WASD VMS Web Services - Install and Config

13 - Authorization Configuration (Basics)

13.1 - SYSUAF/Identifier Authentication 13.2 - Other Authentication 13.3 - Read and Write Groupings 13.4 - Considerations
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WASD offers a comprehensive and versatile authentication and authorization environment. A little too comprehensive, often leaving the new administrator wondering where to begin. The role of this chapter is to provide a starting place, especially for sources of authentication, along with some basic configurations. "WASD VMS Web Services - Features and Facilities"; 3 - Authentication and Authorization WASD Web Services - Features and Facilities contains a detailed explanation of all aspects. All examples here assume a standard installation and environment.

Just to clarify. Authentication is the verification of a user's identity, usually through username/password credentials. Authorization is allowing a certain action to be applied to a particular path based on that identity.

Changes to the authorization configuration file can be validated at the command-line before reload or restart. This detects and reports any syntactical and configuration errors but of course cannot check the intent of the rules.


If additional server startup qualifiers are required to enable specific authorization features then these must also be provided when checking. For example:


A server's currently loaded authorization rules may also be interrogated from the Server Administration menu (see "WASD VMS Web Services - Features and Facilities"; 9 - Server Administration WASD Web Services - Features and Facilities ).

13.1 - SYSUAF/Identifier Authentication

This setup allows any active account to authenticate using the local VMS username and password. By default not every account may authenticate this way, only those holding specified VMS rights identifiers. The examples provided in this section allows access to the WASD online Server Administration facility, and so may be followed specifically for that purpose, as well as serve as a general guide.

After Changes

If the WASD_CONFIG_AUTH configuration file is changed, or rights identifiers are granted or revoked from accounts, the server should be directed to reload the file and purge any cached authorization information.


13.2 - Other Authentication

Other sources of authentication are available, either by themselves or used in the same configuration file (different realms and paths) as those already discussed "WASD VMS Web Services - Features and Facilities"; 3.5 - Authentication Sources WASD Web Services - Features and Facilities . Non-SYSUAF sources do not require any startup qualifier to be enabled.

13.3 - Read and Write Groupings

WASD allows separate sources for groups of usernames to control read and write access in a particular realm ("WASD VMS Web Services - Features and Facilities"; 3.6 - Realm, Full-Access, Read-Only WASD Web Services - Features and Facilities . These groups may be provided via simple lists, VMS identifiers, HTA databases and authorization agents. The following example shows an identifier authenticated realm with full and read-only access controlled by two simple lists. For the first path the world has no access, for the second read-only access (with the read-only grouping becoming basically redundant information).

["Realm Name"=identifier_name=id;full_access_name=list;read-only_name=list]
/web/area/* r+w ; 
/web/another-area/* r+w ; r

13.4 - Considerations

Multiple authentication sources (realms) may be configured in the one WASD_CONFIG_AUTH file.

Multiple paths may be mapped against a single authentication source.

Any path may be mapped only once (for any single virtual service).

Paths may have additional access restrictions placed on them, including client host name, username, etc. ("WASD VMS Web Services - Features and Facilities"; Access Restriction Keywords WASD Web Services - Features and Facilities .

The configuration file is loaded and stored by the server at startup. If changed it must be reloaded to take effect. This can be done manually using


Authentication information is cached. Access subsequently removed or modified will not take effect until the entry expires, or is manually purged using


Failed attempts to authenticate against a particular source are limited. When this is exceeded access is always denied. If this has happened the cache must be manually purged before a user can successfully authenticate


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