Security domains

Abstract

Overview of Sitecore security domains and how to segment user's access to different areas of Sitecore.

You can use security domains to manage user's access to different parts of Sitecore, for example, if you have multiple websites within a single system.

A Sitecore domain is a collection of security accounts (users and roles) that you can administer as a unit with common rules and procedures. A domain is used to collect security accounts that have some logical relationship, for example, all the accounts that have access to use the Sitecore clients could be stored in the Sitecore domain, whereas all the accounts with access to the published website could be stored in the Extranet domain.

Sitecore contains the following default domains:

  • Extranet — this domain is a website security domain that contains the user accounts that correspond to the visitors to the website. It also contains the customized roles that manage read access to the content of the website.

    Note

    Members of the Extranet domain that are also members of relevant Sitecore roles (for example, Sitecore Client Authoring) can access the Sitecore domain and use the client tools to edit the content of the website.

  • Sitecore — this domain is an internal security domain that contains all the users who can access the Sitecore clients and the Sitecore Client roles that influence the functionalities that are available to users. It also contains the customized roles that control the access that users have to items.

    Note

    Members of the Sitecore domain can access the Sitecore client tools and edit the website if they have the appropriate access rights. Furthermore, they may be able to access the Extranet domain depending on how the developers and the security architect have designed the domain and the login page.

  • Default – this is a virtual domain that only exists in memory. Sitecore is setup with Extranet as the default domain and most user accounts will be extranet\anonymous when they visit the website. However, if the website does not specify a default domain, then the users are set to default\anonymous.

Note

All these domains contain an Anonymous user and an Everyone role. The Everyone role automatically includes all users and the Anonymous user in the domain.

Generally, users will be members of roles in their domain and domains will not contain users from other domains. However, users can be members of roles in multiple domains, and roles can contain users from multiple domains.

A domain can be of one of the following two domain types:

  • Global domains -– users are able to access all the domains in the system. However, this depends on how the security architect has configured the system.

  • Locally managed domains – users can only access a specific domain and not the other domains in the system. A local administrator, who cannot access other domains within the system, usually maintains a locally managed domain. Furthermore, users that belong to a locally managed domain will only see security accounts that belong in the same domain.