Oracle Platform Security Services (OPSS) is a security platform that can be used either with Oracle WebLogic Server or standalone. This chapter introduces the main features of this platform in the following sections:
The scope of this document does not include Oracle Web Services security. For details about that topic, see Oracle Fusion Middleware Security and Administrator's Guide for Web Services.
For an overview of Oracle Fusion Middleware security topics, see Oracle Fusion Middleware Security Overview.
OPSS provides enterprise product development teams, systems integrators, and independent software vendors with a standards-based, portable, integrated, enterprise-grade security framework for Java SE and Java EE applications.
OPSS is the underlying security platform that provides security to Oracle Fusion Middleware including WebLogic Server, Server Oriented Architecture (SOA) applications, Oracle WebCenter, Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) applications, and Oracle Entitlement Server. OPSS is designed to be portable to third-party application servers, so developers can use OPSS as the single security framework for both Oracle and third-party environments, thus decreasing application development, administration, and maintenance costs.
OPSS provides an abstraction layer in the form of standards-based application programming interfaces (APIs) that insulate developers from security and identity management implementation details. With OPSS, developers do not need to know the details of cryptographic key management or interfaces with user repositories or other identity management infrastructures. Using OPSS, in-house developed applications, third-party applications, and integrated applications benefit from the same, uniform security, identity management, and audit services across the enterprise.
For OPSS-related news, including FAQs, a whitepaper, and code examples, and forum discussions, see
OPSS complies with the following standards: role-based-access-control (RBAC); Java Enterprise Edition (JavaEE); and Java Authorization and Authentication Services (JAAS).
Built upon these standards, OPSS provides an integrated security platform that supports:
Authorization, based on fine-grained JAAS permissions
The specification and management of application-specific policies
Secure storage and access of system credentials through the Credential Store Framework
Role administration and role mappings
The User and Role API
Security configuration and management
SAML and XACML
Oracle Security Developer Tools, including cryptography tools
Policy Management API
Java Authorization for Containers (JAAC)
Details about a given OPSS feature functionality are found in subsequent chapters of this guide.
For details about the WebLogic Auditing Provider, see section Configuring the WebLogic Auditing Provider in Oracle Fusion Middleware Securing Oracle WebLogic Server.
OPSS comprises WebLogic's security and Oracle's Fusion Middleware security. The following graphic illustrates the layered architecture that combines these two security frameworks:
This figure illustrates the various layers of OPSS security. The uppermost layer consists of Oracle WebLogic Server and the components and Java applications running on the server; below is the API layer consisting of Authentication, Authorization, CSF, and User and Role APIs, followed by the Service Provider Interface (SPI) layer and the list of service providers. The bottom layer comprises repositories including LDAP and database servers.
The list of providers in the above figure is not comprehensive: other providers include the role mapping provider and the audit provider.
Security Services Provider Interface (SSPI) provides Java EE container security in permission-based (JACC) mode and in resource-based (non-JACC) mode. It also provides resource-based authorization for the environment, thus allowing customers to choose their own security model.
SSPI is a set of APIs for implementing pluggable security providers. A module implementing any of these interfaces can be plugged into SSPI to provide a particular type of security service, such as custom authentication or a particular role mapping.
For details, see section The Security Service Provider Interfaces (SSPIs) in Oracle Fusion Middleware Understanding Security for Oracle WebLogic Server.
Java Authorization (JAZN) functionality was redesigned and expanded to include the Credential Store Framework (CSF), the Common Audit Framework (CAF), and other components, and combined with SSPI as Oracle Platform Security Services (OPSS).
OPSS includes the following services: Credential Store Framework, User and Role API, Common Audit Framework, Identity Services, and improved design-time support.
OPSS offers multiple benefits including:
Allowing developers to focus on application and domain problems
Support for enterprise deployments
Verified interop testing across different LDAP servers and SSO systems
Certified on WebLogic Server
Pre-integration with Oracle products and technologies
A consistent security experience for developers and administrators
A uniform set of APIs for all types of applications
Optimization of development time with abstraction layers (declarative APIs)
A simplified application maintenance
Changing security rules without affecting application code
Ease of administration tasks
Integration with identity management systems
Integration with legacy and third-party security providers
OPSS combines SSPI and JPS to provide a framework where both WebLogic and Oracle applications can seamlessly run in a single environment, the Oracle WebLogic Server.
OPSS supports security for Java EE applications and for Oracle Fusion Middleware applications, such as Oracle WebCenter and Oracle SOA Suite.
Developers can use OPSS APIs to build security features for all types of applications and integrate them with other security artifacts, such as LDAP servers, RDBMS, and custom security components.
Administrators can use OPSS to deploy large enterprise applications with a small, uniform set of tools and administer all security in them. OPSS simplifies the maintenance of application security because it allows the modification of security configuration without changing the application code.
By default and out-of-the-box, Oracle WebLogic Server stores users and groups in an embedded LDAP repository. Domains can be configured, however, to use identity data in other kinds of LDAP repositories, such as Oracle Internet Directory, ActiveDirectory, Sun Java System Directory Server, Novell eDirectory, and OpenLDAP. In addition, Oracle WebLogic Server provides a generic LDAP authenticator that can be used with other LDAP servers not in the preceding list.
Out-of-the-box, policies and credentials are stored either in file-based stores; these stores can be changed (or reassociated) to an LDAP repository backed by an Oracle Internet Directory.
Note:This guide does not attempt to describe in detail WebLogic security features; wherever specific information about SSPI is used or assumed, the reader is referred to the appropriate document.
Oracle ADF is an end-to-end Java EE framework that simplifies development by providing out-of-the-box infrastructure services and a visual and declarative development experience.
Oracle ADF Security is based on the JAAS security model, and it uses OPSS. Oracle ADF Security supports LDAP- or file-based policy and credential stores, uses permission-based fine-grained authorization provided by OPSS, and simplifies the configuration of application security with the aid of visual declarative editors and the Oracle ADF Security wizard, all of them available in Oracle JDeveloper 11g (any reference to this tool in this guide stands for its 11g release).
Oracle ADF Security authorization allows protecting components (flows and pages), is integrated with Oracle JDeveloper at design time, and is available at run time when the application is deployed to the integrated server where testing of security features is typically carried out.
During the development of an Oracle ADF application, the authenticators are configured with the Oracle WebLogic Server Administration Console for the particular domain where the application is deployed, and the policy store is file-based and stored in the file
To summarize, Oracle ADF Security provides:
Control over granular declarative security
Visual and declarative development of security artifacts
Assignment of simplified permission through a role hierarchy
Use of EL (expression language) to access Oracle ADF resources
Integration with Oracle JDeveloper that allows quick development and test cycles
Rich Web user interfaces and simplified database access
Depending on the application type, the guidelines to administer application security with Oracle WebLogic Administration Console, WLST commands, Fusion Middleware Control, or Oracle Authorization Policy Manager are as follows:
For JavaEE applications, security is managed with Oracle WebLogic Administration Console, Oracle Authorization Policy Manager, or WLST commands.
For Oracle SOA, Oracle WebCenter, MDS, and Oracle ADF applications, authentication is managed with Oracle WebLogic Administration Console and authorization is managed with Fusion Middleware Control and Oracle Authorization Policy Manager.
For JavaEE applications integrating with OPSS, authentication is managed using Oracle WebLogic Administration Console, and authorization is managed with Fusion Middleware Control and Oracle Authorization Policy Manager.
For details about security administration, see Chapter 5, "Security Administration."
This section summarizes the main OPSS features that developers typically implement in different kind of applications, in the following scenarios:
A JavaEE application can be enhanced to use OPSS APIs such as the CSF, User and Role, or Policy Management: user attributes, such as such as a user's email, phone, or address, can be retrieved using the User and Role API; external system credentials (stored in a wallet or in a LDAP-based store) can be retrieved using the CSF API; and authorization policy data can be managed with the policy management APIs.
JavaEE applications, such as servlets, JSPs, and EJBs, deployed on Oracle WebLogic Server can be configured to use authentication and authorization declaratively, with specifications in the file
web.xml, or programmatically, with calls to
Custom authenticators include the standard basic, form, and client certification methods. Authentication between servlets and EJBs is controlled using user roles and enterprise groups, typically stored in an LDAP repository, a database, or a custom authenticators.
Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) is a JavaEE development framework available in Oracle JDeveloper that simplifies the development of JavaEE applications by minimizing the need to write code that implements the application's infrastructure, thus allowing developers to focus on the application features. Oracle ADF provides these infrastructure implementations as part of the Oracle JDeveloper framework, therefore enhancing the development experience with visual and declarative approaches to JavaEE development.
Oracle ADF implicitly uses OPSS, and, for most part, the developer does not have to code directly to OPSS APIs; of course, the developer can nevertheless use direct calls to OPSS APIs.
Oracle ADF leverages container authentication and subsequently uses JAAS based authorization to control access to Oracle ADF resources. These authorization policies may include application-specific roles and JAAS authorization permissions. Oracle ADF connection credentials are stored securely in the credential store.
Oracle ADF and Oracle WebCenter applications deployed on Oracle WebLogic Server include WebLogic authenticators, such as the default WebLogic authenticator, and may include a single sign-on solution (Oracle Access Manager or Oracle Application Server Single Sign-On).
Usually, applications also use one or several of the following OPSS features: anonymous and authenticated role support, policy management APIs, and the Credential Store Framework.
For details about these topics, see the following sections:
For complete details on how to develop and secure an Oracle ADF application, see chapter 29 in Oracle Fusion Middleware Fusion Developer's Guide for Oracle Application Development Framework.
Most of the OPSS features that work in JavaEE applications work in JavaSE applications, but there are some differences, which are noted in this section.
All OPSS-related configuration and data files are located under configuration directory in the domain home. For example, the configuration file for a JavaSE environment is defined in the file
jps-config-jse.xml by default installed in the following location:
To specify a different location, use the following switch:
The syntax of this file is identical to that of the file
jps-config.xml. This file is used by code running in WebLogic containers. For details, see Appendix A, "OPSS Configuration File Reference."
For details about
DOMAIN_HOME and related concepts, see Glossary in Oracle Fusion Middleware Concepts.
For details about security configuration for JavaSE applications, see Section 15.2, "Developing Authentication for JavaSE Applications," and Section 17.4, "Configuring Policy and Credential Stores for JavaSE Applications."
JavaSE applications can use standard JAAS login modules. However, to use the same login module on WLS, implement a custom authentication provider that invokes the login module. The SSPI interfaces allow integrating custom authentication providers in WLS.
The login module recommended for JavaSE applications is the IdentityStore login module.
For details, see section Authentication Providers in Oracle Fusion Middleware Developing Security Providers for Oracle WebLogic Server.