Integrating OPA

OPA exposes domain-agnostic APIs that your service can call to manage and enforce policies. Read this page if you want to integrate an application, service, or tool with OPA.

Evaluating Policies

OPA supports different APIs for evaluating policies.

  • The REST API returns decisions as JSON over HTTP.
  • The Go API (GoDoc) returns decisions as simple Go types (bool, string, map[string]interface{}, etc.)

Integrating with the REST API

To integrate with OPA outside of Go, we recommend you deploy OPA as a host-level daemon or sidecar container. When your application or service needs to make policy decisions it can query OPA locally via HTTP. Running OPA locally on the same host as your application or service helps ensure policy decisions are fast and highly-available.

Named Policy Decisions

Use the Data API to query OPA for named policy decisions:

POST /v1/data/<path>
Content-Type: application/json
{
    "input": <the input document>
}

The <path> in the HTTP request identifies the policy decision to ask for. In OPA, every rule generates a policy decision. In the example below there are two decisions: example/authz/allow and example/authz/is_admin.

package example.authz

default allow = false

allow {
    some id
    input.method = "GET"
    input.path = ["salary", id]
    input.subject.user = id
}

allow {
    is_admin
}

is_admin {
    input.subject.groups[_] = "admin"
}

You can request specific decisions by querying for <package path>/<rule name>. For example to request the allow decision execute the following HTTP request:

POST /v1/data/example/authz/allow
Content-Type: application/json
{
    "input": <the input document>
}

The body of the request specifies the value of the input document to use during policy evaluation. For example:

POST /v1/data/example/authz/allow
Content-Type: application/json
{
    "input": {
        "method": "GET",
        "path": ["salary", "bob"],
        "subject": {
            "user": "bob"
        }
    }
}

OPA returns an HTTP 200 response code if the policy was evaluated successfully. Non-HTTP 200 response codes indicate configuration or runtime errors. The policy decision is contained in the "result" key of the response message body. For example, the above request returns the following response:

200 OK
Content-Type: application/json
{
    "result": true
}

If the requested policy decision is undefined OPA returns an HTTP 200 response without the "result" key. For example, the following request for is_admin is undefined because there is no default value for is_admin and the input does not satisfy the is_admin rule body:

POST /v1/data/example/authz/is_admin
Content-Type: application/json
{
    "input": {
        "subject": {
            "user": "bob",
            "groups": ["sales", "marketing"]
        }
    }
}

The response:

200 OK
Content-Type: application/json
{}

For another example of how to integrate with OPA via HTTP see the HTTP API Authorization tutorial.

Integrating with the Go API

Use the github.com/open-policy-agent/opa/rego package to embed OPA as a library inside services written in Go. To get started import the rego package:

import "github.com/open-policy-agent/opa/rego"

The rego package exposes different options for customizing how policies are evaluated. Through the rego package you can supply policies and data, enable metrics and tracing, toggle optimizations, etc. In most cases you will:

  1. Use the rego package to construct a prepared query.
  2. Execute the prepared query to produce policy decisions.
  3. Interpret and enforce the policy decisions.

Preparing queries in advance avoids parsing and compiling the policies on each query and improves performance considerably. Prepared queries are safe to share across multiple Go routines.

To prepare a query create a new rego.Rego object by calling rego.New(...) and then invoke rego.Rego#PrepareForEval. The rego.New(...) call can be parameterized with different options like the query, policy module(s), data store, etc.

query, err := rego.New(
    rego.Query("x = data.example.authz.allow"),
    rego.Module("example.rego", module),
    ).PrepareForEval(ctx)

if err != nil {
    // Handle error.
}

Using the query returned by rego.Rego#PrepareForEval call the Eval function to evaluate the policy:

input := map[string]interface{}{
    "method": "GET",
    "path": []interface{}{"salary", "bob"},
    "subject": map[string]interface{}{
        "user": "bob",
        "groups": []interface{}{"sales", "marketing"},
    },
}

results, err := query.Eval(context.Context, rego.EvalInput(input))

The rego.PreparedEvalQuery#Eval function returns a result set that contains the query results. If the result set is empty it indicates the query could not be satisfied. Each element in the result set contains a set of variable bindings and a set of expression values. The query from above includes a single variable x so we can lookup the value and interpret it to enforce the policy decision.

if err != nil {
    // Handle evaluation error.
} else if len(results) == 0 {
    // Handle undefined result.
} else if result, ok := results[0].Bindings["x"].(bool); !ok {
    // Handle unexpected result type.
} else {
    // Handle result/decision.
}

For more examples of embedding OPA as a library see the rego package in the Go documentation.

Managing OPA

OPA supports a set of management APIs for distributing policies and collecting telemetry information on OPA deployments.

  • See the Bundle API for distributing policy and data to OPA.
  • See the Status API for collecting status reports on bundle activation and agent health.
  • See the Decision Log API for collecting a log of policy decisions made by agents.
  • See the Health API for checking agent deployment readiness and health.

OPA also exports a Prometheus API endpoint that can be scraped to obtain insight into performance and errors.