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Introduction to WS-Policy

The WS-Policy specification provides a general framework for applying policies that modify the semantics of connections and communications at runtime in a Web services application. Fuse Services Framework security uses the WS-Policy framework to configure message protection and authentication requirements.

The simplest way to specify a policy is to embed it directly where you want to apply it. For example, to associate a policy with a specific port in the WSDL contract, you can specify it as follows:

<wsdl:definitions targetNamespace="http://tempuri.org/"
    xmlns:wsdl="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/"
    xmlns:soap="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/soap/"
    xmlns:wsu="http://docs.oasis-open.org/wss/2004/01/oasis-200401-wss-wssecurity-utility-1.0.xsd"
    xmlns:wsp="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ws/2004/09/policy" ... >
  ...
  <wsdl:service name="PingService10">
    <wsdl:port name="UserNameOverTransport_IPingService" binding="BindingName">
      <wsp:Policy>
        <!-- Policy expression comes here! -->
      </wsp:Policy>
      <soap:address location="SOAPAddress"/>
    </wsdl:port>
  </wsdl:service>
</wsdl:definitions>

An alternative way to specify a policy is to insert a policy reference element, wsp:PolicyReference, at the point where you want to apply the policy and then insert the policy element, wsp:Policy, at some other point in the XML file. For example, to associate a policy with a specific port using a policy reference, you could use a configuration like the following:

<wsdl:definitions targetNamespace="http://tempuri.org/"
    xmlns:wsdl="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/"
    xmlns:soap="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/soap/"
    xmlns:wsu="http://docs.oasis-open.org/wss/2004/01/oasis-200401-wss-wssecurity-utility-1.0.xsd"
    xmlns:wsp="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ws/2004/09/policy" ... >
  ...
  <wsdl:service name="PingService10">
    <wsdl:port name="UserNameOverTransport_IPingService" binding="BindingName">
      <wsp:PolicyReference URI="#PolicyID"/>
      <soap:address location="SOAPAddress"/>
    </wsdl:port>
  </wsdl:service>
  ...
  <wsp:Policy wsu:Id="PolicyID">
    <!-- Policy expression comes here ... -->
  </wsp:Policy>
</wsdl:definitions>

Where the policy reference, wsp:PolicyReference, locates the referenced policy using the ID, PolicyID (note the addition of the # prefix character in the URI attribute). The policy itself, wsp:Policy, must be identified by adding the attribute, wsu:Id="PolicyID".

The entities with which policies are associated are called policy subjects. For example, you can associate a policy with an endpoint, in which case the endpoint is the policy subject. It is possible to associate multiple policies with any given policy subject. The WS-Policy framework supports the following kinds of policy subject:

To associate a policy with a service, insert either a <wsp:Policy> element or a <wsp:PolicyReference> element as a sub-element of the following WSDL 1.1 element:

To associate a policy with an endpoint, insert either a <wsp:Policy> element or a <wsp:PolicyReference> element as a sub-element of any of the following WSDL 1.1 elements:

For example, you can associate a policy with an endpoint binding as follows (using a policy reference):

<wsdl:definitions targetNamespace="http://tempuri.org/"
    xmlns:wsdl="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/"
    xmlns:wsu="http://docs.oasis-open.org/wss/2004/01/oasis-200401-wss-wssecurity-utility-1.0.xsd"
    xmlns:wsp="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ws/2004/09/policy" ... >
  ...
  <wsdl:binding name="EndpointBinding" type="i0:IPingService">
    <wsp:PolicyReference URI="#PolicyID"/>
    ...
  </wsdl:binding>
  ...
  <wsp:Policy wsu:Id="PolicyID"> ... </wsp:Policy>
  ...
</wsdl:definitions>

To associate a policy with an operation, insert either a <wsp:Policy> element or a <wsp:PolicyReference> element as a sub-element of any of the following WSDL 1.1 elements:

For example, you can associate a policy with an operation in a binding as follows (using a policy reference):

<wsdl:definitions targetNamespace="http://tempuri.org/"
    xmlns:wsdl="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/"
    xmlns:soap="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/soap/"
    xmlns:wsu="http://docs.oasis-open.org/wss/2004/01/oasis-200401-wss-wssecurity-utility-1.0.xsd"
    xmlns:wsp="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ws/2004/09/policy" ... >
  ...
  <wsdl:binding name="EndpointBinding" type="i0:IPingService">
    <wsdl:operation name="Ping">
      <wsp:PolicyReference URI="#PolicyID"/>
      <soap:operation soapAction="http://xmlsoap.org/Ping" style="document"/>
      <wsdl:input name="PingRequest"> ... </wsdl:input>
      <wsdl:output name="PingResponse"> ... </wsdl:output>
    </wsdl:operation>
    ...
  </wsdl:binding>
  ...
  <wsp:Policy wsu:Id="PolicyID"> ... </wsp:Policy>
  ...
</wsdl:definitions>

To associate a policy with a message, insert either a <wsp:Policy> element or a <wsp:PolicyReference> element as a sub-element of any of the following WSDL 1.1 elements:

For example, you can associate a policy with a message in a binding as follows (using a policy reference):

<wsdl:definitions targetNamespace="http://tempuri.org/"
    xmlns:wsdl="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/"
    xmlns:soap="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/soap/"
    xmlns:wsu="http://docs.oasis-open.org/wss/2004/01/oasis-200401-wss-wssecurity-utility-1.0.xsd"
    xmlns:wsp="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ws/2004/09/policy" ... >
  ...
  <wsdl:binding name="EndpointBinding" type="i0:IPingService">
    <wsdl:operation name="Ping">
      <soap:operation soapAction="http://xmlsoap.org/Ping" style="document"/>
      <wsdl:input name="PingRequest">
        <wsp:PolicyReference URI="#PolicyID"/>
        <soap:body use="literal"/>
      </wsdl:input>
      <wsdl:output name="PingResponse"> ... </wsdl:output>
    </wsdl:operation>
    ...
  </wsdl:binding>
  ...
  <wsp:Policy wsu:Id="PolicyID"> ... </wsp:Policy>
  ...
</wsdl:definitions>