[Mondrian] Extending Role interface

Luc Boudreau lucboudreau at gmail.com
Thu Sep 2 09:34:39 EDT 2010

Hello everyone,

I'm working on a case about Mondrian's Role implementation. The problem is
this. If you grant access to a SharedDimension in a CubeA, but not in CubeB,
the Role gets to access the Dimension even in CubeB because the Role
interface does not take into account the context into which the Dimension is
accessed. As a matter of fact, this impacts all children of a
SharedDimension (hierarchies, levels and members).

A discussion a while back on this list had concluded that the root of the
problem was due to Dimension.equals() implementation taking into account
only the name of the object. After evaluating the proposed fix, I concluded
that the performance impact is too great and will lead to many more problems
than it actually solves. The proposed fix would make the cache sizes
explode, because it would create a new cache for each DimensionUsage.
Actually, it won't solve the problem at all, because the dimension Java
object is indeed equal and thus leads the code to make faulty assumptions.

But good news! There is a proper way to fix this. I propose to extend the
Role interface so that it takes into account the cube context into which the
access rights are evaluated. For example, the method...

Access getAccess(Dimension dimension);

...would become...

Access getAccess(Dimension dimension, Cube cube);

My first thought was to create new signatures alongside the existing ones,
but that would lead to security holes in the code. I would very much like to
fix this once and for all. Now, because this is part of the public API, I
would like to have some feedback on this. Do Mondrian developers use the
Role interface directly? Is there any foreseeable bad consequences to doing

Also, I expect some serious code refactoring would occur. The context Cube
is not always readily available to all parts of the code which calls the
Role's access checkers. I will need to make sure that the context is
available for these checks. When Grants are created, we will need to specify
the context into which they are effective. etc.

There might be other solutions possible. I'd like to hear some ideas. IMO,
extending the Role interface is the "kosher" way of fixing this, because it
is at fault, but hey, I might be wrong.

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