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Role assignment

Role assignment to principals makes them administrators of your org. Principals can be users or groups of users. When a role is assigned to a group, all members of the group automatically have the privileges granted by the role.

Roles can be one of the standard roles that are provided by default. Alternatively, you can create your own custom roles by choosing from the collection of available permissions.

This page discusses the concepts of role assignment through APIs. See Custom administrator roles (opens new window).

Standard role assignment

Standard role types

The following role types are provided and supported:

Role type Label Optional targets
API_ACCESS_MANAGEMENT_ADMIN API Access Management administrator
APP_ADMIN Application administrator Apps
GROUP_MEMBERSHIP_ADMIN Group membership administrator Groups
HELP_DESK_ADMIN Help desk administrator Groups
MOBILE_ADMIN Mobile administrator
ORG_ADMIN Organization administrator
READ_ONLY_ADMIN Read-only administrator
REPORT_ADMIN Report administrator
SUPER_ADMIN Super administrator
USER_ADMIN Group administrator Groups

IAM-based standard role Types

Early Access

Okta also supports the following IAM-based standard roles:

Role type Label Permissions
ACCESS_CERTIFICATIONS_ADMIN Early Access Access certifications administrator okta.governance.accessCertifications.manage
ACCESS_REQUESTS_ADMIN Early Access Access requests administrator okta.governance.accessRequests.manage

You can assign IAM-based standard roles using standard or custom role assignment operations. These roles are immutable and can't be updated or deleted.

Standard Role Assignment steps

Perform a standard role assignment:

  1. Assign a role to a user or group. The user now has access to the admin permissions and resources for the role.
  2. (Optional) If the role supports targets, use one of the target operations to indicate which specific resource the admin can manage.

The following are the entities involved in a standard role assignment:

  • Role: Identified either by type or ID returned from the listing API
  • Principal: Either a group or a user
  • Resource (optional): When using target operations, the resource can be either an app or a group

Custom role assignment

You can build custom roles by selecting Permissions. After a custom role is built, you can use its id or label to assign to admins:

  1. Create a custom role.
  2. Create a resource set.
  3. Bind the admin with the role from step one that targets the resource set from step two.

An assignment of a role to an admin is called a Binding, which you can identify by its unique ID. A binding represents a single unique combination of principal, resource set, and custom role. A given resource set can have multiple bindings. The resource allows for different combinations of principals and roles to grant permissions to the encompassing resource.

Therefore, when dealing with custom roles, these three entities always exist:

  • Role: Identified by its label or id
  • Principal: Either a group or a user - known as a member of the binding
  • Resource set: Identified by its id

Custom role assignment for IAM-based standard roles

Early Access

When using IAM-based standard roles the same concepts as custom roles apply with the following distinctions:

  • IAM-based standard roles can only be used with predefined resource sets.
  • For both IAM-based standard roles and resource sets, there’s a predefined constant id. This id is always the type of the role or resource set.
Role id (type) Applicable resource set id (type)
ACCESS_CERTIFICATIONS_ADMIN Early Access ACCESS_CERTIFICATIONS_IAM_POLICY
ACCESS_REQUESTS_ADMIN Early Access ACCESS_REQUESTS_IAM_POLICY

Resource sets

A resource set is simply a collection of resources. There are two types of resource identifiers. Resources can either be identified by an Okta Resource Name (ORN) or by a REST URL format.

Okta Resource Name (ORN)

The primary resource identifier is the ORN. ORNs uniquely identify Okta resources.

ORN format

ORN identifiers are in the following format:

orn:{partition}:{service}:{tenantId}:{objectType}:{objectId}

Partitions

The partition is specific to your Okta environment. The following are the supported partitions:

Partition ORN partition value
Preview environments oktapreview
Production environments okta
Service

The service that the resource belongs to. Each resource belongs to only one service. The following are the supported services:

Service ORN service value
Directory directory
Identity Provider idp
Workflow workflow
Governance Early Access governance
tenantId

The identifier for the tenant that is using the service. This is typically your org ID.

objectType

The object type that is specific to the service. For example, object types groups or users are used for the directory service. For examples of object types, see Supported resources.

objectId

The object's identifier. For examples of object identifiers, see Supported resources.

contained_resources

The contained_resources ORN property indicates to target all resources within the container resource. For example:

orn:{partition}:directory:{yourOrgId}:groups:123:contained_resources

Group 123 is the example container resource. Since :contained_resources is specified, the resource includes the users in the group, rather than the group itself.

Not all resources support this property, see Supported resources for container resources.

REST URL

If the resource has a corresponding Okta API, you can specify the resource by its REST URL. Use the ORN format to specify resources that don't have corresponding Okta APIs.

Supported resources

Service Resource ORN identifier REST URL
Directory All users orn:{partition}:directory:{yourOrgId}:users https://{yourOktaDomain}/api/v1/users
All groups orn:{partition}:directory:{yourOrgId}:groups https://{yourOktaDomain}/api/v1/groups
A specific group orn:{partition}:directory:{yourOrgId}:groups:{groupId} https://{yourOktaDomain}/api/v1/groups/{groupId}
All users within a specific group orn:{partition}:directory:{yourOrgId}:groups:{groupId}:contained_resources https://{yourOktaDomain}/api/v1/groups/{groupId}/users
All devices
Early Access
orn:{partition}:directory:{yourOrgId}:devices https://{yourOktaDomain}/api/v1/devices
Identity Provider All apps orn:{partition}:idp:{yourOrgId}:apps https://{yourOktaDomain}/api/v1/apps
All apps of a specific type orn:{partition}:idp:{yourOrgId}:apps:{appType} https://{yourOktaDomain}/api/v1/apps/?filter=name+eq+\"{targetAppType}\"
A specific app orn:{partition}:idp:{yourOrgId}:apps:{appType}:{appId} https://{yourOktaDomain}/api/v1/apps/{appId}
All authorization servers orn:{partition}:idp:{yourOrgId}:authorization_servers https://{yourOktaDomain}/api/v1/authorizationServers
A specific authorization server orn:{partition}:idp:{yourOrgId}:authorization_servers:{authorizationServerId} https://{yourOktaDomain}/api/v1/authorizationServers/{authorizationServerId}
All customizations orn:{partition}:idp:{yourOrgId}:customizations
Workflows All delegated flows orn:{partition}:workflow:{yourOrgId}:flows
A specific delegated flow orn:{partition}:workflow:{yourOrgId}:flows:{flowId}
Governance All access certifications
Early Access
orn:partition:governance:orgId:certifications
All access requests
Early Access
orn:partition:governance:orgId:requests

Note: If you use a role with permissions that don't apply to the resources in the resource set, it doesn't affect the admin role. For example, the okta.users.userprofile.manage permission gives the admin no privileges if it’s granted to a resource set that only includes https://{yourOktaDomain}/api/v1/groups/{targetGroupId} resources. If you want the admin to be able to manage the users within the group, the resource set must include the corresponding https://{yourOktaDomain}/api/v1/groups/{targetGroupId}/users resource.

Note: Governance resources are currently only supported as part of the Standard Resource Sets. You can't use these to create or update other resource sets.

Binding member identifiers

To specify binding members, use the REST URL of the corresponding Okta API:

Early Access Early Access

The following resource sets are currently supported out of the box and can be used to assign admins only when used with their associated roles. Standard resource sets and roles are always identified using their type as id.

Resource set id/type Applicable role id/type Resources
ACCESS_CERTIFICATIONS_IAM_POLICY Early Access ACCESS_CERTIFICATIONS_ADMIN All users, all groups, all Apps, all access certifications
ACCESS_REQUESTS_IAM_POLICY Early Access ACCESS_REQUESTS_ADMIN all users, all groups, all access requests, access request app
Standard resource sets are managed by Okta only and can't be updated or deleted.

Custom vs. standard

  • An admin can have both standard role assignments and custom role bindings. Privileges granted to an admin are an aggregate of the following:

    • Standard roles directly assigned
    • Standard roles granted through group membership
    • Custom roles directly assigned
    • Custom roles granted through group membership

    As a result, if an admin was granted a standard role that is limited to a single group, and received group management privileges on all groups in the org through a custom role, the ultimate outcome is group management on all groups.

  • You can't assign a custom role without a resource set. The custom role is applicable only to a subset of resources. Standard roles, however, are initially granted to the entire org. You can only scope standard roles to specific resources by invoking target operations.

Permission types

Permission type Description Applicable resource types
okta.users.manage Allows the admin to create and manage users and read all profile and credential information for users. Delegated admins with this permission can only manage user credential fields and not the credential values themselves. All users, all users within a specific group
okta.users.create Allows the admin to create users. If the admin is also scoped to manage a group, that admin can add the user to the group on creation and then manage. All groups, a specific group
okta.users.read Allows the admin to read any user's profile and credential information. Delegated admins with this permission can only manage user credential fields and not the credential values themselves. All users, all users within a specific group
okta.users.credentials.manage Allows the admin to manage only credential lifecycle operations for a user All users, all users within a specific group
okta.users.credentials.resetFactors Allows the admin to reset MFA authenticators for users All users, all users within a specific group
okta.users.credentials.resetPassword Allows the admin to reset passwords for users All users, all users within a specific group
okta.users.credentials.expirePassword Allows the admin to expire a user’s password and set a new temporary password All users, all users within a specific group
okta.users.userprofile.manage Allows the admin to only do operations on the user object, including hidden and sensitive attributes All users, all users within a specific group
okta.users.lifecycle.manage Allows the admin to perform any user lifecycle operations All users, all users within a specific group
okta.users.lifecycle.activate Allows the admin to activate user accounts All users, all users within a specific group
okta.users.lifecycle.deactivate Allows the admin to deactivate user accounts All users, all users within a specific group
okta.users.lifecycle.suspend Allows the admin to suspend user access to Okta. When a user is suspended, their user sessions are also cleared. All users, all users within a specific group
okta.users.lifecycle.unsuspend Allows the admin to restore user access to Okta All users, all users within a specific group
okta.users.lifecycle.delete Allows the admin to permanently delete user accounts All users, all users within a specific group
okta.users.lifecycle.unlock Allows the admin to unlock users who are locked out of Okta All users, all users within a specific group
okta.users.lifecycle.clearSessions Allows the admin to clear all active Okta sessions and OAuth tokens for a user All users, all users within a specific group
okta.users.groupMembership.manage Allows the admin to manage a user's group membership (also need okta.groups.members.manage to assign to a specific group) All users, all users within a specific group
okta.users.appAssignment.manage Allows the admin to manage a user's app assignment (also need okta.apps.assignment.manage to assign to a specific app) All users, all users within a specific group
okta.groups.manage Allows the admin to fully manage groups in your Okta organization All groups, a specific group
okta.groups.create Allows the admin to create groups All groups
okta.groups.members.manage Allows the admin to only manage member operations in a group in your Okta org All groups, a specific group
okta.groups.read Allows the admin to only read information about groups and their members in your Okta org All groups, a specific group
okta.groups.appAssignment.manage Allows the admin to manage a group's app assignment (also need okta.apps.assignment.manage to assign to a specific app) All groups, a specific group
okta.apps.read Allows the admin to only read information about apps and their members in your Okta org All Apps, all apps of a specific type, a specific App
okta.apps.manage Allows the admin to fully manage apps and their members in your Okta org All apps, all apps of a specific type, a specific app
okta.apps.assignment.manage Allows the admin to only manage assignment operations of an app in your Okta org All apps, all apps of a specific type, a specific app
okta.profilesources.import.run Allows the admin to run imports for apps with a profile source, such as HRaaS and AD/LDAP apps. Admins with this permission can create users through the import. All apps, all apps of a specific type, a specific app
okta.authzServers.read Allows the admin to read authorization servers All authorization servers, a specific authorization server
okta.authzServers.manage Allows the admin to manage authorization servers All authorization servers, a specific authorization server
okta.customizations.read Allows the admin to read customizations All customizations
okta.customizations.manage Allows the admin to manage customizations All customizations
okta.identityProviders.read Early Access Allows the admin to read Identity Providers All Identity Providers
okta.identityProviders.manage Early Access Allows the admin to manage Identity Providers All Identity Providers
okta.workflows.read Allows the admin to view delegated flows All delegated flows, a specific delegated flow
okta.workflows.invoke Allows the admin to view and run delegated flows All delegated flows, a specific delegated flow
okta.governance.accessCertifications.manage
Early Access
Allows the admin to view and manage access certification campaigns All certifications
okta.governance.accessRequests.manage
Early Access
Allows the admin to view and manage access requests All access requests
okta.apps.manageFirstPartyApps
Early Access
Allows the admin to manage first-party apps All Access Requests
okta.devices.manage
Early Access
Allows the admin to manage devices and perform all device lifecycle operations All devices
okta.devices.lifecycle.manage
Early Access
Allows the admin to perform any device lifecycle operations All devices
okta.devices.lifecycle.activate
Early Access
Allows the admin to activate devices All devices
okta.devices.lifecycle.deactivate
Early Access
Allows the admin to deactivate devices. When you deactivate a device, it loses all device user links. All devices
okta.devices.lifecycle.suspend
Early Access
Allows the admin to suspend device access to Okta All devices
okta.devices.lifecycle.unsuspend
Early Access
Allows the admin to unsuspend and restore device access to Okta All devices
okta.devices.lifecycle.delete
Early Access
Allows the admin to permanently delete devices All devices
okta.devices.read
Early Access
Allows the admin to read device details All devices
okta.iam.read Allows the admin to view roles, resources, and admin assignments All Identity and access management resources

Note: Governance permissions are currently only supported as part of the Standard IAM-based Roles. You can't use these to create or update other roles.

Note: The okta.apps.manageFirstPartyApps permission is only supported as part of some Standard IAM-based Roles. You can't use it to create or update other roles.

Note: The okta.devices.* permissions are self-service Early Access. Turn on the Enable custom admin roles for device permissions feature from the Settings > Feature page in the Admin Console to access these permissions. See Manage Early Access and Beta features (opens new window).