Gartner Research

Designing Authorization Infrastructure to Power Applications in a Federated and Hybrid Cloud World

Published: 15 May 2013

ID: G00251379

Analyst(s): Ian Glazer


How and where applications decided what actions users were allowed to perform was once relatively straightforward — but no longer. Advancements in externalized authorization technologies and the increase in federated and cloud applications present new challenges and opportunities for identity teams.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Authorization Architecture Criteria
  • Comparing Authorization Architectures


  • Decision as a Service
  • The Granularity of Authorization Spectrum
  • Where Should Decisions Be Made?
  • Federation Authorization Patterns
    • Identity Provider as Authorization Service
    • Identity Provider as Authorization Service Plus Attributes
  • Externalized Authorization Patterns
    • Externalized Authorization Pros
    • Externalized Authorization Cons
    • Co-located Authorization: PDP and PEP There
    • Centralized Authorization: PDP There, PEP Here
    • Identity Oracle: PDP Here, PEP There
    • Federated Authorization: PIP There
    • Distributed Policy: PAP Here
  • Federation Plus Externalized Authorization Patterns
    • Identity Provider Plus PEP
    • Service Provider Plus PEP
  • Deciding About Decision as a Service
  • Ease Into Authorization
  • Perform an Application Assessment
  • Evaluate Granularity Requirements
  • Determine Whether an Externalized Authorization Approach Is Appropriate
  • Get Ready for an Attribute-Based World
  • Develop a Flexible Response
  • Authorization for Federated Applications
  • Authorization for Cloud-Based Applications

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