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How to: Use a custom security trimmer for SharePoint Server search results

This how-to guides you through the steps to implement—create, deploy, and register—a custom security trimmer for Search in SharePoint 2013 by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.

Last modified: July 01, 2013

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2013

Search in SharePoint 2013 performs query-time security trimming of search results. However, there may be scenarios in which you want to perform custom security trimming. Search in SharePoint 2013 provides support for these scenarios through the Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Query.ISecurityTrimmerPre, Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Query.ISecurityTrimmerPost, and ISecurityTrimmer2 (deprecated) interfaces in the Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Query namespace.

There are two kinds of custom security trimming: Pre-trimming and post-trimming. Pre-trimming refers to pre-query evaluation where the query is rewritten to add security information before the query is matched to the search index. Post-trimming refers to post-query evaluation where the search results are pruned before they are returned to the user.

We recommend the use of pre-trimming for performance and general correctness; post-trimming prevents information leakage for refiner data and hit count instances.

The security trimmer registration process enables you to specify configuration properties for the custom security trimmer.

Custom Security Trimming in Search in SharePoint 2013 consists of two interfaces that can be used to carry out pre-trimming or post-trimming of your search results. This how-to focuses on both interfaces, describing the steps necessary to create and register your own security trimmers.

To complete this how-to, you must have the following installed in your development environment:

  • Search in Microsoft SharePoint 2013

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 or similar Microsoft .NET Framework–compatible development tool

In this step, you will create the custom security trimmer project, and then add the required references to the project.

To create the project for a custom security trimmer

  1. Open Visual Studio and choose File, New, Project.

  2. In Project types, under C#, choose SharePoint.

  3. Under Templates, choose Empty SharePoint Project. In the Name field, type CustomSecurityTrimmerSample, and then choose the OK button.

  4. In the SharePoint Customization Wizard, choose Deploy as a farm solution, and then choose Finish.

To add references to the custom security trimmer project

  1. On the Project menu, choose Add Reference.

  2. On the .NET tab, choose the references with the following component names, and then choose the OK button:

    • Microsoft Search component

      You should see two entries on the .NET tab with the component name Microsoft Search component. Select the entry where the Path column is \ISAPI\Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.dll. If this entry is missing from the .NET tab in the Add References dialog box, you must add the reference from the Browse tab by using the path to the Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.dll.

    • Microsoft.IdentityModel

      If Microsoft.IdentityModel is not listed on the .NET tab, you must add the reference to the Microsoft.IdentityModel.dll from the Browse tab, by using the following path:

      %ProgramFiles%\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\Windows Identity Foundation\v4.0.

To create the class file for the security pre-trimmer

  1. On the Project menu, choose Add New Item.

  2. Under Visual C# Items in Installed Templates, choose Code, and then choose Class.

  3. Type CustomSecurityPreTrimmer.cs, and then choose Add.

Writing the custom security pre-trimmer code

Your custom security trimmer must implement the ISecurityTrimmerPre interface. The following code example is a basic implementation of this interface.

To modify the default code in CustomSecurityPreTrimmer

  1. Add the following using directives at the beginning of the class.

    using System;
    using System.Collections;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Collections.Specialized;
    using System.Security.Principal;
    using Microsoft.IdentityModel.Claims;
    using Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Query;
    using Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Administration;
    
    
  2. Specify that the CustomSecurityPreTrimmer class implements the ISecurityTrimmerPre interface in the class declaration, as shown in the following code.

    public class CustomSecurityPreTrimmer : ISecurityTrimmerPre
    

To implement the ISecurityTrimmerPre interface methods

  1. Add the following code for the Initialize() method declaration.

    public void Initialize(NameValueCollection staticProperties, SearchServiceApplication searchApplication)
    {
    
    }
    

    The basic version of this sample does not include any code in the Initialize method.

  2. Add the following code for the AddAccess() method declaration.

    public IEnumerable<Tuple<Claim, bool>> AddAccess(
                    IDictionary<string, object> sessionProperties, IIdentity passedUserIdentity)
    {
    //AddAccess method implementation, see steps 3-5.
    }
    
  3. For the first part of the AddAccess method implementation, we find out who the user is by looking at the passedUserIdentity.

    if (passedUserIdentity == null)
    {
       throw new ArgumentException("AddAccess method is called with invalid user identity
       parameter", "passedUserIdentity");
    }
                
       String strUser = null;
       var claimsIdentity = (IClaimsIdentity)passedUserIdentity;
       if (claimsIdentity != null)
       {
          foreach (var claim in claimsIdentity.Claims)
          {
             if (claim == null) 
             {
                continue;
             }
             
             // strUser is "domain\\user" format when web app is in Claims Windows Mode
             if (SPClaimTypes.Equals(claim.ClaimType, SPClaimTypes.UserLogonName))
             {
                strUser = claim.Value;
                break;
             }
    
             // strUser2 is "S-1-5-21-2127521184-1604012920-1887927527-66602" when web app is   
                in Legacy Windows Mode
             // In this case we need to convert it into NT user format.
             if (SPClaimTypes.Equals(claim.ClaimType, ClaimTypes.PrimarySid))
             {
                strUser = claim.Value;
                SecurityIdentifier sid = new SecurityIdentifier(strUser);
                strUser = sid.Translate(typeof(NTAccount)).Value;
                break;
             }
          }
    }            
    
    
  4. Create a list, populate the list with claims and return the list, as shown in the following code.

    var claims = new LinkedList<Tuple<Claim, bool>>();
    if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(strUser))
       {
          var groupMembership = GetMembership(strUser);
          if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(groupMembership))
          {
             var groups = groupMembership.Split(new[] {';'},
             StringSplitOptions.RemoveEmptyEntries);
             foreach (var group in groups)
             {
                claims.AddLast(new Tuple<Claim, bool>(
                new Claim("http://schemas.happy.bdc.microsoft.com/claims/acl", group), false));
             }
          }
       }
       return claims;
    }
    
    

    The GetMembership method contains the custom logic of your trimmer.

To create the class file for the security post-trimmer

  1. On the Project menu, choose Add New Item.

  2. Under Visual C# Items in Installed Templates, choose Code, and then choose Class..

  3. Type CustomSecurityPostTrimmer.cs, and then choose Add.

Writing the custom security post-trimmer code

Your custom security trimmer must implement the ISecurityTrimmerPost interface. The code example in this section is a basic implementation of this interface.

To modify the default code in CustomSecurityPostTrimmer

  1. Add the following using directives at the beginning of the class:

    using System;
    using System.Collections;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Collections.Specialized;
    using System.Security.Principal;
    using Microsoft.IdentityModel.Claims;
    using Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Query;
    using Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Administration;
    
    
  2. Specify that the CustomSecurityPostTrimmer class implements the ISecurityTrimmerPost interface in the class declaration, as follows:

    public class CustomSecurityPostTrimmer : ISecurityTrimmerPost
    

To implement the ISecurityTrimmerPost interface methods

  1. Add the following code for the Initialize() method declaration.

    public void Initialize(NameValueCollection staticProperties, SearchServiceApplication searchApplication)
    {
    
    }
    

    The basic version of this sample does not include any code in the Initialize method.

  2. Add the following code for the CheckAccess() method declaration.

    public BitArray CheckAccess(IList<string> documentCrawlUrls, IList<string> documentAcls, IDictionary<string, object> sessionProperties, IIdentity passedUserIdentity)
    {
    //CheckAccess method implementation, see steps 3-5.
    }
    
  3. For the first part of the CheckAccess method implementation, declare and initialize a BitArray variable to store the results of the access check for each URL in the documentCrawlUrls collection, and retrieve the user who submitted the query, as shown in the following code.

    if (documentCrawlUrls == null)
    {
       throw new ArgumentException("CheckAccess method is called with invalid URL list",
       "documentCrawlUrls");
    }
    if (documentAcls == null)
    {
       throw new ArgumentException("CheckAccess method is called with invalid documentAcls   
       list", "documentAcls");
    }
    if (passedUserIdentity == null)
    {
       throw new ArgumentException("CheckAccess method is called with invalid user identity
       parameter", "passedUserIdentity");
    }
    
    
  4. Loop through each crawl URL in the collection, and perform the access check to determine if the user who submitted the query can access the crawl URL’s associated content item, as shown in the following code.

    // Initialize the bit array with TRUE value which means all results are visible by default.
    var urlStatusArray = new BitArray(documentCrawlUrls.Count, true);
    var claimsIdentity = (IClaimsIdentity)passedUserIdentity;
    if (claimsIdentity != null)
    {
       var userGroups = GetGroupList(claimsIdentity.Claims);
       var numberDocs = documentCrawlUrls.Count;
       for (var i = 0; i < numberDocs; ++i)
       {
          if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(documentAcls[i]))
          {
             urlStatusArray[i] = VerifyAccess(documentAcls[i], userGroups);
          }
       }
    }
    
    

    If the user has access to the content item, set the value of the BitArray item at that index, urlStatusArray[i], to true; otherwise, set it to false.

  5. Set the return value of the CheckAccess method to urlStatusArray, as shown in the following code.

    return urlStatusArray;
    

This step describes how to configure the custom security trimmer, and includes the following tasks:

  • Registering the custom security trimmer for the Search service application by using the Windows PowerShell cmdlets.

  • Restarting the SharePoint search host controller (SPSearchHostController).

Register the custom security trimmer

You use the SharePoint Management Shell to register a custom security trimmer with ClassName. In our case, ClassName could be either CustomSecurityPreTrimmer or CustomSecurityPostTrimmer. The following procedure shows how to register a custom security trimmer, with the ID set to 1 for the Search service application.

To register the custom security trimmer

  1. In Windows Explorer, locate CustomSecurityTrimmerSample.dll in the path <Local_Drive>:\WINDOWS\assembly.

  2. Open the shortcut menu for the file, and then choose Properties.

  3. On the General tab in the Properties dialog box, select the token and copy it.

  4. Open the SharePoint Management Shell. For information about using this tool, see Administering Service Applications Using the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell.

  5. At the command prompt, type the following command.

    New-SPEnterpriseSearchSecurityTrimmer -SearchApplication "Search Service Application" 
    -typeName "CustomSecurityTrimmerSample.ClassName, CustomSecurityTrimmerSample, 
    Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=token" -RulePath "xmldoc://*"
    

    In the command, replace ClassName either with CustomSecurityPreTrimmer or CustomSecurityPostTrimmer and token with the Public Key Token for the CustomSecurityTrimmerSample.dll file. You must associate all post-trimmers with a crawl rule, "xmldoc://*"; but this is optional for pre-trimmers.

    NoteNote

    If you have multiple front-end web servers, you must deploy your security trimmer to the global assembly cache on all the front-end web servers in the farm.

  6. Verify that your security trimmer is registered with the following PowerShell cmdlets.

    $searchApp = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication
    $searchApp | Get-SPEnterpriseSearchSecurityTrimmer
    

    Your security trimmer must be visible in the results.

To restart the SharePoint search host controller

  • You can restart the Search Service by typing the following PowerShell cmdlet.

    net restart sphostcontrollerservice
    
    
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