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Friday, July 29, 2005

Some thoughts on JSR 196

There are a few open source security framework out there that follow an SPI model for their security implementation. Acegi is one, Jetspeed security is another one. Both spring based frameworks follow an SPI concept, but the specifics are quite different from JSR 196. In the JSR 196 world, the javax.security.auth.container.AuthContextFactory is used to obtain context objects that encapsulate authentication modules and delegate to the ClientAuthModule or ServerAuthModule given the authentication context (ClientAuthContext or ServerAuthContext). Each authentication context is initialized according to a MessagePolicy that specifies what authentication guarantees the module is to enforce when securing or validating request and response messages within that context. A ServerAuthModule may delegate some of its security processing responsibilities to a LoginModule for JAAS authentication.

Regarding, the management of the authentication modules interaction, I found that comment in ServerAuthContext interesting:
Implementations also have custom logic to determine what modules to invoke, and in what order.

I could be nice to have policies or rules to manage that interaction...

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