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Cedar Python

CI (main)  PyPI version

cedarpy helps you use the (Rust) Cedar Policy library from Python. You can use cedarpy to:

  • check whether a request is authorized by the Cedar Policy engine
  • format policies

cedarpy packages are availble for the following platforms:

Operating SystemProcessor Architectures
Linuxx86_64, aarch64
Macx86_64, aarch64

Note: This project is not officially supported by AWS or the Cedar Policy team.

Using the library

Releases of cedarpy are available on PyPi. You can install the latest release with:

pip install cedarpy

(See the Developing section for how to use artifacts you've built locally.)

Authorizing access with Cedar policies in Python

Now you can use the library to authorize access with Cedar from your Python project using the is_authorized function. Here's an example of basic use:

from cedarpy import is_authorized, AuthzResult, Decision

policies: str = "//a string containing cedar policies"
entities: list = [  # a list of Cedar entities; can also be a json-formatted string of Cedar entities
    {"uid": {"__expr": "User::\"alice\""}, "attrs": {}, "parents": []}
    # ...
request = {
    "principal": "User::\"bob\"",
    "action": "Action::\"view\"",
    "resource": "Photo::\"1234-abcd\"",
    "context": {}

authz_result: AuthzResult = is_authorized(request, policies, entities)

# so you can assert on the decision like:
assert Decision.Allow == authz_result.decision

# or use the 'allowed' convenience method 
assert authz_result.allowed

# or even via AuthzResult's attribute subscripting support 
assert authz_result['allowed']

The AuthzResult class also provides diagnostics and metrics for the access evaluation request.

See the unit tests for more examples of use and expected behavior.

Authorize a batch of requests

You can also authorize a batch of requests with the is_authorized_batch function. is_authorized_batch accepts a list of requests to evaluate against shared policies, entities, and schema.

Batch authorization is often much more efficient (+10x) than processing authorization requests one by one with is_authorized. This is because the most expensive part of the authorization process is transforming the policies, entities, and schema into objects that Cedar can evaluate. See RFC: support batch authorization requests for details.

Here's an example of how to use is_authorized_batch and the optional request-result correlation_id:

batch_id:str = randomstr()
requests: List[dict] = []
for action_name in action_names:
        "principal": f'User::"{user_id}"',
        "action": f'Action::"{action_name}"',
        "resource": f'Resource::"{resource_id}"',
        "context": context_keys,
        "correlation_id": f"authz_req::{batch_id}-{action_name}"

# ... resolve get policies, entities, schema ...

# process authorizations in batch
authz_results: List[AuthzResult] = is_authorized_batch(requests=requests, policies=policies, entities=entities, schema=schema)

# ... verify results came back in correct order via correlation_id ...
for request, result, in zip(requests, authz_results):
    assert request.get('correlation_id') == result.correlation_id

cedar-py returns the list of AuthzResult objects in the same order as the list of requests provided in the batch.

The above example also supplies an optional correlation_id in the request so that you can verify results are returned in the correct order or otherwise map a request to a result.

Formatting Cedar policies

You can use format_policies to pretty-print Cedar policies according to convention.

from cedarpy import format_policies

policies: str = """
        action == Action::"edit",
    when {
        resource.owner == principal

# permit (
#   principal,
#   action == Action::"edit",
#   resource
# )
# when { resource.owner == principal };


You'll need a few things to get started:

  • Python +3.9
  • Rust and cargo

This project is built on the PyO3 and maturin projects. These projects are designed to enable Python to use Rust code and vice versa.

The most common development commands are in the Makefile

Create virtual env

First create a Python virtual environment for this project with: make venv-dev

In addition to creating a dedicated virtual environment, this will install cedar-py's dependencies.

If this works you should be able to run the following command:

maturin --help

Build and run cedar-py tests

Ensure the cedar-py virtual environment is active by sourcing it in your shell:

source venv-dev/bin/activate

Now run:

make quick

The make quick command will build the Rust source code with maturin and run the project's tests with pytest.

If all goes well, you should see output like:

(venv-dev) swedish-chef:cedar-py skuenzli$ make quick
Performing quick build
set -e ;\
	maturin develop ;\
📦 Including license file "/path/to/cedar-py/LICENSE"
🔗 Found pyo3 bindings
🐍 Found CPython 3.9 at /path/to/cedar-py/venv-dev/bin/python
📡 Using build options features from pyproject.toml
Ignoring maturin: markers 'extra == "dev"' don't match your environment
Ignoring pip-tools: markers 'extra == "dev"' don't match your environment
Ignoring pytest: markers 'extra == "dev"' don't match your environment
💻 Using `MACOSX_DEPLOYMENT_TARGET=11.0` for aarch64-apple-darwin by default
   Compiling cedarpy v0.1.0 (/path/to/cedar-py)
    Finished dev [unoptimized + debuginfo] target(s) in 3.06s
📦 Built wheel for CPython 3.9 to /var/folders/k2/tnw8n1c54tv8nt4557pfx3440000gp/T/.tmpO6aj6c/cedarpy-0.1.0-cp39-cp39-macosx_11_0_arm64.whl
🛠 Installed cedarpy-0.1.0
================================================================================================ test session starts ================================================================================================
platform darwin -- Python 3.9.12, pytest-7.4.0, pluggy-1.2.0
rootdir: /path/to/cedar-py
configfile: pyproject.toml
testpaths: tests/unit
collected 10 items

tests/unit/ PASSED                                                                                                                            [ 10%]
tests/unit/ PASSED                                                                                                                             [ 20%]

... snip ... # a bunch of tests passing - please write more!
tests/unit/ PASSED                                                                                                      [100%]

================================================================================================ 10 passed in 0.51s =================================================================================================

Integration tests

This project supports validating correctness with official Cedar integration tests. To run those tests you'll need to retrieve the cedar-integration-tests data with:

make submodules

Then you can run:

make integration-tests

cedar-py currently passes 69 of the 82 tests defined in the example_use_cases_doc, multi, ip, and decimal suites. (The pass rate is actually higher, but we skip some tests that pass due to the way test suites are loaded.) See for details.

Using locally-built artifacts

If you used make quick above, then a development build of the cedarpy module will already be installed in the virtual environment.

If you want to use your local cedarpy changes in another Python environment, you'll need to build a release with:

make release

The release process will build a wheel and output it into target/wheels/

Now you can install that file with pip, e.g.:

pip install --force-reinstall /path/to/cedar-py/target/wheels/ccedarpy-*.whl


This project is in its early stages and contributions are welcome. Please check the project's GitHub issues for work we've already identified.

Some ways to contribute are:

  • Use the project and report experience and issues
  • Document usage and limitations
  • Enhance the library with additional functionality you need
  • Add test cases, particularly those from cedar-integration-tests

You can reach people interested in this project in the #cedar-py channel of the Cedar Policy Slack workspace.