security - secure - How can a JACC provider use the Principal-to-role mapping facilities of the server it's deployed on?

security realm glassfish (1)

The short answer is: there's no standard way to do it.

Although Glassfish and JBoss support principal-to-role mappings, JACC does no assume all containers do, and so it delegates the responsibility of keeping those mappings to the JACC provider implementation. From the docs (see: PolicyConfiguration.addToRole method):

It is the job of the Policy provider to ensure that all the permissions added to a role are granted to principals "mapped to the role".

In other words, you need to implement that yourself inside your JACC provider for each container. For JBoss, for example, you could use one of the subclasses of AbstractRolesMappingProvider.

I am writing a JACC provider.

Along the way, this means implementing a PolicyConfiguration.

The PolicyConfiguration is responsible for accepting configuration information from the application server, such as which permissions accrue to which roles. This is so that a Policy later on can make authorization decisions when handed information about the current user and what he's trying to do.

However, it is not part of the PolicyConfiguration's (atrocious) contract to maintain a mapping between roles and their permissions, and Principals that are assigned to those roles.

Typically--always, really--an application server houses this mapping. For example, on Glassfish, you affect this mapping by supplying things like sun-web.xml and sun-ejb-jar.xml and so on with your Java EE modules. (These vendor-specific files are responsible for saying, e.g., superusers is a group that is to be assigned the application role of admins.)

I would like to reuse the functionality these files supply, and I would like to do so for as wide an array of application servers as possible.

Here is--totally arbitrarily--IBM's take on the matter, which appears to confirm my suspicion that what I want to do is essentially impossible. (More ammunition for my case that this particular Java EE contract is not worth the paper it's printed on.)

My question: how do I get at this principal-to-role-mapping information in--for starters--Glassfish and JBoss from within a PolicyConfiguration? If there's a standard way to do it that I'm unaware of, I'm all ears.