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Custom authorization rules on IBM Liberty

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Last month we presented a way how a Java EE application can provide custom rules for authorization. The code shown in that article was developed and tested using Payara. We're now going to look at how the code can be used on some other servers, starting with IBM's Liberty. Liberty has a highly modularised architecture and features a rather amazing way by which and end user can compose the runtime. By means of its server.xml file, a Liberty user can add or remove nearly every individual feature that Liberty has independently. The Liberty core system keeps track of the dependencies of each module representing such feature and adds or removes its dependencies accordingly (in a way not quite unlike what a tool like Maven does at build time). All this power does come at some price. For Liberty the JACC provider which is needed to implement the logic behind the custom authorization rules has to be turned into a Liberty specific module (called a user feature), which is quite a b…