Authenticators and Authorizers


Authorizers gives or denies access to cubes and restricts access to a portion of a cube.

Custom authorizers should be subclasses of cubes.Authorizer (to be findable) and should have the following methods:

  • authorize(identity, cubes) – return list of cube names (from the cubes) that the identity is allowed to acces. Might return an empty list if no cubes are allowed.
  • restricted_cell(identity, cube, cell) – return a cell derived from cell with restrictions for identity

Custom authorizer example: an authorizer that uses some HTTP service that accepts list of cubes in the cubes= paramter and returns a comma separated list of authorized cubes.

class CustomAuthorizer(Authorizer):
    def __init__(self, url=None, user_dimension=None, **options):
        super(DatabaseAuthorizer, self).__init__(self, **options)

        self.url = url
        self.user_dimension = user_dimension or "user"

    def authorize(self, cubes):
        params = {
            "cubes": ",".join(cubes)

        response = Request(url, params=params)



The custom authorizer has to be a subclass of Authorizer so Cubes can find it. The name will be derived from the class name: CustomAuthorizer will become custom, DatabaseACLAuthorizer will become database_acl. To explicitly specify an authorizer name, set the __extension_name__ class variable.

The cell restrictions are handled by restricted_cell() method which receives the identity, cube object (not just a name) and optionaly the cell to be restricted.

class CustomAuthorizer(Authorizer):
    def __init__(self, url=None, table=None, **options):
        # ... initialization goes here ...

    def authorize(self, cubes):
        # ... authorization goes here
        return cubes

    def restricted_cell(self, identity, cube, cell):

        # If the cube has no dimension "user", we can't restrict
        # and we assume that the cube can be seen by anyone

        except NoSuchDimensionError:
            return cell

        # Find the user ID based on identity
        user_id = self.find_user(identity)

        # Assume a flat "user" dimension for every cube
        cut = PointCut(self.user_dimension, [user_id])
        restriction = Cell(cube, [cut])

        if cell:
            return cell & restriction
            return restriction


The authorizer is configured from the [authorization] section in the slicer.ini file. The authorizer instance receives all options from the section as arguments to the __init__() method.

To use the above authorizer, add the following to the slicer.ini:

authorization: custom

url: http://localhost/authorization_service
user_dimension: user


Authentication takes place at the server level right before a request is processed.

Custom authenticator has to be a subclass of slicer.server.Authenticator and has to have at least authenticate(request) method defined. Another optional method is logout(request, identity).

Example authenticator which authenticates against a database table with two columns: user and password with a clear-text password (don’t do that).

from cubes.server import Authenticator, NotAuthenticated
from sqlalchemy import create_engine, MetaData, Table

class DatabaseAuthenticator(Authenticator):
    def __init__(self, url=None, table=None, **options):

        self.engine = create_engine(url)
        metadata = MetaData(bind=engine)
        self.users = Table(table, metadata, autoload=True)

    def authenticate(self, request):
        user = request.values.get("user")
        password = request.values.get("password")

        select =
        select = select.where(self.users.c.user == user)

        row = self.engine.execute(select).fetchone()

        if row["password"] == password:
            return user
            raise NotAuthenticated

The authenticate(request) method should return the identity that will be later passed to the authorizer (it does not have to be the same value as a user name). The identity might even be None which might be interpreted by some authorizers guest or not-logged-in visitor. The method should raise NotAuthenticated when the credetials don’t match.