Authentication  Role mapping

Chapter 3: Using Web Application Security


Security constraints enable you to set various levels of authorization within the elements of your Web application. You create J2EE roles and map them to EAServer roles, then limit access to JSPs, servlets, and HTML pages to entities that belong to an authorized J2EE role. In addition, you can define which HTTP methods have access to which URLs, and establish levels of transport guarantee.

For example, you could create a security constraint that blocks access to all users at the Web application level. You could then grant access to resources (HTML pages, JSPs, servlets) within the Web application to authorized users. To do this, you need at least two security constraints:

  1. Create a top-level security constraint and assign to it a Web resource collection with a URL pattern set to “/*”.

    Establish an authorized role for the security constraint that contains no users. For example, you could create the role of “None” and assign it to the security constraint.

  2. Create another security constraint and assign to it a Web resource collection with a URL pattern set to the URL locations for which you are providing access.

    Establish an authorized role that contains the users that are allowed access to the Web resources protected by this security constraint.

  3. Create additional security constraints and allow access to other Web resources as needed.

Use this same approach to define security constraints that require specific levels of transport guarantee.

StepsDefining a security constraint from the Web Application Properties Security tab

  1. Create a security constraint – click Add to create a security constraint. Security constraints are automatically named SC0, SC1, and so on.

    To delete a security constraint, highlight the constraint and click Delete.

  2. Define a Web resource collection – Web resource collections contain a list of URL patterns and HTTP methods available for those URLs. To define a Web resource collection:

    1. Highlight the security constraint to which the Web resource collection belongs, and click Edit.

    2. Click Add to create a collection name. Provide a description.

    3. Highlight the collection to which you are adding the Web resources you are protecting.

    4. Add a URL pattern to be protected by clicking Add in the URL Patterns window.

    5. Double-click “urlPattern” and enter the URL to be protected. Add additional URL patterns for this collection by repeating this step.

      The URL pattern can have two forms:

      • /url_name – specifies an individual URL.

      • /url_location/* – specifies all of the URLs located in the url_location directory.

    6. Select the HTTP operations that are allowed access to the defined URL patterns. HTTP operations include:

      • GET – the most common method used by browsers. GET receives its input through a query string.

      • POST – similar to a GET except that the input data is sent through standard input instead of using the query string. The POST method is normally used for an HTML form.

      • PUT – same as POST except PUT usually implies that the operation take effect immediately whereas POSTs action may be delayed.

      • OPTIONS – determines what HTTP options are supported.

      • DELETE – removes some entity.

      • TRACE – causes a response with a message containing all of the headers sent in the trace request.

  3. Establish authorized roles – define the authorized roles that have access to the HTTP methods for the URLs defined for this security constraint. Before establishing an authorized role, you must map EAServer roles to J2EE roles. See “Role mapping” for more information.

    To configure role checking for a security constraint:

    1. Highlight the security constraint to which you are adding authorized roles.

    2. Select Enable Authorization if role checking is to be performed for this role. If this option is not selected, all users have access to pages associated with this security constraint.

      NoteTo deny all users access to pages associated with the security constraint, select Enable Authorization, but do not assign any roles.

      To allow access to all users, deselect the Enable Authorization option.

      To force authentication to happen, but allow access to all users, create a J2EE role named ‘everybody’ and map it to the EAServer role of the same name. Pages that require this role will trigger authentication if the user is not already authenticated, and allow access to all users.

    3. Click the Authorized Roles Edit button.

    4. A list of mapped EAServer roles displays. Click the check box for the roles that have permission for the Web resources protected by this security constraint.

  4. Transport guarantee – establish a level of transport security for each security constraint appropriate for the Web resources you are protecting. If you use basic or form-based authentication, passwords and other sensitive information is not protected for confidentiality. If you have sensitive information that you want to protect, establish a security constraint that uses a greater level of protection. Supported transport guarantee levels are:

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