Access Requests and Grants#

Starting in version 2.0, Inrupt’s Enterprise Solid Server (ESS) provides support for access requests and grants [1]. With access requests and grants:

  • An agent can request access to Resource(s) hosted on a Pod. This access request includes the specific access mode (e.g., read, write, append), the Resource(s) to access, etc.

  • The owner of the requested Resource(s) (i.e., individuals with Control access to the requested Resource(s)) can review the access request and either grant the access request (resulting in an access grant) or deny the access request (resulting in an access denial).

  • If the requesting agent has an access grant, the requesting agent can exchange the access grant for an access token in order to access the Resource(s).


Starting in version 2.1 of ESS:

  • An access request that specifies a Container also applies to the Container’s descendants unless explicitly specified otherwise in the request with an inherit: false.

  • An access grant that specifies a Container also applies to the Container’s descendants unless explicitly specified otherwise in the approved access grant with an inherit: false.

To set the inherit field in access requests/access grants, version 2.1.+ of @inrupt/solid-client-access-grants-js adds an inherit: <boolean> option to issueAccessRequest and approveAccessRequest.

In the previous version of ESS, access request/grant applied only to the explicitly stated resource or resources in the access request/grant, regardless of whether the resource is a Container, an RDF Resource, or a non-RDF Resource.

Inrupt Client Library#

To support ESS’ access requests and grants feature, Inrupt provides the @inrupt/solid-client-access-grants library. [2] This library contains APIs to manage access requests and grants issued by ESS.

npm install @inrupt/solid-client-access-grants

Usage Scenario#

In the following usage scenario, a user wants to print some photos that are stored in the user’s Pod. The user visits the ExamplePrinter’s web application which provides photo printing services. When the ExamplePrinter’s web application asks for the photos to print, the user enters the URLs of the photos. To continue, the ExamplePrinter’s website asks for access to read the photos.

For example, assume the user snoringsue with the WebID ( is on ExamplePrinter’s web application to print the following photos:

  • ""

  • ""

  • "".

The following diagram gives an overview of the flow (in the example, the access request and grants serialized as VCs)

ExamplePrinter sends an access request to snoringsue's Access Management app, where she can approve or deny said access. The resulting Access Grant is sent back to ExamplePrinter's app which uses it in order to access snoringsue's resources on her Pod.

Sequence diagram of the Access Request flow where snoringsue is requested access to her photos by ExamplePrinter and approves the request.#

Next Steps#

Manage Access Requests

To make access requests. If access is granted, use the Access Grants to access the resource (such as the ExamplePrinter application in above diagram).

Manage Access Grants

To approve or deny access requests (such as the Access Management application in above diagram).

Use Access Grants to Access Resources

To use approved Access Grants to access Pod resources (such as the ExamplePrinter application in above diagram).