Vantiq Catalog is an Advanced Event Broker, and every Advanced Event Broker needs to offer security mechanisms to control and monitor the access of applications connected to the broker. The key security capabilities offered with the Vantiq Catalog include:

  • Limit which Publishers and Subscribers can see which Event Types in the catalog.
  • Audit the events produced by Producers and consumed by Subscribers.
  • Manage and remove connected publishers and subscribers.
  • Revoke catalog access from a connected namespace.

Catalog Connections Overview

Before diving into the Catalog Security Model, it’s important to first familiarize yourself with the core security model of the Vantiq Platform, primarily Profiles and Groups.

Profiles are used to govern the authorizations between namespaces in a brokered environment. Every namespace that connects to the catalog does so through a node, and that node uses an access token to gain access to the Catalog Namespace. That token has a specific profile associated with it, and that profile determines which resources in the Catalog Namespace the connected namespace can access. These nodes and tokens are automatically generated as part of the connection process so the only thing necessary at the time of connection is a token from the Catalog Namespace (referred to as the Catalog
Token) with Broker Member or Admin profiles.

Once the Catalog Token is submitted through the IDE or to the Broker.makeNodes procedure to connect to the Catalog, new tokens are generated in both namespaces that uniquely identify the connection and have the minimum necessary profiles. The Catalog namespace will generate a token with the name of the form dev_vantiq_com_<memberNamespace>_to_dev_vantiq_com_<catalogNamespace> and with a system profile of brokerManager. The token name indicates the token will be used by the memberNamespace on to connect to the catalogNamespace on The brokerManager profile associated with this token allows the Catalog namespace to access just enough resources in the member namespace to remove the member as a publisher or subscriber, to remove their access entirely from the catalog, and to read the contents of the namespace for deployment purposes.

The connected namespace will generate a token named dev_vantiq_com_<catalogNamespace>_to_dev_vantiq_com_<memberNamespace>, indicating the token is used to grant the catalog namespace access to the member namespace. This token will have the brokerMember profile, which offers lower authorizations than the brokerManager profile. The member only has enough access to the catalog namespace to execute existing procedures, create Event Types, and register as a publisher or subscriber of an existing Event Type.

These generated tokens last forever, and are used to generate a node in the Catalog Namespace

that points to the newly connected namespace and a node in newly connected namespace that points to the Catalog Namespace. All interactions with the catalog will be performed through these nodes. Even when the Catalog Namespace accesses its own catalog, the operations are done through nodes. Because each node uses a uniquely generated token, all interactions between namespaces that are audited can be uniquely traced to the node and namespace that made the request.

Catalog Access

By default, all namespaces connected to an Event Catalog can see all Event Types defined in the Catalog. If a namespace can see an Event Type in the Catalog, then that namespace can register as a publisher or as a subscriber of the Event Type. All connected namespaces can create new Event Types in the Catalog, and those Event Types are by default visible to all connected members.

To restrict access to specific Event Types in a Catalog, use Groups. The Catalog Namespace (and no other connected namespace) has the ability to define and update Event Types with a Group value. The value
should be the name of a group that already exists in the Catalog Namespace. Once the Event Type has an Group value, only members of that group will be able to see the Event Type.

View existing Groups in the Vantiq IDE under Administer > Advanced > Groups, and create a new Group by clicking the plus icon in the title bar of the Group List pane. When creating a Group for
the purposes of restricting access to Event Types in the Catalog, be sure to check the For Catalog box, which will automatically grant the Catalog Namespace access to the group. Add nodes to the group to grant the corresponding member namespace access to Event Types in the group.

Create Group

When editing an existing Event Type or creating a new Event Type from the Catalog Namespace there is an option to select a group for the Event Type:

Add Event To Group

After saving the Event Type with a group value, all members of the group will continue to see the Event Type and can interact with it exactly as before. Broker members that were not added to the group will no longer be able to see the Event Type in the catalog. But if they were already registered as a publisher or subscriber of the Event Type, that relationship will not be broken by placing the Event Type in a group. To view all publishers or subscribers of an Event Type from the Catalog Namespace, click on the name of the Event Type in question in the catalog and use the Click To View links.

Manage Publishers

From this popup, use the trash cans to remove any registered publishers (or subscribers on the corresponding subscriber list popup). Note that the option to remove publishers or subscribers other than yourself is only available to the Catalog Namespace. All other namespaces can only remove themselves.

To completely remove a members access to the catalog from the Catalog Namespace, open the Namespaces list in Operations mode, click on the Catalog Namespace, and click the Edit Event Catalogs link, which will open a popup listing all of the connected members:

Manage Connections

From here, click the revoke button next to any connected member to remove that members access to the catalog. This will immediately stop the member from publishing events to the catalog and also unsubscribe the member from any previously subscribed to Event Types.

Using The Event Ledger

Events in Vantiq are generally ephemeral. They arrive, they trigger any associated rules or apps, and then after those behaviors execute the event disappears. When a persistent record of all events is needed, the Event Ledger makes it easy to record those events from a Vantiq App.

The Catalogs Tutorial demonstrates how to use an Event Type in a catalog as the triggering condition for an Event Stream in an App, and also shows how to register a task in App as a publisher of an Event Type.

Attach a RecordEvent task to an Event Stream that is triggered by an Event Type in the catalog and the result is an app that will record all events of an Event Type across all publishers. To record only the events produced by a single publisher, attach a RecordEvent to a task configured to publish events to the catalog. This will only record events produced by this one publisher, but many publishers could be registered for the Event Type. By choosing where to place the RecordEvent task, it’s possible to use it to either record a single publishers activity, or record all publishers activity.

It’s important to note here that the Event Ledger is isolated to a single namespace, and it is not centrally managed by the Catalog Namespace. What events to record in the ledger is entirely up to the builders of the applications that produce and consume events. To record all events of an Event Type as the administrator of the Catalog Namespace, create a simple app that has a single event stream that uses the Event Type as the inbound source of events and attach a RecordEvent task to the output like this:

Record Event Example

To view the Event Ledger, click the book icon next to the Event Type in question in the catalog pane. This will open a new pane containing all entries in the ledger, sorted by the time when the event was recorded from most recent to least recent.