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From Damien Katz <>
Subject Re: CouchDB 1.0 work
Date Sat, 10 May 2008 15:53:13 GMT

On May 10, 2008, at 11:35 AM, Christopher Lenz wrote:

> On 10.05.2008, at 16:47, Damien Katz wrote:
>> On May 10, 2008, at 10:09 AM, Christopher Lenz wrote:
>>> On 28.04.2008, at 18:27, Damien Katz wrote:
>>>> Here are my thoughts on what we need for before we can get to  
>>>> CouchDB 1.0. Feedback please.
>>>> Must have:
>>> [...]
>>>> Security/Document validation: We need a way to control who can  
>>>> update what documents and to validate the updates are correct.  
>>>> This is absolutely necessary for offline replication, where  
>>>> replicated updates to the database do not come through the  
>>>> application layer.
>>> [...]
>>>> Don't Need:
>>>> Authentication. We can go to 1.0 without authentication, relying  
>>>> instead on local proxies to provide authentication.
>>> So how would we provide authorization without authentication?  
>>> There needs to be some way to identify who's making a request, and  
>>> if we plan to rely on proxies for that, those proxies need to  
>>> provide a way to pass on the authentication results (e.g.  
>>> REMOTE_USER). I suspect they don't do that, but I may be wrong.
>> I'm thinking the proxy server will authenticate the users  
>> credentials in the request HTTP header, then let the request pass  
>> normally to the CouchDB server. If it can't authenticate, then it  
>> rejects the request.
> Yeah, but how will CouchDB be able to use the authentication results  
> to provide the "Security/Document validation" feature?
> As far as I know, the proxy will keep the auth info to itself, and  
> the request will look like a standard anonymous request to CouchDB.  
> I *think* if we don't implement authentication, we can not implement  
> authorization/security for document validation.

Well, I don't know the details of authenticating proxies, but if the  
user provides credentials in the HTTP header, and the proxy server  
validates it and passes it on, then CouchDB would just use the same  
credentials with the assumption they are authenticated because the  
HTTP server validated it. But maybe this isn't possible for reasons I  
don't know about.


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