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User profile (v5.3)

When the user is successfully authenticated by pac4j, his data are retrieved from the identity provider and a user profile is built. His profile has:

In fact, the root class of the profiles hierarchy is the BasicUserProfile. It implements the UserProfile interface.

This is for specific use cases when you want a minimal user profile.

In the pac4j environment, the first user profile which must be considered is the CommonProfile which defines the most common methods available in most profiles.

User profiles are managed via the profile manager.

1) Identifier

Each user profile must have a unique identifier. Thus, when building the user profile, the pac4j clients use for the profile identifier a value enforcing uniqueness from the identity provider.

This works well accross the profiles provided from the same identity provider, though this can become a problem when using multiple identity providers. We could have a collision between the identifiers chosen from the identity provider. To avoid that issue, there is a “typed identifier” adding the profile class name before the profile identifier.


profile.getId() // 00001
profile.getTypedId() // org.pac4j.oauth.profile.facebook.FacebookProfile#00001

As the identifier must be a String, you may use the ProfileHelper.sanitizeIdentifier method to convert other Java types and remove the “typed” part of the identifier.

2) Attributes

User profiles have attributes, populated from the data retrieved from the identity provider (after conversion). Multiple attributes with the same name and value of collection type can be (optionally) merged into a single attribute. In particular it can be useful for identity providers that return roles in different single-element collections.

Some identity providers will include attributes related to the authentication itself, such as authentication method, time period for which the authentication is valid, or metadata about the identity provider. These attributes are stored seperately from the user’s attributes.

4) Roles and permissions

Roles and permissions can be added to the user profile via the addRole(role), addRoles(roles), addPermission(permission) and addPermissions(permissions) methods.

They are generally computed in an AuthorizationGenerator.

5) Client name

During the login process, the name of the client is saved into the user profile via the setClientName(name) method and can be retrieved later on via the getClientName() method.

6) Remember-me

A user profile can be defined as remember-me as opposed to fully authenticated via the setRemembered(boolean) method. The isRemembered() method returns if the user profile is remembered.

7) Common methods of the CommonProfile

The CommonProfile has the following methods:

Method Type Returns
getEmail() String The email attribute
getFirstName() String The first_name attribute
getFamilyName() String The family_name attribute
getDisplayName() String The display_name attribute
getUsername() String The username attribute
getGender() Gender The gender attribute
getLocale() Locale The locale attribute
getPictureUrl() URI The picture_url attribute
getProfileUrl() URI The profile_url attribute
getLocation() String The location attribute
asPrincipal() Principal An object containing the name of the current authenticated user
isExpired() boolean false if the current profile is expired

8) Profile definition

The profile class and attributes are defined via ProfileDefinition implementations.

The setProfileFactory method allows you to define the instance class to return for the user profile while the primary and secondary methods allow you to define attributes with their specific converters.

Many attribute converters already exists: BooleanConverter, ColorConverter… Check the org.pac4j.core.profile.converter package.

As a result, the newProfile method returns a new class instance while the convertAndAdd methods convert the attributes if there is an associated converter and adds them to the profile.

The newProfile method may also return the related profile of a typedId if this one is specified as the first parameter and if the setRestoreProfileFromTypedId(true) method has been called.

9) Profile hierarchy

In fact, most clients never return a CommonProfile, but specific profiles like the FacebookProfile, the OidcProfile… which:

10) Linked identifier

Each user profile may have a linked identifier, it’s the identifier of another user profile. This way, both user profiles are linked and it allows you to authenticate via an account for a user and load the linked user defined in the first user, especially by using the LoadLinkedUserAuthorizationGenerator.