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The Admin UI can be configured to use security. When configured, whenever a user tries to access the UI via a browser, they will be redirected to the Login page
After the session is authenticated successfully, access to all pages can continue as normal.

Since version 3.2, Aspire has role-based security access which provides an option to disable some users from executing sensitive actions on Aspire.

Important

This is important since Aspire contains credentials with Read permissions to most parts of a document repository, which may contain documents that should remain restricted even from Aspire Administrators.

The role system on Aspire consists of two different roles:

  • Administrator - with unrestricted "view" permissions but limited "execution" and "modification" permissions
  • Developer - with unrestricted access to everything

The following table illustrates what an Administrator and a Developer can and can not do.

On this page

TaskAdministratorDeveloper
View content sources / services
Execute crawls
View errors / statistics
Modify a schedule
Add new content source / service
Export content source / service
Duplicate content source / service
Import content source / service

Modify content source / service configuration

Modify Workflow

Application / bundle control from debug console page


Groovy script execution from debug console page


XSLT Transformation test execution from debug console page


By default, security is disabled.


Configuration


Access the settings.xml file in your distribution under the config folder.

1. Add the following element (if not present):

<authentication>
  <type>None</type>
</authentication>

2. Change the authentication type based on your needs. Currently, there are three options:


  1. None
    • No security is used. Access to administration pages is unrestricted.
  2. ConfigFile
    • Access to administration pages is restricted. There are two default users: "admin" and "developer". 
    • These users are able to access administration pages after successfully entering a password that is configured in the top level application properties (inside the properties section) of the settings file.
  3. LDAP
    • Access to administration pages is restricted. Aspire is configured to connect to an LDAP or Active Directory (AD) server. Users can access administration pages after being successfully validated by the LDAP or AD server.
    • Access to the administration pages can be further restricted to only users that are members of a specific LDAP or AD group, which can be configured to any role (Administrator or Developer).

ConfigFile Authentication - Set Up a Password

When using ConfigFile authentication, you must set up a password that the Administrator  or Developer user will be validated against.

The password is set in the system properties in the settings file in the adminPassword & developerPassword properties.

An example is shown below:

<!-- System properties -->
<properties>
  <property name="adminPassword">insecure_admin_plain_password</property>
  <property name="developerPassword">insecure_developer_plain_password</property>
</properties>

Security Recommedation

For security reasons, it is recommended that you encrypt these passwords when setting the properties. See Password Encryption for details on how to encrypt the passwords.

Important note

If only the "adminPassword" is configured, the "admin" user will function as "Developer" because of backwards compatibility with previous versions of the settings.xml.

LDAP Authentication - Configuration

When LDAP authentication is selected, you must extend the authentication section to provide the LDAP server to authenticate with. By default, group based access is disabled, meaning that any user who is able to authenticate with the given LDAP server will be able to access the Aspire administration pages as a "Developer".

To enable group based access, you must further extend your configuration, adding a distinguished name (dn) for each of the groups that controls access, an LDAP query that will allow Aspire to establish the distinguished name (dn) of the user attempting log on from the user name they provided, the name of the attribute that holds the user to group membership information and an indicator as to whether that information is held in the user object or in the group object.

User specifc access is also available by extending the configuration, you can add one or more specific users.

You can configure any number of users and/or groups for the "Administrator" or "Developer" roles.

LDAP Configuration Parameters

The following parameters may be used when configuring LDAP authentication:

Parameter

Type

Default

Description

/authentication/ldap/serverUrl

String*


The host and port of the LDAP server to validate against

/authentication/ldap/protocol

String



/authentication/ldap/contextFactory

String

com.sun.jndi.ldap.LdapCtxFactory

The context factory class

/authentication/ldap/authentication

String*

anonymous

LDAP authentication to use (anonymous/simple/DIGEST-MD5)

/authentication/ldap/readTimeout

Integer

5 minutes

The timeout when making reads. Numbers without suffixes are considered as milliseconds. Suffixes of ms (milliseconds), s (seconds), m (minutes), h (hours), or d (days) may be used

/authentication/ldap/connectTimeout

Integer

1 minute

The timeout when connecting. Numbers without suffixes are considered as milliseconds. Suffixes of ms (milliseconds), s (seconds), m (minutes), h (hours), or d (days) may be used

/authentication/ldap/connectionPool

Boolean

True

Specifies if a connection pool is used

/authentication/ldap/referralType

String

Ignore

How LDAP referrals should be handled (ignore/follow)

/authentication/ldap/searchBase

String

dc=search,dc=local

The search base for LDAP queries for the user's dn

/authentication/ldap/adminGroupDN

String


Holds the dn of one group that may access Aspire with "Administrator" role. NOTE: currently, the users must be direct members of this group (not a member of a group that is a member of this group). Multiple adminGroupDN can be used if necessary.

/authentication/ldap/adminUserDNString
Holds the dn of one user that may access Aspire with "Administrator" role. Multiple adminUserDN can be used if necessary.
/authentication/ldap/devGroupDNString
Holds the dn of one group that may access Aspire with "Developer" role. NOTE: currently, the users must be direct members of this group (not a member of a group that is a member of this group). Multiple devGroupDN can be used if necessary.
/authentication/ldap/devUserDNString
Holds the dn of one user that may access Aspire with Developer role. Multiple devUserDN can be used if necessary.

/authentication/ldap/groupsHoldMembers

Boolean

False

Indicates that LDAP group objects hold the membership information. By default, user objects are expected to hold group membership

/authentication/ldap/userDNQuery

String*


The LDAP query to use to find the dn for the user that logged in. The information provided by the user as they logged in is available for substitution. See below for details.

/authentication/ldap/memberAttr

String

memberOf

The attribute of the LDAP object (user or group) that holds information about group membership

/authentication/ldap/defaultDomainString
A domain to be added to usernames when logging in from the Administration UI if no domain is given

* Mandatory


Permissions Settings

If any user falls in to both "Developer" and "Administrator" roles because of the way it is configured, it will be granted "Developer" access.

Group Based Access Control

When group based access control is disabled, a simple validation of the credentials supplied by the user is all that is required to allow access to the Admin UI, and the user will be granted "Developer" role permissions. Adding the dn of a group in to the configuration will enable group based access control and, following a successful validation of credentials, the LDAP server is queried to see if the user belongs to the desired group. Two slightly different approaches are used depending on the setting of the groupsHoldMembers flag.

By default, groupsHoldMembers is disabled. In this configuration, Aspire queries the LDAP server to get the user object using the query specified in the userDNQuery parameter. Once the user object has been found, the membership attribute (configured by the memberAttr parameter) is extracted and the values of this attribute are checked. If one is equal to the adminGroupDN or devGroupDN groups from the configuration, the user belongs to the group and is granted access. Otherwise access is denied.

When groupsHoldMembers is enabled, Aspire again searches LDAP for the user object. It then gets the membership attribute (configured by the memberAttr) parameter from the group (using the dn configured in the adminGroupDN or devGroupDN parameter) and looks for the dn of the user object. If found, the user belongs to the group and access is granted.

In both of the above scenarios, the user must be a direct member of the group configured in the adminGroupDN or devGroupDN, not an indirect member (not in a group that is a member of the configured adminGroupDN or devGroupDN).

User Specific Access Control

Sometimes it is simpler to grant access to certain specific users instead of granting access to a whole group. In this case, the adminUserDN and devUserDN properties should be used. They should contain the distinguished name (dn) of each one the users to allow access with either "Administrator" or "Developer" roles.

The user specific access can be used combined with the group based access control.


The User DN Query

When a user logs in to the user interface, they are first validated against the LDAP server using the username and password they supplied. If group based access control is disabled, no further checks are performed and the user is granted access (assuming their username and password are valid). If group based access control is enabled, following successful validation by the LDAP server, Aspire then needs to establish the distinguished name of the user who logged on in order to determine if the user is in the appropriate group.

The dn of the user is found by performing a query in LDAP for the user, based on the user name used to login. The query entered in the configuration may contain ‘parameters’ that are then substituted. The following parameters are available:

fullname

The full username entered by the user in the login page

username

The name entered by the user in the login page, less any domain. Thus an entry of myDomain\myUser would become myUser in this parameter

domain

The domain from the username entered. An entry of myDomain\myUser would become myDomain in this parameter

Parameters are entered in the query by enclosing them in curly braces {}. For example, (&(objectClass=person)(sAMAccountName={username})) would become (&(objectClass=person)(sAMAccountName=Administrator)), if the user logged in with either domain\Administrator or Administrator.

When entering queries in the settings file, you will need to use a <![CDATA[]]> around the query or escape any special characters such as &.

Example Configuration for LDAP Access Control

Below is an example of a configuration allowing any valid LDAP user to log in to the Aspire interface.

<authentication>
  <type>Ldap</type>
  <ldap>
    <server>ldap://myLdapServer:389</server>
    <authentication>simple</authentication>
  </ldap>
</authentication>

Example Configuration for LDAP Group Access Control

Below is an example of a configuration allowing any validated LDAP user who is a member of the group with the distinguished nane CN=Administrators, CN=Builtin, DC=qa, DC=local to log in to the Aspire interface with "Administrator" role and the CN=Developers, CN=Builtin, DC=qa, DC=local  dn for the "Developer" role. In this configuration, once the user is validated, the userDNquery is used to locate the user object under the search base. The values of the attribute configured in the memberAttr parameter (default memberOf) are checked against the adminGroupDN  and devGroupDN values and if it is found, the user is granted access according to the specified role.

<authentication>
  <type>Ldap</type>
  <ldap>
    <server>ldap://myLdapServer:389</server>
    <authentication>simple</authentication>
    <searchBase>dc=qa, dc=local</searchBase>
    <userDNQuery><![CDATA[(&(objectClass=person)(sAMAccountName={username}))]]></userDNQuery>
    <adminGroupDN>CN=Administrators, CN=Builtin, DC=qa, DC=local</adminGroupDN>
    <devGroupDN>CN=Developers, CN=Builtin, DC=qa, DC=local</devGroupDN>
  </ldap>
</authentication>

Below is an example of a configuration allowing any valid LDAP user who is a member of the group with dn CN=Administrators, CN=Builtin, DC=qa, DC=local to log in to the Aspire interface. In this configuration, the membership information is taken from group object (due to the groupsHoldMembers flag). In this case, once the user is validated, the userDNquery is used to locate the user object under the search base and establish the user's distinguished name (dn). Next, the group object is retrieved using its distinguished name (from the adminGroupDN and devGroupDN parameters). The values of the attribute configured in the memberAttr parameter (default memberOf) are checked against the user's dn and if found, the user is granted access.

In the following example, we also have two additional parameters: adminUserDN and devUserDN containing the DN of users that do not belong to either the Developers or Administrators groups on LDAP, but are still granted access according to role:

  • jdoe will be granted access as "Administrator" role even though it doesn't belong to "CN=Administrators, CN=Builtin, DC=qa, DC=local"
  • aeinstein will be granted access as "Developer" role even though it doesn't belong to "CN=Developers, CN=Builtin, DC=qa, DC=local" either
<authentication>
  <type>Ldap</type>
  <ldap>
    <server>ldap://myLdapServer:389</server>
    <authentication>simple</authentication>
    <searchBase>dc=qa, dc=local</searchBase>
    <userDNQuery><![CDATA[(&(objectClass=person)(sAMAccountName={username}))]]></userDNQuery>
    <adminGroupDN>CN=Administrators, CN=Builtin, DC=qa, DC=local</adminGroupDN>
    <devGroupDN>CN=Developers, CN=Builtin, DC=qa, DC=local</devGroupDN>
    <adminUserDN>UID=jdoe, CN=SomeOtherGroup, CN=Builtin, DC=qa, DC=local</adminUserDN>
    <devUserDN>UID=aeinsten, CN=SomeOtherGroup, CN=Builtin, DC=qa, DC=local</devUserDN>
    <groupsHoldMembers>true</groupsHoldMembers>
    <memberAttr>member</memberAttr>
  </ldap>
</authentication>