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Chapter 6. Identity Management - Attribute Management

6.1. Overview

PicketLink IDM classifies attributes in two main categories: formal and ad-hoc attributes.
Usually all attributes you need for a specific type is mapped to its properties. We call those attributes formal attributes.. Formal attributes are properties managed by PicketLink and defined directly in your types. By managed, we mean that PicketLink knows how to get the value to store from a specific property and also retrieve its value from the store and populate back to an instance of your type.
But sometimes you may need to define attributes that are not mapped to a specific property of your type. Specially if those are dynamic attributes, whose existence depends on a specific context or rule. We call those attributes ad-hoc attributes. Ad-hoc attributes are not strong-typed as formal attributes, they are just a key/value pair. Where the key is the attribute's name and the latter its value.