The Java EE 6 Tutorial, Volume I

Adding Security Elements to the Deployment Descriptor

To enable basic authentication for the service, add security elements to the application deployment descriptor, web.xml. The security elements that need to be added to the deployment descriptor include the <security-constraint>, <login-config>, and <security-role> elements. These security elements are discussed in more detail in Introduction to Web Application Deployment Descriptors and in the Java Servlet Specification. The code is added to the original deployment descriptor to enable HTTP basic authentication. The resulting deployment descriptor looks like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><web-app
     xmlns="" version="2.5"

This security constraint protects resources at the URI /hello. Anyone who tries to access this resource will be prompted for their user name and password and must be authenticated by the Enterprise Server before they will be granted access to the resource. The request is sent over a protected transport to ensure that the username and password are not intercepted in transit.