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Basic HTTP Authentication for REST Web Service

Basic HTTP authentication solve following security problems.
  • Get username and password from http request
  • Fetch the applicable method security details
  • Verify if user is authorized to access the API
  • Return valid error codes in case of invalid access
In this tutorial, we show you how to develop a simple RESTfull web service application with HTTP basic authentication using Cuubez framwork.
Technologies and Tools used in this article:
  1. cuubez 1.1.1
  2. JDK 1.6
  3. Tomcat 6.0
  4. Maven 3.0.3
  5. Intellij IDEA 13.1.1
Note: If you want to know what and how REST works, just search on Google, ton of available resources.

1. Directory Structure

This is the final web project structure of this tutorial.

2. Standard Web Project

Create a standard Maven web project structure.

 mvn archetype:generate -DgroupId=com.cuubez -DartifactId=basic_authentication -DarchetypeArtifactId=maven-archetype-webapp -DinteractiveMode=false  
Note: To support IntelliJ IDEA, use Maven command :
mvn idea:idea

3. Project Dependencies

Cuubez is published in Maven repository. To develop cuubez REST application , just declares “cuubez-core” in Maven pom.xml.
File : pom.xml


4. REST Service

Simple REST service with basic HTTP authentication annotations.
  • @PermitAll: Specifies that all security roles are allowed to invoke the specified method(s)
  • @RolesAllowed: Specifies the list of roles permitted to access method(s)
  • @DenyAll: Specifies that no security roles are allowed to invoke the specified method(s)
 public class UserResource {  
   private static Log log = LogFactory.getLog(UserResource.class);  
   public Response userGet(@HeaderParam(value = "name") String name, @PathParam(value = "userId") String id, @QueryParam(value = "age") Double age) {  
     User user = new User(id, age, name);  
     return Response.ok().entity(user).build();  
   public void userPost(User user) {"POST = [" + user + "]");  
   @Consumes({MediaType.APPLICATION_JSON, MediaType.APPLICATION_XML})  
   public void userPut(User user) {"PUT = [" + user + "]");  

5. Authentication filter

The security interceptor is build by implementing com.cuubez.core.Interceptor.RequestInterceptor interface. This interface has one method which need to implement.

 public class AuthenticationFilter implements RequestInterceptor {  
   private final InterceptorResponseContext ACCESS_FORBIDDEN = new InterceptorResponseContext("No access", HttpServletResponse.SC_FORBIDDEN);  
   public InterceptorResponseContext process(InterceptorRequestContext interceptorRequestContext) {  
     if (interceptorRequestContext.isAnnotationContain(DenyAll.class)) {  
       return ACCESS_FORBIDDEN; //Return access denied to user  
     } else if (interceptorRequestContext.isAnnotationContain(PermitAll.class)) {  
       return null; //Return null to continue request processing  
     } else if (interceptorRequestContext.isAnnotationContain(RolesAllowed.class)) {  
       //get encoded user name and password  
       String encodedUserName = interceptorRequestContext.getHeader("userName");  
       String encodedPassword = interceptorRequestContext.getHeader("password");  
       //decode user name and password  
       String decodedUserName = new String(Base64.decodeBase64(encodedUserName.getBytes()));  
       String decodedPassword = new String(Base64.decodeBase64(encodedPassword.getBytes()));  
       //get allowed user roles  
       String[] allowedRoles = ((RolesAllowed) interceptorRequestContext.getAnnotation(RolesAllowed.class)).value();  
       //Access userAccessor to retrieve user details(UserAccessor is not providing by framework, developer need to implement it according their requirement)  
       UserAccessor userAccessor = new UserAccessor();  
       String role = userAccessor.getUserRole(decodedUserName, decodedPassword);  
       if(isAllow(allowedRoles, role)) {  
         return null;  
       } else {  
         return ACCESS_FORBIDDEN;  
     return null;  
   private boolean isAllow(final String[] allowedRoles, final String userRole) {  
     for (String allRole : allowedRoles) {  
       if (allRole.equals(userRole)) {  
         return true;  
     return false;  
This interceptor mechanism provide full flexibility to developer.

6. web.xml

The ContextLoaderListner context listener has to be deployed in order to create the registry for cuubez ,while the ServiceInitiator servlet is used so that incoming requests are correctly routed to the appropriate services. We have configured the specific servlet, named “cuubez”, to intercept requests under the “/rest/” path.
File : web.xml

  <display-name>Employee Example</display-name>  

7. Demo

In this example, web request from “projectURL/rest/users/{userId}” will match to “UserResource“, via @Path("/users/{userId}").

1. GET request

(GET resource annotated by @PermitAll annotation. Specifies that all security roles are allowed to invoke the specified method(s))

2. POST request

(POST request annotated by @RolesAllowed annotation. ADMIN role permitted to access method(s))
  • Forbidden request (Wrong encoded(Base64) user name and password passed as a header variables)
  • Successful request (Correct encoded(Base64) user name and password passed as a header variables)

3. PUT request

(PUT resource annotated by @DenyAll annotation. Specifies that no security roles are allowed to invoke the specified method(s))

8. Download

Download Basic Authentication Sample Application -


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