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Ory Permissions is a modern permission system you can use to create a complete authorization system for your application or website, no matter the size or the complexity of the ACLs (access-control lists) your use case requires. Ory Permissions, based on the open-source Ory Keto Permission Server, is the first open-source implementation of the design principles and specifications described in Zanzibar: Google's Consistent, Global Authorization System.

Implementing the design principles described in the Zanzibar paper allows Ory Permissions to offer the following benefits over other, widely adopted permission systems:

  • Flexibility: Traditional permission systems typically rely on a fixed set of permissions and access control rules that are difficult to customize or modify. Ory Permissions provides a flexible data model you can customize to fit a wide range of use cases. Creating custom permission models is aided by Ory Permission Language, a developer-friendly, TypeScript-based configuration language.

  • Scalability: While traditional permission systems often struggle to handle large-scale applications and services with high request volume, Ory Permissions is designed to be highly scalable and handle a large number of concurrent requests without sacrificing performance or reliability.

With Ory Permissions, you can:

  • Use Ory Permission Language to create permission models that fit your exact use case - RBAC, ABAC, and beyond.
  • Unify authorization logic in one service that's the single source of truth for access rights across all of your applications.
  • Be tech-stack agnostic and use Ory Network SDKs available for all major programming languages.
  • Issue fine-grained permissions, for example User:x is in readers of Document:y.
  • Allow permissions inheritance through groups, roles, and hierarchies to ensure organic scaling that follows the growth of your application.

Ory Permission Language

The Ory Permission Language (OPL) is a developer-friendly configuration language defined as a subset of TypeScript. It's designed to be quick to learn and has a familiar source in contrary to other, proprietary languages used to represent permissions, such as Rego or Casbin.


You can create permission rules with OPL using the Ory Console. Go to Ory ConsoleNamespaces & Rules and use the editor in the Permission Rules tab.

This is an example of OPL code:

import { Namespace, Context } from "@ory/keto-namespace-types"

class User implements Namespace {}

class Document implements Namespace {
// All relationships for a single document.
related: {
editors: User[]
viewers: User[]

// The permissions derived from the relationships and context.
permits = {
// A permission is a function that takes the context and returns a boolean. It can reference `this.related` and `this.permits`.
write: (ctx: Context): boolean => this.related.editors.includes(ctx.subject),
read: (ctx: Context): boolean => this.permits.write(ctx) || this.related.viewers.includes(ctx.subject),

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