Friday, November 7, 2014

Apache Syncope 1.2 tutorial - part II

The previous tutorial on the new features of Apache Syncope 1.2 showed how to use the new UI installer to deploy Apache Syncope to Apache Tomcat, using MySQL for persistent storage. Last year we covered how to import users (and roles) from backend resources such as a database or a directory. An important new feature of Apache Syncope 1.2 is the ability to import non-cleartext passwords into Syncope when synchronizing from backend resources (and also the ability to propagate non-cleartext passwords to resources). The default behaviour is to hash the password according to the global configuration parameter 'password.cipher.algorithm' (defaults to SHA-1). This is problematic if the password is already hashed, as user authentication via the Syncope REST API will then fail.

1) Create policies in Apache Syncope

The first step is to start Apache Syncope and to create some policies for account and password creation, as well as synchronization. Start Syncope and go to the Configuration tab. Select "Policies" and create new "global" policy types for both "Account", "Password" and "Synchronization", with some sensible default values.

2) Synchronizing non-cleartext passwords from Apache Derby.

This is an update from the previous blog entry on importing users from Apache Derby using Syncope 1.1. Follow step 1 "Creating a Schema attribute" and step 2 "Apache Derby" in the previous blog. However, in section 2.b, rather than adding users with plaintext passwords, use the following user value instead when creating a table:

INSERT INTO USERS VALUES('dave', '8eec7bc461808e0b8a28783d0bec1a3a22eb0821', 'true', 'yellow');

Instead of using a plaintext password value, the second field is the SHA-1 encoded value of "security". In section 3.a "Define a Connector", it is necessary to change the "Password cipher algorithm" value from "CLEARTEXT" to "SHA1". In step 3.b "Define a Resource", it is necessary to specify an external attribute for the Username mapping of "NAME". Finally, in step 3.c "Create a synchronization task", use the "DBSyncPasswordActions" action class. This class treats the password retrieved from the table as encoded according to the "Password cipher algorithm" parameter of the Connector ("SHA1" in this case), and to store it directly in Syncope without subsequently hashing it again, which is what would happen for the plaintext case. Note that the presumption is that the (hashed) password is HEX encoded in the table.

After executing the synchronization task, then start a browser and navigate to "http://localhost:8080/syncope/rest/users/self", logging on as "dave" and "security".

3) Synchronizing non-cleartext passwords from Apache DS.

This is an update from the previous blog entry on importing users and roles from an LDAP backend such as Apache DS into Apache Syncope 1.1. Follow the first step in the previous tutorial to set up Apache DS and import users and groups. Add some users, e.g. "colm", this time with a SHA-256 encoded password. Importing users with encoded passwords from LDAP is a bit more sophisticated than the DB case above, because individual users can have different digest algorithms with the LDAP synchronization case, whereas all users must have the same digest algorithm for the DB synchronization case.

Start up Syncope, and follow the steps given in the previous tutorial to create a new connector and resource. The only difference with Syncope 1.2 is that you need to specify the external attribute for both the Username and Rolename mapping ("cn" in both cases for this example). Finally, create the Synchronization task as per the previous tutorial. However this time add both the LDAPPasswordSyncActions and LDAPMembershipSyncActions classes as "Actions classes". Finally execute the task, and check to see if the users + roles were imported successfully into Syncope. You can then log on via
"http://localhost:8080/syncope/rest/users/self" using any of the users imported from Apache DS, regardless of the internal cipher algorithm that was used.

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