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From bugzi...@apache.org
Subject DO NOT REPLY [Bug 10305] New: - Realms should be able to return an error message
Date Thu, 27 Jun 2002 23:30:56 GMT
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http://nagoya.apache.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=10305

Realms should be able to return an error message

           Summary: Realms should be able to return an error message
           Product: Tomcat 4
           Version: 4.0.2 Final
          Platform: All
        OS/Version: All
            Status: NEW
          Severity: Enhancement
          Priority: Other
         Component: Catalina
        AssignedTo: tomcat-dev@jakarta.apache.org
        ReportedBy: nvick@capcollege.bc.ca


It would be very useful to me if Realm implementations could return an error 
message and this error message was set as a session attribute. This way, one 
could configure a Servlet as the form login error page, and that Servlet could 
display the Realm implementation's error message. This would be very useful for 
Realms where there are many reasons why a login attempt may have failed, and a 
general error message is inadequate. 

For example, with a Realm that I am working on that uses JNDI to access a 
Novell LDAP server, I need to return an error message that says "Password 
expired" when a users's password has expired. A user may leave his or her 
computer on for a few weeks, during which their password may expire. If they 
then try to access one of our secured Web applications, a general error message 
is too confusing for them. 

I also need to return an error message that says "You have exceeded your 
connection limit" when the Novell LDAP server returns an error telling me that 
the user has too many Novell connections. I also need to return "The LDAP 
server is down" when our Novell LDAP server crashes because it crashes every 
week or two.

Here is one way to do this:

Create a new Realm interface with authenticate methods that have one extra 
parameter: a StringBuffer. When a Realm wishes to indicate an error, it adds an 
error message to the StringBuffer and returns a null Principal. Tomcat's 
FormAuthenticator would then set a session attribute using a key such 
as "org.apache.catalina.authenticator.FormAuthenticator.error_message" with the 
value of the error message.

Note, this could be a new Realm interface, for example Realm2, for backward 
compatibility. Tomcat could use the Realm2 interface if a Realm implementation 
supports it, or the Realm interface for implementations that have not yet been 
updated to support the new interface.

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