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Zope PAS plugin providing authentication against objects in Salesforce

Project description


Using the architecture of Zope’s Pluggable Authentication Service and PlonePAS, Salesforce Auth Plugin provides the infrastructure to manage site users as arbitrary objects within a Plone portal. Features and capabilities for Plone user management via include:

  • Configurable SFObject type to serve as Plone user for authentication
  • Configurable username and password field on an SFObject for credential checking
  • Optional password encryption
  • Optional caching of user data from to improve performance
  • Addition of new users as designated SFObject type from Plone portal into
  • Property retrieval and setting for Plone users as stored in

Installation, Configuration, and Usage


  • Active account with API access from
  • Developed and tested against Plone 3.x and 4.0.
  • salesforcebaseconnector (and its pre-reqs, such as ‘beatbox’ python product) Instructions for configuration of salesforcebaseconnector are in README.txt of the product which is downloadable here:
  • Some basic understanding the PAS and PlonePAS infrastructure and capabilities

Steps for Installation into Plone

  1. IMPORTANT: Make sure you install/configure salesforcebaseconnector as mentioned above and set your login and password.
  2. Install the salesforceauthplugin product as you would for any normal Plone product (using Add/Remove Products or the Quick Installer).

Configure Plugin

Though you’ve already installed the Salesforce Auth Plugin, which creates and activates a PAS plugin for use in authentication, user creation, and profile management, this has no impact on your Plone site’s authentication scheme until you’ve done some additional configuration.

Configure the salesforceauthplugin through the ZMI, at acl_users/salesforceauthmultiplugin. (This is the acl_users within your Plone site, not the one at the Zope root.)

At a minimum, you need to determine and configure on the Salesforce Auth Plugin:

  • Which object (i.e. Contact, Lead, Account, etc.) you’ll treat as users within your site (remember that if you’d like to treat multiple Salesforce objects as users, you can do so by setting up multiple Salesforce Auth Plugins). See “Caveats” in this document for more information on this.

  • Which fields of the aforementioned chosen SFObject will serve as the username and password credentials for authentication. At this point, the Salesforce Auth Plugin assumes that credentials will include and be limited to some field used for “username” and another optionally encryption aware field for password. This would look like:

  • In addition, you can enable password encryption, setup additional authentication requirements (in the form of a SOQL statement), and choose which properties to manage in, rather than within Mutable Properties. This would look like:



In addition to creating and activating a PAS plugin for use in authentication, user creation, and profile management within your acl_users object, Salesforce Auth Plugin also associates a RAM cache with the created plugin. The cache period is set for 10 minutes by default. This is essential for ensuring that the use of Salesforce Auth Plugin doesn’t adversely impact the performance of your Plone site.

The Salesforce Auth Plugin caches user enumerations and user properties. If you only manage your users and user properties through Plone, the cache will not have any adverse effects, as the Salesforce Auth Plugin will invalidate the cache when changes take place. However, be aware that when modifying users through, Plone may not be aware of the changes for up to 10 minutes. This applies for any of the following modifications via

  • new user added
  • user removed
  • user properties for user are changed

To modify the cache period: In the ZMI, go to SalesforceAuthPluginCache in your portal root.

To remove the cache: In the ZMI, go to acl_users/salesforceauthmultiplugin and go to the Caching tab.

User authentication can also be optionally cached. This is disabled by default, and is probably unnecessary unless you routinely have users logging into Plone from other sources besides the Salesforce Auth Plugin. To enable it, set CACHE_PASSWORDS to True in This may boost performance at the expense of also introducing a 10-minute delay when passwords are changed via

Through The Web Testing

Let’s try joining a site and seeing if the login appears in

Once the plugin is installed open up a browser and enter the URL of your Plone instance. You may need to log out first which will require closing your browser and reopening it.

In Plone 3.0, registration is disabled by default.

As site admin, head over to “Site Setup->Security” then check the “Enable self-registration” option.

You may want to make sure your new Plone site’s Mail server settings (and “From:” address) are setup so when you create a new account, Plone can send its Welcome email.

Click on the link to join (in the upper right hand corner, next to the log-in link) to create a new login.

Go ahead and add the user and then log in to your Salesforce account at The user you just added should be found in your list of contacts.

Then, you should be able to log out of Plone and try logging in as the new user you just created. See the “Customizing” section of this document for tips about how you might tweak the user experience a bit more.


For simple tweaks to the personalize form, see documentation in “customizing_personalize.txt” within the docs directory of this package.


  • If you’re setting a Date or DateTime property on a Salesforce object make sure your input field type is of DateTime format. Manually, this is done with:

    <input type="text" name="birthdate:date"/>


  • At this time, Contact, Account, and Lead objects have been pretty thoroughly tested and are the target use cases for this product. One might commonly want to use some custom object to serve as the user object. While technically, probably any object could work for authentication, assuming a username and password field have been configured, other objects may or may not work with all available PAS configuration options.

  • As a follow-up to the caveat regarding which Salesforce objects are likely to work with this product, at this time objects where there are required fields that don’t except a string data type will not work as a user adder utility.

    For example, the Event object requires an integer for length in minutes as well as an HTML4 formatted date/time for start of event. By contrast, the interface for doAddUser mandates that only the login and password are passed in the signature. For this reason, when create is called via the API, we use the provided login value for all required fields needed to create the object. Thus, PAS join capability is unlikely to pass doAddUser the appropriate data types for all required fields for more complex Salesforce objects (a la Event) in order to allow the initial creation of the object to happen. Of course, PlonePAS will then go forth and update (using set property capabilities) those fields that were temporarily stocked with the login value if they were asked somewhere in the signup process, since this happens after doAddUser is called.

  • Self-Service Users and Users have not been tested with this product. They may or may not work.

Additional Resources

Product home is A documentation area and issue tracker are available.

A Google Group, called Plone Salesforce Integration exists with the sole aim of discussing and developing tools to make Plone integrate well with If you have a question, joining this group and posting to the mailing list is the likely best way to get support.

Failing that, please try using the Plone users’ mailing list or the #plone IRC channel on freenode for support requests. If you are unable to get your questions answered there, or are interested in helping develop the product, see the credits below for individuals you might contact.


The Plone & Salesforce crew in Seattle and Portland:

  • Jon Baldivieso <jonb –AT– groundwire –DOT– org>
  • Andrew Burkhalter <andrewburkhalter –AT– gmail –DOT– com>
  • Brian Gershon <briang –AT– webcollective –DOT– coop>
  • David Glick <davidglick –AT– groundwire –DOT– org>
  • Jesse Snyder <jesses –AT– npowerseattle –DOT– org>

Thanks to Foundation and Enfold Systems for their gift and work on beatbox and the original proof of concept code that has become Salesforce Auth Plugin (see:

See the changelog for the growing list of people who helped with particular features or bugs.


Distributed under the GPL.

See LICENSE.txt and LICENSE.GPL for details.

Running Tests

It is strongly recommended that you run your tests against a free developer account, rather than a real production instance. … With that said, to run the tests for Salesforce Auth Plugin do the following:

Configure your instance:

In order to successfully run all of the automated unit tests, some modifications need to happen within your instance.

In many of the tests, authentication, user creation, and modification happen against the contact and/or lead object. Specifically, the unit tests create objects and then authenticate against two custom fields: Password and UserName.

For all tests to successfully work create and configure the following fields as shown below:

Field Label Field Name Field Type
Password Password Text(100)
User Name UserName Text(50)
Favorite Boolean FavoriteBoolean Checkbox
Favorite Float FavoriteFloat Number(13, 5)

Note: You can accept the defaults for the other field attributes.


Running Tests –> “To run tests in a unix-like environment” from SalesforceBaseConnector, which is a dependency, so you should have it :)

Running the tests

Rather than running the test suite for salesforcebaseconnector do the following:

bin/instance test -s collective.salesforce.authplugin

If you have trouble running tests, consult “FAQ about running tests” from SalesforceBaseConnector.


1.5.2 (2011-12-20)

  • Bug fix: don’t break during uninstallation if the plugin has already been deleted. [davisagli]

1.5.1 (2011-01-26)

  • Fixed bug where a “baseconnector” attribute was being accidentally persisted. [rocky]

1.5 (2010-11-24)

  • Don’t try to retrieve properties for groups. [davisagli]
  • Disallow searching by the email property for now, as an optimization targeted at the Plone users & groups control panel. [davisagli]
  • Optimization for when querying for user existence or user properties on many users after doing a full enumeration: fetch the properties during enumeration and populate caches. [davisagli]
  • Deal with unicode userids supplied by the Plone 4 session plugin. [davisagli]
  • Don’t separate the login and id in the enumerateUsers cache key, since we treat them the same way. [davisagli]
  • Optimization for when using multiple auth plugins: Use a mapping of object type “hints” to avoid unneeded queries. Also include the plugin_id in the cache key to avoid multiple plugins clobbering each others’ caches. [davisagli]
  • Optimization: populate getPropertiesForUser and enumerateUsers cache during authentication for calls that we know will happen. [davisagli]

1.4 (2010-05-12)

  • Fix for ids and logins passed to enumerateUsers as unicode strings. [davisagli]
  • Make it possible to specify an id for the plugin when calling the install method, to facilitate installing multiple auth plugins. [davisagli]
  • Update one more query call using the deprecated call signature. [davisagli]
  • Make the properties plugin set an sf_obj_type property indicating the sObject type associated with the Salesforce auth plugin. This can be useful if multiple Salesforce auth plugins are being used. [davisagli]

1.3 (2010-02-24)

  • Fixed issue that prevented removing an additional authentication clause once it had been added. [davisagli]
  • Fixed issue with creating query for enumerating users when an additional authentication clause was configured. [davisagli]

1.2 (2010-01-25)

  • Add workaround for issue where the type of a user property returning a null value from Salesforce couldn’t be guessed, resulting in breakage of the Plone user preferences page and other things that fetch the full property sheet. [davisagli]

1.1 (2009-12-17)

  • Zope 2.12 and Plone 4 are now supported. [davisagli]
  • Don’t try to authenticate if the credentials don’t contain a login and password (such as if they are from the session plugin). This avoids some spurious swallowed exceptions, and drastically reduces the need for turning CACHE_PASSWORDS on to avoid needless queries to Salesforce – although turning it on might still be a good idea if you’re routinely logging in users from other sources alongside Salesforce. [davisagli]

1.1rc1 (2009-09-16)

  • In the case of a SoapFaultError when trying to connect to Salesforce, catch the exception, log a warning, and return None so that PAS tries the next plugin. This makes it easier to recover after the password gets changed in Salesforce. [davisagli]

1.1b1 (2009-09-08)

  • Updated query calls to use a full SOQL statement. [davisagli]
  • _buildAuthenticationQuery now returns a full SOQL statement rather than the old set of 3 parameters that used to be expected by salesforcebaseconnector’s query method. [davisagli]
  • Updated version spec for dependency on beatbox. [davisagli]


  • Critical fix for security vulnerability when using collective.salesforce.authplugin with configuration constant CACHE_PASSWORDS enabled. The view stored within the SalesforceAuthPluginCache RAM Cache Manager as authenticateCredentials-username doesn’t include a hash of the user’s password thereby allowing others to log into the portal with a correct username, but incorrect password after a successful login has been accomplished with the correct credentials for the length of the cache period. Though CACHE_PASSWORDS is disabled by default, most users are likely to have enabled this option in attempt to either improve performance or save API requests. Users of versions prior to 1.0b2 with CACHE_PASSWORDS enabled are encouraged to upgrade immediately! [andrewb, thanks to Quintagroup for discovery and patch]
  • Stop using trademarked icon. [davisagli]
  • More gracefully handle Plone’s default sharing tab which searches for similarities to a given query within id, login, and fullname. The latter was leading to erroneous results and often completely exceeding the timeout period for XHR calls from the form itself. The workaround is to inspect the search parameters for fullname and if not mapped within the ‘authentication’ or ‘properties’ treat the search query as a login so the search doesn’t timeout and lose other valid results. [jessesnyder]
  • User Enumeration accounts for Additional Condition Clause, which was previously supported in authentication, but various search forms would return ineligible users per the site’s configuration. [andrewb]


  • Initial release of egg-based Salesforce Auth Plugin product with significant historical influence from various other proof of concept implementations. [Thanks to Foundation, Enfold Systems, ONE/Northwest, NPower Seattle, Web Collective, The Plone/Salesforce Integration crew (]

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