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Subject: Bindings and frameworks for PEP to PDP access

This is an issue that was discussed at the f2f and was also featured as 
case 2.1.1 of the interop.

Its been some time since we discussed this issue, so I will first point 
to the relevant text from the f2f.


C: closely coupled PEP/PDP
D: PEP/PDP issues: how do you know what inputs the policies refer to?

The starting point of the analysis here is to understand three distinct 
roles that are involved: (a) application developer
(b) deployment manager (c) policy manager.

The application developer inserts call-outs to the XACML engine and 
processes results as returned from the PDP.
This follows the model in Section 2.1.1. of the interop document.

At the F2F it was suggested that JSR #115 satisfies these requirements 
but a quick analysis of JSR #115 shows that while
it allows for a policy engine to be connected to a java container but it 
doesn't expose key XACML functionality.

Some of the gaps include:
(i) ability to pass arbitrary environment, resource and action attributes
(ii) ability to process returned values from the PDP - especially 

One additional constraint that should be noted here is that application 
developers may not be aware of all the information
required for the authorization call-out. The reason for this that 
policy's are created by policy managers, and this information
may not be available when the application is being developed.

The deployment manager interacts with the PDP and PEP (in this case the 
application) to create the appropriate linkages.
At this stage adequate information may be available to complete the 
linkage between the two. Specifically, the deployment
manager requires:

(i) what requests are being made from PEP and what attributes are 
currently being transferred
(ii) Which policies at the PDP are relevant to the PEP requests, and 
what attributes should be included in the requests originating from the PEP

So some form of reconciliation is needed at this point, especially one 
that does NOT involve re-coding/re-building the PEP but
rather extending it so that all required attributes become available. 
There may also need to be a certain amount of coordination between
the deployment manager and the policy administrator.

SUMMARIZING: I have described a use-case that we have found quite 
significant and which was one of the two scenarios
demonstrated at the interop. I would be interested in feedback on the 
use-cases and any comments on standards and frameworks available to 
solve these cases.

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