The Java EE 6 Tutorial

Step 5: Invoking Enterprise Bean Business Methods

The web page performs the remote method call to the enterprise bean, using the user’s credential to establish a secure association between the web page and the enterprise bean, as shown in Figure 24–5. The association is implemented as two related security contexts: one in the web server and one in the EJB container.

Figure 24–5 Invoking an Enterprise Bean Business Method

Diagram of authorization process between web component
and enterprise bean

The EJB container is responsible for enforcing access control on the enterprise bean method. The container consults the security policy associated with the enterprise bean to determine the security roles that are permitted access to the method. The security policy is derived from annotations or from the deployment descriptor. For each role, the EJB container determines whether it can map the caller to the role by using the security context associated with the call.

The container’s evaluation stops with an “is authorized” outcome when the container is able to map the caller’s credential to a role. A “not authorized” outcome is reached if the container is unable to map the caller to any of the permitted roles. A “not authorized” result causes an exception to be thrown by the container and propagated back to the calling web page.

If the call is authorized, the container dispatches control to the enterprise bean method. The result of the bean’s execution of the call is returned to the web page and ultimately to the user by the web server and the web client.