Last modified: May 23, 2024

Policy Enforcement Point

There are different types of Policy Enforcement Points in the Altinn 3 platform.

See below for details of how we have constructed the PEPs and how to configure them.

Standard PEPs

Developers should configure security when possible, which is one important principle we follow. Therefore, we have developed some standard policy enforcement points that API developers can use on different API endpoints.

The best way to solve Attribute-based authorization is by using Policy-Based Authorization in ASP.NET Core.

We have created the standard PEPs in the ASP.Net Web application as Authorization Handlers.

This is published on Nuget as Altinn.Common.PEP

Policy Enforcement - AppAccess

The AppAccessHandler is the PEP for API endpoints that handle data related to an app created in Altinn Studio. This handler uses configuration on the API endpoint and API parameters to call the PDP to authorize access.

See AppAccessHandler and AppAccessRequirement for implementation details.

In the App, the API developer defines a set of AppAccessRequirement, and for each operation, the developer maps the correct requirement.

Examples of requirements are:

  • InstanceRead (User/system needs to be authorized to perform read action on the instance in its current state)
  • InstanceWrite (User/system needs to be authorized to perform write action on the instance and its data in its current state)
  • InstanceInstantiate (user/system needs to be authorized to Instantiate an instance for an app)

The PEP will create a decision request (example) and call the PDP based on route data (like instanceId) and the authenticated Identity.

Based on the response (example), the PEP will deny or approve the user. (Deny = http 403)

The PEP validates any obligation from the PDP like minimum authentication level. If this is not valid, the request will be denied (HTTP 403).


The application needs to have a startup configuration to enable the different standard PEPs.

services.AddAuthorization(options =>
    options.AddPolicy(AuthzConstants.POLICY_INSTANCE_READ, policy => policy.Requirements.Add(new AppAccessRequirement("read")));
    options.AddPolicy(AuthzConstants.POLICY_INSTANCE_WRITE, policy => policy.Requirements.Add(new AppAccessRequirement("write")));
    options.AddPolicy(AuthzConstants.POLICY_INSTANCE_DELETE, policy => policy.Requirements.Add(new AppAccessRequirement("delete")));
    options.AddPolicy(AuthzConstants.POLICY_INSTANCE_COMPLETE, policy => policy.Requirements.Add(new AppAccessRequirement("complete")));

Example from Storage Program.cs

The API needs to have enabled PEP for a given API operation.

[Authorize(Policy = AuthzConstants.POLICY_INSTANCE_WRITE)]
public async Task<ActionResult<DataElement>> Delete(int instanceOwnerPartyId, Guid instanceGuid, Guid dataGuid)

Example from DataController

Policy Enforcement ScopeAccessHandler

For scenarios where we require specific scopes to be authorized to call an API, we use the ScopeAccessHandler.

It supports multiple scopes.

See ScopeAccessHandler and ScopeAccessRequirement for implementation details.


The application needs to have a startup configuration to enable the different standard PEPs

    services.AddAuthorization(options =>
        options.AddPolicy(AuthorizationConstants.POLICY_SCOPE_EVENTS_PUBLISH, policy => policy.Requirements.Add(new ScopeAccessRequirement("altinn:events.publish")));

    services.AddTransient<IAuthorizationHandler, ScopeAccessHandler>();

Example from program.cs in Events Component

The API needs to have enabled PEP for a given API operation

[Authorize(Policy = AuthorizationConstants.POLICY_SCOPE_EVENTS_PUBLISH)]
public async Task<ActionResult<string>> Post([FromBody] CloudEvent cloudEvent)

Example from EventsController in Event Component

Policy enforcement ResourceAccess

In Scenarios where we want to authorize API access based on the authorization policy for a given resource in Altinn Resource Registry, we use the ResourceAccessHandler.

See ResourceAccessHandler and ResourceAccessRequirement for implementation details.

TODO Example use

Policy enforcement - ClaimsAccess

For scenarios where we require a specific claim for the authenticated system/user, we use the ClaimsAccessHandler.


The application needs to have a startup configuration to enable the different standard PEPs.

         services.AddAuthorization(options =>
                options.AddPolicy(AuthzConstants.POLICY_STUDIO_DESIGNER, policy => policy.Requirements.Add(new ClaimAccessRequirement("urn:altinn:app", "studio.designer")));

Custom PEP

For some scenarios, it is impossible to authorize the request based on API parameters.

These scenarios require a custom PEP as part of API logic.

The example below retrieves a list of elements from the database.

Before the API returns the list, each element must be checked for authorization and only returned if the user calling API is authorized.

        public async Task<ActionResult> GetMessageBoxInstance(
            int instanceOwnerPartyId,
            Guid instanceGuid,
            [FromQuery] string language)
            string[] acceptedLanguages = { "en", "nb", "nn" };
            string languageId = "nb";

            if (language != null && acceptedLanguages.Contains(language.ToLower()))
                languageId = language;

            string instanceId = $"{instanceOwnerPartyId}/{instanceGuid}";

            Instance instance = await _instanceRepository.GetOne(instanceId, instanceOwnerPartyId);

            if (instance == null)
                return NotFound($"Could not find instance {instanceId}");

            List<MessageBoxInstance> authorizedInstanceList =
                await _authorizationHelper.AuthorizeMesseageBoxInstances(
                    HttpContext.User, new List<Instance> { instance });
            if (authorizedInstanceList.Count <= 0)
                return Forbid();

            MessageBoxInstance authorizedInstance = authorizedInstanceList.First();

            // get app texts and exchange all text keys.
            List<TextResource> texts = await _textRepository.Get(new List<string> { instance.AppId }, languageId);
            InstanceHelper.ReplaceTextKeys(new List<MessageBoxInstance> { authorizedInstance }, texts, languageId);

            return Ok(authorizedInstance);

Example from MessageboxInstancesController