On 2/8/2012 6:29 PM, John Dennis wrote:
1. For backward compatibility with curl or 3rd party apps, we should
keep the existing authentication without session in /ipa/json and
/ipa/xml.


I originally wanted to use different URL's but was persuaded not to. I'm
happy to see this recommendation, generally I think it's a good idea but
see my caveat below.

If I have any concern it's simply with the combinatoric matrix which has
to be tested with this change. With something as critical as
authentication having just one code path to validate has merit. But then
again allowing both session and non-session based auth also has merit.
Pick and choose your evils :-) Given we have already heavily tested the
old mechanism I don't think there is too much risk in keeping it and
just adding a new mechanism. Plus we will want handle form based auth
soon and this adds yet another code path, so we probably should just be
prepared to deal with the various combinations.

Is there a way to use the same URLs to support both mechanisms? For example, can the client specify the mechanism to use in a request header, or some other tricks? If it's not possible I think we would have to use separate URLs and maintain backward compatibility.

We also want to tie the authorization to the sessions, so whenever the
session expires the UI will reauthenticate using /ipa/login and then
reload the authorization info in a separate operation using
/ipa/session/json and then redraw the UI if necessary. This way we can
keep the /ipa/login generic enough to be used by both XML and JSON
clients.

Unless I've misunderstood, the existing code pretty much does this
already, albeit with different URL's. Aside from adjusting the URL's was
there something else you were looking for?

Currently when the UI is loaded for the first time it will execute an ipa_init operation which consists of:

1. Loading I18 messages.
2. Getting user info (whoami).
3. Loading environment variables.
4. Checking whether DNS is enabled.
5. Loading objects & commands metadata for labels and validations.

Right now if the UI detects a change in the principal name or server version it will reload itself and so it will execute the ipa_init again. With your patch #61 the UI will automatically renew the session, but if the principal stays the same it won't execute the ipa_init again.

I think the only thing that might change after session renewal is user info (#2). The others are pretty much static. So we probably can move whoami into another method that can be called separately.

In other words, the UI needs to be changed so that during initial load the UI should do ipa_init and whoami, and after each session renewal it should only do the whoami only.

Just to be clear, here is the sequence of operations:

Client sends post to /ipa/session/json (or /ipa/session/xml). (This
could be the first post for which there is no existing session or a post
after the session has expired, it doesn't matter which case it is)

Server responds with auth failure (and session cookie)

Client sends GET to /ipa/login along with session cookie which refreshes
credentials in session (or fails because the credentials could not be
refreshed, in which case this is treated as a hard error and processing
stops on the client signaling an error to the user)

Presuming the credential refresh succeeded the client resends the
previous post that failed due to insufficient auth (along with session
cookie) to /ipa/session/{json,xml} which now succeeds because session is
populated with valid credentials from the previous step. From the user's
perspective nothing is different other than a possible delay due to the
extra protocol exchanges occurring under the covers.

Note: for the json case there is no need to reload the UI unless the
previous principal does not match the current principal (i.e. switch
user). To the best of my knowledge the existing code already handles
this case.

Right.

I think the UI changes can be done separately, I'll open the tickets.

What I meant here is that since we're keeping backward compatibility you don't really have to modify the UI in the same patch because it will still work like before. Your UI changes with the patch that I sent in the earlier email would be good enough to push, but if you decide to delay it to make additional changes it should be fine too.

Not sure I see the need for new tickets, could you elaborate?

On top of your changes there would be some additional UI changes:

1. As described above, we need to move whoami out of ipa_init and call it after each session renewal. 2. The whoami output contains the user's authz info (group/role membership). We need to redraw the UI components if the user's authz has changed and make sure they are re-initialized correctly. 3. We need to redirect the user to the UI main page if the current page is no longer accessible due to authz changes.

I think
the UI code pretty much already does what we want, it just needs to be
tweaked a bit for the URL changes. That small adjustment can be handled
in the updated patch.

Yes, that too.

The only thing which might be unaccounted for would be if the web UI for
some reason wanted to use the old /ipa/json and not use sessions. It
would need some extra logic to handle this but I don't see any need for
this, after the server is updated to support sessions it sends back an
ipa.js javascript file to the client which always elects to use the
/ipa/session/json URL. If for some reason the browser is still using an
old copy of ipa.js it simply ends up using the old /ipa/json URL without
sessions, which should "just work".

Right, no need to worry about this, the UI will just use one of the methods.

See also the discussion about session expiration:
https://fedorahosted.org/freeipa/ticket/2361

--
Endi S. Dewata

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