Every edge component that connects to the ThingWorx platform requires an Application Key.  This 'AppKey' provides both authentication and authorization control.  When an edge component connects it steps through a connection process.  The second step of that process is to send the AppKey to the platform.  The platform will inspect the key and ensure that it is valid.  It also creates a session for that edge connection and associates the AppKey with the session.  Any future requests that are sent over that AlwaysOn connection will execute under the security context configured for the user associated with the AppKey.

 

In order for edge applications to interact with the platform they require a certain set of permissions.  It is a best practice to not associate the Administrator user with an Application Key.  Doing this would allow an edge application to invoke any and all services on the platform, and to modify the property values of any thing.  The permissions applied to an edge component's AppKey should be the minimum set required for your application to function.

 

The AppKey associated with an edge component is typically associated with a single Thing, or a collection of Things, usually of the same ThingTemplate.  Identify the Thing(s) or ThingTemplate(s) that your application will interact with.  There are four types of interactions for edge components: property reads, property writes, service invocations, and event executions (edge components do not subscribe to events).  These four types of interactions match the runtime permissions that can be configured on a Thing, or the 'run time instance' permissions for a ThingTemplate.

 

If an edge application will be reading or writing all properties of a particular Thing, then applying the 'read property' and 'write property' permissions is appropriate.  If only a select set of a Thing's properties will be read or written, then read and/or write permission should be disabled, and only the select properties should be enabled using overrides.

 

Since every Thing has a number of generic services, the 'service execute' permission should be disabled, and overrides should be configured for the selected services that the edge needs access to.  In addition, overrides should be configured for the 'UpdateSubscribeProeprtyValues' service and for the 'ProcessRemoteEvents' service.  Edge components often use these service to update a collection of properties or to fire a set of events.

 

Finally, if your edge application triggers events on a Thing, overrides should be used to provide execute permission for those events.

 

In summary, the safest path to configuring edge permissions is to create a new user and AppKey with no permissions applied, and to then selectively apply permissions for that user only on the Thing or Things that your edge components will interact with.