Stateless Spring Security Part 3: JWT + Social Authentication

This third and final part in my Stateless Spring Security series is about mixing previous post about JWT token based authentication with spring-social-security. This post directly builds upon it and focusses mostly on the changed parts. The idea is to substitude the username/password based login with “Login with Facebook” functionality based on OAuth 2, but still use the same token based authentication after that.

Login flow


The user clicks on the “Login with Facebook” button which is a simple link to “/auth/facebook”, the SocialAuthenticationFilter notices the lack of additional query parameters and triggers a redirect leading the user of your site to Facebook. They login with their username/password and are redirected back, again to “/auth/facebook” but this time with “?code=…&state=…” parameters specified. (If the user previously logged in at facebook and had a cookie set, facebook will even instantly redirect back and no facebook screen is shown at all to the user.) The fun part is that you can follow this in a browsers network log as it’s all done using plain HTTP 302 redirects. (The “Location” header in the HTTP response is used to tell the browser where to go next)

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Grails: Preventing naming collisions

Since version 2.2 Grails, has better support for managing namespace configuration. This helps to prevent common namespace problems. For example most applications which have security functionality, have for example a UserDetailService which can conflict when you have the Grails SpringSecurity plugin installed. Grails version 2.2. and later comes with four useful techniques to make sure the right class is used

Aliases for Services

If Grails does not find an existing service with a similar name, Grails will automatically generate an alias for you service with the name of the plugin prefix. For example when you have a plugin called UserUtilities and a service called UserDetailService, you can use UserUtilitiesUserDetailService for dependency injection which will not conflict with the SpringSecurity UserDetailService

GORM Table prefixes for domain classes

When you have the grails.gorm.table.prefix.enabled set to true in you Config.groovy, Grails will use the plugin name as prefix for your database table. E.g. if you have a domain User in the UserUtilities plugin, the table name will become USER_UTILITIES_USER.

More specific URL mapping

The UrlMappings.groovy file has now a plugin attribute to specify a specific plugin

Plugin parameter for GSP controller tags

You now can add a plugin attribute to the link tag to specify the controller of a specific plugin

Gradle Goodness: Rename Ant Task Names When Importing Ant Build File

Migrating from Ant to Gradle is very easy with the importBuild method from AntBuilder. We only have to add this single line and reference our existing Ant build XML file and all Ant tasks can now be executed as Gradle tasks. We can automatically rename the Ant tasks if we want to avoid task name collisions with Gradle task names. We use a closure argument with the importBuild method and return the new task names. The existing Ant task name is the first argument of the closure.

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Java 8 StringJoiner

At the release of Java 8 the most attention went to the Lamda’s, the new Date API and the Nashorn Javascript engine. In the shade of these, there are smaller but also interesting changes. Amongst them is the introduction of a StringJoiner. The StringJoiner is a utility to delimit a list of characters or strings. You may recognize the code below:

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Awesome Asciidoctor: Nested Delimited Blocks

In our Asciidoc markup we can include delimited blocks, like sidebars, examples, listings and admonitions. A delimited block is indicated by a balanced pair of delimiter characters. For example a sidebar starts and ends with four asterisk characters (****). If we want to nest another delimited block of the same type we must add an extra delimiter character at the start and end of the nested block. So when we want to nest another sidebar block inside an existing sidebar block we must use five asterisk characters (*****).

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Groovy @CompileStatic vs. Grails new @GrailsCompileStatic

Grails is built on Groovy which is known as a dynamic language. The dynamic nature of Groovy offers a lot of powerful features but also defers the detection of errors from compile time to runtime. To shorten the feedback cycle for your code Groovy has a handy annotation which will make sure that your classes is are statically compiled. This will give you fast feedback for a lot of mistakes and you also will benefit from the increased performance offered by the static complication.
Unfortunately in Grails this annotation prevents you from using the very useful dynamic GORM methods like list(), get() and the dynamic finder methods. Groovy does not recognize these Grails methods during compile time; see the example below.

Grails version 2.4 comes with a new annotation called @GrailsCompileStatic. This annotation is able to recognize specific Grails code constructs and will make sure they will be accessed in a dynamic way.