Version 45 (modified by Fran Boon, 14 years ago) ( diff )

auth_user/auth_group tables

Blueprint for Authentication, Authorization & Accounting

Authentication is the act of establishing or confirming someone's identity.
Authorization is the concept of allowing access to resources only to those permitted to use them.
Accounting refers to the tracking of user actions - an audit trail.


SahanaPy currently authenticates on email address/password.

  • this is the method supported by default in Web2Py (Auth class in gluon/

The default configuration is that Self-Registration is enabled.
This can be easily disabled via a single setting in the s3_setting table.

The email address is currently not verified.

  • this should be fixed. Web2Py supports this: auth.settings.mailer=mail

Web2Py also supports Recaptcha.

Sahana2 supports OpenID (as does Launchpad), so that would be good to support & looks easy:


We want to be able to provide a simple way of setting the overall security policy - allowing for flexible deployment options.

  • Anonymous access is granted for all Read operations, with Create/Update/Delete requiring a user to be Authenticated
  • Anonymous access isn't granted for anything - all access requires a user to be Authenticated
  • Modules able to be restricted by Role membership
  • Tables able to be restricted by Role membership
    • C/R/U/D permissions distinct
  • Records able to be restricted by Role membership
    • C/R/U/D permissions distinct

Sahana2 specifications:

(NB The Vol module currently uses a separate method)

We also want to look at whether we should link the auth_user table with the Person Registry's person table

The admin role is pre-defined during initialisation in (The first user to register will have this role by default):

table = 'auth_group'
# 1st-run initialisation
if not len(db().select(db[table].ALL)):
    auth.add_group('Administrator',description='System Administrator - can access & make changes to any data')
    # 1st person created will be System Administrator (can be changed later)

Additional roles such as Country/Regional Admin, Organisation/Office/Camp Admin are set within the GIS/OR/CR modules respectively.


S3 builds on the default Web2Py Auth system (in gluon/

Anonymous access is currently granted for all Read operations, with Create/Update/Delete requiring a user to be Authenticated: auth.is_logged_in()

  • Web2Py can extend this by protecting resources with auth.has_membership() (table level security which can be separated for C/R/U/D) & auth.has_permission() (record-level security)
  • we should probably support these by adding hooks into the RESTlike controller

We use sahana_group table for Roles & sahana_membership to show which roles a user has.

  • admin role initialised in
  • 1st user to register gets Administrator role

We expose this as s3.roles so that it is accessible to Controllers & Views.

  • layout.html

User maintenance can be done via appadmin until we develop our own UI:


STATUS: Complete apart from needing to get new_values back from the form after processing.
The solution hooks the RESTlike controller so anything which bypasses that is not logged (unless using the T2 fields: created_by, updated_by).

To do more would require patching the DAL.

Events can be audited at the Global level or the per-Module level.

Most auditing wins, so if the Global is True, then all Modules will Log. If Global is False then Modules have control & can selectively enable it.

Global settings are defined in s3_settings table.
Per-Module settings are defined in module_settings table.
Each defines 2 levels of Auditing - Audit just Changes (C/U/D), or also Reads:

  • audit_read
  • audit_write

These are passed to the session for use in controllers/displays:

  • session.s3.audit_read
  • session.s3.audit_write

For now this is configured via appadmin, although we should later make a nicer UI which has a single checkbox for 'Enable Auditing'. This then opens up a two checkboxes:

  • Global
  • Module-specific

If each is ticked, this sets the audit_write & opens up an extra checkbox for 'Enable Auditing of Reads' (sets audit_read).

NB Web2Py's Auth now includes it's own sahana_events table with granular logging options, so we may wish to make use of this.


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