This guide describes how to use Spring Session along with Spring Security using Hazelcast as your data store. It assumes you have already applied Spring Security to your application.

The completed guide can be found in the Hazelcast Spring Security sample application.

Updating Dependencies

Before you use Spring Session, you must ensure to update your dependencies. If you are using Maven, ensure to add the following dependencies:

        <!-- ... -->


Spring Configuration

After adding the required dependencies, we can create our Spring configuration. The Spring configuration is responsible for creating a Servlet Filter that replaces the HttpSession implementation with an implementation backed by Spring Session. Add the following Spring Configuration:

@EnableHazelcastHttpSession (1)
public class HazelcastHttpSessionConfig {
        public HazelcastInstance embeddedHazelcast() {
                Config hazelcastConfig = new Config();
                return Hazelcast.newHazelcastInstance(hazelcastConfig); (2)
1 The @EnableHazelcastHttpSession annotation creates a Spring Bean with the name of springSessionRepositoryFilter that implements Filter. The filter is what is in charge of replacing the HttpSession implementation to be backed by Spring Session. In this instance Spring Session is backed by Hazelcast.
2 We create a HazelcastInstance that connects Spring Session to Hazelcast. By default, an embedded instance of Hazelcast is started and connected to by the application. For more information on configuring Hazelcast, refer to the reference documentation.

Servlet Container Initialization

Our Spring Configuration created a Spring Bean named springSessionRepositoryFilter that implements Filter. The springSessionRepositoryFilter bean is responsible for replacing the HttpSession with a custom implementation that is backed by Spring Session.

In order for our Filter to do its magic, Spring needs to load our Config class. Since our application is already loading Spring configuration using our SecurityInitializer class, we can simply add our Config class to it.

public class SecurityInitializer extends
                AbstractSecurityWebApplicationInitializer {

        public SecurityInitializer() {
                super(SecurityConfig.class, Config.class);

Last we need to ensure that our Servlet Container (i.e. Tomcat) uses our springSessionRepositoryFilter for every request. It is extremely important that Spring Session’s springSessionRepositoryFilter is invoked before Spring Security’s springSecurityFilterChain. This ensures that the HttpSession that Spring Security uses is backed by Spring Session. Fortunately, Spring Session provides a utility class named AbstractHttpSessionApplicationInitializer that makes this extremely easy. You can find an example below:

public class Initializer extends AbstractHttpSessionApplicationInitializer {

The name of our class (Initializer) does not matter. What is important is that we extend AbstractHttpSessionApplicationInitializer.

By extending AbstractHttpSessionApplicationInitializer we ensure that the Spring Bean by the name springSessionRepositoryFilter is registered with our Servlet Container for every request before Spring Security’s springSecurityFilterChain.

Hazelcast Spring Security Sample Application

Running the Sample Application

You can run the sample by obtaining the source code and invoking the following command:

Hazelcast will run in embedded mode with your application by default, but if you want to connect to a stand alone instance instead, you can configure it by following the instructions in the reference documentation.

$ ./gradlew :samples:hazelcast-spring:tomcatRun

You should now be able to access the application at http://localhost:8080/

Exploring the security Sample Application

Try using the application. Enter the following to log in:

  • Username user

  • Password password

Now click the Login button. You should now see a message indicating your are logged in with the user entered previously. The user’s information is stored in Hazelcast rather than Tomcat’s HttpSession implementation.

How does it work?

Instead of using Tomcat’s HttpSession, we are actually persisting the values in Hazelcast. Spring Session replaces the HttpSession with an implementation that is backed by a Map in Hazelcast. When Spring Security’s SecurityContextPersistenceFilter saves the SecurityContext to the HttpSession it is then persisted into Hazelcast.

When a new HttpSession is created, Spring Session creates a cookie named SESSION in your browser that contains the id of your session. Go ahead and view the cookies (click for help with Chrome or Firefox).

Interact with the data store

If you like, you can remove the session using a Java client, one of the other clients, or the management center.

Using the console

For example, using the management center console after connecting to your Hazelcast node:

default> ns spring:session:sessions
spring:session:sessions> m.clear
The Hazelcast documentation has instructions for the console.

Alternatively, you can also delete the explicit key. Enter the following into the console ensuring to replace 7e8383a4-082c-4ffe-a4bc-c40fd3363c5e with the value of your SESSION cookie:

spring:session:sessions> m.remove 7e8383a4-082c-4ffe-a4bc-c40fd3363c5e

Now visit the application at http://localhost:8080/ and observe that we are no longer authenticated.

Using the REST API

As described in the other clients section of the documentation, there is a REST API provided by the Hazelcast node(s).

For example, you could delete an individual key as follows (replacing 7e8383a4-082c-4ffe-a4bc-c40fd3363c5e with the value of your SESSION cookie):

$ curl -v -X DELETE http://localhost:xxxxx/hazelcast/rest/maps/spring:session:sessions/7e8383a4-082c-4ffe-a4bc-c40fd3363c5e
The port number of the Hazelcast node will be printed to the console on startup. Replace xxxxx above with the port number.

Now observe that you are no longer authenticated with this session.