The WSC security agent protects the endpoints of a web service that uses HTTP for communication. After the WSC security agent is deployed in a web container on the WSP side, all HTTP requests for access to the web services protected by the agent are redirected to the login and authentication URLs defined in the OpenSSO Enterprise configuration data store on the WSC side.
The available WSC security agent was developed using the Java Specification Request (JSR) 196. JSR 196 is the Java Authentication Service Provider Interface for Containers. It defines a standard service provider interface (SPI) with which a security agent can be developed to police Java EE containers on either the client side or the server side. These agents establish the authenticated identities used by the containers. The JSR 196 specifications are available at http://www.jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=196.
When the WSC makes a request to access a web application (1 in the illustration below), the agent intercepts the request and redirects it (via the browser) to OpenSSO Enterprise for authentication (2). Upon successful authentication, a response is returned to the application, carrying a token as part of the Java EE Subject (3). This token is used to bootstrap the appropriate Liberty ID-WSF security profile. If the response is successfully authenticated, the request is granted (3).
The functionality of the HTTP security agent is similar in to that of the Java EE policy agents when used in SSO ONLY mode. This is a non restrictive mode that uses only the OpenSSO Enterprise Authentication Service to authenticate users attempting access. For more information on Java EE policy agents, see the Sun Java System Access Manager Policy Agent 2.2 User’s Guide.
Application Server 9 has the ability to configure only one HTTP agent per instance. Therefore, all authentication requests for all web applications hosted in the container will be forwarded to the one configured agent.