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Implementation and services

Alfresco Community Edition enforces security services for managing authentication information.
The following key services are involved in access control:
  • AuthenticationService: responsible for authenticating user name and password.
  • PersonService: responsible for obtaining a reference to the Person node for a given user name. It also creates, deletes and updates personal information.
  • AuthorityService: responsible for managing authorities.
  • PermissionService: responsible for managing ACLs and ACEs, and for checking if a user has been assigned a permission for a particular node.
  • OwnableService: manages object ownership and is used in evaluation the dynamic ROLE_OWNER authority.

Let's consider a possible scenario to understand how the security services work. A user logs in using the authentication service, which determines the user's authorities, such as their user name (which is a USER authority). The authority service adds and manages the relevant groups and roles. The permission service maps those users, groups and roles to operations on particular nodes. It also controls the inheritance of permissions and provides a common set of default permissions. The owner service is related to the special OWNER role and it determines the owner of a node. The person service deals with the special case of person nodes, which identify users.

The protection of public services methods is implemented using the Spring method interceptors defined as part of the related ACEGI 0.8.2 security package. The Alfresco Community Edition implementation adds new implementations of the ACEGI interfaces AccessDecisionVoter and AfterInvocationProvider, which support the configuration elements that have already been described (for example, ACL_NODE.<#>.<permission>). These extension classes make use of the key services.

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