Configure the was.policy file

Java 2 security uses several policy files to determine the granted permission for each Java program. See Dynamic policy for the list of available policy files supported by WebSphere Application Server Version 5. The was.policy file is an application-specific policy file for WAS enterprise applications. It is embedded in the EAR file (META-INF/was.policy). The was.policy file is located in...


The union of the permission contained in the java.policy file, the server.policy file, the app.policy file, application was.policy file and the permission specification of the ra.xml file are applied to the WebSphere Application Server enterprise application. Configuration and file replication services manage was.policy files. Changes made in these files are replicated to other nodes in the Network Deployment cell.

Several product-reserved symbols are defined to associate the permission lists to a specific type of resources.

Symbol Definition
file:${application} file:${application}
file:${jars} Permissions apply to all utility Java archive (JAR) files within the application
file:${ejbComponent} Permissions apply to enterprise bean resources within the application
file:${webComponent} Permissions apply to Web resources within the application
file:${connectorComponent} Permissions apply to connector resources within the application

Note that The Signed By and the Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS) principal keywords are not supported in the was.policy file. The Signed By keyword is supported in the following policy files: java.policy, server.policy, and client.policy. The JAAS principal keyword is supported in a JAAS policy file when it is specified by the JVM system property, You can statically set the authorization policy files in with auth.policy.url.n=URL where URL is the location of the authorization policy.

Other than these blocks, you can specify the module name for granular settings. For example,

"file:DefaultWebApplication.war" {
      permission "printIdentity";

grant codeBase "file:IncCMP11.jar" {

There are five embedded symbols provided to specify the path and name for the These symbols enable flexible permission specification. The absolute file path is fixed after the application is installed.

Symbol Definition
${app.installed.path} Path where the application is installed
${was.module.path} Path where the module is installed
${} Current cell name
${} Current node name
${} Current server name

If the default permissions for the enterprise application (union of the permissions defined in the java.policy file, the server.policy file and the app.policy file) are enough, no action is required. If an application has specific resources to access, update the was.policy file. The first two steps assume that you are creating a new policy file.

Note that Syntax errors in the policy files cause the appserver to fail. Use care when editing these policy files.

  1. Create or edit a new was.policy file using the Policy Tool.

  2. Package the was.policy file into the EAR file The following instructions describe how to import a was.policy file. However, you also can use the Assembly Toolkit to create a new file by clicking File > New > File.

    1. Start the Assembly Toolkit and open the J2EE Perspective by selecting Window > Open Perspective > J2EE.

    2. Import the client EAR file by selecting File > Import > EAR file.

    3. Click Next.

    4. Enter the path name to the EAR file in the EAR File field or click Browse to locate the file.

    5. Enter the project name in the Project name field.

    6. Click Finish.

    7. Open the Project Navigator view.

    8. Expand the EAR file and click META-INF.You might find a was.policy file in the META-INF directory. If you want to delete the file, right-click the file name and select Delete.

    9. At the bottom of the Project Navigator view, click J2EE Hierarchy.

    10. Import the was.policy file by right-clicking the Modules directory and clicking Import > File system.

    11. Click Next.

    12. Enter the path name to the was.policy file in the From directory field or click Browse to locate the file.

    13. Verify that the path directory listed in the Into directory field lists the correct META-INF directory.

    14. Click Finish.

    15. To validate the EAR file, right-click the EAR file, which contains the Modules directory, and click Run Validation.

    16. To save the new EAR file, right-click the EAR file, and click Export > Export EAR file.If you do not save the revised EAR file, the EAR file will contain the new was.policy file. However, if the workspace becomes corrupted, you might lose the revised EAR file.

    17. To generate deployment code, right-click the EAR file and click Generate Deployment Code.

  3. Update an existing installed application, if one already exists.

    1. Modify the installed was.policy file with Policy Tool.

The updated was.policy file is applied to the application after the application restarts.

 Usage access denied\WebSphere\AppServer\java\jre\lib\ext\mail.jar read)

When a Java program receives this exception and adding this permission is justified, add a permission to the was.policy file: grant codeBase "file:<user client installed location>" { permission "C:\WebSphere\AppServer\java\jre\lib\ext\mail.jar", "read"; };.

To determine whether to add a permission, refer to the article, AccessControlException.

Restart all applications for the updated app.policy file to take effect.


See Also

Java 2 security policy files
Configuring spi.policy files
Configuring library.policy files
Adding the was.policy file to applications