Spring Security Basic Example

In our previous article, we explained Spring Security and various tools used to develop a scalable application.

In this article, we will learn to implement basic Spring Security in web applications.

Before going to write code, let's have a quick look over the given image that shows how Spring security authenticates the user and check resource authorization as well.

Spring Security Working

Notice, that Spring Security first checks the authentication of the user and then check its authorization to access the application resources. If a resource such as the JSP page is not protected then it will not perform authentication and simply let the user access the resource but if the resource is protected then it will first perform authentication and then let the user access. If the user is not authentic the simple throw a message Access Denied.

Let's understand it by an example, we created a maven based Spring MVC application and implemented Spring Security to make a secure web application.

Project Source Code

The following are the files of the project. You can use these in your project to test the application.

// AppConfig.java

This is our application configuration file that implements WebMvcConfugurer interface to make this MVC application and created a method viewResolver to map our views files(JSP).

package com.studytonight;

import org.springframework.context.annotation.Bean;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.ComponentScan;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Configuration;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.ViewResolver;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.config.annotation.EnableWebMvc;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.config.annotation.WebMvcConfigurer;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.view.InternalResourceViewResolver;

@EnableWebMvc
@Configuration
@ComponentScan("com.studytonight.controller")
public class AppConfig implements WebMvcConfigurer{
	@Bean
	public ViewResolver viewResolver() {
		InternalResourceViewResolver irvr = new InternalResourceViewResolver();
		irvr.setPrefix("WEB-INF/views/");
		irvr.setSuffix(".jsp");
		irvr.setOrder(0);
		return irvr;
	}
}

// MainApp.java

This class initialize our web application and creates ServletContext by using that we register our AppConfig class(above file).

package com.studytonight;

import javax.servlet.ServletContext;
import javax.servlet.ServletException;
import javax.servlet.ServletRegistration;
import org.springframework.web.WebApplicationInitializer;
import org.springframework.web.context.support.AnnotationConfigWebApplicationContext;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.DispatcherServlet;
public class MainApp implements WebApplicationInitializer {

	@Override
	public void onStartup(ServletContext servletContext) throws ServletException {
		System.out.println("started");
		AnnotationConfigWebApplicationContext context = new AnnotationConfigWebApplicationContext();
		context.register(AppConfig.class);
		context.setServletContext(servletContext);
		ServletRegistration.Dynamic servlet = servletContext.addServlet("dispatcher", new DispatcherServlet(context));
		servlet.setLoadOnStartup(1);
		servlet.addMapping("/");
		context.close();	
	}
}

// SecurityAppInitializer.java

This is the Security initializer class that extends AbstractSecurityWebApplicationInitializer and we passed our SecurityConfig class so that it can read security configurations.

package com.studytonight;

import org.springframework.security.web.context.AbstractSecurityWebApplicationInitializer;
public class SecurityAppInitializer extends AbstractSecurityWebApplicationInitializer {

	public SecurityAppInitializer() {
		super(SecurityConfig.class);
	}
}

// SecurityConfig.java

This is our security configuration file that extends WebSecurityConfigurerAdapter class and provides several methods such as configure() to configure the security. Spring Security provides AuthenticationManagerBuilder class that works as an Authentication Manager and provides several methods to authenticate the user. Here, we are using inMemoryAuthentication concept that allows mapping hard-coded user values. We will discuss user authentication with a database in our next tutorials but for now, let's go with a simple example.

package com.studytonight;

import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Configuration;
import org.springframework.security.config.annotation.authentication.builders.AuthenticationManagerBuilder;
import org.springframework.security.config.annotation.web.configuration.EnableWebSecurity;
import org.springframework.security.config.annotation.web.configuration.WebSecurityConfigurerAdapter;
import org.springframework.security.core.userdetails.User;
import org.springframework.security.core.userdetails.User.UserBuilder;

@Configuration
@EnableWebSecurity
public class SecurityConfig extends WebSecurityConfigurerAdapter{

	@Autowired
	protected void configure(AuthenticationManagerBuilder auth) throws Exception {
		UserBuilder user = User.withDefaultPasswordEncoder();
		auth.inMemoryAuthentication()
		.withUser(user.username("studytonight").password("abc123").roles("admin"));
	}
}

// UserController.java

This is our controller class that works as a user request handler and maps user requests with the resources and returns responses accordingly. We created home() method to show the index.jsp page and course() method to display course.jsp page.

package com.studytonight.controller;

import org.springframework.stereotype.Controller;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.GetMapping;

@Controller
public class UserController {

	@GetMapping("/")  
	public String home() {
		return "index";
	}

	@GetMapping("/java-course")
	public String course() {
		return "course";
	}

	@GetMapping("/premium-courses")
	public String premiumCourse() {
		return "premium-courses";
	}
}

View Files

These are views files of our project that displayed to the browser. See the code.

// course.jsp

<%@ page language="java" contentType="text/html; charset=UTF-8"
	pageEncoding="UTF-8"%>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<meta charset="UTF-8">
<title>Course Page</title>
</head>
<body>
	<h2>List of Courses</h2>
	<ul>
		<li>Java</li>
		<li>Python</li>
		<li>C++</li>
		<li>Linux</li>
	</ul>
</body>
</html>

// index.jsp

<%@ page language="java" contentType="text/html; charset=UTF-8"
	pageEncoding="UTF-8"%>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<meta charset="UTF-8">
<title>Home Page</title>
</head>
<body>
	<h2>Welcome to Studytonight!</h2>
	<h3><a href="java-course">Study Java</a></h3>
	<h2><a href="premium-courses">Study Premium Courses</a></h2>
</body>
</html>

// premium courses.jsp

<%@ page language="java" contentType="text/html; charset=UTF-8"
	pageEncoding="UTF-8"%>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<meta charset="UTF-8">
<title>Course Page</title>
</head>
<body>
	<h2>List of Premium Courses</h2>
	<ul>
		<li>Spring Framework</li>
		<li>Pandas</li>
		<li>Spring Security</li>
	</ul>
</body>
</html>

// pom/xml

This file contains all the dependencies of this project such as spring jars, servlet jars, etc. Put these dependencies into your project to run the application.

<project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0"
	xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
	xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 https://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">
	<modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion>
	<groupId>com.studytonight</groupId>
	<artifactId>springwithsecurity</artifactId>
	<version>0.0.1-SNAPSHOT</version>
	<packaging>war</packaging>
	<properties>
		<spring.version>5.2.8.RELEASE</spring.version>
	</properties>
	<dependencies>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-core</artifactId>
			<version>${spring.version}</version>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-context</artifactId>
			<version>${spring.version}</version>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-webmvc</artifactId>
			<version>${spring.version}</version>
		</dependency>
		<!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/javax.servlet/servlet-api -->
		<!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/javax.servlet/javax.servlet-api -->
		<dependency>
			<groupId>javax.servlet</groupId>
			<artifactId>javax.servlet-api</artifactId>
			<version>4.0.1</version>
		</dependency>

		<!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/javax.servlet.jsp/javax.servlet.jsp-api -->
		<dependency>
			<groupId>javax.servlet.jsp</groupId>
			<artifactId>javax.servlet.jsp-api</artifactId>
			<version>2.3.3</version>
		</dependency>
		<!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/javax.servlet.jsp.jstl/jstl-api -->
		<dependency>
			<groupId>javax.servlet.jsp.jstl</groupId>
			<artifactId>jstl-api</artifactId>
			<version>1.2</version>
		</dependency>


		<!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/javax.xml.bind/jaxb-api -->
		<dependency>
			<groupId>javax.xml.bind</groupId>
			<artifactId>jaxb-api</artifactId>
			<version>2.3.0</version>
		</dependency>
		<!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/org.springframework.security/spring-security-web -->
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.security</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-security-web</artifactId>
			<version>5.4.2</version>
		</dependency>
		<!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/org.springframework.security/spring-security-config -->
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.security</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-security-config</artifactId>
			<version>5.4.2</version>
		</dependency>
	</dependencies>
	<build>
		<plugins>
			<plugin>
				<artifactId>maven-war-plugin</artifactId>
				<version>3.2.3</version>
				<configuration>
					<warSourceDirectory>WebContent</warSourceDirectory>
				</configuration>
			</plugin>
			<plugin>
				<groupId>org.apache.maven.plugins</groupId>
				<artifactId>maven-compiler-plugin</artifactId>
				<version>3.5.1</version>
				<configuration>
					<source>11</source>
					<target>11</target>
				</configuration>
			</plugin>
		</plugins>
	</build>
</project>

Project Structure

After creating these files our project will look like the below. You can refer to this to understand the directory structure of the project.

Run the Application

After successfully completing the project and adding the dependencies run the application and you will get the output as below.

Note: In our application, we did not create this login page but configured the Spring Security. This is a built-in login page provided by the framework itself to authenticate the user.

It will match the username and password with the credentials provided in the SecurityConfig.java file.

Provide the wrong username and passwords

Authentication Error: Bad credentials

If the supplied username and password are wrong then it shows an error message. See the below screenshot.

Provide the Correct username and passwords

Home page

Now, you are successfully logged in to the application. This is our index.jsp file renders as a home page to the browser.


Till here, we have learned to implement Spring Security in Spring web application. In our next topic, we will learn to render our own login page rather than the built-in provided by the framework.