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Subject: Re: [xacml-users] Validating XACML policies and requests against XSD

Hi Oleg. 
> I think I understand your point, but I can't agree with it because I'm looking at the problem from security and interop point of view while you are trying to address performance issues.

Respectfully, I don't think you quite understood my point. As a *library*
author, I don't know how people will use the code I write. So in the specific
case of SunXACML, I don't have anything enforcing a schema check or other
validation routine.

This said, any production system should of course ensure that all policies
are valid; the question is how this is done. There are may projects where
people have built code around the SunXACML library to provide an application
or service of some kind. These auto-generate correct policies, or
schema-validate policies, or otherwise verify that the input to SunXACML
is correct. To provide an invalid policy would be a bug.

I don't know what this "Dangerous mode" is that you talked about, but any
application that accepts invalid input in running environments and still
tries to work with that input is certainly dangerous, and clearly a
security risk. 

To be clear, I am not thinking about this or any other project I work on
as performance instead of security or interoperability. I have worked on
many standards, and have spent years doing deep security research because
these are areas that I believe are critical to building good systems. I
also understand the reality of enterprise systems, and know that good
library code needs to be flexible.

One other note..
> Doing validation somewhere else won't improve the overall authorization system performance - you still need to do it and it will require time that will be added to the total system's response time.

You're thinking about this the wrong way around. I'm not trying to force
people to do validation somewhere else, I'm assuming that (as is the case
in many systems I've looked at) validation may already be happening
somewhere else. In that case, forcing validation to happen again is
certainly a performance hit that isn't needed.


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