5. HttpSession Integration

Spring Session provides transparent integration with HttpSession. This means that developers can switch the HttpSession implementation out with an implementation that is backed by Spring Session.

5.1 Why Spring Session & HttpSession?

We have already mentioned that Spring Session provides transparent integration with HttpSession, but what benefits do we get out of this?

  • Clustered Sessions - Spring Session makes it trivial to support clustered sessions without being tied to an application container specific solution.
  • RESTful APIs - Spring Session allows providing session IDs in headers to work with RESTful APIs

5.2 HttpSession with Redis

Using Spring Session with HttpSession is enabled by adding a Servlet Filter before anything that uses the HttpSession. You can choose from enabling this using either:

5.2.1 Redis Java Based Configuration

This section describes how to use Redis to back HttpSession using Java based configuration.

[Note]Note

The HttpSession Sample provides a working sample on how to integrate Spring Session and HttpSession using Java configuration. You can read the basic steps for integration below, but you are encouraged to follow along with the detailed HttpSession Guide when integrating with your own application.

Spring Java 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:

@EnableRedisHttpSession 1
public class Config {

	@Bean
	public LettuceConnectionFactory connectionFactory() {
		return new LettuceConnectionFactory(); 2
	}
}

1

The @EnableRedisHttpSession 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 Redis.

2

We create a RedisConnectionFactory that connects Spring Session to the Redis Server. We configure the connection to connect to localhost on the default port (6379) For more information on configuring Spring Data Redis, refer to the reference documentation.

Java 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. Last we need to ensure that our Servlet Container (i.e. Tomcat) uses our springSessionRepositoryFilter for every request. Fortunately, Spring Session provides a utility class named AbstractHttpSessionApplicationInitializer both of these steps extremely easy. You can find an example below:

src/main/java/sample/Initializer.java. 

public class Initializer extends AbstractHttpSessionApplicationInitializer { 1

	public Initializer() {
		super(Config.class); 2
	}
}

[Note]Note

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

1

The first step is to extend AbstractHttpSessionApplicationInitializer. This ensures that the Spring Bean by the name springSessionRepositoryFilter is registered with our Servlet Container for every request.

2

AbstractHttpSessionApplicationInitializer also provides a mechanism to easily ensure Spring loads our Config.

5.2.2 Redis XML Based Configuration

This section describes how to use Redis to back HttpSession using XML based configuration.

[Note]Note

The HttpSession XML Sample provides a working sample on how to integrate Spring Session and HttpSession using XML configuration. You can read the basic steps for integration below, but you are encouraged to follow along with the detailed HttpSession XML Guide when integrating with your own application.

Spring XML 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:

src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/spring/session.xml. 

1
<context:annotation-config/>
<bean class="org.springframework.session.data.redis.config.annotation.web.http.RedisHttpSessionConfiguration"/>

2
<bean class="org.springframework.data.redis.connection.lettuce.LettuceConnectionFactory"/>

1

We use the combination of <context:annotation-config/> and RedisHttpSessionConfiguration because Spring Session does not yet provide XML Namespace support (see gh-104). This 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 Redis.

2

We create a RedisConnectionFactory that connects Spring Session to the Redis Server. We configure the connection to connect to localhost on the default port (6379) For more information on configuring Spring Data Redis, refer to the reference documentation.

XML 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, we need to instruct Spring to load our session.xml configuration. We do this with the following configuration:

src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/web.xml. 

<context-param>
	<param-name>contextConfigLocation</param-name>
	<param-value>
		/WEB-INF/spring/*.xml
	</param-value>
</context-param>
<listener>
	<listener-class>
		org.springframework.web.context.ContextLoaderListener
	</listener-class>
</listener>

The ContextLoaderListener reads the contextConfigLocation and picks up our session.xml configuration.

Last we need to ensure that our Servlet Container (i.e. Tomcat) uses our springSessionRepositoryFilter for every request. The following snippet performs this last step for us:

src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/web.xml. 

<filter>
	<filter-name>springSessionRepositoryFilter</filter-name>
	<filter-class>org.springframework.web.filter.DelegatingFilterProxy</filter-class>
</filter>
<filter-mapping>
	<filter-name>springSessionRepositoryFilter</filter-name>
	<url-pattern>/*</url-pattern>
	<dispatcher>REQUEST</dispatcher>
	<dispatcher>ERROR</dispatcher>
</filter-mapping>

The DelegatingFilterProxy will look up a Bean by the name of springSessionRepositoryFilter and cast it to a Filter. For every request that DelegatingFilterProxy is invoked, the springSessionRepositoryFilter will be invoked.

5.3 HttpSession with JDBC

Using Spring Session with HttpSession is enabled by adding a Servlet Filter before anything that uses the HttpSession. You can choose from enabling this using either:

5.3.1 JDBC Java Based Configuration

This section describes how to use a relational database to back HttpSession using Java based configuration.

[Note]Note

The HttpSession JDBC Sample provides a working sample on how to integrate Spring Session and HttpSession using Java configuration. You can read the basic steps for integration below, but you are encouraged to follow along with the detailed HttpSession JDBC Guide when integrating with your own application.

Spring Java 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:

@EnableJdbcHttpSession 1
public class Config {

	@Bean
	public EmbeddedDatabase dataSource() {
		return new EmbeddedDatabaseBuilder() 2
				.setType(EmbeddedDatabaseType.H2)
				.addScript("org/springframework/session/jdbc/schema-h2.sql").build();
	}

	@Bean
	public PlatformTransactionManager transactionManager(DataSource dataSource) {
		return new DataSourceTransactionManager(dataSource); 3
	}

}

1

The @EnableJdbcHttpSession 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 a relational database.

2

We create a dataSource that connects Spring Session to an embedded instance of H2 database. We configure the H2 database to create database tables using the SQL script which is included in Spring Session.

3

We create a transactionManager that manages transactions for previously configured dataSource.

For additional information on how to configure data access related concerns, please refer to the Spring Framework Reference Documentation.

Java 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. Last we need to ensure that our Servlet Container (i.e. Tomcat) uses our springSessionRepositoryFilter for every request. Fortunately, Spring Session provides a utility class named AbstractHttpSessionApplicationInitializer both of these steps extremely easy. You can find an example below:

src/main/java/sample/Initializer.java. 

public class Initializer extends AbstractHttpSessionApplicationInitializer { 1

	public Initializer() {
		super(Config.class); 2
	}
}

[Note]Note

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

1

The first step is to extend AbstractHttpSessionApplicationInitializer. This ensures that the Spring Bean by the name springSessionRepositoryFilter is registered with our Servlet Container for every request.

2

AbstractHttpSessionApplicationInitializer also provides a mechanism to easily ensure Spring loads our Config.

5.3.2 JDBC XML Based Configuration

This section describes how to use a relational database to back HttpSession using XML based configuration.

[Note]Note

The HttpSession JDBC XML Sample provides a working sample on how to integrate Spring Session and HttpSession using XML configuration. You can read the basic steps for integration below, but you are encouraged to follow along with the detailed HttpSession JDBC XML Guide when integrating with your own application.

Spring XML 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:

src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/spring/session.xml. 

1
<context:annotation-config/>
<bean class="org.springframework.session.jdbc.config.annotation.web.http.JdbcHttpSessionConfiguration"/>

2
<jdbc:embedded-database id="dataSource" database-name="testdb" type="H2">
	<jdbc:script location="classpath:org/springframework/session/jdbc/schema-h2.sql"/>
</jdbc:embedded-database>

3
<bean class="org.springframework.jdbc.datasource.DataSourceTransactionManager">
	<constructor-arg ref="dataSource"/>
</bean>

1

We use the combination of <context:annotation-config/> and JdbcHttpSessionConfiguration because Spring Session does not yet provide XML Namespace support (see gh-104). This 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 a relational database.

2

We create a dataSource that connects Spring Session to an embedded instance of H2 database. We configure the H2 database to create database tables using the SQL script which is included in Spring Session.

3

We create a transactionManager that manages transactions for previously configured dataSource.

For additional information on how to configure data access related concerns, please refer to the Spring Framework Reference Documentation.

XML 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, we need to instruct Spring to load our session.xml configuration. We do this with the following configuration:

src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/web.xml. 

<context-param>
	<param-name>contextConfigLocation</param-name>
	<param-value>
		/WEB-INF/spring/*.xml
	</param-value>
</context-param>
<listener>
	<listener-class>
		org.springframework.web.context.ContextLoaderListener
	</listener-class>
</listener>

The ContextLoaderListener reads the contextConfigLocation and picks up our session.xml configuration.

Last we need to ensure that our Servlet Container (i.e. Tomcat) uses our springSessionRepositoryFilter for every request. The following snippet performs this last step for us:

src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/web.xml. 

<filter>
	<filter-name>springSessionRepositoryFilter</filter-name>
	<filter-class>org.springframework.web.filter.DelegatingFilterProxy</filter-class>
</filter>
<filter-mapping>
	<filter-name>springSessionRepositoryFilter</filter-name>
	<url-pattern>/*</url-pattern>
	<dispatcher>REQUEST</dispatcher>
	<dispatcher>ERROR</dispatcher>
</filter-mapping>

The DelegatingFilterProxy will look up a Bean by the name of springSessionRepositoryFilter and cast it to a Filter. For every request that DelegatingFilterProxy is invoked, the springSessionRepositoryFilter will be invoked.

5.3.3 JDBC Spring Boot Based Configuration

This section describes how to use a relational database to back HttpSession when using Spring Boot.

[Note]Note

The HttpSession JDBC Spring Boot Sample provides a working sample on how to integrate Spring Session and HttpSession using Spring Boot. You can read the basic steps for integration below, but you are encouraged to follow along with the detailed HttpSession JDBC Spring Boot Guide when integrating with your own application.

Spring Boot Configuration

After adding the required dependencies, we can create our Spring Boot configuration. Thanks to first-class auto configuration support, setting up Spring Session backed by a relational database is as simple as adding a single configuration property to your application.properties:

src/main/resources/application.properties. 

spring.session.store-type=jdbc # Session store type.

Under the hood, Spring Boot will apply configuration that is equivalent to manually adding @EnableJdbcHttpSession annotation. This 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.

Further customization is possible using application.properties:

src/main/resources/application.properties. 

server.servlet.session.timeout= # Session timeout. If a duration suffix is not specified, seconds will be used.
spring.session.jdbc.initialize-schema=embedded # Database schema initialization mode.
spring.session.jdbc.schema=classpath:org/springframework/session/jdbc/[email protected]@[email protected]@.sql # Path to the SQL file to use to initialize the database schema.
spring.session.jdbc.table-name=SPRING_SESSION # Name of the database table used to store sessions.

For more information, refer to Spring Session portion of the Spring Boot documentation.

Configuring the DataSource

Spring Boot automatically creates a DataSource that connects Spring Session to an embedded instance of H2 database. In a production environment you need to ensure to update your configuration to point to your relational database. For example, you can include the following in your application.properties

src/main/resources/application.properties. 

spring.datasource.url= # JDBC URL of the database.
spring.datasource.username= # Login username of the database.
spring.datasource.password= # Login password of the database.

For more information, refer to Configure a DataSource portion of the Spring Boot documentation.

Servlet Container Initialization

Our Spring Boot 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. Last we need to ensure that our Servlet Container (i.e. Tomcat) uses our springSessionRepositoryFilter for every request. Fortunately, Spring Boot takes care of both of these steps for us.

5.4 HttpSession with Hazelcast

Using Spring Session with HttpSession is enabled by adding a Servlet Filter before anything that uses the HttpSession.

This section describes how to use Hazelcast to back HttpSession using Java based configuration.

[Note]Note

The Hazelcast Spring Sample provides a working sample on how to integrate Spring Session and HttpSession using Java configuration. You can read the basic steps for integration below, but you are encouraged to follow along with the detailed Hazelcast Spring Guide when integrating with your own application.

5.4.1 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
@Configuration
public class HazelcastHttpSessionConfig {

	@Bean
	public HazelcastInstance hazelcastInstance() {
		MapAttributeConfig attributeConfig = new MapAttributeConfig()
				.setName(HazelcastSessionRepository.PRINCIPAL_NAME_ATTRIBUTE)
				.setExtractor(PrincipalNameExtractor.class.getName());

		Config config = new Config();

		config.getMapConfig(HazelcastSessionRepository.DEFAULT_SESSION_MAP_NAME) 2
				.addMapAttributeConfig(attributeConfig)
				.addMapIndexConfig(new MapIndexConfig(
						HazelcastSessionRepository.PRINCIPAL_NAME_ATTRIBUTE, false));

		return Hazelcast.newHazelcastInstance(config); 3
	}

}

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

In order to support retrieval of sessions by principal name index, appropriate ValueExtractor needs to be registered. Spring Session provides PrincipalNameExtractor for this purpose.

3

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.

5.4.2 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 SessionConfig class. Since our application is already loading Spring configuration using our SecurityInitializer class, we can simply add our SessionConfig class to it.

src/main/java/sample/SecurityInitializer.java. 

public class SecurityInitializer extends AbstractSecurityWebApplicationInitializer {

	public SecurityInitializer() {
		super(SecurityConfig.class, SessionConfig.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:

src/main/java/sample/Initializer.java. 

public class Initializer extends AbstractHttpSessionApplicationInitializer {

}

[Note]Note

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.

5.5 How HttpSession Integration Works

Fortunately both HttpSession and HttpServletRequest (the API for obtaining an HttpSession) are both interfaces. This means that we can provide our own implementations for each of these APIs.

[Note]Note

This section describes how Spring Session provides transparent integration with HttpSession. The intent is so that user’s can understand what is happening under the covers. This functionality is already integrated and you do NOT need to implement this logic yourself.

First we create a custom HttpServletRequest that returns a custom implementation of HttpSession. It looks something like the following:

public class SessionRepositoryRequestWrapper extends HttpServletRequestWrapper {

	public SessionRepositoryRequestWrapper(HttpServletRequest original) {
		super(original);
	}

	public HttpSession getSession() {
		return getSession(true);
	}

	public HttpSession getSession(boolean createNew) {
		// create an HttpSession implementation from Spring Session
	}

	// ... other methods delegate to the original HttpServletRequest ...
}

Any method that returns an HttpSession is overridden. All other methods are implemented by HttpServletRequestWrapper and simply delegate to the original HttpServletRequest implementation.

We replace the HttpServletRequest implementation using a servlet Filter called SessionRepositoryFilter. The pseudocode can be found below:

public class SessionRepositoryFilter implements Filter {

	public doFilter(ServletRequest request, ServletResponse response, FilterChain chain) {
		HttpServletRequest httpRequest = (HttpServletRequest) request;
		SessionRepositoryRequestWrapper customRequest =
			new SessionRepositoryRequestWrapper(httpRequest);

		chain.doFilter(customRequest, response, chain);
	}

	// ...
}

By passing in a custom HttpServletRequest implementation into the FilterChain we ensure that anything invoked after our Filter uses the custom HttpSession implementation. This highlights why it is important that Spring Session’s SessionRepositoryFilter must be placed before anything that interacts with the HttpSession.

5.6 HttpSession & RESTful APIs

Spring Session can work with RESTful APIs by allowing the session to be provided in a header.

[Note]Note

The REST Sample provides a working sample on how to use Spring Session in a REST application to support authenticating with a header. You can follow the basic steps for integration below, but you are encouraged to follow along with the detailed REST Guide when integrating with your own application.

5.6.1 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:

@Configuration
@EnableRedisHttpSession 1
public class HttpSessionConfig {

	@Bean
	public LettuceConnectionFactory connectionFactory() {
		return new LettuceConnectionFactory(); 2
	}

	@Bean
	public HttpSessionIdResolver httpSessionIdResolver() {
		return HeaderHttpSessionIdResolver.xAuthToken(); 3
	}
}

1

The @EnableRedisHttpSession 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 Redis.

2

We create a RedisConnectionFactory that connects Spring Session to the Redis Server. We configure the connection to connect to localhost on the default port (6379) For more information on configuring Spring Data Redis, refer to the reference documentation.

3

We customize Spring Session’s HttpSession integration to use HTTP headers to convey the current session information instead of cookies.

5.6.2 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. We provide the configuration in our Spring MvcInitializer as shown below:

src/main/java/sample/mvc/MvcInitializer.java. 

@Override
protected Class<?>[] getRootConfigClasses() {
	return new Class[] { SecurityConfig.class, HttpSessionConfig.class };
}

Last we need to ensure that our Servlet Container (i.e. Tomcat) uses our springSessionRepositoryFilter for every request. Fortunately, Spring Session provides a utility class named AbstractHttpSessionApplicationInitializer that makes this extremely easy. Simply extend the class with the default constructor as shown below:

src/main/java/sample/Initializer.java. 

public class Initializer extends AbstractHttpSessionApplicationInitializer {

}

[Note]Note

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

5.7 HttpSessionListener

Spring Session supports HttpSessionListener by translating SessionDestroyedEvent and SessionCreatedEvent into HttpSessionEvent by declaring SessionEventHttpSessionListenerAdapter. To use this support, you need to:

  • Ensure your SessionRepository implementation supports and is configured to fire SessionDestroyedEvent and SessionCreatedEvent.
  • Configure SessionEventHttpSessionListenerAdapter as a Spring bean.
  • Inject every HttpSessionListener into the SessionEventHttpSessionListenerAdapter

If you are using the configuration support documented in HttpSession with Redis, then all you need to do is register every HttpSessionListener as a bean. For example, assume you want to support Spring Security’s concurrency control and need to use HttpSessionEventPublisher you can simply add HttpSessionEventPublisher as a bean. In Java configuration, this might look like:

@Configuration
@EnableRedisHttpSession
public class RedisHttpSessionConfig {

	@Bean
	public HttpSessionEventPublisher httpSessionEventPublisher() {
		return new HttpSessionEventPublisher();
	}

	// ...
}

In XML configuration, this might look like:

<bean class="org.springframework.security.web.session.HttpSessionEventPublisher"/>