Authorization Example

This example demonstrates the basics of an implementation of the SecurityManager.authorize method. The remainder of the example may be found within the Pivotal GemFire source code within the geode-core/src/main/java/org/apache/geode/examples/security directory.

Of course, the security implementation of every installation is unique, so this example cannot be used in a production environment, as the roles and permissions will not match the needs of any real distributed system.

This example assumes that a set of users, a set of roles that a user might take on within the system, and a mapping of users to their roles are described in a JSON format file. The roles define a set of authorized resource permissions granted for users in those roles. Code not shown here parses the file to compose a data structure with the information on roles and users. The authorize callback denies permission for any operation that does not have a principal representing the identity of the operation’s requester. Given the principal, the method iterates through the data structure searching for the necessary permissions for the principal. When the necessary permission is found, authorization is granted by returning the value true. If the permission is not found in the data structure, then the method returns false, denying authorization of the operation.

public boolean authorize(final Object principal, final ResourcePermission context) {
    if (principal == null) return false;

    User user = this.userNameToUser.get(principal.toString());
    if (user == null) return false; // this user is not authorized to do anything

    // check if the user has this permission defined in the context
    for (Role role : this.userNameToUser.get( {
        for (Permission permitted : role.permissions) {
            if (permitted.implies(context)) {
                return true;

    return false;