Programmatic login

Programmatic login is a type of form login that supports application presentation site-specific login forms for the purpose of authentication.

When enterprise bean client applications require the user to provide identifying information, the writer of the application must collect that information and authenticate the user. You can broadly classify the work of the programmer in terms of where the actual user authentication is performed:

Users of Web applications can receive prompts for authentication data in many ways. The <login-config> element in the Web application deployment descriptor file defines the mechanism used to collect this information. Programmers who want to customize login procedures, rather than relying on general purpose devices like a 401 dialog window in a browser, can use a form-based login to provide an application-specific HTML form for collecting login information.

No authentication occurs unless global security is enabled. If you want to use form-based login for Web applications, specify FORM in the auth-method tag of the <login-config> element in the deployment descriptor of each Web application.

Applications can present site-specific login forms by using the WAS form-login type. The Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) specification defines form login as one of the authentication methods for Web applications. WAS provides a form-logout mechanism.

 

Java Authentication and Authorization Service programmatic

login

Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS) is a new feature in WebSphere Application Server. It is also mandated by the J2EE 1.3 Specification. JAAS is a collection of strategic authentication application programming interfaces (API) that replace the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) programmatic login APIs. WebSphere Application Server provides some extensions to JAAS:

Before you begin developing with programmatic login APIs, consider the following points :

 

Finding the root cause login exception from a JAAS login

If

you get a LoginException after issuing the LoginContext.login() API, one can find the root cause exception from the configured user registry. In the login modules, the registry exceptions are wrapped by a com.ibm.websphere.security.auth.WSLoginFailedException. This exception has a getCause() method that allows you to pull out the exception that was wrapped after issuing the above command.

Note: You are not always guaranteed to get an exception of type WSLoginFailedException, but you should note that most of the exceptions generated from the user registry show up here. The following is a LoginContext.login() API example with associated catch block. WSLoginFailedException has to be casted to com.ibm.websphere.security.auth.WSLoginFailedException if you want to issue the getCause() API.

Note: The determineCause() example below can be used for processing CustomUserRegistry exception types.

try
{
lc.login();
}
catch (LoginException le)
{
// drill down through the exceptions as they might cascade through the runtime
Throwable root_exception = determineCause(le);

// now use "root_exception" to compare to a particular exception type
// for example, if you have implemented a CustomUserRegistry type, you would
// know what to look for here.
}


/* Method used to drill down into the WSLoginFailedException to find the
"root cause" exception */

public Throwable determineCause(Throwable e)
{
Throwable root_exception = e, temp_exception = null;

// keep looping until there are no more embedded WSLoginFailedException or
// WSSecurityException exceptions
while (true)
{
if (e instanceof com.ibm.websphere.security.auth.WSLoginFailedException)
{
temp_exception = ((com.ibm.websphere.security.auth.WSLoginFailedException)
e).getCause();
}
else if (e instanceof com.ibm.websphere.security.WSSecurityException)
{
temp_exception = ((com.ibm.websphere.security.WSSecurityException)
e).getCause();
}
else if (e instanceof javax.naming.NamingException)
// check for Ldap embedded exception
{
temp_exception = ((javax.naming.NamingException)e).getRootCause();
}
else if (e instanceof your_custom_exception_here)
{
// your custom processing here, if necessary
}
else
{
// this exception is not one of the types we are looking for,
// lets return now, this is the root from the WebSphere
// Application Server perspective
return root_exception;
}
if (temp_exception != null)
{
// we have an exception, let's go back an see if this has another
// one embedded within it.
root_exception = temp_exception;
e = temp_exception;
continue;
}
else
{
// we finally have the root exception from this call path, this
// has to occur at some point
return root_exception;
}
}
}

 

Finding the root cause login exception from a Servlet filter

You

can also receive the root cause exception from a servlet filter when addressing post-Form Login processing. This is suitable because it shows the user what happened. The following API can be issued to obtain the root cause exception:

Throwable t = com.ibm.websphere.security.auth.WSSubject.getRootLoginException();
if (t != null)
t = determineCause(t);

Note: Once you have the exception one can run it through the determineCause() example above to get the native registry root cause.

 

Enable root cause login exception propagation to pure Java

clients

Currently, the root cause does not get propagated to a pure client for security reasons. However, you might want to propagate the root cause to a pure client in a trusted environment. If you want to enable root cause login exception propagation to a pure client, click Security > Global Security > Custom Properties on the WebSphere Application Server administrative console and set the following property:

com.ibm.websphere.security.registry.propagateExceptionsToClient=true

 

Non-prompt programmatic login

WebSphere Application

Server provides a non-prompt implementation of the javax.security.auth.callback.CallbackHandler interface, which is called com.ibm.websphere.security.auth.callback.WSCallbackHandlerImpl. Using this interface, an application can push authentication data to the WebSphere LoginModule instance to perform authentication. This capability proves useful for server-side application code to authenticate an identity and to use that identity to invoke downstream J2EE resources.

javax.security.auth.login.LoginContext lc = null;

try {
lc = new javax.security.auth.login.LoginContext("WSLogin",
new com.ibm.websphere.security.auth.callback.WSCallbackHandlerImpl("user",
"securityrealm", "securedpassword"));

// create a LoginContext and specify a CallbackHandler implementation
// CallbackHandler implementation determine how authentication data is collected
// in this case, the authentication data is "push" to the authentication mechanism
// implemented by the LoginModule.
} catch (javax.security.auth.login.LoginException e) {
System.err.println("ERROR: failed to instantiate a LoginContext and the exception: "
+ e.getMessage());
e.printStackTrace();

// may be javax.security.auth.AuthPermission "createLoginContext" is not granted
// to the application, or the JAAS login configuration is not defined.
}

if (lc != null)
try {
lc.login(); // perform login
javax.security.auth.Subject s = lc.getSubject();
// get the authenticated subject

// Invoke a J2EE resource using the authenticated subject
com.ibm.websphere.security.auth.WSSubject.doAs(s,
new java.security.PrivilegedAction() {
public Object run() {
try {
bankAccount.deposit(100.00); // where bankAccount is a protected EJB
} catch (Exception e) {
System.out.println("ERROR: error while accessing EJB resource, exception: "
+ e.getMessage());
e.printStackTrace();
}
return null;
}
}
);
} catch (javax.security.auth.login.LoginException e) {
System.err.println("ERROR: login failed with exception: " + e.getMessage());
e.printStackTrace();

// login failed, might want to provide relogin logic
}

Use the com.ibm.websphere.security.auth.callback.WSCallbackHandlerImpl callback handler with a pure Java client, a client application container, enterprise bean, JavaServer Pages (JSP) files, servlet, or other Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) resources. See Example: Programmatic logins for more information about object request broker (ORB) security initialization requirements in a Java pure client.

 

User interface prompt programmatic login

WebSphere

Application Server also provides a user interface implementation of the javax.security.auth.callback.CallbackHandler implementation to collect authentication data from user through user interface login prompts. This callback handler, com.ibm.websphere.security.auth.callback.WSGUICallbackHandlerImpl, presents a user interface login panel to prompt users for authentication data.

Note: This requires an X11 server to be called out by the DISPLAY environment on z/OS and UNIX systems.

javax.security.auth.login.LoginContext lc = null;

try {
lc = new javax.security.auth.login.LoginContext("WSLogin",
new com.ibm.websphere.security.auth.callback.WSGUICallbackHandlerImpl());

// create a LoginContext and specify a CallbackHandler implementation
// CallbackHandler implementation determine how authentication data is collected
// in this case, the authentication date is collected by GUI login prompt
// and pass to the authentication mechanism implemented by the LoginModule.
} catch (javax.security.auth.login.LoginException e) {
System.err.println("ERROR: failed to instantiate a LoginContext and the exception: "
+ e.getMessage());
e.printStackTrace();

// may be javax.security.auth.AuthPermission "createLoginContext" is not granted
// to the application, or the JAAS login configuration is not defined.
}

if (lc != null)
try {
lc.login(); // perform login
javax.security.auth.Subject s = lc.getSubject();
// get the authenticated subject

// Invoke a J2EE resources using the authenticated subject
com.ibm.websphere.security.auth.WSSubject.doAs(s,
new java.security.PrivilegedAction() {
public Object run() {
try {
bankAccount.deposit(100.00); // where bankAccount is a protected enterprise bean
} catch (Exception e) {
System.out.println("ERROR: error while accessing EJB resource, exception: "
+ e.getMessage());
e.printStackTrace();
}
return null;
}
}
);
} catch (javax.security.auth.login.LoginException e) {
System.err.println("ERROR: login failed with exception: " + e.getMessage());
e.printStackTrace();

// login failed, might want to provide relogin logic
} Attention: Do not use the com.ibm.websphere.security.auth.callback.WSGUICallbackHandlerImpl callback handler for server-side resources (like enterprise bean, servlet, JSP file, or any other server side resources). The user interface login prompt blocks the server for user input. This behavior is not desirable for a server process.

 

Stdin prompt programmatic login

WebSphere Application

Server also provides a stdin implementation of the javax.security.auth.callback.CallbackHandler interface to collect authentication data from a user through stdin, which is called com.ibm.websphere.security.auth.callback.WSStdinCallbackHandlerImpl. This callback handler prompts a user for authentication data.

javax.security.auth.login.LoginContext lc = null;

try {
lc = new javax.security.auth.login.LoginContext("WSLogin",
new com.ibm.websphere.security.auth.callback.WSStdinCallbackHandlerImpl());

// create a LoginContext and specify a CallbackHandler implementation
// CallbackHandler implementation determine how authentication data is collected
// in this case, the authentication date is collected by stdin prompt
// and pass to the authentication mechanism implemented by the LoginModule.
} catch (javax.security.auth.login.LoginException e) {
System.err.println("ERROR: failed to instantiate a LoginContext and the exception:
" + e.getMessage());
e.printStackTrace();

// may be javax.security.auth.AuthPermission "createLoginContext" is not granted
// to the application, or the JAAS login configuration is not defined.
}

if (lc != null)
try {
lc.login(); // perform login
javax.security.auth.Subject s = lc.getSubject();
// get the authenticated subject

// Invoke a J2EE resource using the authenticated subject
com.ibm.websphere.security.auth.WSSubject.doAs(s,
new java.security.PrivilegedAction() {
public Object run() {
try {
bankAccount.deposit(100.00);
// where bankAccount is a protected enterprise bean
} catch (Exception e) {
System.out.println("ERROR: error while accessing EJB resource, exception: "
+ e.getMessage());
e.printStackTrace();
}
return null;
}
}
);
} catch (javax.security.auth.login.LoginException e) {
System.err.println("ERROR: login failed with exception: " + e.getMessage());
e.printStackTrace();

// login failed, might want to provide relogin logic
}

Do not use the com.ibm.websphere.security.auth.callback.WSStdinCallbackHandlerImpl callback handler for server side resources (like enterprise beans, servlets, JSP files, and so on). The input from the stdin prompt is not sent to the server environment. Most servers run in the background and do not have a console. However, if the server does have a console, the stdin prompt blocks the server for user input. This behavior is not desirable for a server process.


 

Related Tasks


Developing programmatic logins with the Java Authentication and Authorization Service

 

See Also


Custom login module development for a system login configuration
Example: Customizing a server-side Java Authentication and Authorization Service authentication and login configuration
Example: Getting the Caller Subject from the Thread
Example: Getting the RunAs Subject from the Thread
Example: Overriding the RunAs Subject on the Thread
Example: User revocation from a cache
Example: Programmatic logins

 



 

 

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IBM is a trademark of the IBM Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.