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Using Security in CORBA Applications

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This topic includes the following sections:

Notes: The problems in this topic pertain to using the SSL protocol and certificate authentication with CORBA applications.

The BEA Tuxedo CORBA Java client and BEA Tuxedo CORBA Java client ORB were deprecated in Tuxedo 8.1 and are no longer supported in Tuxedo 9.0.

All BEA Tuxedo CORBA Java client and BEA Tuxedo CORBA Java client ORB text references, associated code samples, etc. should only be used:

Technical support for third party CORBA Java ORBs should be provided by their respective vendors. BEA Tuxedo does not provide any technical support or documentation for third party CORBA Java ORBs.


Using ULOGS and ORB Tracing

In general, Object Request Brokers (ORBs) write important failures to the ULOG file. When using the CORBA C++ ORB, you can also enable ORB internal tracing which may provide information in addition to the information that appears in the ULOG file.

When looking at the ULOG file, note that remote ORB processes by default do not write data to the ULOG file in APPDIR.

You can set the ULOGPFX environment variable to control the location of the ULOG file for remote ORBs (for example, you can set the location of the ULOG file to APPDIR so that all information is put in the same ULOG file). Set the ULOGPFX environment variable as follows:

Windows 2003




To enable ORB tracing, complete the following steps:

  1. Create a file named trace.dat in APPDIR. The contents of trace.dat should have all=on.
  2. Use the following command to set the OBB_TRACE_INPUT environment variable to point to the trace.dat file before running the application:
  3. set OBB_TRACE_INPUT=%APPDIR%\trace.dat

    If you want ORB tracing sent to separate files, add the following line to the trace.dat file:


    This command sends the trace output to files that are named after each running process. You may want to do this if you are using ORB tracing on UNIX to an NFS mounted drive. In this case, trace performance is slow due to the user log opening, writing, and closing the file for each trace statement.


CORBA::ORB_init Problems

The ORB_init routine does not perform internal ORB tracing so you will not see any trace output for invalid argument processing. Therefore, you need to double check the arguments that were passed to the ORB_init routine.

If a CORBA::BAD_PARAM exception occurs when executing the ORB_init routine, verify that all required arguments have values. Also, check that arguments which expect a value from a specific set of valid values have the correct value. Note that values for the arguments of the ORB_init routine are case sensitive.

If a CORBA::NO_PERMISSION exception occurs and an SSL argument was specified to the ORB_init routine, make sure the security license is enabled. Also, verify that the specified level of encryption does not exceed the encryption level supported by the security license.

If a CORBA::IMP_LIMIT exception occurs when executing the ORB_init routine, verify that the ORBport and ORBSecurePort system properties have the same value.

If a CORBA::Initialize exception occurs when executing the ORB_init routine, verify that the values for OrbId or configset are valid.

If Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) arguments are passed to the ORB_init routine, the ORB attempts to load and initialize the SSL protocol. If no SSL arguments are passed, the ORB does not attempt to initialize the SSL protocol.

The ORB is not aware of the new URL address formats for the Bootstrap object so if you specify a corbaloc or corbalocs URL address format, the ORB does not try to load the SSL protocol during the ORB_init routine.

If SSL arguments were specified to the ORB_init routine, check the following:

If the problem persists, turn on ORB tracing. ORB tracing will log SSL failures that occur when the liborbssl dynamic library is loaded and initialized.


Password Authentication Problems

If the client application fails when using the corbalocs URL address format with password authentication, check the following:


Certificate Authentication Problems

If the client application fails when using the corbalocs URL address format with certificate authentication, check the following:

Additional certificate problems can also occur. See Tobj::Bootstrap:: resolve_initial_references Problems for more information about the types of certificate errors that can occur.

Note: At this point of the initialization process, the failure is not due to a problem in the IIOP Listener/Handler.


resolve_initial_references Problems

If a failure occurs when performing a Tobj::Bootstrap::resolve_initial_references with the corbaloc or corbalocs URL address format, a CORBA::InvalidDomain exception is raised. This exception may mask CORBA::NO_PERMISSION or CORBA::COMM_FAILURE exceptions that are raised internally. Look at the ULOG file and turn on ORB tracing to get more details on the error. The following errors may occur:

Additional certificate problems can occur. See Troubleshooting Tips for Digital Certificates on page 11-8 for more information about the types of certificate errors that can occur.


IIOP Listener/Handler Startup Problems

This section describes problems that can occur during the startup of the IIOP Listener/Handler.

If a failure occurs when starting the IIOP Listener/Handler, check the ULOG file for a description of the error. The IIOP Listener/Hander verifies that the values for the SSL arguments specified in the CLOPT parameters are valid. If any of the values are invalid, the appropriate error is recorded in the ULOG file. This check is similar to the argument checking done by the ORB.

The IIOP Listener/Handler will not start its processes unless the -m option is specified. The ISH is the process that actually loads and initializes the SSL libraries. If there is a problem loading and initializing the SSL libraries in the ISH process, the error will not be recorded in the ULOG file until the ISH process starts to handle incoming requests from client application.

If you suspect a problem with the startup of the IIOP Listener/Handler processes, check the ULOG file.


Configuration Problems

The following are miscellaneous tips to resolve the common configuration problems which may occur when using security:


Problems with Using Callbacks Objects with the SSL Protocol

If you have a joint client/server application and the client portion of the joint client/server application specifies security requirements using either the corbalocs URL address format or by requiring credentials, you must use the -ORBsecurePort system property with the ORB_init routine to specify that a secure port be used.

If you do not specify the -ORBsecurePort system property, the server registration will fail with a CORBA::NO_PERMISSION exception. To verify this is the problem, enable ORB tracing and look for the following trace output:

TCPTransport::Listen: FAILURE: Attempt to listen on clear port while Credentials require SSL be used

If you want to use the SSL protocol with callback objects, the joint client/server application must use the SecurityLevel2::PrincipalAuthenticator::authenticate() method with certificate authentication. Otherwise, the joint client/server application does not have a certificate with which to identify itself to the IIOP Listener/Handler which in this case is the initiator of the SSL connection.


Troubleshooting Tips for Digital Certificates

In general, problems with digital certificates occur when:

If a digital certificate is rejected for no explainable reason, complete the following steps:

  1. Open the digital certificate in a viewer, for example, Microsoft Explorer.
  2. Look at the KeyUsage and BasicConstraints properties of the digital certificate. A small yellow triangle with an exclamation mark indicates the property is critical. Any digital certificate with a property marked critical is rejected by the BEA Tuxedo software.
  3. If the none of the properties of the digital certificate are critical, check the properties of the next digital certificate in the certificate chain. Perform this step until all the properties of all the digital certificates in the certificate chain have been verified.


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