LDAP realm

You can configure security to communicate with a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) server to authenticate and authorize users.

To integrate with LDAP, you configure an ldap realm in the snowowl.yml configuration file.

    - ldap:
        uri: <ldap_uri>
        bindDn: cn=admin,dc=snowowl,dc=b2international,dc=com
        bindDnPassword: <adminpwd>
        baseDn: dc=snowowl,dc=b2international,dc=com
        roleBaseDn: {baseDn}
        userFilter: (objectClass={userObjectClass})
        roleFilter: (objectClass={roleObjectClass})
        userObjectClass: inetOrgPerson
        roleObjectClass: groupOfUniqueNames
        userIdProperty: uid
        permissionProperty: description
        memberProperty: uniqueMember
        usePool: false


The following configuration settings are supported:



The LDAP URI that points to the LDAP/AD server to connect to.


The user's DN who has access to the entire baseDn and roleBaseDn and can read content from it.


The password of the bindDn user.


The base directory where all entries in the entire subtree will be considered as potential matches for all searches.


Alternative base directory where all role entries in the entire subtree will be considered. Defaults to the baseDn value.


The search filter to search for user entries under the configured baseDn. Defaults to (objectClass={userObjectClass}).


The search filter to search for role entries under the configured roleBaseDn. Defaults to (objectClass={roleObjectClass}).


The user object's class to look for when searching for user entries. Defaults to inetOrgPerson class.


The role object's class to look for when searching for role entries. Defaults to groupOfUniqueNames class.


The userId property to access and read for the user's unique identifier. Usually their username or email address. Defaults to uid property.


A multi-valued property that is used to store permission information on a role. Defaults to the description property.


A multi-valued property that is used to store and retrieve user dns that belong to a given role. Defaults to the uniqueMember property.

The default configuration values are selected to support both OpenLDAP and Active Directory without needing to customize the default schema that comes with their default installation.

Configure Authentication

When users send their username and password with their request in the Authorization header, the LDAP security realm performs the following steps to authenticate the user:

  1. Searches for a user entry in the configured baseDn to get the DN

  2. Authenticates with the LDAP instance using the received DN and the provided password

If any of the above-mentioned steps fails for any reason, the user is not allowed to access the terminology server's content and the server will respond with HTTP 401 Unauthorized.

To configure authentication, you need to configure the uri, baseDn, bindDn, bindDnPassword, userObjectClass and userIdProperty configuration settings.

Adding a user

To add a user in the LDAP realm, create an entry under the specified baseDn using the configured userObjectClass as class and the userIdProperty as the property where the user's username/e-mail address is configured.

Example user entry:

dn: cn=John Doe+sn=Doe+uid=johndoe@b2international.com,dc=snowowl,dc=b2international,dc=com
objectClass: inetOrgPerson
objectClass: organizationalPerson
objectClass: person
objectClass: top
cn: John Doe
sn: Doe
uid: johndoe@b2international.com
userPassword: <encrypted_password> 

Configure Authorization

On top of the authentication part, the LDAP realm provides configuration values to support full role-based access control and authorization.

When a user's request is successfully authenticated with the LDAP realm, Snow Owl authorizes the request using the user's currently set roles and permissions in the configured LDAP instance.

Adding a role

To add a role in the LDAP realm, create an entry under the specified baseDn using the configured roleObjectClass as class and the configured permissionProperty and memberProperty properties for permission and user mappings, respectively.

Example read-only role:

dn: cn=Browser,dc=snowowl,dc=b2international,dc=com
objectClass: top
objectClass: groupOfUniqueNames
cn: Browser
description: browse:*
description: export:*
uniqueMember: cn=John Doe+sn=Doe+uid=johndoe@b2international.com,dc=snowowl,dc=b2international,dc=com 

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