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Demonstrates how Spring Security 3.1 only implements the last authentication manager defined and ignores all prior authentication managers.
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Spring Security Multi-Authentication-Manager Test

Update: the Jira ticket for this is SEC-1937.

A little background...

I was involved with two separate projects that both required the rare feature of providing two entirely distinct authentication managers for a single web application.

One authentication manager handled authenticating admin users against an LDAP server. The admin users would log into the web application through a standard, secured HTML login page.

The other authentication manager handled authenticating web service consumers. In one project the consumers consumed Hessian services while the other project provided REST services for consumption. In both projects, the application itself held the authentication information, stored in the database.

With both projects, the admin HTML interface would only ever be available to admins and never to the consumers of the application's services. Likewise, the service consumers would never have reason to access the admin interface of the application. With this in mind, we didn't want to chain Spring authentication providers in a single Spring authentication manager but rather required two entirely separate and distinct authentication managers.

With the release of Spring Security 3.1 and the introduction of the authentication-manager-ref <http> attribute, it appeared that I would be able to easily implement the sovereign, separate authentication managers described above.

The Spring Security 3.1 documentation describes the authentication-manager-ref element as the following:

A reference to the AuthenticationManager used for the FilterChain created by this http element.

This description led me to believe that I would be able to create an authentication manager exclusively for one <http> element and another authentication manager for another <http> manager. This feature fit my design requirements perfectly.

However, in practice it appeared that when defining multiple authentication managers, Spring Security would always only use the last authentication manager defined. It would ignore all authentication managers that were defined prior to the final one. This project demonstrates that behavior.

How to reproduce

I have created a set of integration tests that attempt to access an HTML page of the admin interface and also access Hessian services. These two activities require two separate authentication managers for authentication.

I am performing the authentication over a non-encrypted connection so that you won't have to perform any keystore self-signed certificate configuration.

Open src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/spring/spring-security.xml

At the bottom of spring-security.xml you will see two authentication managers defined at the bottom of the file. One is remotingAuthenticationManager and the other is adminAuthenticationManager.

If you ensure that the remotingAuthenticationManager is placed after adminAuthenticationManager, all of the remoting integration tests will pass while the loginWithLoserUserTest and loginWithSuperUserTest tests will fail. Then, if you modify spring-security.xml so that the adminAuthenticationManager comes after the remotingAuthenticationManager, all of the admin interface integration tests will pass while the testHessianService test fails.

After you make your changes to src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/spring/spring-security.xml, run the following (the Cargo Maven plugin will download and run Tomcat 7 for the integration tests so make sure port 8080 is free):

mvn integration-test

This will run the integration tests and generate the Failsafe reports.

After the integration tests are run, you can view the results by opening the following file in your browser:

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