|Stable release||3.1.0 / December 7, 2011|
|Type||web application framework security|
|License||Apache License 2.0|
Spring Security is a Java/Java EE framework that provides authentication, authorization and other security features for enterprise applications. The project was started in late 2003 as 'Acegi Security' (pronounced Ah-see-gee) by Ben Alex, with it being publicly released under the Apache License in March 2004. Subsequently, Acegi was incorporated into the Spring portfolio as Spring Security, an official Spring sub-project. The first public release under the new name was Spring Security 2.0.0 in April 2008, with commercial support and training available from SpringSource.
Diagram 1 shows the basic flow of an authentication request using the Spring Security system. It shows the different filters and how they interact from the initial browser request, to either a successful authentication or an HTTP 403 error.
Key authentication features
- LDAP (using both bind-based and password comparison strategies) for centralization of authentication information.
- Single sign-on capabilities using the popular Central Authentication Service.
- Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS) LoginModule, a standards-based method for authentication used within Java. Note this feature is only a delegation to a JAAS Loginmodule.
- Basic access authentication as defined through the IETF Request for Comments 1945 standard.
- Digest access authentication as defined through the IETF Request for Comments 2617 and RFC 2069 standard.
- X.509 client certificate presentation over the Secure Sockets Layer standard.
- CA, Inc SiteMinder for authentication (a popular commercial access management product).
- Su (Unix)-like support for switching principal identity over a HTTP or HTTPS connection.
- Run-as replacement, which enables an operation to assume a different security identity.
- Anonymous authentication, which means that even unauthenticated principals are allocated a security identity.
- Container adapter (custom realm) support for Apache Tomcat, Resin, JBoss and Jetty (web server).
- Windows NTLM to enable browser integration (experimental).
- Web form authentication, similar to the Servlet container specification.
- "Remember-me" support via HTTP Cookies.
- Concurrent session support, which limits the number of simultaneous logins permitted by a principal.
- Full support for customization and plugging in custom authentication implementations.
- AspectJ method invocation authorization.
- HTTP authorization of web request URLs using a choice of Apache Ant paths or regular expressions.
Instance-based security features
- Used for specifying Access control lists applicable to domain objects.
- Spring Security offers a repository for storing, retrieving, and modifying ACLs in a database.
- Authorization features are provided to enforce policies before and after method invocations.
- Software localization so user interface messages can be in any language.
- Channel security, to automatically switch between HTTP and HTTPS upon meeting particular rules.
- Caching in all database-touching areas of the framework.
- Publishing of messages to facilitate event-driven programming.
- Support for performing integration testing via JUnit.
- Spring Security itself has comprehensive JUnit isolation tests.
- Several sample applications, detailed JavaDocs and a reference guide.
- Web framework independence.
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