1. Introduction

TAO 2.4 introduces a new Users Management Model which is more clear, flexible and configurable. You will find in this Wiki page all the information needed to seamlessly understand and use it.

  1. Major concepts

The Users Management Model of TAO is basically built upon two major concepts: Users and Roles.

  • A User is given 1 to many Roles
  • Roles may include 0 to many Roles.

In addition, the following business logic is applied to them.

  • If a user U is given a role A which includes role B, then U has roles A and B.

2.1. Users

Users in TAO are represented as instances of the User class. This class is structured as it follows.

  • Label: User
  • URI: tao:User
  • subClassOf: generis:User

    Property Label Property URI Range Definition

    Label rdfs:label rdfs:Literal The label of the user Comment rdfs:comment rdfs:Literal The comment about the user First Name generis:userFirstName rdfs:Literal The first name of the user Last Name generis:userLastName rdfs:Literal The last name of the user Login generis:login rdfs:Literal The login of the user Password generis:password rdfs:Literal The password of the user (md5 hash) Mail generis:userMail rdfs:Literal The e-mail address of the user Data Language generis:userDefLg tao:Languages The default data language of the user User Interface Language generis:userUILg tao:Languages The default GUI language of the user Roles generis:userRoles generis:ClassRole The Role(s) of the user

2.2. Roles

Roles in TAO are represented as instances of the Role class. This class is structured as it follows.

  • Label: Role
  • URI: generis:ClassRole
  • subClassOf: generis:generis_Ressource

    Property Label Property URI Range Definition

    Label rdfs:label rdfs:Literal The label of the role Comment rdfs:comment rdfs:Literal The comment about the role Includes Roles generis:includesRole generis:ClassRole Roles that are included by the roles

  1. Use Cases

You might wonder why this Users and Roles Management Model exists, and to what it is used for. Actually it was designed to achieve two particular use cases:

  • Users Authentication: Authenticate users against the system in multiple contexts (Management, Delivery, Workflows)
  • Functionality Access Control: Grant access or not to users depending on the roles they were given.

3.1. Users Authentication

To authenticate a user against the system the login and password property values of the user are used in addition with the roles it had been given.

For instance, the TAO meta-extension which is the main access to the TAO Back Office. To allow a user to be identified against the system and access the TAO Back Office, it will

  • Check if the provided login and password values can be matched in the persistent memory.
  • Check if the user found in persistent memory that matches login and password values has the Back Office role directly or by role(s) inclusion.

If these two conditions are met, the user is indeed authenticated against the TAO Back Office.

3.2. Functonality Access Control

When your user is authenticated, you might want to know what are the features he can access or not. Our Users Management Model takes this in consideration by extending the concept of Role. For each Role, administrators will be able to define what are the functionalities that can be accesssed.

The TAO Functionality Access Control is too much substantial to be entirely covered in this introduction to the Users Management Model of TAO. In a nutshell, Roles can be granted to entire MVC Modules of TAO Extensions (corse-grained control) or to single MVC Actions (fine-grained control).

Feel free to visit the dedicated Functionality_Access_Control|Wiki page covering TAO Functionality Access Control if you want to learn more about it.

  1. Users and Roles Base Map

Now that you know the basics of Users and Roles in TAO, you can now discover the Users and Roles Base Map. The most basic TAO running platform possible is made of the TAO meta-extension on its own. You will not be able to do a lot of things with a such basic installation of course but it is a good start to understand how TAO implements the Users and Roles concepts and how they are linked together.

The Users and Roles model that is generated at TAO meta-extension installation time is called the Base Map. It contains all the roles and users needed to install and manage other extensions in order to make your TAO platform growing up in size and features. The Base Map contains Abstract Roles that will be included by more concrete roles that will be gradually be created by additional extensions but also the Manager Role that will be given to the TAO Platform Super User.

Let us describe a bit more further the concepts shown on the figure above.

  • Anonymous Role: This role is the most basic role you can give to a user in TAO.
  • BackOffice Role: This role will be given to users that can access to extensions that are part of the TAO Back Office.
  • FrontOffice Role: This role will be given to users that can access to extensions that have a Front Office part, such as the taoDelivery extension.
  • Service Role: A specific role that will be given to users that should have access to Web Services provided by TAO Extensions.
  • Manager Role: The Manager Role is a specific role that is given to Super Users only. Each time a TAO Extension is installed on your platform, it will be given access to all the features it. We will see this aspect more in details later on.
  1. The Manager Role

As seen previously, the Manager Role is very important role. Indeed, any time a TAO Extension is installed on your platform, the Manager Role will be given access to all the functionalities provided by the installed extension. How does this work.

Actually, when a TAO extension is installed, a dedicated Extension Management Role which includes the BackOffice Role is created for this extension, with all permissions on its functionalities. After the creation of this role dedicated to the extension’s management, the role is included by the Manager Role. As a result, all users that have been given the Management Role will be automatically granted an entire access to the installed extension.

  1. TAO Open Source Distribution Users Management Model

Now that you are familiar with Users and Roles in TAO, we will now describe the Users Management Model as it comes with a fresh TAO Open Source distribution. This particular TAO distribution is composed of multiple extensions that enables end users to manage a complete Assessment Cycle, from Test Takers creation to Test Delivery.

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  1. Related Readings

  • Functionality_Access_Control|Functionality Access Control