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I have an Apex class that is consuming a partners REST webservices. Currently all users of my app (in the installed org) access the service via a single API Integration user.

We now want make the REST reponse dependant on the Users permissions, so the external REST service needs to know a Users role.

Passing the role as part of the request is not safe so we though about SAML and Signle Sign on Auth Flows as described here: https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.sso.meta/sso/sso_about.htm

The external service could know about each consuming user from the salesforce side. I don't know how, but maybe Salesforce could transparently log the Salesforce user in when creating a webservice call.

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The solution would depend on how your partner's web service intends to consume your request with user roles/permissions. Even if the target service supports a standard protocol with a defined token format (e.g. oAuth with JWT or SAML Bearer flow), stuffing user roles/permissions into the token is not specified in a standard so it'll have to be engineered on both sides. Possible but complicated, especially on the service side.

Sending data to the partner service using a proprietary interface is your best option. POSTing the data in a HTTP request body over SSL is considered safe.

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