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Subject: Re: [kmip] First stab at a conformance profile

Hi Folks,

  1. Remember:  OASIS requires that the specification contain at least one Conformance Clause.  This needs to contain at least one "conformance profile", or in OASIS terms, a "Conformance Target" (see http://docs.oasis-open.org/templates/TCHandbook/ConformanceGuidelines.html)
  2. I don't have a problem with specifying the server as the only Conformance Target within the KMIP specification, and leaving out the client requirements.  A similar precedent exists within INCITS/T10 (i.e. SCSI), where the requirements (in general) only apply to the 'device server' (e.g., disk drive, tape drive) and not to the 'application client' (e.g., SCSI interface card on host system).  This would simplify the specification and reduce the bickering.

Bruce Rich wrote:
OF6D0437FB.DDBB7E6E-ON86257602.006C4A55-86257602.006E1697@us.ibm.com" type="cite">

I like the idea of the 3 profiles that you mention, at least in the abstract.  However, since the devil is in the details, we'd have to hammer out a consensus on "bare minimum" for these cases.

I like the idea of the profiles being separate from the spec, but since the spec itself has some language about what things are required, there would have to be some surgery done to it before finalizing.

I am fine with NOT continuing to hammer out a conformance profile for the proof of concept, although such a beast may serve well as an interop guide for the F2F in September.

I guess I'm unconvinced about the utility of client conformance, but perhaps the presentation that you mentioned below would motivate that in sufficient detail to convince me.  Absent that motivation, it seems like (except in the Server To Client Only profile) the client only needs to be able to deal with responses to whatever requests it has made, and thus just a breakout of necessary datatypes per request/response is needed.  The only exceptions to that rule would be if the server does other than exactly what the client requested.

Bruce A Rich
brich at-sign us dot ibm dot com

From: Robert Lockhart <Robert.Lockhart@thalesesec.com>
To: Bruce Rich/Austin/IBM@IBMUS, "kmip@lists.oasis-open.org" <kmip@lists.oasis-open.org>
Date: 07/26/2009 12:57 PM
Subject: RE: [kmip] First stab at a conformance profile

After doing a lot of thinking on this I personally don't see any conformance profiles belonging within the standard itself.  There is no reason we couldn't establish guidelines that are published as a separate document and referenced by the specification.
This would allow anyone who wants to use the standard to define a conformance profile without too many limitations.  It also allows them to use KMIP in other standards so that a basic definition can be in a profile and the detailed usage resides in their primary document which they may charge for (it is anyones choice whether or not to use something they have to pay for).
This doesn't mean that we leave all conformance profiles to external organizations.  The way I see it is we define 2 or 3 basic conformance profiles such as:
1.  Symmetric Key Management Profile - bare minimum for managing symmetric keys
2.  Assymetric Key Management Profile - bare minimum for managing assymetic keys
3.  Server to Client Only profile (e.g. as mentioned before thermostats, utility meters, etc...)
This leaves the standard open enough for anyone that wants to, to create their own profile and potentially have it posted on the OASIS web site once approved by the TC or the appropriate subcommittee if created.
My original concept of the table was just an at a glance table for people who knew basically what they needed to be able to look at.  They could then determine if they needed to look deeper into the specific requirements of the profile.  Specifics were not meant to be defined in the table.  It would get very ugly very fast as Bruce found out.  And no Bruce, whily you may have personal problems (I don't know of any but I can't speak for anyone else) I think you were right that the table doesn't suit the overall definition required in a profile.  That is why detailed definition should be listed in the follow on sections for server & client.
It might be good to have a PoC Profile which defined what is tested in the PoC but I don't think it is required unless Bruce or someone else wants to continue to figure out the specific requirements (see his email below).
Things that could be covered by a profile include:
* Required objects, attributes, operations and messaging
* Required elements of each required or optional object, attribute or operation
* Minimum and maximum number of repeatable elements supported
* Transport requirements (including physical connectivity, protocols, default ports, etc...)
* Authentication mechanism (e.g. certificates, device id & password, etc...)
* Server mutatable elements of objects and attributes
The profile should contain all of this information or should document where this information can be found if in external documents (e.g. IEEE Std 1619.3-20xx, ASC X9f, etc...).
I would be glad to put together a presentation on how we could use templates to our benefit and to help ensure that KMIP is widely accepted.  The presentation would also contain information on why each of the above would be good to include in the profiles and not in the specification itself.
Also just because we allow things to be defined in a profile doesn't mean we can not set minimum requirements for how it is used (e.g. Transport must be secured using a protocol such as TLS or HTTPS with minimum level of authentication & security).  This would allow KMIP to be used on other transports that have no concept of HTTPS or TLS but have security built in that meets or exceeds the minimum requirements we set.
Bob L.
Robert A. (Bob) Lockhart
Senior Solutions Architect
THALES Information Systems Security


From: Bruce Rich [brich@us.ibm.com]
Thursday, July 23, 2009 7:24 AM
[kmip] First stab at a conformance profile

Dear TC,

I took a pass at trying to take the Proof-Of-Concept and represent it as a conformance profile.  You should find this in the KMIP document repository as Conformance_Clause_Proposal_V3_POC_Profile_V1.pdf

I thought I'd be presenting a simpler profile than the POC profile, but before I propose a simpler profile, I'd like to see if it's even possible to take the conformance proposal as it currently stands and see how one would express the POC.

This way, people can see the conformance implications of something that's at least vaguely familiar before I venture into something more controversial.

Although you can read the document and see comments inserted at various spots, the summary is that I found I had several problems:

1) The difference between NOT SUPPORTED and OPTIONAL is vague, at least in my head.  I seem to be doing a mental coin toss every time I try to decide which flavor of (!(REQUIRED)) I want.  This may be a personal problem, or might be a conformance proposal problem.  I think it's the latter (but that may be another symptom of my personal problem :-).

2) The conformance profile is still too coarse-grained.  I think we need visibility into the enumerations on what types are supported by implementations.  For example it's too coarse-grained to say I support Derive Key or I don't.  I could have an implementation that supported only HASH-derived keys, and not the other types of key derivation.  The conformance profile should allow this kind of expressiveness.

3) I really don't understand the client conformance column.  If the client doesn't make requests of particular types, then it is not going to have to handle the responses that deal with those particular types.  It almost seems that the client column is a requester library and not an actor in the scenario.

Bruce A Rich
brich at-sign us dot ibm dot com

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