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Subject: RE: [xacml] REST Profile wd04


From: Craig R Forster [mailto:cforster@us.ibm.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 9:32 PM
To: Danny Thorpe
Cc: Sinnema, Remon; xacml@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: Re: [xacml] REST Profile wd04

> Shouldn't the server control the version?

I don't see how a server could know whether an update indicates a minor or major change. So unless you have a very simplistic versioning scheme, where you just increment a single digit, the server can't implement it. The client, on the other hand, is in a much better position, since it most likely has knowledge of what events led to the creation of a new version of the policy. So it could, for example, implement semantic versioning [1].

So there are basically two approaches that we can take:
(1) let the client specify the version
(2) let the client indicate to the server what kind of change is made

Approach #2 is what you see in source code control systems like SVN, where there are different commands for incrementing the minor and major version (commit vs. branch).

I like #1 better, because
(1) it's simpler, which keeps the costs for implementation low
(2) it allows the client to chose any versioning scheme it wants, instead of having the server dictate one
(3) it allows the server to validate the given policy as-is against the policy schema

#2 is especially important for the Authorization-as-a-Service use case, where different tenants may want to use different versioning schemes, while using the same server (farm).


[1] http://www.osgi.org/wiki/uploads/Links/SemanticVersioning.pdf

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