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ESAPI (The OWASP Enterprise Security API) is a free, open source, web application security control library that makes it easier for programmers to write lower-risk applications.


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Enterprise Security API for Java (Legacy)

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OWASP® ESAPI (The OWASP Enterprise Security API) is a free, open source, web application security control library that makes it easier for programmers to write lower-risk applications. The ESAPI for Java library is designed to make it easier for programmers to retrofit security into existing applications. ESAPI for Java also serves as a solid foundation for new development.

Jakarta EE Support

IMPORTANT: ESAPI has supported the Jakarta Servlet API (i.e., jakarta.servlet.api) since release (Unfortunately, we were just forgot to note that in this README file. Duh!)

Therefore, for release and later versions of ESAPI, ESAPI ought to be able to support Spring Boot 3, Spring 6, Tomcat 10, and other applications or libraries requiring Jarkata EE. (If you find a case where it does not, please file a GitHub issue for it.)

The ESAPI jar file supporting Jakarta will be named esapi-version-jakarta.jar. To use that specific Jakarta version of ESAPI, in Maven, you would specify your ESAPI dependency in your pom.xml as:


(or any other version later than Thanks to Jonathon Putney for creating a PR to fix this. There is a long discussion in GitHub Discussion #768 where this was first announced, for those of you have insomnia or really long attention spans and are interested in the approaches that were tried.

Of course, ESAPI also still continues to support the older Java EE Servlet API (i.e., javax.servlet namespace) as well. In fact, without the


that's the version that will be used by default.

A word about ESAPI vulnerabilities

A summary of all the vulnerabilities that we have written about in either the ESAPI Security Bulletins or in the GitHub Security Advisories may be found in this Vulnerability Summary. It is too lengthy, and if you are using the latest available ESAPI version--generally not relevant--to place in this README file.

Where are the OWASP ESAPI wiki pages?

You can find the official OWASP ESAPI Project wiki pages at The ESAPI legacy GitHub repo also has several useful wiki pages.

What does Legacy mean?

This is the legacy branch of ESAPI which means it is an actively maintained branch of the project, however significant new feature development for this branch will not be done. Features that have already been scheduled for the 2.x branch will move forward. Development for the "next generation" of ESAPI (starting with ESAPI 3.0), will be done at the GitHub repository at


  • The default branch for ESAPI legacy is the 'develop' branch (rather than the 'main' (formerly 'master') branch), where future development, bug fixes, etc. are now being done. The 'main' branch is now marked as "protected"; it reflects the latest stable ESAPI release ( as of this date). Note that this change of making the 'develop' branch the default may affect any pull requests that you were intending to make.
  • Also, the minimal baseline Java version to use ESAPI is now Java 8. (This was changed from Java 7 during the release.)
  • Support was dropped for Log4J 1 during ESAPI release. If you need it, configure it via SLF4J. See the release notes for details.

Where can I find ESAPI 3.x?

As mentioned above, you can find it at

Note however that work on ESAPI 3 has not yet begun in earnest and is only in its earliest planning stages. Even the code that is presently there will likely change.

ESAPI Release Notes

The ESAPI release notes may be found in ESAPI's "documentation" directory. They are generally named "esapi4java-core-2.#.#.#-release-notes.txt", where "2.#.#.#" refers to the ESAPI release number (which uses semantic versioning).

See the GitHub Releases information for a list of releases which generally link to the specific release notes.

Really IMPORTANT information in release notes

  • Starting with ESAPI, important details changed reading the ESAPI Logger. If you have are getting things like ClassNotFoundException, you probably have not read it. Please be sure to read this specific section of the release notes
  • Starting with ESAPI, ESAPI is using a version of AntiSamy that by default includes 'slf4j-simple' and does XML schema validation on the AntiSamy policy files. Please READ this section from the release notes (at least the beginning portion) for some important notes that likely will affect your use of ESAPI! You have been warned!!!
  • ESAPI is the last release to support Java 7 as the minimal JDK. Starting with release, Java 8 or later is required.
  • Starting with ESAPI, if you were using ESAPI's default logger, JUL (i.e., you had the property ESAPI.Logger set to ""), then you must remove (or rename) the old ESAPI configuration file Failure to do so will cause ESAPI to throw a ConfigurationException, thereby preventing your application from starting. For important additional details, please see the ESAPI GitHub Discussion #841.

Locating ESAPI Jar files

The latest ESAPI release is All the regular ESAPI jars, with the exception of the ESAPI configuration jar (i.e., esapi-2.#.#.#-configuration.jar) and its associated detached GPG signature, are available from Maven Central. The ESAPI configuration jars are linked under the 'Assets' section to each of the specific ESAPI releases under the GitHub Releases page.

However, before you start a new project using ESAPI, but sure to read "Should I use ESAPI?".

ESAPI Deprecation Policy

Unless we unintentionally screw-up, our intent is to keep classes, methods, and/or fields which have been annotated as "@deprecated" for a minimum of two (2) years or until the next major release number (e.g., 3.x as of now), which ever comes first, before we remove them. Note that this policy does not apply to classes under the org.owasp.esapi.reference package. You generally are not expected to be using such classes directly in your code. At the ESAPI team's discretion, it will also not apply for any known exploitable vulnerabilities for which no available workaround exists.

Exceptions to Deprecation Policy

We will make some exceptions to the normal 2 year period. In particular, in the cases were we believe that keeping a specific deprecated class or method around can introduce security issues (generally because many of you have a habit of completely ignoring deprecation warnings), we sometimes will shorten that 2 year period. When we decide to do that, we will announce that as part of the deprecation message.

Log4J 1.x Removal

IMPORTANT NOTES: As of ESAPI, all the Log4J 1.x related code has been removed from the ESAPI code base (with the exception of some references in documentation). If you must, you still should be able to use Log4J 1.x logging via ESAPI SLF4J support. See the ESAPI release notes for further details.

Contributing to ESAPI legacy

How can I contribute or help with fix bugs?

Fork and submit a pull request! Easy as pi! (How's that for an irrational statement, you math nerds? :) We generally only accept bug fixes, not new features because as a legacy project, we don't intend on adding new features that we will have to maintain long term (although we may make exceptions; see the 'New Features' section in this README). If you are interesting in doing bug fixes though, the best place to start is the CONTRIBUTING-TO-ESAPI.txt

If you are new to ESAPI, a good place to start is to look for GitHub issues labled as 'good first issue'. (E.g., to find all open issues with that label, use

Again, please find additional important details in the file 'CONTRIBUTING-TO-ESAPI.txt', which will also describe the tool requirements.

Want to report an issue?

If you have found a bug, then create an issue on the esapi-legacy-java repo at As of May 11, 2022, we switched back to using (GitHub) issue templates. (We previously used issue templates when our source code repository was still on Google Code.) You can read more about our issue templates in this brief announcement.

NOTE: Please do NOT use GitHub issues to ask questions about ESAPI. If you wish to ask questions, instead, post to either of the 2 mailing lists (now on Google Groups) found the References section at the bottom of this page. If we find questions posted as GitHub issues, we simply will close them and direct you to do this anyhow. Alternately you may use the new Q&A section of our GitHub Discussions page to ask questions.

When reporting an issue or just asking a question, please be clear and try to ensure that the ESAPI development team has sufficient information to be able to reproduce your results or to understand your question. If you have not already done so, this might be a good time to read Eric S. Raymond's classic "How to Ask Questions the Smart Way" before posting your issue.

Find a Vulnerability?

If believe you have found a vulnerability in ESAPI legacy, for the sake of the ESAPI community, please practice Responsible Disclosure. (Note: We will be sure you get credit and will work with you to create a GitHub Security Advisory, and if you so choose, to pursue filing a CVE via the GitHub CNA.)

You are of course encouraged to first search our GitHub issues list (see above) to see if it has already been reported. If it has not, then please contact both Kevin W. Wall (kevin.w.wall at and Matt Seil (matt.seil at directly. Please do not report vulnerabilities via GitHub issues or via the ESAPI mailing lists as we wish to keep our users secure while a patch is implemented and deployed. If you wish to be acknowledged for finding the vulnerability, then please follow this process. Also, when you post the email describing the vulnerability, please do so from an email address that you usually monitor.

More detail is available in the file ''.'.

New Features

If you wish to propose a new feature, the best place to discuss it is via new 'Discussions' board, probably under 'Ideas', or on the ESAPI-DEV mailing list mentioned below under the References section. As mentioned previously, we generally are not considering new features for ESAPI 2.x. This is because:

  • ESAPI is already too monolithic and has too many dependencies for its size.
  • We are trying to wind down support of ESAPI 2.x and get ESAPI 3.0 going so any resources we throw at ESAPI 2.x will slow down that goal.

That said, if you believe you have an idea for an additional simple feature that does not pull in any additional 3rd party libraries, toss it out there for discussion or even show us how it works with a PR. (Note that we vet all pull requests, including coding style of any contributions, so please use the same coding style found in the files you are already editing.)

Ancient History

What happened to Google code?

In mid-2014 ESAPI migrated all code and issues from Google Code to GitHub. This migration was completed in November 2014.

What about the issues still located on Google Code?

All issues from Google Code have been migrated to GitHub issues. We now use GitHut Issues for reporting everything except security vulnerabilities. Other bug tracking sites are undoubtedly more advanced, but as developers, we do not want to spent time having to close issues from multiple bug-tracking systems. Therefore, until the synchronization happens with the Atlassian Jira instance that we have (but are not using; see GitHub issue #371), please ONLY use GitHub Issues for reporting bugs.

References: Where to Find More Information on ESAPI


GitHub ESAPI Wiki:

General Documentation: Under the 'documentation' folder.

OWASP Slack Channel: #owasp-esapi

GitHub Discussions: Discussions - Not a lot there yet, but we only started this on May 11, 2022.

Mailing lists:

OWASP is a registered trademark of the OWASP Foundation, Inc.


ESAPI (The OWASP Enterprise Security API) is a free, open source, web application security control library that makes it easier for programmers to write lower-risk applications.




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