Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Asynchronous JAX-RS Proxies in CXF

Dan had an idea the other day to get CXF JAX-RS proxies enhanced a bit for them to support the asynchronous calls. After all, HTTP centric JAX-RS 2.0 and CXF WebClient clients support such calls with AsyncInvoker.

So here is what we have started from. Simply register InvocationCallback with a proxy request context as shown in the examples and make the asynchronous call. The proxy method will return immediately and the callback will be notified in due time once the typed response is available. As the examples show one can register a single callback or a collection of callbacks bound to specific response types.

I suppose we can consider generating typed asynchronous proxy methods from the service descriptions such as WADL going forward.

This feature will be available in CXF 3.1.7. Give a try please, refresh your JAX-RS proxy code a bit, enjoy. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Apache CXF JAX-RS and SAML Assertions

While the software industry with the interests in WEB security is enthusiastically embracing the latest and coolest technologies such as OpenId Connect and JOSE, with JSON Web Tokens being the stars of the advanced security flows, less 'glamorous' SAML security tokens have been continuing helping to secure the existing services.

CXF JAX-RS has been providing a comprehensive support for SAML assertions for a while now which is being relied upon in a number of productions. I'd also like to encourage the developers who work with SAML give this access control feature a try.

The question which is often being asked is how a JAX-RS client gets these assertions. Please read this informative blog post explaining how CXF JAX-RS clients can seamlessly get a SAML assertion from a WS STS service and use it with the server validating it against STS or locally.

Please also check this section if you are you curious how to reuse SAML assertions in OAuth2 flows.

  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Practical Cryptography with Apache CXF JOSE

It has been a year since I had a chance to talk about Practical JOSE in Apache CXF at Apache Con NA 2015.

We have significantly improved CXF JOSE implementation  since then, with Colm helping a lot with the code, tests, documentation. The code has become more thoroughly tested, the configuration - better, with the documentation being updated recently. 

Production quality CXF STS service can now issue JOSE-protected JWT assertions and Fediz OpenId Connect project directly depends on JOSE in order to secure OIDC IdTokens.

But it is important to realize that doing JOSE does not mean you need to do OAuth2 in general or OpenId Connect in particular, though it is definitely true that understanding JOSE will help when you decide to work with OAuth2/OIDC.
As such, a web service developer can experiment with JOSE in a number of ways.

One approach is to use JWS Signature or JWE Encryption helpers to sign and/or encrypt the arbitrary data.

For example, have your service receiving a confidential String over 2-way HTTPS, then JWE-encrypt and save it to the database to ensure the data is safe or JWS-sign only and forward further, being assured the data won't be modified, and choose between JWS Compact or JSON representations.

Have you already heard JOSE sequences have the data Base64 URL encoded ? Try JWS JSON with an unencoded payload option.

Another approach is let CXF do JOSE for you. Use CXF JOSE filters and make service data secured by typing few lines of text in the configuration properties.
These filters will do the best effort at streaming the outbound data while preparing JOSE sequences.

Would you like to link client JWT assertions obtained with the progressive services such as CXF STS to the data being protected ? Add a couple of filters

I honestly think that JOSE is the best technology which can help many of us  understand better what cryptography is.

Start with selecting a signature algorithm. You most likely have a Java JKS key store somewhere around, so go for 'RS256'. Get the private key out and sign, then get a public key and validate as shown here.
Next try to encrypt, select RSA-OEPA to make it real fast given that you have this JKS store. Use a public key to secure a content encryption key generated by CXF for you and then do A128GCM content encryption. Finish with decrypting the content with a private key.

Works ? Interested in trying different key sizes or combinations of JOSE algorithms ? No problems, try them fast. Learn more about these algorithms next. See how it all works when the CXF JOSE filters do the work.

We've thought a lot on how to help developers start experimenting with JOSE as fast and easy as possible and I hope those of you who will start working with CXF JOSE code will help us make it even better.

Would like to use some other quality JOSE libraries such as these ones ?  No problems, use them inside your custom JAX-RS filters or directly in the service code.

You may say, I'm not really seeing others use JOSE in regular HTTP services work. Let me finish with this advice: please do not worry about it, be a pioneer, experiment and find new interesting ways to secure your services and prepare them to work in the world of JOSE-protected tokens and data flowing everywhere.

Do JOSE today, convince your boss your team needs it :-), become a cryptography expert. Enjoy !




Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Observations about Apache Con NA 2016

This year Apache Con NA was held in Vancouver BC.

As usual, being at Apache Con gives a chance to talk to your fellow Open Source developers and this year it was as great as ever - meeting my old and new Talend colleagues, talking to those I already have met before and getting to know other people attending the conference was nice. 
The conference hotel was few hundred meters away from the waterfront where one could walk or run to a green Stanley Park:


Now let me talk about the actual conference. Big Data and Core conference are no longer run at the same time, with a single day intersection only. I guess I was preferring a more compact 'mix-in' format as I could attend to either BigData or Core presentations in a fewer number of days. But organizing a successful conference is very difficult - in the end of the day whatever format works best for Apache Con is the winning format.

I did like and learn something new from all the keynotes I listened to but I particularly enjoyed an Open Source is a Positive Sum Game by Sam Ramji. Have you ever  looked at the schedule, not sure what to expect from the listed talks, and then someone starts speaking and you realize you are listening to a visionary ?  This is what I felt when listening to Sam.

A number of other talks were interesting. My colleague JB's presentations were both interesting and entertaining, and I was also happy to see Hadrian and Jamie, both my former colleagues :-), co-presenting

I think Colm and myself had a good audience during our presentation. It must've been difficult for those who attended to listen to a lot of security related information presented on Friday after lunch :-) and we are grateful to all who were there. I did overrun by 1 minute though and we had no chance to talk to the audience afterwards but we did convey a lot of information during our talk.

And then finally we had the last few presentations to choose from and we made it to a Shawn McKinney's presentation. Now imagine it is 16.00, late Friday afternoon, and you are about to listen to yet another security related talk :-). I think Shawn did remarkably well. Shawn's down to earth, likeable presentation style made the real difference. And while I did learn few things about Role Based Access Control (such as the temporal restrictions), what really did get to me were Shawn's advices to "test and re-use".  You may say it is all quite obvious but sometimes one can get lax on either of those fundamentals, myself including. I'd like to talk about some of the thoughts I've had about the 're-use vs implement yourself' later on.

It was great to be there :-)




   

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Talking about Fediz OIDC at Apache Con NA 2016

Colm and myself are going to talk about Fediz OpenId Connect at Apache Con NA 2016. The session is on Friday 13th May.

Be there if you can, you can then tell your grandchildren you were at the 1st public presentation about Fediz OIDC :-)

I do look forward to being at Apache Con again. Seeing and talking to the colleagues from Apache CXF and other projects is always super great.

[OT] U2 Innocence And Experience or Understand HTTP services with CXF

I've already told to all of my colleagues who would listen how lucky I was to get a chance to listen live to U2 who played several concerts in Dublin as part of their Innocence and Experience tour

I've already told why I like U2. But seeing them playing live is really special. The voice is so good it is shocking at first. They are hard working and innovative, despite not being that young any more, the latter part is something I can definitely associate with :-).

In all of the [OT] entries on my blog I'm trying to look for a 'connection' to Apache CXF. No exception this time:

Apache CXF is not only a place where one can have a Web/HTTP Service created. But also go from a Novice to Expert in building such services. CXF may not offer a way for a Hello World application be created for you without doing anything at all. But it has been known to deliver in supporting most demanding services. By the time the developers have those services up and running they have become the experts who know what it takes to write a service that works well. They have moved from the 'Innocence' of Hello World services to 'Experience' required to support Real World services. 

 

 

CXF Master JAX-RS 2.1 Branch is Opened

Good news for CXF JAX-RS users: Andriy Redko has opened a CXF Master JAX-RS 2.1 branch. Server Side Events is the first feature of 2.1 API which is supported on this branch. Having this 2.1 API Snapshot is handy.

The development of JAX-RS 2.1 has been frustratingly slow but there's some progress nonetheless with Jersey (RI) expected to be ready as soon as realistically possible, given that all the major features proposed for JAX-RS 2.1 have already been implemented in Jersey.

JAX-RS is easily the best API for building REST clients and servers. Despite the process difficulties it will continue evolving. Use it and believe more is to come in the JAX-RS space.