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