The Security package provides a security framework that allows an application to use OpenID or OAuth security frameworks. This security framework was first developed within the Ada Server Faces project. It was moved to a separate project so that it can easily be used with AWS. This package defines abstractions that are close or similar to Java security package.

The security framework uses the following abstractions:

  • Policy and policy manager: The Policy defines and implements the set of security rules that specify how to protect the system or resources. The Policy_Manager maintains the security policies.

  • Principal: The Principal is the entity that can be authenticated. A principal is obtained after successful authentication of a user or of a system through an authorization process. The OpenID or OAuth authentication processes generate such security principal.

  • Permission: The Permission represents an access to a system or application resource. A permission is checked by using the security policy manager. The policy manager uses a security controller to enforce the permission.

The Security_Context holds the contextual information that the security controller can use to verify the permission. The security context is associated with a principal and a set of policy context.


An application will create a security policy manager and register one or several security policies (yellow). The framework defines a simple role based security policy and an URL security policy intended to provide security in web applications. The security policy manager reads some security policy configuration file which allows the security policies to configure and create the security controllers. These controllers will enforce the security according to the application security rules. All these components are built only once when an application starts.

A user is authenticated through an authentication system which creates a Principal instance that identifies the user (green). The security framework provides two authentication systems: OpenID and OAuth 2.0 OpenID Connect.

When a permission must be enforced, a security context is created and linked to the Principal instance (blue). Additional security policy context can be added depending on the application context. To check the permission, the security policy manager is called and it will ask a security controller to verify the permission.

The framework allows an application to plug its own security policy, its own policy context, its own principal and authentication mechanism.


The Security.Permissions package defines the different permissions that can be checked by the access control manager. An application should declare each permission by instantiating the Definition package:

package Perm_Create_Workspace is new Security.Permissions.Definition ("create-workspace");

This declares a permission that can be represented by "create-workspace" in configuration files. In Ada, the permission is used as follows:



A principal is created by using either the [Security_Auth OpenID], the [Security_OAuth OAuth] or another authentication mechanism. The authentication produces an object that must implement the Principal interface. For example:

P : Security.Auth.Principal_Access := Security.Auth.Create_Principal (Auth);


P : Security.OAuth.Clients.Access_Token_Access := Security.OAuth.Clients.Create_Access_Token

The principal is then stored in a security context.

Security Context

The security context provides contextual information for a security controller to verify that a permission is granted. This security context is used as follows:

  • An instance of the security context is declared within a function/procedure as a local variable. This instance will be associated internally with the current thread through a task attribute.
  • The security context is populated with information to identify the current user, his roles, permissions and other information that could be used by security controllers.
  • To verify a permission, the current security context is retrieved and the Has_Permission operation is called. This operation will use the security manager to find the security controller associated with the permission to verify.
  • The security controller will be called with the security context to check the permission. The whole job of checking the permission is done by the security controller or its associated policy manager. The security controller retrieves information from the security context to decide whether the permission is granted or not.

For example the security context is declared as follows:

Context : Security.Contexts.Security_Context;

A security policy and a principal must be set in the security context. The security policy defines the rules that govern the security and the principal identifies the current user.

Context.Set_Context (Policy_Manager, P);

A permission is checked by using the Has_Permission operation:

if Security.Contexts.Has_Permission (Perm_Create_Workspace.Permission) then
  -- Granted
  -- Denied
end if;