Tuesday, February 16, 2010

JCA Container Integration, Why Teiid needs it? Part 3

The Teiid project is being integrated to run inside a JCA container. In earlier posts I gave two compelling reasons for the move.

Reason # 1
Reason #2

Today we examine #3

Reason 3: Security

Security is vitally important for any enterprise application. This is especially true for Teiid as there are typically strict organizational rules governing access to data sources. At a high level Teiid allows for a customizable user authentication/authorization system. There are pre-defined system administrative roles and data authorization roles can be defined for each virtual database (a.k.a. entitlements, or data roles) to govern access at a granular level.

Teiid 6.2 (and earlier) Security Features

Teiid 6.2 provided a Membership API to define customizable security domains from which to obtain authentication and authorization information. Teiid shipped with implementations of LDAP and File based membership domains. Security at the connector level was supported, static credentials, client passed credentials, or through "trusted" payloads. Using trusted payloads, the client can pass any object to a connector for custom authentication/authorization. Like previous issues, this worked great! and there are reams of code to prove it. However, there is a better alternative JAAS.

Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS)

JAAS is a java based security framework that is built into Java runtime. Here is description from the spec site:

Underlying the Java SE Platform is a dynamic, extensible security architecture, standards-based and interoperable. Security features — cryptography, authentication and authorization, public key infrastructure, and more — are built in. The Java security model is based on a customizable "sandbox" in which Java software programs can run safely, without potential risk to systems or users.

JBoss AS uses the PicketLink (JBoss Security) as the security module, which implements the JAAS based authentication framework. Out of the box there are various different login modules available for use. As before, LDAP and File based login modules supported. If their requirements are not satisfied with any of the provided modules, a developer can also write a custom login module.

By moving into container environment Teiid:
  • replaced a custom security framework with a standards based JAAS based framework
  • has access to a plugin based authorization and authentication mechanism
  • retained all the functionality from before to define security domains.
  • reduced its code footprint.
Connectors can also be configured for a "security-domain" such that the container ensures the user is authenticated prior to access. In some Containers this security profile is used to create user specific connection pools to segregate connections from common connection pools. Having this login context available at the Connector is similar to having the "trusted payload" as before, however passing a payload is left for the implementation of the login module.

Next up well look at Microcontiner and its service and deployer framework.

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