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Subject: Re: [xacml-users] AttributeSelector - Missing Attribute

Hi Michael.

On Fri, 2005-06-10 at 20:48, MICHAEL MENDONCA wrote:
> If I used an XPath expression in an AttributeSelector, that was not
> available in the request context - resource content, would the PDP
> return "Indeterminate" or "Not Applicable"?? 

What the PDP returns is based on the whole of the policy, its combining
algorithms, and what is wrapped around your AttributeSelector. A better
question to ask is: "what would the AttributeSelector return?" (maybe
this is what you were asking?)

If the expression is unresolvable [1], then then behavior is based on
the MustBePresent XML attribute. If it's false (the default), then the
selector simply returns an empty bag. If it's true, then this is an
Indeterminate case. This result is then handled by the logic around your

> Is it possible to use the following : 
> <ResourceMatch MatchId="urn:oasis:names:tc:xacml:1.0:function:integer-less-than">
>   <AttributeValue DataType="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#integer";>0</AttributeValue>
>   <AttributeSelector RequestContextPath="count(//gml:position)" DataType="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#integer"/>
> </ResourceMatch>
> in the policy target to check if there are elements of a certain type
> in the request before looking for them in that policies rules?

Ah, this question has two answers :)

The first answer is that while the XPath expression may be valid (I'm
not an XPath hacker, so I'll leave that discussion for someone else) I
don't think you can use it the way you're trying to. The XACML spec
requires that the expression resolves a set of text, attribute,
processing, or comment nodes, and that each of these be converted to an
XACML AttributeValue using a standard construction (see the XACML spec
for details). Could someone on this list who's more of an XPath expert

Now to the second part. The question I have is what exactly you're
trying to do. If you just want to make sure some tree exists in your
applicability check, then you can use the MustBePresent attribute, and
just take care to have an applicable policy at the same level if you
don't want a final result of Indeterminate. Alternately, you could use
one of the standard XPath functions that lets you count elements.


[1] By which I mean what you're asking. Namely, that the attributes
weren't available. If an error occurs, then the result is always

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