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JoshuaBranch AS - Features
General
JoshuaBranch AS (JB-AS) provides the primary features applications need to enable user authentication and access control in an application. Out-of-the-box, you have common requirements met such as role-based security, an easy to use web front-end for security administration, and simple integration with applications. This allows you to develop your business requirements in your applications while JB-AS takes care of the complexity of user application security for you.
Features of JB-AS include:
  • Rapid application development. Since JB-AS includes the components necessary to implement user application security, the cost of developing user security in your applications using it is a tiny fraction of a custom in-house solution. Integrating new applications can take a day or so instead of weeks of development time.
  • Role based security. A role is a named set of privileges. Roles privide an easy way to group privileges in ways where you are likely to assign the group as a whole to users. For example, you may have privileges for creating and viewing individual reports. You can create a role that gives a user the ability to view a group of reports and grant the role to any of your users.
  • Centralized application security. One JB-AS server installation can provide user application security service to an unlimited number of applications. User's have access to any application where they are granted a role, since each role belongs to an application. This also means that a single user account can access multiple applications with the same user ID and password. If the user changes the password, it changes for all the applications. You can administrate users and their privileges via a single web administration console for all applications using the same JB-AS server instance.
  • Web administration console. The security administrator can manage user access to applications via an easy to use web browser interface.
  • Simplified application integration. JB-AS was created from the ground up to simplify the coding necessary to integrate JB-AS with any of your custom in-house applications. This allows developers to spend their time on developing business functionality instead of developing application security logic.
  • Caching. JB-AS has caching features both in the components that integrate with your J2EE applications as well as in the central service itself. This minimizes database access, ensuring high performance for your applications. Caching is automatic, so developers don't need to write any code to use it.
  • Unlimited privilege granularity. You define the data and actions you want to assign privileges for as Application Modules. There is no limit to what you define as a module, since JB-AS only uses the names you give it. This means you can define privileges on as high or low of a conceptual level you need, controlling access to just about anything with JB-AS.
  • User IP logging. JB-AS stores the IP address the user logged in from, which can be used to help prevent session hijacking, limit login locations, or detect unauthorized access.
Administration
The easy to use administration client (JB-AS Administrator) includes many features to empower the Security Administrator (SA):
  • Web-based front-end. You can access JB-AS Administrator from any web browser in your network. No need to install client software or create a security administration interface for your each of your applications.
  • Dynamic security. You can dynamically define users, user roles and role privileges. Applications never directly reference roles or individual users, so the SA can define them and their relationships without having to coordinate with the development team. JB-AS stores this data in a database, so Java code is never written against it. The only information the JB-AS Administrator user coordinates with JB-AS Client application development is the name of the Application and security Application Modules, which are names you give to individual business concepts you will be granting privileges for to users (e.g., "customer data" and "invoice data" could be two application modules.)
  • Unlimitted applications. You can administrate application security for an unlimitted number of applications via your JB-AS Administrator console. This permits you to centralize application security for all the applications in your enterprise, or select groups of applications to be administered together. This consolidates your user lists, since you can give a single user access to any of your JB-AS powered applications.
  • Password policy. Define your corporate password policy, and JB-AS will require users to conform whenever they change their password. This includes the ability to set the required minimum length and the use of numbers or special characters. You can also prevent users from using their Login ID as their password.
  • Remote JB-AS deploy. You can deploy the administration client into any J2EE server, or use the default install which includes it where you install JB-AS. Like your applications, JB-AS Administrator has the ability to connect remotely to JB-AS over the network.
  • Drop down filters. You can limit the data you see on the screen at any given moment. This permits the SA to focus on a single application, for instance, even though the screens have the ability to display information about all the applications using JB-AS.
  • User status option. The SA can set a user's status to Requested, Active, Suspended and Deleted modes. Only Active users can log in. Requested mode is ideal for permitting users to create their own accounts, while requiring those accounts to be activited by trusted personnel.
Development
JB-AS provides an easy to use interface for integrating your applications with the JB-AS security service via Java utility jars called JB-AS Client. You can use JB-AS Client to integrate application security in any of your J2EE applications with ease using these features:
  • Easy installation. To install JB-AS Client in your individual application, you simply include the client utility jar files in your application. If you are deploying your application to a different server than where the JB-AS service is running, then you simply need to include a properties file telling it where the JB-AS server is.
  • Remote application deploy. Your applications can run in any J2EE container tested to work with JB-AS, such as WebSphere or JBoss. A simple properties file only needs two lines of text to tell it where the JB-AS server is.
  • Quick log-in integration. JB-AS comes with a jsp login script you can include as-is in your applications using the <jsp:include> tag. You then only need two additional lines to turn on log-in ability for your application. This means that you can integrate user log-in ability in a new application in minutes.
  • Easy user access control. To apply access control, you simply inquire on the access the current user has to a privilege. Thus, to determine the access a user has to the INVOICE module, this code will return a CRUD object containing the boolean values for the Create, Retrieve, Update and Delete privileges:

    ESecurityWeb secWeb = ESecurityWeb.getInstance(request);
    CRUD invoiceModuleAccess = 
        secWeb.getCachedSessionModuleCRUD( APPLICATION_NAME, MODULENAME_Invoice ) ;
    
    if (invoiceModuleAccess.getCanRetrieve()) {
      // The user can view invoice data
    }
    

    If no user is logged in, then the privileges of the CRUD object returned are set to false.

  • Privilege caching. In the previous example your application obtained the privileges a user has to the INVOICE module. This information is automatically cached, so you can code freely without concern for the performance impact of using this for dynamically creating commonly accessed content such as menus. If a user logs in or out, the cache is automatically reset.
 
 

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