What is JAAS Authentication?
JAAS Authentication or simply JAAS refers to the “Java Authentication and Authorization Service. It is a type of security framework developed by Sun Microsystems for the Java environment. This framework functions as an additional or extra security for codes based in Java. It was first introduced as a separate extension library and an optional feature of J2SDK or Java 2 SDK version 1.3 but was later integrated and hooked with JRE or Java Runtime Environment, particularly starting at version 1.4.
JAAS’ authentication and authorization features basically functions to independently manage user authentication issues and concerns that may arise. In the previous setup, these user authentication problems cannot be separated and so cannot be addressed on a per concern basis. With the Java Authentication and Authorization Service, the verification structure is augmented with an additional security layer to the Java environment. As its name suggests, JAAS is developed for authentication and authorization purposes. In terms of its authentication feature, JAAS will be able to know who is running and/or executing a specific Java code. In the past, this scenario is not possible and the security framework can only determine the origin and the signer of a particular code. With JAAS, the one who runs the code can easily and reliably be determined even if the code runs as a small mapplet, a whole application, a servelet or as a Java bean. In terms of its authorization functions, JAAS provides reliability and ensures that all connected users have the necessary control or access rights in performing required tasks.
Another good thing about JAAS is that it allows Java-based applications and programs to run independently regardless of any existing authentication framework. Even if newer technologies and applications are introduced, these applications need not be modified or reconfigured to be able to run with JAAS in the background. This results to increased efficiency along with the additional layer of security provided by JAAS.