Mail Domain Groups

Groups can be defined based on the domain part of users (verified) email addresses. Email addresses that match one or more groups configuration will add the user to them.

Within the scientific community, in many cases users will use a institutional email address for their account in a Dataverse installation. This might offer a simple solution for building groups of people, as the domain part can be seen as a selector for group membership.

Some use cases: installations that like to avoid Shibboleth, enable self sign up, offer multi-tenancy or can’t use IP Groups plus many more.


Please be aware that non-verified mail addresses will exclude the user even if matching. This is to avoid privilege escalation.

Listing Mail Domain Groups

Mail Domain Groups can be listed with the following curl command:

curl http://localhost:8080/api/admin/groups/domain

Listing a specific Mail Domain Group

Let’s say you used “domainGroup1” as the alias of the Mail Domain Group you created below. To list just that Mail Domain Group, you can include the alias in the curl command like this:

curl http://localhost:8080/api/admin/groups/domain/domainGroup1

Creating a Mail Domain Group

Mail Domain Groups can be created with a simple JSON file such as domainGroup1.json:

  "name": "Users from",
  "alias": "exampleorg",
  "description": "Any verified user from Example Org will be included in this group.",
  "domains": [""]

Giving a description is optional. The name will be visible in the permission UI, so be sure to pick a sensible value.

The domains field is mandatory to be an array. This enables creation of multi-domain groups, too.

Obviously you can create as many of these groups you might like, as long as the alias is unique.

To load it into your Dataverse installation, either use a POST or PUT request (see below):

curl -X POST -H 'Content-type: application/json' http://localhost:8080/api/admin/groups/domain --upload-file domainGroup1.json

Matching with Domains or Regular Expressions

Adding simple domain names requires exact matches of user email domains and the configured domains of a group. Although you could add multiple domains to a group, those still require exact matches.

You can also use one or multiple regular expressions instead of simple domains for a group. Those should not be mixed, although it would work. Regular expressions still require exact matches, but are much more flexible and are designed to support installation-specific use cases for group management.

Some hints:

  • Due to their excessive CPU usage, regular expressions should be used rarely.
  • Remember to properly escape “” in your regular expression. Both Java and JSON are a bit picky about this. E.g. a character class “d” would have to be escaped as “\d”. Plenty of tutorials on the web explain this in more detail.
  • There is no way Dataverse can detect a wrong regular expression for you. Be sure to do extensive testing, as a misconfigured group could result in privilege escalation or an unexpected influx of support contacts.
  • Remember to enable the regular expression support for a group by adding "regex": true!

A short example for a group using regular expressions:

  "name": "Users from",
  "alias": "exampleorg-regex",
  "description": "Any verified user from or will be included.",
  "regex": true,
  "domains": ["example\\.org", "[a-z]+\\.example\\.org"]

Updating a Mail Domain Group

Editing a group is done by replacing it. Grab your group definition like the domainGroup1.json example above, change it as you like and PUT it into your installation:

curl -X PUT -H 'Content-type: application/json' http://localhost:8080/api/admin/groups/domain/domainGroup1 --upload-file domainGroup1.json

Please make sure that the alias of the group you want to change is included in the path. You also need to ensure that this alias matches with the one given in your JSON file.


This is an idempotent call, so it will create the group given if not present.

Deleting a Mail Domain Group

To delete a Mail Domain Group with an alias of “domainGroup1”, use the curl command below:

curl -X DELETE http://localhost:8080/api/admin/groups/domain/domainGroup1

Please note: it is not recommended to delete a Mail Domain Group that has been assigned roles. If you want to delete a Mail Domain Group, you should first remove its permissions.