WEB Access Management


WEB Access Management (WAM) is a form of an Access Control Service designed to specifically handle web resources and typically providing:

Anyone considering WEB Access Management should seriously consider using OAuth 2.0 / OpenID Connect / User-Managed Access


There are two basic different types of architectures when it comes to web access management architectures

WEB Agents WAM#

WEB Agents WAM are programs that are installed on every web/application server, register with those servers, and are called at every request for a web page. The WEB Agent intercept the request and communicate with an external policy server to make policy decisions. One of the benefits of a plugin (or agent) based architecture is that they can be highly customized for unique needs of a particular web server. One of the drawbacks is that a different plugin is required for every web server on every platform (and potentially for every version of every server). Further, as technology evolves, upgrades to agents must be distributed and compatible with evolving host software.

Proxy-Based WAM#

Proxy-based architectures differ in that all web requests are routed through the proxy server to the back-end web/application servers. This can provide a more universal integration with web servers since the common standard protocol, HTTP, is used instead of vendor-specific application programming interfaces (APIs). One of the drawbacks is that additional hardware is usually required to run the proxy servers.

Hybrid WAM#

Then of course there are the solutions which provide both the WEB Agents WAM and Proxy-Based WAM.

Identity Broker#

Most full featured Solution provide an ability to provide Identity Broker services.


Solutions like CA SiteMinder typify the agent-based approach - although CA SiteMinder now offers a Proxy-Based WAM option.

maXecurity from P2 Security employs a proxy approach.

NetIQ Access Manager, Ping Identity's PingAccess and OpenAM solutions offers the ability to do Hybrid WAM where either they utilize either WEB Agents WAM or Proxy-Based WAM.

More Information#

There might be more information for this subject on one of the following: