Guide to configuring and using ForgeRock® Access Management as a RADIUS Server.


This guide shows you how to configure, maintain, and troubleshoot ForgeRock Access Management when acting as a RADIUS server.

This guide is written for access management designers, developers, and administrators who build, deploy, and maintain Access Management services and features for their organizations.

About ForgeRock Identity Platform™ Software

ForgeRock Identity Platform™ serves as the basis for our simple and comprehensive Identity and Access Management solution. We help our customers deepen their relationships with their customers, and improve the productivity and connectivity of their employees and partners. For more information about ForgeRock and about the platform, see

Chapter 1. Introducing the RADIUS Server Service

RADIUS is a lightweight, datagram-based protocol formally specified in RFC 2865 that is supported by many devices and servers for external authentication. VPN concentrators, routers, switches, wireless access points, and many other devices have native RADIUS support. Such devices are known as RADIUS clients. Using the RADIUS protocol, they converse with RADIUS servers to authenticate entities, such as users attempting to access their resources.

1.1. The RADIUS Protocol

The RADIUS protocol itself is quite simple. There are four packet types:

  • Access-Request packets are sent from a client to a server to begin a new authentication conversation, or to respond to a previous response in an existing conversation and provide requested information.

  • Access-Accept packets are sent from a server to a client to indicate a successful authentication.

  • Access-Reject packets are sent from a server to a client to indicate a failed authentication.

  • Access-Challenge packets are sent from a server to a client to solicit more information from the entity being authenticated.

Each packet type defines:

  • A set of fields that must be included

  • Other fields that can be included to convey:

    • Additional requirements
    • Information about the context of the conversation
    • Attributes of the entity after successful authentication

For example, an Access-Request packet should always contain user name and password fields. It can contain other fields that provide information about the client making the request, such as inclusion of the optional State field indicates that a packet is part of an authentication conversation already in progress. Its absence indicates the start of a new conversation.

An authentication conversation always begins with an Access-Request packet that does not have a State field. If the RADIUS server only requires the user name and password for authentication, then conversations will complete after the server sends an Access-Accept or Access-Reject packet, depending on whether the authentication credentials were valid.

If more information is required by the server, such as an SMS-relayed one-time password sent to the user's phone, the additional requirement can be solicited using an Access-Challenge response to the client, followed by an Access-Request packet that has a State field that associates it with the existing conversation. The conversation completes with an Access-Accept or Access-Reject packet depending on whether the one-time password supplied in the second request matches the password sent to the user's phone.

This conversational style in which the server accepts, rejects, or solicits more information makes RADIUS an excellent match for leveraging AM's authentication infrastructure. AM performs authentication using chains of authentication modules found in realms.

These modules identify authentication requirements that are conveyed to clients wishing to authenticate. The modules then accept values submitted by the user for verification. The mechanism for modules to convey these requirements to AM is through a finite set of constructs known as callbacks. By leveraging AM's flexible and extensible authentication mechanism, organizations can craft an authentication experience suitable for their needs, while using the same mechanisms for both HTTP and RADIUS authentication.

1.2. RADIUS Support

Two ForgeRock Access Management features support the RADIUS protocol: the RADIUS authentication module and the RADIUS Server service.

1.2.1. RADIUS Authentication Module

The RADIUS authentication module enables AM to act as a RADIUS client, delegating authentication to an external RADIUS server:

RADIUS Authentication Module: Successful Authentication Flow
RADIUS Authentication Module: Successful Authentication Flow

Use the RADIUS authentication module when you want AM to pass user names and passwords through to an external RADIUS server so that the RADIUS server can authenticate the users.

For information about configuring the RADIUS authentication module, see "RADIUS Authentication Module Properties" in the Authentication and Single Sign-On Guide.

1.2.2. RADIUS Server Service

The RADIUS Server service provides a RADIUS server within AM. The server authenticates RADIUS clients that are external to AM. The server is backed by AM's authentication chains and modules, thereby providing the possibility of multi-factor authentication in addition to simple user name and password authentication.

The following example shows the flow of a successful simple user name and password authentication attempt from a RADIUS client:

RADIUS Server Service: Successful Simple Authentication Flow
RADIUS Server Service: Successful Simple Authentication Flow

The following example shows the flow of a successful multi-factor authentication scenario in which the RADIUS Server service is backed by an authentication chain that includes the LDAP and the ForgeRock Authenticator (OATH) authentication modules. First, the LDAP authentication module requires the user to provide a user name and password. Then the ForgeRock Authenticator (OATH) module requires the user to enter a one-time password obtained from the authenticator app on a mobile phone:

RADIUS Server Service: Successful Multi-Factor Authentication Flow
RADIUS Server Service: Successful Multi-Factor Authentication Flow

The rest of this chapter covers the configuration of the RADIUS Server service in an AM deployment.

Chapter 2. Implementing the RADIUS Server Service

This chapter describes how to configure AM as a Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) server that can accept authentication requests from RADIUS clients.

2.1. Configuring the RADIUS Server Service

The AM RADIUS server is disabled by default. To enable it, perform the following steps:

To Enable and Configure the RADIUS Server
  1. Login to the AM console as the top-level administrative user, such as amadmin.

  2. Navigate to Configure > Global Services, and then click RADIUS Server.

  3. Under Secondary Configuration Instance, click New.

    AM uses secondary configuration instances in the RADIUS Server service to encapsulate RADIUS clients. You must configure one secondary configuration instance, also known as a subconfiguration, for each client that will connect to the RADIUS Server.

  4. Configure attributes for the subconfiguration. See "RADIUS Server" for information about configuring the subconfiguration attributes.

  5. Click Add to add the configuration for the RADIUS client to the overall RADIUS Server service's configuration.

  6. If you have multiple RADIUS clients that will connect to the AM RADIUS server, add a subconfiguration for each client. It is not necessary to configure all your RADIUS clients when you configure the RADIUS Server service initially—you can add and remove clients over time as you need them.

  7. Configure global attributes of the RADIUS Server service. At a minimum, set the Enabled field to YES to start the RADIUS server immediately after you save the RADIUS Server service configuration.

    See "RADIUS Server" for information about configuring the RADIUS Server service's global attributes.

  8. On the main configuration page for the RADIUS Server service, click Save.

The RADIUS server starts immediately after you save the configuration if the Enabled field has the value YES. Any time you make changes to the RADIUS Server service configuration, they take effect as soon as you save the changes.

Chapter 3. Troubleshooting the RADIUS Server Service

This chapter describes how to troubleshoot AM as a Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) server that can accept authentication requests from RADIUS clients.

3.1. Troubleshooting the RADIUS Server Service

This section covers how to configure AM to troubleshoot the RADIUS Server service, and provides details about some specific issues that you might run into when using the RADIUS Server service.

3.1.1. Configuring for Troubleshooting the RADIUS Server Service

If you need to troubleshoot the RADIUS Server service, enable message-level debugging. For information about enabling debug logging, see "Debug Logging" in the Setup and Maintenance Guide.

With message-level debug logging enabled, AM writes messages to the Radius debug log file when notable events occur, including the following:

  • RADIUS server startup

  • Changes to the RADIUS server configuration

  • Successful and unsuccessful client connections

  • Various error events

You can also configure the RADIUS Server service to log the packets sent between RADIUS clients and AM. To enable packet logging, use the Log Packet Contents for this Client property when configuring RADIUS clients in the RADIUS Server service.

3.1.2. Solutions to Common RADIUS Server Service Issues

This section offers solutions to issues that you might encounter when configuring communication between RADIUS clients and the RADIUS Server service. The solutions assume that you have enabled message-level debugging for the RADIUS Server service in AM and have access to the debug logs.

Client Cannot Connect

When a RADIUS client connects to AM's RADIUS server and hangs without receiving a response, the problem could be one of four possible issues:

  • The AM RADIUS Server service is not enabled.

    An entry similar to the following in the Radius debug log indicates that AM's RADIUS Server was started:

    amRadiusServer:10/12/2015 12:00:14:814 PM PDT: Thread[RADIUS-1812-Listener,5,main]:
    RADIUS Listener is Active.
    Port              : 1812
    Threads Core      : 2
    Threads Max       : 10
    Thread Keep-alive : 10 sec
    Request Queue     : 10

    If no such entry exists in the debug log, re-examine the configuration for the RADIUS Server service and correct the problem.

  • The client is not defined.

    An entry similar to the following in the Radius debug log indicates the inability of a client to connect:

    amRadiusServer:10/12/2015 04:05:53:681 PM PDT: Thread[RADIUS-1812-Listener,5,main]:
    WARNING: No Defined RADIUS Client matches IP address / Dropping request.

    To fix the problem, correct the client configuration in the RADIUS Server service.

  • The handler class for the client is incorrect.

    An entry similar to the following in the Radius debug log indicates an incorrect handler class:

    ERROR: Configuration setting handlerClass in RADIUS Client configuration named
    'TestClient' is invalid. Requests from this client will be ignored.

    To fix the problem, correct the client configuration in the RADIUS Server service.

  • Traffic is not arriving at the AM server.

    No specific debug log entries appear for this problem.

    This is likely a network communication problem. Investigate the route for traffic between the RADIUS client and the AM RADIUS server to see where communication is lost.

Authentication Always Fails

When authentication always fails, the probable cause is one of the following three issues:

  • The client secret configured for the client in the RADIUS Server service is incorrect.

    In an Access-Request packet, the shared secret is used along with the random value sent in the request authenticator field to encrypt the password field value that is passed across the wire. If the client and server's shared secrets are not identical, the password expected by the server will not match the password sent by the client, resulting in authentication always failing. The user's password is always incorrect in such a scenario and there is no way for the server to differentiate between the client secret being incorrect and the password sent from the client being incorrect. The log file indicates that AM has sent an Access-Reject packet to the client, similar to the action that would be taken if the shared secret matched on the client and server and the user entered an invalid password:

    amRadiusServer:10/12/2015 04:27:55:785 PM PDT: Thread[RADIUS-1812-Listener,5,main]:
    finalPacketType sent in response to auth request: 'ACCESS_REJECT'

    Since the shared secret is specific to each client, such messages might appear for one RADIUS client, while other clients can authenticate successfully.

    To fix this problem, correct the configuration for your client in the RADIUS Server service.

  • The realm configured for the client in the RADIUS Server service is incorrect.

    An entry similar to the following in the Radius debug log indicates an invalid realm in the RADIUS Server service configuration:

    ERROR: Unable to start login process. Denying Access.
    com.sun.identity.authentication.spi.AuthLoginException: Domain is invalid|

    If the realm is missing from the configuration, an error similar to the following appears:

    ERROR: Unable to initialize declared handler class
    'org.forgerock.openam.radius.server.spi.handlers.OpenAMAuthHandler' for RADIUS
    client ''. Rejecting access.
    java.lang.IllegalStateException: Configuration property 'realm' not found in
    handler configuration. It must be added to the Configuration Properties for this
    class in the Radius Client's configuration.

    To fix this problem, correct the client configuration in the RADIUS Server service.

  • The authentication chain configured for the client in the RADIUS Server service is incorrect.

    An entry similar to the following in the Radius debug log indicates an invalid authentication chain in the RADIUS Server service configuration:

    amRadiusServer:10/12/2015 05:32:21:771 PM PDT: Thread[pool-5-thread-2,5,main]:
    TransactionId[378a41cf-0581-4b62-a92f-be2b008ab4d3] ERROR: Unable to start login
    process. Denying Access.

    If the chain is missing from the configuration, an error similar to the following appears:

    ERROR: Unable to initialize declared handler class
    'org.forgerock.openam.radius.server.spi.handlers.OpenAMAuthHandler' for RADIUS
    client ''. Rejecting access.
    java.lang.IllegalStateException: Configuration property 'chain' not found in
    handler configuration. It must be added to the Configuration Properties for this
    class in the Radius Client's configuration.

    To fix this problem, correct the client configuration in the RADIUS Server service.

Configuration Is Correct but Authentication Fails

In this case, you might have a client-specific problem. AM provides a tool that you can use to eliminate AM and its configuration as the cause of the problem. You can declare an alternate handler class implementation in the RADIUS Server service configuration. Two test handlers are available for troubleshooting purposes:

  • The org.forgerock.openam.radius.server.spi.handlers.AcceptAllHandler handler always returns an Access-Accept packet, indicating successful authentication for all requests.

  • The org.forgerock.openam.radius.server.spi.handlers.RejectAllHandler handler always returns an Access-Reject packet, indicating failed authentication for all requests.

In a case where you believe that configuration is correct but authentication always fails, you could specify the org.forgerock.openam.radius.server.spi.handlers.AcceptAllHandler handler class in the RADIUS Server service configuration for your client. With packet logging enabled, all requests received from the client should log packet contents traffic similar to the following even if the password is incorrect:

Packet from TestClient:
    - USER_NAME : demo
    - USER_PASSWORD : *******
    - NAS_IP_ADDRESS : /
    - NAS_PORT : 0

This is followed by:

Packet to TestClient:

If the client still indicates that authentication has failed, refer to the documentation for the client to determine why the Access-Accept response is rejected. Most likely, the client expects specific fields in the Access-Accept response that are not provided by AM. There is currently no facility in AM to return fields in Access-Accept responses.

Authentication Always Succeeds, Even With a Bad Password

This would be a very unusual situation, probably due to the org.forgerock.openam.radius.server.spi.handlers.AcceptAllHandler handler being left in place after troubleshooting an error scenario in which authentication always suceeds.

To resolve the problem, verify that the correct handler class is specified in the RADIUS Server service configuration for the client. If it is not specified, review the authentication modules in the chain that authenticates users and determine whether one of the modules might be accepting all authentication requests. This situation could also occur because of incorrectly-specified module criteria in the chain's definition.

3.2. RADIUS Server Limitations

Deploying AM's RADIUS server lets an organization consolidate RADIUS and HTTP authentication into a single solution, facilitating reuse of existing authentication mechanisms between both types of clients. However, there are several limitations:

  • Because RADIUS authentication attempts always start with a user name and password transmitted in an Access-Request packet, the first module in an authentication chain used for RADIUS clients must accept a user name and a password.

  • By default, AM caches up to 5,000 RADIUS clients concurrently.

    If necessary, you can change the maximum number of RADIUS clients that can be cached concurrently on an AM server by configuring the org.forgerock.openam.radius.server.context.cache.size advanced server property.

    See "Configuring Servers" in the Reference for information about how to configure advanced server properties.

  • Some AM callback types are not applicable to RADIUS clients. For example, a RedirectCallback directs HTTP clients, such as browsers, to HTTP resources to be used for some aspect of authentication. Redirects make no sense to RADIUS clients and cannot be consumed in any meaningful way.

    A ConfirmationCallback also presents challenges for RADIUS clients.

    As a result, some AM authentication modules cannot be used with RADIUS clients. Before attempting to use an authentication module with RADIUS clients, review the module's callbacks to determine whether the module will support RADIUS clients. You can use the REST API to determine the callbacks for an authentication module as described in "Authentication and Logout" in the Development Guide.

  • Some client mechanisms leveraged by authentication modules might not be applicable to RADIUS clients. For example, suppose a customized SMS one-time password module sends a one-time password over an SMS service, and then provides a ChoiceCallback that enables the user to set a cookie in their browser that expires after 30 days. Such a module might first determine whether the cookie was available, still valid, and applicable to the current user before reissuing a new one-time and soliciting the value from the user.

    RADIUS clients are unable to process HTTP cookies. Therefore, although RADIUS clients can support a ChoiceCallback, the customized feature described in the previous paragraph would not function correctly for RADIUS clients and therefore should not be deployed with RADIUS clients. As a result, some callback sets within an authentication module will differ depending on the type of client being authenticated.

  • The RADIUS Server service logs only to the ForgeRock common audit logger introduced in OpenAM 13. It does not log to the classic audit logs that were available prior to OpenAM 13.

When building custom authentication modules, consider their suitability to handle the types of clients that might use them, and make adjustments to callbacks as needed.

Chapter 4. RADIUS Reference

This chapter covers configuration properties for the RADIUS server service feature, which is accessible through the Configure tab of the AM console, most of which can also be set by using the ssoadm command. The chapter is organized to follow the AM console layout.

4.1. RADIUS Server

amster service name: RadiusServerService

4.1.1. Configuration

The following settings appear on the Configuration tab:


Enables the OpenAM RADIUS server to listen for requests on the listener port and to handle the requests.

The possible values for this property are:


Default value: NO

amster attribute: radiusListenerEnabled

Listener Port

The UDP port on which each OpenAM server will listen for RADIUS Access-Request packets

According to the RADIUS Authentication Specification, RFC 2865, the officially assigned port number for RADIUS is 1812. Specify a value from 1024 to 65535. All client requests are handled through the same port.

Default value: 1812

amster attribute: radiusServerPort

Thread Pool Core Size

When a RADIUS request is received and fewer than corePoolSize threads are running, a new thread is created to handle the request, even if other worker threads are idle. If there are more than "Thread Pool Core Size" but less than "Thread Pool Max Size" threads running, a new thread will be created only if the queue is full. By setting "Thread Pool Core Size" and "Thread Pool Max Size" to the same value, you create a fixed-size thread pool. Specify a value from 1 to 100.

Default value: 1

amster attribute: radiusThreadPoolCoreSize

Thread Pool Max Size

Maximum number of threads allowed in the pool. See also "Thread Pool Core Size".

Default value: 10

amster attribute: radiusThreadPoolMaxSize

Thread Pool Keep-Alive Seconds

If the pool currently has more than Thread Pool Core Size threads, excess threads will be terminated if they have been idle for more than the Keep-Alive Seconds. Specify a value from 1 to 3600.

Default value: 10

amster attribute: radiusThreadPoolKeepaliveSeconds

Thread Pool Queue Size

The number of requests that can be queued for the pool before further requests will be silently dropped. See also "Thread Pool Core Size" and "Thread Pool Max Size". Specify a value from 1 to 1000.

Default value: 20

amster attribute: radiusThreadPoolQueueSize

4.1.2. Secondary Configurations

This service has the following Secondary Configurations. radiusClient

Client IP Address

The IP Address of the client.

Section 5.4 of the RADIUS Authentication Specification, RFC 2865, indicates that the source IP address of the Access-Request packet MUST be used to identify a configured client and hence determine the shared secret to use for decrypting the User-Password field.

This property should hold the source IP address of the client. This should match the value obtained from Java's InetSocketAddress.getAddress().toString() function.

To verify the value, send an Access-Request packet to OpenAM's RADIUS port and watch for a message stating: "No Defined RADIUS Client matches IP address '/'. Dropping request.". The value used in this property should match the IP address returned in the single quotes.

Default value: /

amster attribute: clientIpAddress

Client Secret

This secret shared between server and client for encryption of the user password.

This secret must be conveyed to the RADIUS client and entered into its configuration before the User-Password field of incoming Access-Request packets can be decrypted to validate the password for the represented by that packet. A default value is generated for you but you can enter a custom value if desired.

Default value: jqqgLsRzxtdpErPp

amster attribute: clientSecret

Log Packet Contents for this Client

Indicates if full packet contents should be dumped to the log.

When troubleshooting issues with RADIUS it is helpful to know what was received in a given packet. Enabling this feature will cause packet contents to be logged in a human consumable format. The only caveat is that the USER_PASSWORD field will be obfiscated by replacing with asterisks. This should only be enabled for troubleshooting as it adds significant content to logs and slows processing.

Default value: NO

amster attribute: clientPacketsLogged

Handler Class

The fully qualified name of a class to handle incoming RADIUS Access-Requests for this client.

This class must implement the com.sun.identity.authentication.modules.radius.server.spi.AccessRequestHandler interface to handle incoming Access-Request packets and provide a suitable response. An instance of this class is created when configuration is first loaded to validate the class and then once for each new request. The configuration properties will only be passed for the request handling instances and not when validating the class.

Default value: org.forgerock.openam.radius.server.spi.handlers.OpenAMAuthHandler

amster attribute: handlerClass

Handler Class Configuration Properties

Properties needed by the handler class for its configuration.

These properties are provided to the handler via its init method prior to the call to handle the request packet. If these values are changed the next handler instance created for an incoming request will receive the updated values. Each entry assumes that the first '=' character incurred separates a key from its value. All entries are placed in a properties file handed to each handler instance.

Default value:


amster attribute: handlerConfig

Appendix A. Getting Support

For more information or resources about AM and ForgeRock Support, see the following sections:

A.1. Accessing Documentation Online

ForgeRock publishes comprehensive documentation online:

  • The ForgeRock Knowledge Base offers a large and increasing number of up-to-date, practical articles that help you deploy and manage ForgeRock software.

    While many articles are visible to community members, ForgeRock customers have access to much more, including advanced information for customers using ForgeRock software in a mission-critical capacity.

  • ForgeRock product documentation, such as this document, aims to be technically accurate and complete with respect to the software documented. It is visible to everyone and covers all product features and examples of how to use them.

A.2. Using the Site

The site has links to source code for ForgeRock open source software, as well as links to the ForgeRock forums and technical blogs.

If you are a ForgeRock customer, raise a support ticket instead of using the forums. ForgeRock support professionals will get in touch to help you.

A.3. Getting Support and Contacting ForgeRock

ForgeRock provides support services, professional services, training through ForgeRock University, and partner services to assist you in setting up and maintaining your deployments. For a general overview of these services, see

ForgeRock has staff members around the globe who support our international customers and partners. For details on ForgeRock's support offering, including support plans and service level agreements (SLAs), visit


Access control

Control to grant or to deny access to a resource.

Account lockout

The act of making an account temporarily or permanently inactive after successive authentication failures.


Defined as part of policies, these verbs indicate what authorized subjects can do to resources.


In the context of a policy decision denying access, a hint to the policy enforcement point about remedial action to take that could result in a decision allowing access.

Agent administrator

User having privileges only to read and write agent profile configuration information, typically created to delegate agent profile creation to the user installing a web or Java agent.

Agent authenticator

Entity with read-only access to multiple agent profiles defined in the same realm; allows an agent to read web service profiles.


In general terms, a service exposing protected resources.

In the context of AM policies, the application is a template that constrains the policies that govern access to protected resources. An application can have zero or more policies.

Application type

Application types act as templates for creating policy applications.

Application types define a preset list of actions and functional logic, such as policy lookup and resource comparator logic.

Application types also define the internal normalization, indexing logic, and comparator logic for applications.

Attribute-based access control (ABAC)

Access control that is based on attributes of a user, such as how old a user is or whether the user is a paying customer.


The act of confirming the identity of a principal.

Authentication chaining

A series of authentication modules configured together which a principal must negotiate as configured in order to authenticate successfully.

Authentication level

Positive integer associated with an authentication module, usually used to require success with more stringent authentication measures when requesting resources requiring special protection.

Authentication module

AM authentication unit that handles one way of obtaining and verifying credentials.


The act of determining whether to grant or to deny a principal access to a resource.

Authorization Server

In OAuth 2.0, issues access tokens to the client after authenticating a resource owner and confirming that the owner authorizes the client to access the protected resource. AM can play this role in the OAuth 2.0 authorization framework.


Arrangement to federate a principal's identity automatically based on a common attribute value shared across the principal's profiles at different providers.

Bulk federation

Batch job permanently federating user profiles between a service provider and an identity provider based on a list of matched user identifiers that exist on both providers.

Circle of trust

Group of providers, including at least one identity provider, who have agreed to trust each other to participate in a SAML v2.0 provider federation.


In OAuth 2.0, requests protected web resources on behalf of the resource owner given the owner's authorization. AM can play this role in the OAuth 2.0 authorization framework.


Defined as part of policies, these determine the circumstances under which which a policy applies.

Environmental conditions reflect circumstances like the client IP address, time of day, how the subject authenticated, or the authentication level achieved.

Subject conditions reflect characteristics of the subject like whether the subject authenticated, the identity of the subject, or claims in the subject's JWT.

Configuration datastore

LDAP directory service holding AM configuration data.

Cross-domain single sign-on (CDSSO)

AM capability allowing single sign-on across different DNS domains.


Granting users administrative privileges with AM.


Decision that defines which resource names can and cannot be accessed for a given subject in the context of a particular application, which actions are allowed and which are denied, and any related advice and attributes.

Extended metadata

Federation configuration information specific to AM.

Extensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML)

Standard, XML-based access control policy language, including a processing model for making authorization decisions based on policies.


Standardized means for aggregating identities, sharing authentication and authorization data information between trusted providers, and allowing principals to access services across different providers without authenticating repeatedly.


Service provider application capable of participating in a circle of trust and allowing federation without installing all of AM on the service provider side; AM lets you create Java Fedlets.

Hot swappable

Refers to configuration properties for which changes can take effect without restarting the container where AM runs.


Set of data that uniquely describes a person or a thing such as a device or an application.

Identity federation

Linking of a principal's identity across multiple providers.

Identity provider (IdP)

Entity that produces assertions about a principal (such as how and when a principal authenticated, or that the principal's profile has a specified attribute value).

Identity repository

Data store holding user profiles and group information; different identity repositories can be defined for different realms.

Java agent

Java web application installed in a web container that acts as a policy enforcement point, filtering requests to other applications in the container with policies based on application resource URLs.


Federation configuration information for a provider.


Set of rules that define who is granted access to a protected resource when, how, and under what conditions.

Policy agent

Java, web, or custom agent that intercepts requests for resources, directs principals to AM for authentication, and enforces policy decisions from AM.

Policy Administration Point (PAP)

Entity that manages and stores policy definitions.

Policy Decision Point (PDP)

Entity that evaluates access rights and then issues authorization decisions.

Policy Enforcement Point (PEP)

Entity that intercepts a request for a resource and then enforces policy decisions from a PDP.

Policy Information Point (PIP)

Entity that provides extra information, such as user profile attributes that a PDP needs in order to make a decision.


Represents an entity that has been authenticated (such as a user, a device, or an application), and thus is distinguished from other entities.

When a Subject successfully authenticates, AM associates the Subject with the Principal.


In the context of delegated administration, a set of administrative tasks that can be performed by specified subjects in a given realm.

Provider federation

Agreement among providers to participate in a circle of trust.


AM unit for organizing configuration and identity information.

Realms can be used for example when different parts of an organization have different applications and user data stores, and when different organizations use the same AM deployment.

Administrators can delegate realm administration. The administrator assigns administrative privileges to users, allowing them to perform administrative tasks within the realm.


Something a user can access over the network such as a web page.

Defined as part of policies, these can include wildcards in order to match multiple actual resources.

Resource owner

In OAuth 2.0, entity who can authorize access to protected web resources, such as an end user.

Resource server

In OAuth 2.0, server hosting protected web resources, capable of handling access tokens to respond to requests for such resources.

Response attributes

Defined as part of policies, these allow AM to return additional information in the form of "attributes" with the response to a policy decision.

Role based access control (RBAC)

Access control that is based on whether a user has been granted a set of permissions (a role).

Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)

Standard, XML-based language for exchanging authentication and authorization data between identity providers and service providers.

Service provider (SP)

Entity that consumes assertions about a principal (and provides a service that the principal is trying to access).


The interval that starts with the user authenticating through AM and ends when the user logs out, or when their session is terminated. For browser-based clients, AM manages user sessions across one or more applications by setting a session cookie. See also Stateful session and Stateless session.

Session high availability

Capability that lets any AM server in a clustered deployment access shared, persistent information about users' sessions from the CTS token store. The user does not need to log in again unless the entire deployment goes down.

Session token

Unique identifier issued by AM after successful authentication. For a Stateful session, the session token is used to track a principal's session.

Single log out (SLO)

Capability allowing a principal to end a session once, thereby ending her session across multiple applications.

Single sign-on (SSO)

Capability allowing a principal to authenticate once and gain access to multiple applications without authenticating again.


Group of AM servers configured the same way, accessed through a load balancer layer.

The load balancer handles failover to provide service-level availability. Use sticky load balancing based on amlbcookie values to improve site performance.

The load balancer can also be used to protect AM services.

Standard metadata

Standard federation configuration information that you can share with other access management software.

Stateful session

An AM session that resides in the Core Token Service's token store. Stateful sessions might also be cached in memory on one or more AM servers. AM tracks stateful sessions in order to handle events like logout and timeout, to permit session constraints, and to notify applications involved in SSO when a session ends.

Stateless session

An AM session for which state information is encoded in AM and stored on the client. The information from the session is not retained in the CTS token store. For browser-based clients, AM sets a cookie in the browser that contains the session information.


Entity that requests access to a resource

When a subject successfully authenticates, AM associates the subject with the Principal that distinguishes it from other subjects. A subject can be associated with multiple principals.

User data store

Data storage service holding principals' profiles; underlying storage can be an LDAP directory service or a custom IdRepo implementation.

Web Agent

Native library installed in a web server that acts as a policy enforcement point with policies based on web page URLs.

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