Chapter 3. Introduction to JAAS

3.1. About JAAS

The JBossSX framework is based on the JAAS API. You must understand the basic elements of the JAAS API before you can understand the implementation details of JBossSX. The following sections provide an introduction to JAAS to prepare you for the JBossSX architecture discussion later in this guide.
The JAAS 1.0 API consists of a set of Java packages designed for user authentication and authorization. The API implements a Java version of the standard Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM) framework and extends the Java 2 Platform access control architecture to support user-based authorization.
JAAS was first released as an extension package for JDK 1.3 and is bundled with JDK 1.5. Because the JBossSX framework only uses the authentication capabilities of JAAS to implement the declarative role-based J2EE security model, this introduction focuses on only that topic.
JAAS authentication is performed in a pluggable fashion. This permits Java applications to remain independent from underlying authentication technologies, and allows the JBossSX security manager to work in different security infrastructures. Integration with a security infrastructure is achievable without changing the JBossSX security manager implementation. You need only change the configuration of the authentication stack JAAS uses.