Activating and Tracking Service Sessions
Figure 20 shows the process that the SAE uses to activate and then track services. The SAE can activate services in one of two ways:
Automatically—After the SAE creates a subscriber session, it activates all activate-on-login service subscriptions.
Manually—Through a call of the portal application programming interface (API) method Subscription.setActive. This method is typically provided in the form of a Web portal and allows interaction with the subscriber.
To activate and begin tracking a service session, the SAE:
Authorizes the service session.
The SAE sends events to authorization plug-in instances configured for the service and to global service authorization plug-in instances.
Service authorization plug-ins may perform authentication as well as authorization. If you define a plug-in instance to perform authentication, the portal developer must set username and password values before subscribers try to activate the service. Because the subscriber must provide the username and password, it is not possible to automatically activate a service that requires authentication.
Activates the services by applying service activation policies.
Begins tracking the service.
Sends a service session start event to the tracking plug-in instances configured for the service and to the global service tracking plug-in instances. If interim accounting is configured, a service session interim update event is sent at regular intervals to all tracking plug-ins that are registered to receive the event.
When a service is stopped (either explicitly through a call to the portal API, or implicitly through the termination of the associated subscriber session or through a timeout), a service session stop event is sent to all tracking plug-ins that received the service session start event.
Service-tracking plug-ins can set the session timeout of a service session in response to Service Session Start and Service Session Interim Update events. When a service session is active longer than the defined timeout, the SAE closes the session and sends the appropriate Service Session Stop events.