EES Service Reference Card

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Execution Environment Service (EES)


Functional description

The EES is a pluggable, configurable authorisation service similar to the Site Central Authorisation Service (SCAS). The role of the EES is to ensure that an appropriate site-specific execution environment is procured based on the site-agnostic obligations and attributes it receives as input in the form of SAML2-XACML2 requests. It runs as a standalone service, responding to requests from a Policy Enforcement Point (PEP) which have been augmented with information from a Policy Decision Point (PDP).

From the outside, the EES can be viewed as an obligation transformer; for example it can be used to transform a site-agnostic obligation for a local account mapping to a site-specific obligation for on-demand virtual machine deployment.

To integrate the EES with an existing Argus installation, a separate component called the EES Obligation Handler should be configured in the PEP daemon. For more details regarding integration in Argus, please see the documentation for this component. The EES itself ships with a pre-configured transformer plug-in which extracts PDP data from the SAML2-XACML2 environment attributes. This plug-in is not required when PDP data is not transmitted to the EES.

Daemons running


Init scripts and options (start|stop|restart|condrestart|reload|force-reload|status)


Configuration files with example or template

the EES is designed to be highly customizable. Its configuration model allows policies to be expressed as state machines in the Policy Description Language (PDL), whose branches end in pre-configured plug-in instances. A small example as well as an ees.conf manpage is provided.


Logfile locations (and management) and other useful audit information

syslog available: yes

Custom log file and log options can be configured


Possible unit test of the service

a high-level test script ( is available in the source tarball. In addition a nagios probe is available.

Where is service state held

the EES uses plug-ins to connect to various other middleware. The configuration file for the EES defines the plug-ins used.

An integral part of the EES is the Attribute and Obligations Store (AOS), which is a component that allows plug-ins to query the (transient) SAML2-XACML2 data received. This object store is exposed through a simple API. This data is logged, but the intermediate state is not saved.

Cron jobs


Security information

The EES should run firewalled from the rest of the network, only allowing the Argus PEPd access.

Access control mechanism description (authentication & authorization)

Mandated by plug-in and network configuration.

How to block / ban a user

Through Argus.

Network usage

Exposes a SOAP service that transforms SAML2-XACML2 requests.

Firewall configuration

the EES currently has no support for TLS connections. System administrators should configure the EES host to only allow access to the EES from the PEPd host.

Security recommendations

Security incompatibilities

List of external packages

Other security relevant comments

Utility scripts

Location of reference information for users

argus documentation

manpages (included in RPM):

  • ees.1
  • ees.conf.5
  • ees_dummy_good.mod.8
  • ees_dump_aos.mod.8
  • ees_transformer.mod.8

Location of reference information for administrators

Personal tools