With various access control models and implementation methods available, constructing an authorization system for backend service APIs can still be challenging. However, the ultimate goal is to ensure that the correct individual has appropriate access to the relevant resource. In this article, we will discuss how to enable the Role-based access control (RBAC) authorization model for your API with open-source API Gateway Apache APISIX and Open Policy Agent (OPA).

What Is RBAC?

Role-based access control (RBAC)and attribute-based access control (ABAC) are two commonly used access control models used to manage permissions and control access to resources in computer systems. RBAC assigns permissions to users based on their role within an organization. In RBAC, roles are defined based on the functions or responsibilities of users, and permissions are assigned to those roles. Users are then assigned to one or more roles, and they inherit the permissions associated with those roles. In the API context, for example, a developer role might have permission to create and update API resources, while an end-user role might only have permission to read or execute API resources.

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