories should be structured. X.500 directories are hierarchical with different levels for each category of information, such as country, state, and city.


X.509 is the most widely used standard for defining digital certificates. A standard from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), for hierarchical directories with authentication services, used in many public key infrastructure (PKI) implementations.


The XML Key Management Specification (XKMS), developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), specifies protocols for distributing and registering public keys. XKMS comprises two parts: the XML Key Information Service Specification (X-KISS), which defines a protocol for a Trust service that resolves public key information; and the XML Key Registration Service Specification (X-KRSS), which defines a protocol for a web service that accepts registration of public key information.


Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a specification developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). XML is a pared-down version of Standard Generalized Mark-Up Language (SGML), designed especially for Web documents. XML is a metalanguage (a way to define tag sets) that allows developers to define their own customized markup language for many classes of documents.

XML canonicalization (C14N)

This is a process by which two logically equivalent XML documents can be resolved to the same physical representation. This has significance for digital signatures because a signature can only verify against the same physical representation of the data against which it was originally computed. For more information, see the W3C's XML Canonicalization specification.

XML digital signature

An XML structure that contains both the signature value and information about the signed document.

XML encryption

The process of encrypting data and rendering the result in XML format. The resulting data structure, known as XMLEncryptedData, contains the data or a reference to the data.