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The basic scenario for authorization is to give a user one or more roles in an application. The same user can of course ha a different set of roles in another application.

But what if the same user has different relations to the application?

Example: insurance company

  • Customer - basic privileges to see and modify own insurances
  • Employee - administration privileges
  • Board member - access to top-secret financial statistics

The naive approach is to give the person the flat list of all roles and privileges needed.

To support such a use case some information is needed to differentiate for which relation ("hat") the person is given what set of roles.

Technically this looks like this:

userId applicationId relationId/OrgId roleName roleValue
erikUserId someWebappId customer modify_own_account true
erikUserId someWebappId employee modify_all_accounts true
erikUserId someWebappId board_member financial_statistics true
erikUserId anotherWebappId <notInUse> admin true

roleValue can be true/false or contain data. The use of this field can be chosen for each application. Common usage is true/false to support use cases for disabling access.

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