The Java EE 6 Tutorial, Volume I

Mapping Security Roles to Enterprise Server Groups

To map security roles defined in applications to Enterprise Server principals and groups, use the security-role-mapping element in the runtime deployment descriptor (DD). The runtime deployment descriptor is different from the application deployment descriptor file. The runtime deployment descriptor is an XML file that contains information such as the context root of the web application and the mapping of the portable names of an application’s resources to the Enterprise Server resources. The Enterprise Server web application runtime DD is located in the /WEB-INF/ directory along with the web application deployment descriptor. Runtime deployment descriptors are named sun-web.xml, sun-application.xml, or sun-ejb-jar.xml.

The following example demonstrates how to do this mapping in the sun-web.xml file, which is the file used for web applications:






A role can be mapped to specific principals, specific groups, or both. The principal or group names must be valid principals or groups in the current default realm, or in the realm specified in the login-config element. In this example, the role of CEO that is used in the application is mapped to a principal named Schwartz that exists on the application server. Mapping a role to a specific principal is useful when the person occupying that role may change. For this application, you would only need to modify the runtime deployment descriptor and not search and replace throughout the application for references to this principal.

Also in this example, the role of Admin is mapped to a group of users who are assigned the group name of director. This is useful because the group of people authorized to access director-level administrative data only has to be maintained on the Enterprise Server. The application developer does not need to know who these people are, just define the group of people who will be given access to the information.

The role-name must match the role-name in the security-role element of the corresponding application deployment descriptor (web.xml, ejb-jar.xml) or the role name defined in an @DeclareRoles annotation.

Sometimes the role names used in the application are the same as the group names defined on the Enterprise Server. Under these circumstances, you can use the Admin Console to define a default principal-to-role-mapping that applies to the entire Enterprise Server instance. From the Admin Console, select Configuration, then Security, then check the Enable box beside Default Principal to Role Mapping. For more information, read the Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server v3 Administration Guide.