A request portal is a user interface where requesters can sign in and fill in request forms that pertain to identity data or security entitlements. All identity and access requests have at least one recipient -- who may be the same as the recipient (i.e., a self-service request) or someone else (i.e., a delegated request).

Examples of requests that may be entered into a request portal may include:

  • Update personal contact information.
  • Changes to a user's name, department, location or manager.
  • Request access to an application, share or folder.
  • Change membership in a security group or mail distribution list.
  • Request creation of a new user profile (e.g., new hire).
  • Scheduled or immediate access termination.

In practice, identity and access request portals may incorporate quite complex business logic, for example to control what recipients are visible to a given requester, what kinds of requests are available for a given requester/recipient combination, what identity attributes of a given recipient are visible to and/or editable by a given requester, to validate some and calculate other form inputs, to send requests to appropriate people to approve or reject and more.

Hitachi ID Identity Manager includes a request portal, intended for users to accomplish a variety of functions:

  • Users can manage their own credentials -- choosing new passwords and PINs for integrated systems and applications, populating security questions, etc.
  • Self-service profile updates:
    • Entering information such as home contact information.
    • Requesting organizational changes, such as transfers to a new location, department or manager.
  • Self-service requests for access:
    • Group membership.
    • Role assignment.
    • Login IDs on systems or applications.
    • Access to shares, folders, SharePoint sites or other resources.
  • White pages / directory search:
    • Find another user by entering their name, department, manager, etc.
    • Browse the org-chart structure.
  • Delegated changes:
    • To create new user profiles for users who do not appear in any system of record.
    • To correct data that does appear in an SoR but is incorrect or obsolete in the SoR.
    • Allowing the same types of requests as self-service, but by one user on behalf of another user.
  • Workflow request management -- monitor progress on open requests, approve, deny or cancel requests, manage delegation of authority or responsibility from one user to another.

This portal is completely policy driven. For example, what options a user gets, what other users he can find or make requests on behalf of and what identity information one user can see of another is determined by rules. Rules may be simple roles ("all users with attribute X and membership in group Y can perform action Z"). More powerful rules are based on relationships ("user A can request operation B in relation to user C if user A is in group G and users A and B are in the same department.")

Requests submitted through this portal are subject to validation logic (e.g., rules such as "is the city in the user's address consistent with the state or province?") and to approvals. Requested are routed to zero or more authorizers, where approval by some or all of the authorizers is required. The choice of authorizers is normally dynamic -- driven by policy rules and data accessed at run-time.

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