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Stanford Authority Manager Privilege management use case Integration CAMP Denver, June 27, 2005. Lynn McRae Stanford University Stanford Authority Manager. Initial production, November 2001 Created in conjunction with ERP migration from mainframe

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Stanford authority manager privilege management use case integration camp denver june 27 2005

Stanford Authority ManagerPrivilege management use caseIntegration CAMPDenver, June 27, 2005

Lynn McRae

Stanford University

Stanford authority manager
Stanford Authority Manager

  • Initial production, November 2001

  • Created in conjunction with ERP migration from mainframe

    • Student Administration (PeopleSoft/SA)

      • Sept 2001

    • Human Resources (PeopleSoft/HR)

      • Sept 2002

    • Oracle Financials

      • Sept 2004

Stanford authority goals
Stanford Authority Goals

  • Simplify authority policy, management and interpretation.

  • Manage and summarize the privileges of an individual in one place.

  • Support consistent application of authority across systems via the infrastructure.

  • Provide automatic revocation of authority based on affiliation changes.

  • Evolve role-based authority -- managing privileges based on job function.

Stanford authority architecture
Stanford Authority Architecture

  • Central Authority Management

  • Common user interface.

    • based on business functions and language, not system-specific or in technical terms

  • Rich privileges -- e.g., scope, direct qualifiers, indirect qualifiers

  • Supports a model of distributed Authority management.

    • Integrated with Organizational Registry

    • Records “chain of delegation”

Stanford authority architecture1
Stanford Authority Architecture

  • Central Authority Management

  • A repository of authority assignments and resulting privilege information.

  • Does not replace the security systems in each local system.

  • Requires integration/synchronization of data between Authority system and local systems.

  • Features to facilitate mapping of user assignments to target systems.

Authority manager assignments
Authority Manager Assignments

  • 45,000+ active assignments (70k to date)

    • 32,000+ financial

    • 5,500+ hr

    • 3,500+ student

    • 4,000+ Enterprise Reporting

    • 58 Research Administration (conflict-of-interest)

    • 4 Space Management (new)

  • 144 are “authority authority” assignments

    • For “granting proxy” within Authority Manager

Statistics gathered week of June 20-25, 2005

Authority manager assignments1
Authority Manager Assignments

  • 381 current grantors(2.6% of ~14,000 faculty/staff)

    • 329 financial

    • 45 hr

    • 116 student

  • 5,106 current grantees(36% of faculty/staff)

    • 2,899 financial

    • 795 hr

    • 1,183 student

  • 897 grantees (18%) can delegate to others


Prerequisitescontrol auto-activation

2,950 assignments are “pending”

Most: nightly feed from LMS (STARS - Stanford Training and Registration System)

Some: direct workgroup maintenance


  • Manage HR Records Training

  • Alcohol Approver

  • Sign Confidentiality Statement

  • Cost Policy Training

  • DPA

  • iBudget Training

  • Labor Distribution Training

  • Labor Distribution Adjustments Training

  • GFS Policy and Entry Training

  • GFS Read Only Access Training

  • Student Records Dept Course Setup

  • Student Admin Basics Training

  • FERPA GLB, Student Financial Acct Training


  • Conditionscontrol auto-revocation

  • 462 assignments have expiration date

    • 1.1% of 42,000 active assignments

  • All others have “While at Stanford”

    • Based on “stanford administrative” -- faculty, staff (including casual/temps) and sponsored affiliates

    • Mostly great, but not precise enough -- need “while in department”


  • Granting authority governed by two principles

    • You can only give what you have, or less

    • Permission use or to give to others is separate and explicit

  • Stanford Authority Manager is open to the “Stanford administrative” community

  • Any user can see all privileges for any other user

Designated drivers
Designated drivers

  • Granting proxy

    • Acting in Authority Manager for someone else who has Authority

    • Can “grant only”; does not actually have privileges

    • Cultural necessity

  • Acting approver

    • Assumes privileges temporarily

Help and training
Help and Training

  • Core system owned by Stanford IT (ITSS)

  • General use/availability/problem reports through central Help Desk

    • Tier 1 help, else direct user to central office or IT staff.

  • Web based training

    • IT developed module for basic system commands and concepts

    • Subsystem owners responsible for training module in their own realm

    • Online Tutorial available through the UI

Authority manager person view

Janet King

Janet King

Janet King

Janet King

Authority Manager - Person View

Integration challenges
Integration Challenges

  • PeopleSoft and Oracle do not have security APIs

  • Custom development to process “privileges” XML document into local system

  • Inadequate resource planning for the scope of integration work

  • Skill set issues

  • Has led to more centralized support for integration

No user serviceable parts

Warranty void if opened

Integration challenges1
Integration Challenges

  • PeopleSoft still uses manual integration

    • Nightly email/printed report

    • Staff job to transfer data into PeopleSoft security panels

    • Being automated this summer

  • Audits

    • Required to establish trust in Authority Manager assertions

    • Non-trivial independent effort

    • Effort is ongoing

Integration challenges2
Integration Challenges

  • Authority/business system functional gaps

    • Oracle Financials, more than 1 active approver

    • Oracle Financials, workflow referrals up

    • PeopleSoft: cross associations (false positives)

  • Bootstrap grantor issues

    • “real” authorization chain

    • schools vs central office model

    • bulk loading at initial conversion, no recorded chain of authorization


  • Online views

    • Good for person details

    • Weak for organization level details

  • Lack of independent reporting

    • Priority for new development

    • Controls for reporting down a hierarchy

  • Upcoming work to integrate with ReportMart

Ui challenges
UI Challenges

  • Style of business language

    • Nouns/verbs, roles/action, non-system-specific

  • Perceived complexity of wizard interactions for repetitive tasks

    • Ameliorated by some wrap-around controls

  • Performance/scalability problems in Web app, esp. for users with a lot of authority

Functional needs
Functional needs

  • Granting to Groups or Roles

  • Transfer of authority from old to new person

  • Revoke all

  • Bulk grantor updates

  • Lack of administrative interface

    • Supported centrally by IT staff

    • Changes in metadata complex and confusing

  • Option to limit granting to only one level


  • Distributed delegation model

  • Auto-activation and revocation

  • Near realtime integration

    • Stanford events service

  • Consistency of UI across domains

  • Re-use across systems (report mart)

  • Stanford model adopted for I2/NMI Signet Privilege Management software

Stanford authority manager privilege management use case integration camp denver june 27 2005



Lynn McRae,