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From "Turner, John" <>
Subject RE: Security Realm Limitations (More on protecting PDF documents. )
Date Mon, 01 Jul 2002 12:28:53 GMT

This is probably off-topic, but why would you want to do this on the
application server level?  How will you handle changes to the server.xml or
web.xml file?  What if there is an error/typo in that file after a change?
Will you have to stop/start tomcat for the changes to take effect?

Seems to me the better long-term solution would be to handle access control
programmatically in your application.  Keep track of users, groups, and
group memberships in a database...that way changes are instantly live and
you can easily restrict or delegate permissions for managing user accounts
and permissions to non-admin, non-root users.

John Turner

-----Original Message-----
From: Brad Rhoads []
Sent: Friday, June 28, 2002 4:07 PM
To: 'Tomcat Users List'
Subject: Security Realm Limitations (More on protecting PDF documents.)

I've determined that I can use security realms to protect PDF documents.
(See if you
happen to be getting started on this problem).

I need to be able to give access to one set of pdfs to one group of users,
and to different sets for other groups of users. It looks like I can
accomplish this much by creating separate directories for each group and
setting up a role for each group. But I have two related problems left:

1. The same PDF may be available to multiple groups. It seems that I would
have to maintain duplicate copies of the PDFs, one for each group.

2. This group level security provides the base list of available PDFs. I
need to be able to take away access to documents from certain users within a

Suggestions? Or better yet examples?

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