Role-based Access Control: Roles, Permissions and ACL

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Language: PHP

1.0.7 2014-03-12 08:32 UTC


Role-based access control solution, extracted from my legacy codebase. It provides a permissions and roles system as well as a simple ACL implementation.

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Core concepts


A client may be associated with certain roles, e.g. Authors or Admins. These are stored in a RolesStorage object that contains role IDs.

use \tomkyle\Roles\RolesStorage;

$roles = new RolesStorage( 1, 2 );
echo $roles->contains( 2 ) ? "YES" : "NO";


A service may be restricted to certain roles. AccessControlList as an extension of RolesStorage will do that:

use \tomkyle\Roles\RolesStorage;
use \tomkyle\Roles\RolesAwareInterface;
use \tomkyle\AccessControlList\AccessControlList;
use \tomkyle\AccessControlList\AccessControlListAwareInterface;

class MyUser implements RolesAwareInterface {
  use RolesAwareTrait;

class MyService implements AccessControlListAwareInterface {
  use AccessControlListAwareTrait;

$service = new MyService;
$service->setAccessControlList( new AccessControlList( 1, 2) );

$user = new MyUser;
$user->setRoles( new RolesStorage( 2, 3 ) );

echo $service->isAllowed( $user ) ? "YES" : "NO";


A client may be allowed or disallowed to do certain things. PermissionsStorage will do that:

use \tomkyle\Permissions\PermissionsAwareInterface;
use \tomkyle\Permissions\PermissionsAwareTrait;
use \tomkyle\Permissions\ApplyPermissionsStorage;

class MyUser implements PermissionsAwareInterface {
  use PermissionsAwareTrait;

$user = new MyUser;

// Reads users permissions from database:
new ApplyPermissionsStorage( $user, $pdo );

echo $user->hasPermission( "my_action" ) ? "YES" : "NO";


This library has no dependencies except a PDO connection. Install from command line or composer.json file:

Command line
composer require tomykle/rbac
"require": {
    "tomkyle/rbac": "dev-master"

This package comes with two MySQL dumps, install.sql.dist and install.sample-data.sql.dist. Simply execute their contents; former installs tables, indices and unique constraints, dropping existing tables; latter adds sample data. See comments in table info or field comments.

The databasa schema uses InnoDB tables for better transaction and relation handling, although currently not using these features (since I never have worked with it yet).


Roles, Permissions and their respective associations to clients are stored in a bunch of database tables:

Table Description
tomkyle_roles Defines all roles (aka user groups) the application works with.
tomkyle_permissions Holds permissions the application works with.
tomkyle_permissions_roles_mm Associates permissions with one or many roles.
tomkyle_clients_roles_mm Associates a client with one or many roles.
tomkyle_clients_permissions_adjust Adjusts a clients' permissions, overriding the ones he is granted or permitted due to his roles


Sorry, currently there is no administration tool available. I used to manage them manually in the database. Anyhow, unique constraints will prevent you from adding doublettes. So if you have to delete a certain role or permission, do not forget the relation tables that refer to their primary key.