[keycloak-dev] User ids and usernames

Bill Burke bburke at redhat.com
Thu Feb 6 10:41:34 EST 2014

Maybe just return additional information in the json response from 
obtaining an access token.  The access token would just contain a link 
to user profile information.  This reduces token size and yet allows 
pure REST Bearer Token services to get profile information if they 
desire it.

On 2/6/2014 10:35 AM, Stian Thorgersen wrote:
> Why would an application need the username? I would think the application would more likely want the id, email and first/last name. For example:
> * To store an entry in a db associated to the user the id should be used
> * To display the logged in user the first/last name would be used
> Thinking about this further, I really think the "reference" used on a user should be a unique id generated by the system and not a user specified string. An example scenario for a online image gallery where using a user specified username would cause problems:
> 1. User registers with 'bob'
> 2. User logs in to the image gallery
> 3. User uploads some private images
> 4. The user is later deleted by an admin because the user didn't pay his fees
> 5. Another user now registers as 'bob'
> 6. If the private images from the initial user are still there, the new user will now be able to access images not belonging to him
> This makes me think that Keycloak should generate user ids, and we should make sure that even if a user is deleted, the id wouldn't be reused.
> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Bill Burke" <bburke at redhat.com>
>> To: "Stian Thorgersen" <stian at redhat.com>
>> Cc: keycloak-dev at lists.jboss.org
>> Sent: Thursday, 6 February, 2014 2:59:31 PM
>> Subject: Re: [keycloak-dev] User ids and usernames
>> On 2/6/2014 9:48 AM, Stian Thorgersen wrote:
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>> From: "Bill Burke" <bburke at redhat.com>
>>>> To: keycloak-dev at lists.jboss.org
>>>> Sent: Thursday, 6 February, 2014 2:15:41 PM
>>>> Subject: Re: [keycloak-dev] User ids and usernames
>>>> On 2/6/2014 5:02 AM, Stian Thorgersen wrote:
>>>>> A user should have an id, username and email (what we have now). The id
>>>>> should be generated by the server and should never change for a user. The
>>>>> sub field in the token should use this id, not the username. Applications
>>>>> that wants to store information associated with a specific user should
>>>>> also use this id, not the username or email, as the id will never change.
>>>>> That means it should be possible for a user to change his/her username.
>>>>> Obviously a username has to be unique within a realm. We should then
>>>>> allow
>>>>> a user to login with either their username or their password. When a user
>>>>> is able to login with their username we can also remove the forgot
>>>>> username option on the login form, and only have a forgot password
>>>>> option.
>>>>> This would also help integration with social login as now we don't have
>>>>> to
>>>>> try to create a sensible username for a user on social login. Instead we
>>>>> create a generated id, and don't even set a username. A user can then set
>>>>> the username they want through the account management (or on the update
>>>>> profile action page if that option is enabled).
>>>>> If there's no objections to this, I'd like to add these changes to
>>>>> alpha2.
>>>> Ugh, this is just a nasty change.  usernames will rarely, if ever,
>>>> change and I don't like the idea that users can change their username.
>>>> A principal name of "bill" is much more coherent than
>>>> "2341235234234-234123-234123-2341234".
>>> Doesn't matter does it? It's just an identifier, if someone wants to know
>>> more about the user they should retrieve the user profile.
>> User profile would then have to be retrieved for most apps as most apps
>> would want to display the username.  Maybe add an additional token
>> extension for the username?  So an additional REST invocation back to
>> obtain the user profile doesn't need to be done?
>> --
>> Bill Burke
>> JBoss, a division of Red Hat
>> http://bill.burkecentral.com

Bill Burke
JBoss, a division of Red Hat

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