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From "Algirdas P. Veitas" <>
Subject Servlet Spec interpretation FORM-based authentication
Date Tue, 12 Nov 2002 04:56:46 GMT

I am running into an issue with FORM-based authentication
using 4.1.12 (and 4.0.4).  It seems as if the implementation
is not in line with the 2.3 Servlet Specification.  Specifically,
the Servlet Spec states:

SRV.12.5.3 Form Base Authentication
J2EE. Login Form Notes
"If the form based login is invoked because of an HTTP request, the original 
request parameters must be preserved by the container for use if, on 
successful authentication, it redirects the call to the requested resource."

It seems as if the request parameters are not being preserved by the 
container.  After a successful login the container forwards me to the target 
URL (a JSP page).  The JSP page executes the following code:

Enumeration params = request.getParameterNames();
while (params.hasMoreElements())
 String paramKey = (String)params.nextElement();
 String paramVal = request.getParameter(paramKey);
 System.out.println(paramKey + " = " + paramKey);

which I would expect to atleast see printed out:

j_username = <some val>
j_password = <some val 2>

but in fact these request parameters are not printed out and thus not part of 
the request.

A bit of digging in the source revealed that in the method


of class org.apache.catalina.authenticator.FormAuthenticator, the code is 
executing HttpResponse.sendRedirect(String url) in order to forward the user 
to the appropriate page.  A sendRedirect() will wipe out all of the original 
request parameters.

I think in order to preserve the parameters the sendRedirect() needs to be 
replaced by HttpRequest.getServletDispatcher().forward().

Has anyone else seen this behavior and is my claim valid?


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