What is Realm in Spring Security?

Asked on February 25, 2017
What is Realm in Spring Security?

Replied on February 25, 2017
Realm in spring security can be considered as a database of valid users and groups collected from one or more than one application that follow same authentication policy. 

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What Is a Realm?

The protected resources on a server can be partitioned into a set of protection spaces, each with its own authentication scheme and/or authorization database containing a collection of users and groups. A realm is a complete database of users and groups identified as valid users of one or more applications and controlled by the same authentication policy.

The Java EE server authentication service can govern users in multiple realms. The fileadmin-realm, and certificate realms come preconfigured for the GlassFish Server.

In the file realm, the server stores user credentials locally in a file named keyfile. You can use the Administration Console to manage users in the file realm. When using the file realm, the server authentication service verifies user identity by checking the file realm. This realm is used for the authentication of all clients except for web browser clients that use HTTPS and certificates.

In the certificate realm, the server stores user credentials in a certificate database. When using the certificate realm, the server uses certificates with HTTPS to authenticate web clients. To verify the identity of a user in the certificate realm, the authentication service verifies an X.509 certificate. For step-by-step instructions for creating this type of certificate, see Working with Digital Certificates. The common name field of the X.509 certificate is used as the principal name.

The admin-realm is also a file realm and stores administrator user credentials locally in a file named admin-keyfile. You can use the Administration Console to manage users in this realm in the same way you manage users in the file realm. For more information, see Managing Users and Groups on the GlassFish Server.

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