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From Pid <...@pidster.com>
Subject Re: Setting JK_REMOTE_USER help
Date Wed, 16 Jun 2010 22:14:32 GMT
On 16/06/2010 18:27, Marc Boorshtein wrote:
>>
>> To look at this from a very strict point of view, the whole area is already
>> a bit stretched.  Tomcat has this notion of "roles" (because the Servlet
>> Spec has this same notion).  But if you look at common authentication
>> schemes, like NTLM or LDAP, they do not have this notion.  It is possible
>> that some authentication "Realm" (another servlet-engine specific use of the
>> term) "translates" the NTLM notion of "user group" (or some LDAP attribute)
>> into Tomcat's notion of "role" (and in fact they often do).  But that is a
>> stretch. Unavoidable, because servlet engines do not know about "user
>> groups", but stretch nevertheless.
>>
>> I suppose it would be boring if everyone agreed on the same notions all the
>> time.
> 
> The issue here is that the servlet specification specifies a way to
> check what "role" a user is in.  How that role is implemented (LDAP
> group, user attribute, pulled out of a hat) doesn't really matter.  An
> application's code can write "if (request.isUserInRole("X")..." and
> should work.  It should also work whether you are using tomcat to do
> authentication or something else (ie Apache+mod_jk or federation).
>
> The problem with the Realm system is its designed with the assumption
> that tomcat is doing the authentication which is not a valid
> assumption in an environment where the authentication is seperated
> from authorization.  The entire point of container security is that as
> a coder I don't have to worry about how any of this is implemented.

The problem with Tomcat is that all too often it doesn't do what people
expect it should do*.


p

* Or maybe the problem isn't Tomcat.
>> Basically, nobody stops you from retrieving some LDAP attributes of the user
>> at the Apache level, and passing them over to Tomcat by adding one or more
>> custom HTTP headers to the request (or a request attribute, as explained
>> here : http://tomcat.apache.org/connectors-doc/reference/apache.html
>> search for "JkEnvVar").
>> And then at the Tomcat level, adding a servlet filter which retrieves these
>> header/attributes and stuffs them inside the UserPrincipal object, to
>> satisfy Tomcat's isUserInRole() call (with some approximation due to my
>> incomplete knowledge in these matters).
>>
>> Just an idea to avoid having to access LDAP twice.
>>
> 
> 
> LDAP as a service is generally fast enough to be a negligable part of
> the AAA process.  It looks like subclassing the JNDIRealm is going to
> be the easiest way here.  I don't need perfect, just working for this
> POC.  Spending 20 min on some code is still easier then getting
> weblogic up and running.
> 
> Thanks everyone!
> 
> Marc
> 
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