The request processing model within Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) is composed of three main phases: authentication, authorization, and action. Workflows (each of which contain one or more activities) can be attached to each of these phases and run in the context of executing a single request. The objective of this section is to provide a more detailed description of how requests are processed in FIM.

Understanding the Request Processing Model

The request processing model in FIM is composed of three main phases:

  1. Authentication

  2. Authorization

  3. Action

Workflows, each of which contains one or more activities, can be attached to each of these phases and run in the context of executing a single request. A request can initiate from a single user call to one of the web service endpoints or through a user creating a request in the FIM Portal.

The following illustration shows the relationship of the request processing components:

FIM Request Processing

Processing requests

Requests are processed in the following order:

  1. Request Object Creation- FIM creates a Request object in response to a call to one of the web service endpoints or because of a request initiated through the FIM Portal.

  2. MPR Evaluation - The requester’s rights to request the action are validated and the computation of the applicable workflows is performed. The request is checked against mappings to any MPR objects. To map to an MPR, all the applicable fields of the MPR for the requested operation need to match. This includes the requester, operation, target resource, and attributes. If all of these conditions including the attributes being affected are true for an incoming request, then the appropriate MPR is matched to the request. A request must map to at least one MPR that grants the permission as part of its definition. If this is true, the request passes through the permissions check stage of request processing. If this is not true, the request fails. The system also determines the set transitions that are part of the request and locates all related set transition-based MPRs.

  3. Authentication - FIM runs authentication workflows one at a time in a nondeterministic order to confirm the requester’s identity.

  4. Authorization - FIM confirms the requester’s permission to perform the requested operation on the resource specified in the request. All dependent authorization workflows are run in parallel, but a request is not committed to the FIM Object Store unless all of the workflows have been completed and all have succeeded.

  5. Processing - FIM performs the requested operation on the FIM Application Store.

  6. Action - FIM executes any processes that are to occur because of the requested operation. All action workflows are run in parallel. Read operations do not have any workflows applied to their processing. This includes the configured workflows in the RMPR as well as the workflows in the set transition-based MPRs.

Requests initiated by the Synchronization Account bypass all authentication and authorization workflows that would be applicable to them. Any applicable action workflows are applied.

Related Resources

  • The Request resource stores information about a request.

  • The approval activities released with FIM use the Approval and ApprovalResponse resources to store information about approvals. Those objects are managed by the approval activity and can be accessed by custom activities or other internal components.

  • The WorkflowDefinition resource is used to store the workflow definitions that can be associated with a request.

  • The WorkflowInstance resource stores details about a specific instance of a workflow that is running.

See Also