Certificate Attributes



The Enterprise Gateway can authorize access to a Web Service based on the X.509 attributes of an authenticated client's certificate. For example, a simple Certificate Attributes filter might only authorize clients whose certificates have a Distinguished Name (DName) containing the following attribute: O=oracle. In other words, only "oracle" users are authorized to access the Web Service.

An X.509 certificate consists of a number of fields. The Subject field is the one of most relevance to this tutorial. It gives the DName of the client to which the certificate belongs. A DName is a unique name given to an X.500 directory object. It consists of a number of attribute-value pairs called Relative Distinguished Names (RDNs). Some of the most common RDNs and their explanations are as follows:

  • CN: CommonName
  • OU: OrganizationalUnit
  • O: Organization
  • L: Locality
  • S: StateOrProvinceName
  • C: CountryName

For example, the following is the DName of the sample.p12 client certificate supplied with the Enterprise Gateway:

 CN=Sample Cert, OU=R&D, O=Company Ltd., L=Dublin 4, S=Dublin, C=IE

Using the Certificate Attributes filter, it is possible to authorize clients based on, for example, the "CN", "OU", or "C" in the DName.


The X.509 Attributes table lists a number of attribute checks that will be run against the client certificate. Each entry tests a number of certificate attributes in such a way that the check will only pass if all of the configured attribute values match those in the client certificate. So, in effect, the attributes listed within a single attribute check are AND-ed together.

For example, imagine the following is configured as an entry in the X.509 Attributes table:

 OU=Eng, O=Company Ltd

If the Enterprise Gateway receives a certificate with the following DName, this attribute check will pass because all the configured attributes match those in the certificate DName:

 CN=User1, OU=Eng, O=Company Ltd, L=D4, S=Dublin, C=IE
 CN=User2, OU=Eng, O=Company Ltd, L=D2, S=Dublin, C=IE

However, if the Enterprise Gateway receives a certificate with the following DName, the attribute check will fail because the attributes in the DName do not match all the configured ones (i.e. the "OU" attribute has the wrong value):

 CN=User1, OU=qa, O=Company Ltd, L=D4, S=Dublin, C=IE

The X.509 Attributes table can contain several attribute check entries. In such cases, the attribute checks (i.e. the entries in the table) are OR-ed together, so that if any of the checks succeed, the overall Certificate Attributes filter succeeds.

So to summarize:

  • Attribute values within an attribute check will only succeed if all the configured attribute values match those in the DName of the client certificate.
  • The filter will succeed if any of the attribute checks listed in the X.509 Attributes table succeed.

To configure a Certificate Filter complete the following fields:

Enter a name for the filter here.

X.509 Attributes:
To add a new X.509 attribute check, click the Add button button. In the Add X.509 Attributes dialog, enter a comma-separated list of name-value pairs representing the X.509 attributes and their values, for example, "OU=dev,O=Company".

The new attribute check will appear in the X.509 Attributes table. Existing entries can be edited and deleted by clicking the Edit and Remove buttons respectively.