RBAC Authorization For Different Roles Per Application

We are trying to begin using Okta as the authorization source for multiple applications after implementing authentication. We have several applications, and each user can have a different role depending on the application. Not all roles exist for each application. The role data is currently retrieved from a web service we maintain, but are hoping to eliminate in favor of using Okta. Are there any built-in Okta features that would allow a separate role to be stored for each application? Or is there an equivalent style of authorization architecture Okta supports that would allow us to easily transition to using Okta as the sole authorization source?

Yes, Okta provides robust features for handling authorization and managing user roles across multiple applications. Here are some recommendations and features you can leverage:

  1. Groups:
  • Okta allows you to create groups, and users can be assigned to one or more groups. Each group can represent a role or a set of roles.
  • You can create different groups for each application and assign users to the appropriate groups based on their roles in those applications.
  1. Application Assignments:
  • Okta enables you to assign applications to users or groups. For each application assignment, you can specify the user’s role or roles within that application.
  • This allows you to control access to specific applications and define the user’s role within each application separately.
  1. Custom Attributes:
  • You can use custom attributes to store additional information about users, including their roles. Custom attributes provide flexibility for storing application-specific data.
  • Create custom attributes for each application and populate them with the corresponding role information.
  1. Authorization Servers and Scopes:
  • Okta supports OAuth 2.0 authorization servers and scopes. You can define scopes to represent different roles or permissions within your applications.
  • When users authenticate, they can request specific scopes, and the issued tokens will contain information about the granted scopes (roles).
  1. Universal Directory (UD) Groups and Profiles:
  • Okta’s Universal Directory supports groups and profiles, providing a way to organize users based on roles.
  • You can use UD groups to manage user roles and profiles to store additional user-related information.
  1. Okta Hooks:
  • Okta Hooks allow you to customize and extend Okta workflows. You can use hooks to perform actions when users are assigned to groups, applications, or during other events.
  • This flexibility can be useful for implementing custom authorization logic.

By leveraging these Okta features, you can design a comprehensive and scalable authorization system for your applications. The approach you choose will depend on your specific use case and requirements. It’s often beneficial to use a combination of these features to achieve the desired level of granularity and control over user roles and permissions.