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I need to implement Access Control List (ACL) for my web application and I need to know common practice of using permissions in GIS systems. What levels of acces exists: layer, feature, attribute, extent, maybe anything else? What types of activities can be used by users: editing, browsing? Any response would be appreciated.

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What technologies does your web GIS use? Are you using open source components or are you using the ESRI stack? You might find this thread useful, too: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/61934/… –  R.K. Jun 7 '13 at 16:05
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You can see the ESRI Strategy:

Esri, a provider of mission-critical geographic information system (GIS) software, recognizes the security and privacy challenges faced by many of its customers. Esri is committed to delivering GIS technology that can meet these challenges as part of a secure enterprise solution.

http://resources.arcgis.com/fr/content//enterprisegis/10.0/security

http://resources.arcgis.com/content/enterprisegis/10.0/security_strategy

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