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From Alexander Trauzzi <atrau...@gmail.com>
Subject CouchDB, Security, ACLs and the future!
Date Tue, 05 Jan 2010 18:35:02 GMT
Hello all to the list.

I was just in #couchdb on freenode discussing some concerns over read
access on a public facing CouchDB server.

My major question is over controlling access to documents based on the
goals of the application.  I guess the best way would be to illustrate
an example.

I'm sure I bring a bit of baggage from the mysql way of things, so I
apologize if I missed anything as I'm learning.  That said, CouchDB
really plugs in nicely with the ways I've been trying to bend other
DBs in the past.

Hopefully the suggestions that result will show that the lack of read
level access control may be spurring some questionable design
decisions (I'll gladly be wrong here as it would benefit me!).

On with the example...

-=-

We have:

] Roles
o Editors
o Writers
o Readers (authenticated, can comment or anonymous, strictly read
only)

] Data
o Articles
o Comments

] Rules

o Anonymous readers can read published documents.

o Authenticated users can function as anonymous readers.
o Authenticated users can comment on published documents.

o Writers can function as authenticated readers.
o Writers can read/modify/create their own unpublished documents.

o Editors can function as authenticated readers.
o Editors can read and modify unpublished documents.
o Editors can publish/unpublish documents.

-=-

There are other designs that would fit in here, but I think this
scenario covers the basics.
The first snag I think that came up in my discussions on IRC is
preventing the display of unpublished documents.  The second snag is
how do you manage users and their roles effectively without having to
hand-edit files every time a change is needed?

It was my understanding (again, correct me if I'm wrong!) that it is
not currently possible to block read access to documents.

Anyway, hopefully some good talks and maybe some ideas for
improvements come of my questions here!  Thanks for any input
everyone, feel free to ask for clarification if any is needed.

- Alex

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