Version 77 (modified by Nuwan Waidyanatha, 10 years ago) ( diff )


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.


Sahana Eden 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 can be verified:

auth.settings.registration_requires_verification = False

We can also use Recaptcha.

We can easily add support for other systems:


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

New BluePrintAuthorization.

  • 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

It should be possible to completely disable the ability to Delete records (instead they would be marked as 'Inactive'. Inactive records can be archived). This is for Audit purposes.
Marking as inactive should be done using a date field instead of a simple boolean since then records can be set to expire.

Sahana2 specifications:

(NB The Vol module currently uses a separate method)

We link the auth_user table with the Person Registry's pr_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 db( > 0).count():
    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)
    auth.add_membership(1, 1)

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/

There are 3 modes for Authorisation right now:

NB 'full' mode requires each permission to be explicitly granted.
We default to having all 'Authenticated' users able to Reade & only 'Administrators' being able to Create/Update/Delete. Administrators can manually add other users to 'Editors' if-required.
Modules can provide further restrictions in models/

Whether a user is authorised or not is defined using has_permission() in models/ & called by the RESTlike controller

We use auth_group table for Roles & auth_membership to show which roles a user has.

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


STATUS: Complete apart from implementation in Many<>Many.
The solution hooks the RESTlike controller so anything which bypasses that is not logged (other than the simple 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 as 2 checkboxes in the admin settings UI, 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 auth_events table with granular logging options, so we may wish to make use of this.

There is another recipe here:

Web2Py now has a new crud.archive method:


Note: See TracWiki for help on using the wiki.