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Configure LDAP user registries

To access a user registry using the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), have a user name (ID) and password, the server host and port of the registry server, the base distinguished name (DN) and, if necessary, the bind DN and the bind password. We can choose any valid user in the user registry that is searchable. Use any user ID that has the administrative role to log in.

IBM recommends configuring the server to use the High Performance Extensible Logging (HPEL) log and trace infrastructure . We view HPEL log and trace information using the logViewer .

There are two different identities used for security purposes:

When administrative security is enabled, the user ID and password for administrative functions is authenticated with the registry. If authentication fails, access to the administrative console is not granted or tasks with wsadmin scripts are not completed. It is important to choose an ID and password that do not expire or change often. If this user ID or password needs to change in the registry, perform changes when all the application servers are up and running. When changes are to be made in the registry, review the article on Standalone LDAP registries (LDAP) before beginning this task.

The server identity is used for internal process communication. As part of this task, we can change the server identity from the default automatically generated ID to a server ID and password from the LDAP repository.

Example: Configure Portal to use LDAP


  1. In the administrative console, click Security > Global security.

  2. Under User account repository, click the Available realm definitions drop-down list, select Standalone LDAP registry, and click Configure.

  3. Enter a valid user name in the Primary administrative user name field. Typically, the user name is the short name of the user and is defined by the user filter in the Advanced LDAP settings panel.

  4. Determine whether to specify the user identity used for internal process communication. Cells that contain v5.1 or 6.x nodes require a server user identity that is defined in the active user repository. By default, the option...

      Automatically generated server identity

    ...is enabled, and the application server generates the server identity. However, we can select the Server identity stored in the repository option to specify both the server identity and its associated password.

  5. Select the type of LDAP server to use from the Type list. The type of LDAP server determines the default filters used by WebSphere Application Server. These default filters change the Type field to Custom, which indicates that custom filters are used. This action occurs after clicking OK or Apply in the Advanced LDAP settings panel. Choose the Custom type from the list and modify the user and group filters to use other LDAP servers, if required.

    IBM Tivoli Directory Server users can choose IBM Tivoli Directory Server as the directory type. Use the IBM Tivoli Directory Server directory type for better performance.

    IBM SecureWay Directory Server has been renamed to IBM Tivoli Directory Server in WAS version 6.1.

  6. Enter the fully qualified host name of the LDAP server in the Host field. We can enter either the IP address or domain name system (DNS) name.

  7. Enter the LDAP server port number in the Port field. The host name and the port number represent the realm for this LDAP server in the WAS cell. So, if servers in different cells are communicating with each other using LTPA tokens, these realms must match exactly in all the cells.

    The default value is 389. If multiple WASs are installed and configured to run in the same single sign-on domain, or if the WAS interoperates with a previous version of the WAS, then it is important that the port number match all configurations. For example, if the LDAP port is explicitly specified as 389 in a version 5.x configuration, and a WAS at version 6.0.x is going to interoperate with the version 5.x server, then verify that port 389 is specified explicitly for the version 6.0.x server.

    We can set the com.ibm.websphere.security.ldap.logicRealm custom property to change the value of the realm name that is placed in the token. See security custom properties topic.

  8. Enter the base distinguished name (DN) in the Base distinguished name field. The base DN indicates the starting point for searches in this LDAP directory server. For example, for a user with a DN of cn=John Doe, ou=Rochester, o=IBM, c=US, specify the base DN as any of the following options, assuming a suffix of c=us:

    • ou=Rochester, o=IBM, c=us
    • o=IBM, c=us
    • c=us

    For authorization purposes, this field is case sensitive by default. Match the case in your directory server. If a token is received (for example, from another cell or Lotus Domino ) the base DN in the server must match exactly the base DN from the other cell or Domino. If case sensitivity is not a consideration for authorization, enable the Ignore case for authorization option.

    In WAS, the distinguished name is normalized according to the LDAP specification. Normalization consists of removing spaces in the base distinguished name before or after commas and equal symbols. An example of a non-normalized base distinguished name is o = ibm, c = us or o=ibm, c=us. An example of a normalized base distinguished name is o=ibm,c=us.

    To interoperate between WAS v6.0 and later versions, we must enter a normalized base distinguished name in the Base Distinguished Name field. In WAS, v6.0 or later, the normalization occurs automatically during runtime.

    This field is required for all LDAP directories except the Lotus Domino Directory. The Base Distinguished Name field is optional for the Domino server.

  9. Optional: Enter the bind DN name in the Bind distinguished name field. The bind DN is required if anonymous binds are not possible on the LDAP server to obtain user and group information. If the LDAP server is set up to use anonymous binds, leave this field blank. If a name is not specified, the application server binds anonymously. See the Base Distinguished Name field description for examples of distinguished names.

  10. Optional: Enter the password corresponding to the bind DN in the Bind password field.

  11. Optional: Modify the Search time out value. This timeout value is the maximum amount of time that the LDAP server waits to send a response to the product client before stopping the request. The default is 120 seconds.

  12. Ensure that the Reuse connection option is selected. This option specifies that the server should reuse the LDAP connection. Clear this option only in rare situations where a router is used to send requests to multiple LDAP servers and when the router does not support affinity. Leave this option selected for all other situations.

  13. Optional: Verify that the Ignore case for authorization option is enabled.

    When enabled, the authorization check is case insensitive. Normally, an authorization check involves checking the complete DN of a user, which is unique in the LDAP server and is case sensitive. However, when we use either the IBM Directory Server or the Sun ONE (formerly iPlanet) Directory Server LDAP servers, enable this option because the group information that is obtained from the LDAP servers is not consistent in case. This inconsistency affects the authorization check only. Otherwise, this field is optional and can be enabled when a case sensitive authorization check is required. For example, we might select this option when we use certificates and the certificate contents do not match the case of the entry in the LDAP server.

    We can also enable the Ignore case for authorization option when we are using single sign-on (SSO) between the product and Lotus Domino. The default is enabled.

  14. Optional: Select the SSL enabled option to use Secure Sockets Layer communications with the LDAP server.

    Important: This step will only be successful provided that the Signer certificate for the LDAP is first added to the truststore that will be eventually used. If the Signer certificate from the LDAP is not added to the truststore, then

    • An error will be issued by the Administrative console.

    • the deployment manager (DMGR) systemout.log will show the CWPKI0022E: SSL HANDSHAKE FAILURE message indicating that the Signer certificate needs to be added to the truststore.

    To ensure an error free operation for this step, First extract to a file the Signer certificate of the LDAP and send that file to the WAS machine. We can then add the certificate to the truststore being defined for the LDAP. In this way, we are assured that the remaining actions for this step will be successful.

    If we select the SSL enabled option, we can select either the Centrally managed or the Use specific SSL alias option.

      Centrally managed

      Enables us to specify an SSL configuration for particular scope such as the cell, node, server, or cluster in one location. To use the Centrally managed option, specify the SSL configuration for the particular set of endpoints. The Manage endpoint security configurations and trust zones panel displays all of the inbound and outbound endpoints that use the SSL protocol. If we expand the Inbound or Outbound section of the panel and click the name of a node, we can specify an SSL configuration used for every endpoint on that node. For an LDAP registry, we can override the inherited SSL configuration by specifying an SSL configuration for LDAP. To specify an SSL configuration for LDAP:

      1. Click Security > SSL certificate and key management > Manage endpoint security configurations and trust zones.

      2. Expand Outbound > cell_name > Nodes > node_name > Servers > server_name > LDAP.

      Use specific SSL alias

      Select the Use specific SSL alias option if we intend to select one of the SSL configurations in the menu.

      This configuration is used only when SSL is enabled for LDAP. The default is DefaultSSLSettings. We can click the name of an existing configuration to modify it or complete the following steps to create a new SSL configuration:

      1. Click Security > SSL certificate and key management.

      2. Configuration settings > Manage endpoint security configurations.

      3. Select an SSL configuration_name for selected scopes, such as a cell, node, server, or cluster.

      4. Under Related items, click SSL configurations.

      5. Click New.

  15. Click OK or Apply until you return to the Global security panel, and on the Global Security page click Save, to make sure the LDAP configuration is saved.

  16. Check if Available realm definitions is set to Standalone LDAP registry. If it is not, select it from the pull down, and Set as current, then press Apply.

This set of steps is required to set up the LDAP user registry. This step is required as part of enabling security in the WAS.

What to do next

  1. Optional: Enable security for the realm.

  2. Optional: System Authorization Facility

  3. Save, stop, and restart all the product servers (deployment managers, nodes and Application Servers) for changes in this panel to take effect. If the server comes up without any problems the setup is correct.

  4. Install the LDAPQuery tool



  • Local operating system registries
  • Select a registry or repository
  • Enable security
  • Enable security for the realm
  • Security custom properties