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1 Post authored by: brockf

Quick SSO on Clearspace 2.0

Posted by brockf Jul 1, 2008

Below is a small filter that I co-authored recently to integrate with Oracle Access Manager (formerly called Oblix). With the release of CS 2.0 we have totally revamped the authentication process and it is now built on spring-security (formerly acegi). Doing this makes it super easy for most of the typical SSO use-cases to be implemented in a reasonable amount of time.


Here was the use case:

1. User Makes initiial request and is not authenticated yet.

2. Webgate routes user to the corporate login page

3. User supplies auth credentials

4. Webgate authenticates the user

5. Webgate sets an Authentication Cookie that identifies this user to Webgate

6. Webgate adds custom HTTP Headers to a new request to the originally requested resource, in this case clearspace.

7. Clearspace ACEGI Filter chain executes for /*** path, this is where I inserted the OblixSSOFilter right before the form authentication.

8. The Filter executes, grabs the HTTP Header "jwt-dn" and extracts the users DN (the user name).

9. The Filter retrieves the User and creates an Authentication and allows the rest of the filters to execute.


The User is now authenticated. The Default authoprovider ultimatly loads the Users permission etc downstream using the default AuthProvider.


Here is the code for the filter. The filter is pretty straight forward. It looks at the incoming HttpServletRequest and attempts to retrieve a HTTP Header that was sent along from the webgate authentication form previously visited by the user, as stated above, in this particular scenario I was able to assume authentication would always be done prior to accessing clearspace.



 package com.jivesoftware.clearspace.sso.oblix;

import com.jivesoftware.base.*;

import javax.servlet.*;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.ServletResponse;
import javax.servlet.FilterChain;

import org.acegisecurity.context.SecurityContextHolder;
import org.acegisecurity.Authentication;
import org.apache.commons.lang.StringUtils;

 * Created by IntelliJ IDEA.
 * User: fred
 * Date: Jun 11, 2008
 * Time: 12:36:14 PM
public class OblixSSOFilter implements Filter {

    private static String OAMHEADER = "jwt-unique";
    private static String HEADER_NAME = "jwt-dn";
    private UserManager userManager;
    //possible to use system properties to enable and change the header, for
    //now just keep it simple.
    private String oamHeaderName = HEADER_NAME;
    private boolean enabled = true;

    public OblixSSOFilter(){


    public void doFilter(ServletRequest servletRequest, ServletResponse servletResponse, FilterChain filterChain) throws IOException, ServletException {
        Authentication authentication;

            try {
                Log.debug("executing oblix filter");
                HttpServletRequest request = (HttpServletRequest)servletRequest;
                String oamHeader = request.getHeader(getOamHeaderName());
                if(oamHeader != null){
                    Log.debug("got OAM header: " + oamHeader);
                    String userDN = extractUserDN(oamHeader);

                    User authenticationTarget = null;
                        authenticationTarget = userManager.getUser(StringUtils.chomp(userDN));
                    }catch(UserNotFoundException e){
                        Log.error("no user found with username: " + userDN);
                    //Found an a
                    authentication = new JiveUserAuthentication(authenticationTarget);
                    Log.debug("no OAM Header");
                    authentication = new AnonymousAuthentication();
               }catch (Exception e) {
                    Log.error("Exception occured while trying to authenticate OAM response: " + e.getMessage());

    private String extractUserDN(String header){
        String userName = null;
        String[] elements = StringUtils.split(header,',');
        for(String element: elements){
            Log.debug("processing header: " + element);
                String[] uniqueID = StringUtils.split(element,'=');
                userName = uniqueID[1];

    public void destroy(){

    public void setUserManager(UserManager userManager) {
        this.userManager = userManager;

    public AuthenticationProvider getAuthenticationProvider() {
        return authenticationProvider;

    public void setAuthenticationProvider(AuthenticationProvider authenticationProvider) {
        this.authenticationProvider = authenticationProvider;

    public String getOamHeaderName() {
        return oamHeaderName;

    public void setOamHeaderName(String oamHeaderName) {
        this.oamHeaderName = oamHeaderName;

    public boolean isEnabled() {
        return enabled;

    public void setEnabled(boolean enabled) {
        this.enabled = enabled;


I simply created a jar containing this one class that I deployed to the WEB-INF\lib directory of a expanded clearspace war file. You can use any IDE or VI and Ant to create the jar, nothing special about it or clearspace specific.


After I had the jar. I needed to tell clearspace about the filter. Since 2.0 there is a back door that can be utilized to override the default implementation of clearspace managers,DAOs and other spring managed beans, this back door is your jiveHome\etc directoy. Within the jiveHome\etc directory you can copy and modify the various spring context files packaged in the clearspace.jar file found in \WEB\lib. This is done by extracting the appropriate spring context file from the clearspace.jar file found in WEB-INF\lib, make your edits to it and copy it into \jiveHome\etc. In my case the authentication filter stack is configured in spring-securityContext.xml so I extracted that and made the changes listed below:


<!-- NOTICE THE ADDITION OF oblixSS0Filter -->
<bean id="filterChainProxy" class="org.acegisecurity.util.FilterChainProxy">
        <property name="filterInvocationDefinitionSource">
                /upgrade/**=httpSessionContextIntegrationFilter, upgradeAuthenticationFilter, upgradeExceptionTranslationFilter,jiveAuthenticationTranslationFilter
                /post-upgrade/**=httpSessionContextIntegrationFilter, postUpgradeAuthenticationFilter, postUpgradeExceptionTranslationFilter,jiveAuthenticationTranslationFilter
                /admin/**=httpSessionContextIntegrationFilter, adminAuthenticationFilter, adminExceptionTranslationFilter,jiveAuthenticationTranslationFilter
                /rpc/xmlrpc=wsRequireSSLFilter, httpSessionContextIntegrationFilter, basicAuthenticationFilter, wsExceptionTranslator, jiveAuthenticationTranslationFilter, wsAccessTypeCheckFilter
                /rpc/rest/**=wsRequireSSLFilter, httpSessionContextIntegrationFilter, basicAuthenticationFilter, wsExceptionTranslator, jiveAuthenticationTranslationFilter, wsAccessTypeCheckFilter
                /rpc/soap/**=wsRequireSSLFilter, httpSessionContextIntegrationFilter, jiveAuthenticationTranslationFilter 
                /**=httpSessionContextIntegrationFilter, oblixSSoFilter formAuthenticationFilter, rememberMeProcessingFilter, feedBasicAuthenticationFilter, jiveAuthenticationTranslationFilter

<bean id="oblixSSoFilter" class="com.jivesoftware.clearspace.sso.oblix.OblixSSOFilter">
        <property name="userManager" ref="userManager" />



As you can see the stack is configured to protect various resources within clearspace, you can add to this stack as required for your particular case, in my case it was simply a matter of declaring my filter, this allows spring to handle the creation of the object and changing the filter stack for the root path of the application to ensure the oblixSSOFilter fired off prior to formAuthentication. If the oblix filter is able to vouch for the user making the request (via the headers) the filter sets the Authentication on the SecurityContext and life moves forward with an authenticated user, if not, I allow it to fall to the next filter in the stack and the process repeats, with this new framework in place it makes it easy to support multiple authentication sources while still staying on the peripheral edges of the product which will help when it comes time to upgrade.



After you have made the changes, restart your clearspace instance and you should be up and running with your new filter.













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