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Subject: Re: [wsrp] Secure transport

To make sure we are talking about the same scenario, I understand it to be:
1. The user interacts with Portlet 1's URL which set wsrp-secureURL to true.
2. The Consumer receives the interaction over https: (i.e. URL rewriting respected the parameter)
3. The Consumer securely passes the interaction to Portlet 1
4. Portlet 1 generates its new page fragment
5. The Consumer builds the response page from this fragment and cached fragments for the other portlets (just for arguments sake)
6. The user interacts with Portlet 2's URL which does not set wsrp-secureURL
7. The Consumer receives the interaction over http:
8. The Consumer passes the interaction to Portlet 2
9. Portlet 2 generates its new page fragment
10. The Consumer builds the response page from this fragment and cached fragments for the other portlets (just for arguments sake)

The question is whether this scenario results in non-secure display of content which Portlet 1 said required secure communications. The conformance statement is trying to say the answer must be no!

I think there are several solutions that all abide by the conformance statement:
1. The Consumer could have rewritten all the URLs in step 5 such that step 7 happens over https. One key question is how the Consumer knows when it can stop doing this.
2. The fetch from the fragment cache in step 10 does not find the fragment needing secure communications such that the Portlet 1 has getMarkup invoked with MarkupParams.secureClientCommunication set to false. Portlet 1 would need to determine what to show ... likely a link to get back to secure client communications.
3. In step 5 the Consumer can have added to its state for the page that Portlet 1 is currently requiring secure communications. In step 7 the Consumer could then detect that secure communications were required and redirected the user agent such that a secure channel is used despite the initial interaction not requiring it.
4. Choices 3 & 1 could be combined to avoid the redirect while also remembering what portlets are currently requiring the secure channel.


Michael Freedman <michael.freedman@oracle.com>

05/09/05 02:11 PM

wsrp <wsrp@lists.oasis-open.org>
Re: [wsrp] Secure transport

I presume you are refering to the following line in section
"Note that the Consumer’s aggregated page MUST be secure if any of the Portlets whose content is being displayed on the page have indicated the need for secure communication for their current markup."

Its not clear what this means.  Is it merely a requirement that the page response be over a secure channel if the portlet/page request was secure?  Or does it say that once in a portlet's secure link is invoked the Consumer must keep the page in secure mode until the portlet that went into secure mode, leaves it?  I.e. must find a way that all subsequent links on the page use https? The former seems obvious.  The later seems a major pain for Consumers as you potentially have to manage a stack of states.  Can you clarify?

Rich Thompson wrote:

We did discuss having a return field from pbia that required the page to use secure communications. We decided against it due to the small set of use cases where it would be significant and the overall impact of requiring the Consumer to redirect the user agent at that point in the process of building a new page.

There is a requirement in (wsrp-secureURL definition) which requires that the secure communications be used for delivering the page to the user when any portlet has specified that secure URLs be used. Basically this allows Consumers to support other Portlet's URLs not being secure if a redirect to a secure version of the page happens (likely improves fragment cachability) or Consumers can rewrite all URLs to use secure references (would require that all Portlet's use Consumer URL rewriting).


Michael Freedman <michael.freedman@oracle.com>

05/09/05 12:11 PM

wsrp <wsrp@lists.oasis-open.org>
[wsrp] Secure transport

To answer a question I was re-examining out secure transport
mechanisms.  It looks like the only runtime mechanism we provide allows
a portlet to encode the secure transport requirement in its rendered
URLs?  Is this correct?  Did we ever discuss trying to define a semantic
[in BlockingInteraction] to allow a portlet to get equivalent behavior
as defined by the flags in PortletDescription?  Namely, the ability to
ensure that all links on the page reflect the secure requirement vs just
the one's in the portlet?  If I understand things as we have them today,
its possible for the portlet to switch to secure transport [via its URL]
but then have the user interact with another portlet on the page that
doesn't know/need secure transport.  At this point the choices for the
secure portlet are limited, for example it can revert to the non-secure
page which caused it to enter, or render a screen that let's you
re-eneter it in secure mode.  Can anyone refresh my memory why we went
this route vs trying to find hooks that allowed the portlet to switch
the entire page into secure mode?  Was it just too complicated on the
consumer to keep track of this state as you interacted with different
portlets with different requirements?  Did we figure that most portlets
in this situation would merely set the secureOnly flag and be done with it?

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