December 21, 2020

User Management

How to interact with users on your account. Breaks down a lot of the various API calls required to manage an account, such as getting login attempts, event logs, permissions and more.


Each account will have a “Master” user. This “Master” user is the main user for the account, considered the account owner, and can do anything possible for an account. This user is a bit special, in that it needs no permissions set, as it has them all. So when looking at permissions set for this user, you will notice that none are set, which is normal for this specific type of user.

This user account will have the username like SL12345, or for newer accounts, IBM12345. The isMasterUserFlag will let you know if a user in question is the master user or not.

You can also use the SoftLayer_Account::getCurrentUser() method to determine some information about the user you are currently authenticated with.

curl -g -u API_USER:API_KEY '[id,username,isMasterUserFlag]'

{"id": 167758, "isMasterUserFlag": true, "username": "SL12345"}

As the master user, you can create, or invite, additional users to access this account. If this new user has the ADD_USER permission, they can then create additional users as well. However these new users will only be able to be given permissions their parent user has.

Permission enforcement with the SoftLayer API

Calling SoftLayer_User_Customer::getChildUsers() will display any children the specified user (12345 here) has, and childUserCount will let you know if THAT account has any more children.

curl -g -u $SL_USER:$SL_APIKEY  '[id,username,childUserCount]'

        "childUserCount": 0,
        "id": 8344222,
        "username": ""
        "childUserCount": 1,
        "id": 8724518,
        "username": ""

Creating users

Use the SoftLayer_User_Customer::createObject() API to make a new user. It takes in 3 parameters.

  1. a SoftLayer_User_Customer object. Its not obvious from the documentation which fields are required to create a new object, but this template is a good starting point.
        "username": "NewUserName", // If left blank, will be automatically assigned, usually as <accountId>_<email>
        "firstName": "API",
        "lastName": "Learner",
        "email": "", // An invite will be sent to this email to acctive the user.
        "companyName": "IBM",
        "address1": "123 api road",
        "city": "Houston",
        "country": "US",
        "postalCode": "TX 77002",
        "userStatusId": 1001, // ACTIVE
        "timezoneId": 107

SoftLayer_Locale_Timezone::getAllObjects will list all timezones. If a timezone is specified, times displayed in API responses will be in that timezone.

  1. (optional) A password to give the user. The user will still get an invitation email, with a link to reset their password. Failing to reset the password will leave the user with the specified password. If no password is set, the user will not be able to login until they click the link in their email. The password parameter is ignored for VPN_ONLY users or for IBMid authenticated user
  2. (optional) VPN password. If the vpnPassword is provided, then the user’s vpnPassword will be set to the provided password. When creating a vpn only user, the vpnPassword MUST be supplied. If the vpnPassword is not provided, then the user will need to use the portal to edit their profile and set the vpnPassword.

The SLCLI has a command called slcli user create which is really handy in creating new user accounts.

Python Manage User Example

User Statuses

You can get this list of statuses from SoftLayer_User_Customer_Status::getAllObjects.

Id Key Name Notes
1001 ACTIVE The normal status
1002 DISABLED Turned off for now
1003 INACTIVE Not really used
1004 PENDING Waiting for user to click their invitation link
1005 SUSPENDED Suspended by IBM
1006 IAMID_INVALID Something went wrong with linking this user
1021 CANCEL_PENDING About to be deleted
1022 VPN_ONLY User can only access the VPN

Deleting Users

To delete a user, call SoftLayer_User_Customer::editObject() and set their statusId to 1021. This will immediately disable their account, and eventually be removed from your account.

Managing Users

To start with, SoftLayer_Account::getUsers() will list all current users on your account.

Python example for getting details on servers ordered by user

Important User_Customer Fields

  • Id Used in any interaction with the user directly.
  • Email How to get in touch with this user.
  • passwordExpireDate When their password will expire
  • externalBindings If the user has any 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) devices configured they will show up here
  • permissions Lists all permissions this user has.
  • successfulLogins / unsuccessfulLogins / loginAttempts A record of all the recent logins for this account. For a full list of logins, see the Event_Log service.
  • childUsers Lists any users this specific user has created.
  • hardware / virtualGuests / dedicatedHosts Lists the specific devices this user has access to view information about. Will be empty if the corresponding hasFullHardwareAccessFlag / hasFullVirtualGuestAccessFlag / hasFullDedicatedHostAccessFlag flag is set to True.
  • openTickets If this user has created any tickets.
  • roles If the user has been assigned any access roles. Roles provide access and permissions that might not show up directly on the user account.
  • timezone how the user will see time related information.

Information about user logins, among other things, is kept in the SoftLayer_Event_Log service. This service can be a bit unwieldy, but here are a few quick examples on how to filter for only specific bits of data.

User Events

The SLCLI has a slcli event-log command, which is very useful in navigating this data.

There are usually a lot of Event_Logs, so using a resultLimit is very important here.

All User Type Events

curl -u $SL_USER:$SL_APIKEY  -g ',20&objectFilter={"objectName":{"operation":"User"}}'
        "accountId": 307608,
        "eventCreateDate": "2020-12-21T05:46:47.386584-06:00",
        "eventName": "Login Successful",
        "ipAddress": "",
        "label": "",
        "metaData": "",
        "objectId": 8150224,
        "objectName": "User",
        "openIdConnectUserName": "",
        "resource": {
            # The user object will be in here.
        "traceId": "5fe08b275e622",
        "userId": 8150224,
        "userType": "CUSTOMER",
        "username": ""

SoftLayer_Event_Log::getAllEventObjectNames lists all the types of events you can filter by.

Events for a specific user

curl -u $SL_USER:$SL_APIKEY  -g ',20&objectFilter={"objectId":{"operation":"123456"},"objectName":{"operation":"User"}}'

Events for a specific time frame

curl -u $SL_USER:$SL_APIKEY  -g ',20&objectFilter={"eventCreateDate":{"operation":"betweenDate","options":[{"name":"startDate","value":["2020-12-01T00:00:00.000000-00:00"]},{"name":"endDate","value":["2020-12-21T00:00:00.000000-00:00"]}]}}'


Users are now linked to IBMid, which controls a users access between accounts, and across the wider IBM Cloud platform. You can determine more information about the user link with the SoftLayer_User_Customer::IBMidLink property.

SoftLayer_User_Customer::inviteUserToLinkOpenIdConnect() can be used to link a user on your account to IBMid if needed.

Further Reading


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