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From "David Pitman" ...@davidpitman.name>
Subject Re: Security and Validation - Re: CouchDB 0.9 and 1.0
Date Mon, 07 Jul 2008 03:29:04 GMT
Just to let you know that I have been working on an "out-of-the-box solution
for 1)" for a few weeks (in my spare time), mainly at this stage mapping out
various schemes for how this could work and learning more about other
databases' authentication frameworks.  I figure if it is conceptually
similar (as far as convenient) to existing authentication frameworks such as
what's used by mySQL, then developers will have an even easier learning
curve and find CouchDB yet more attractive.

At the moment I'm prototyping in php and c++ (fast and easy), but once I've
established how I want it to work, I'm planning to start working with Erlang
(I'm new to that).  I'll post up some details of my ideas once I've got a
nice fleshed-out concept that seems to work for me nicely.

I'm thinking of a kind of "out-of-the-box" plugin to the CouchDB which adds
in the authentication layer, but which is not required by CouchDB to work.
Will let people know more when I've got something useful to show for my
efforts ...

Thanks.

David.

On Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 6:47 PM, Jan Lehnardt <jan@apache.org> wrote:

>
> On Jul 2, 2008, at 20:13, Robert Fischer wrote:
>
> Two points.
>>
>> 1) I'd encourage the CouchDB group to stick to authorization and leave
>> authentication to proxies at
>> this point.  If you have some free time in the future, maybe you can think
>> about integrating an
>> authentication layer -- but there's a lot more critical functionality
>> needed, and an HTTP proxy can
>> handle it just fine for the time being.  If you consider that
>> username/password authentication is
>> inherently evil, and "real" authentication servers are built off of LDAP,
>> kerberos, or the like,
>> then the massive amount of work involved in doing authentication should be
>> clear.  And this isn't
>> even getting into the likelihood that a new authentication implementation
>> will probably get some
>> stuff wrong in non-trivial, non-obvious ways.  So, please, let
>> authentication be handled by proxies.
>>
>> 2) In terms of authorization, it would be nice if there was a concept of
>> "read only" and
>> "read-write" premissions at the database level.  MySQL goes a bit nuts
>> with their permissions
>> possibly going all the way down to the column level, but it's nice to have
>> that distinction at the
>> database level.  This means I can guaranty I don't accidentally modify
>> something when I just mean to
>> be querying it: this kind of functionality has saved my butt a number of
>> times in the past ("Why is
>> this update failing on my dev box?  Oh...wait...that's my production
>> terminal window!"), and it
>> would be sad to see it left out.
>>
>
> +1 on both accounts.
>
> For the long term, it'd be nice to have an out-of-the-box
> solution for 1), but we shouldn't focus on this now.
>
> Cheers
> Jan
> --
>
>
>
>
>>
>> Of course, I could do that kind of permission setting at the Apache level,
>> too, by defining the
>> routes as locations and setting permissions -- but it'd probably be both
>> cleaner and more
>> appropriate to be done in the DB itself.
>>
>> ~~ Robert.
>>
>> Noah Slater wrote:
>>
>>> Perhaps we could rely on standard HTTP auth either:
>>>
>>> * as passed back through a proxy
>>> * as negotiated by CouchDB using a similar method to Apache httpd
>>>
>>> This doesn't seem too hard, Mochiweb might even support it natively.
>>>
>>> On Wed, Jul 02, 2008 at 12:56:44PM -0400, Damien Katz wrote:
>>>
>>>> We need to implement a couchdb security model. I think at a high level
>>>> it should be simple as possible. Also I think we won't do
>>>> authentication, that should be handled by a authenticating proxy, or
>>>> application code.
>>>>
>>>> I'm thinking our model looks something like this:
>>>>
>>>> We'll have server wide admin accounts, and dbadmin accounts. Db Admins
>>>> can create dbs and admin their own dbs. Server admins are like
>>>> superusers. Only admins are allowed to update design documents in
>>>> databases.
>>>>
>>>> The per-database customized module will be supported by custom
>>>> validation functions contained in databases design documents.  When a
>>>> document is updated, either via replication or new edit, these
>>>> validation functions are evaluate with provided context.
>>>>
>>>> Here is a very simplistic validation routine:
>>>>
>>>> function (doc, ctx) {
>>>>     if (doc.type == "topic" && doc.subject == undefined) {
>>>>             throw "Error, a subject is required for all topics.";
>>>>     }
>>>> }
>>>>
>>>> Something that looks at previous revisions:
>>>>
>>>> function (doc, ctx) {
>>>>     var prev = ctx.get_local_doc();
>>>>     if (prev != null && prev.author != ctx.user_name()) {
>>>>             throw "Error, update by non-author.";
>>>>     }
>>>> }
>>>>
>>>> It should also be possible modify the document while it's being saved,
>>>> but this might only be allowable when its a new edit, vs a replicated
>>>> update or backup restore.
>>>>
>>>> All further security schemes would be handled the customized functions,
>>>> and though APIs to do database or external ldap queries.
>>>> On Jul 2, 2008, at 3:08 AM, Jan Lehnardt wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Hello everybody,
>>>>> this thread is meant to collect missing work items (features and
>>>>> bugs) for for our 1.0 release and a discussion about how to split
>>>>> them up between 0.9 and 1.0.
>>>>>
>>>>> Take it away: Damien.
>>>>>
>>>>> Cheers
>>>>> Jan
>>>>> --
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>
>


-- 
David Pitman
www.davidpitman.name

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