Spring Security Java API: Authorization

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Spring Security Java API: Authorization

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By Luciano Balmaceda

This tutorial demonstrates how to add authorization to a Spring Security API. We recommend you to Log in to follow this quickstart with examples configured for your account.

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2 minutes

Get a sample configured with your account settings or check it out on Github.

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System requirements: Java 8 or above | Maven 3.0.x or above

New to Auth0? Learn how Auth0 works and read about implementing API authentication and authorization using the OAuth 2.0 framework.

Configure Auth0 APIs

Create an API

In the APIs section of the Auth0 dashboard, click Create API. Provide a name and an identifier for your API, for example https://quickstarts/api. You will use the identifier as an audience later, when you are configuring the Access Token verification. For Signing Algorithm, select RS256.

Create API

By default, your API uses RS256 as the algorithm for signing tokens. Since RS256 uses a private/public keypair, it verifies the tokens against the public key for your Auth0 account. The public key is in the JSON Web Key Set (JWKS) format, and can be accessed here.

Define scopes

Scopes let you define which resources can be accessed by the user with a given Access Token. For example, you might choose to grant read access to the messages resource if users have the manager access level, and a write access to that resource if they have the administrator access level.

You can add the required scopes in the Scopes tab of the Auth0 Dashboard's APIs section.

Configure Scopes

This example uses the read:messages scope.

This example demonstrates:

  • How to check for a JSON Web Token (JWT) in the Authorization header of an incoming HTTP request.

  • How to check if the token is valid, using the JSON Web Key Set (JWKS) for your Auth0 account. To learn more about validating Access Tokens, read the Verify Access Tokens tutorial.

Configure the Sample Project

The sample project has a /src/main/resources/ file which configures it to use the correct Auth0 Domain and API Identifier for your API. If you download the code from this page it will be automatically filled. If you use the example from Github, you will need to fill it yourself.

Attribute Description
auth0.issuer The issuer of the JWT Token. Typically, this is your Auth0 domain with a https:// prefix and a / suffix. For example, if your Auth0 domain is, the auth0.issuer must be set to (the trailing slash is important).
auth0.apiAudience The unique identifier for your API. If you are following the steps in this tutorial it would be https://quickstarts/api.

Validate Access Tokens

Install dependencies

Add the auth0-spring-security-api dependency.

If you are using Maven, add the dependency to your pom.xml file:

If you are using Gradle, add the dependency to the dependencies block:

Configure JSON Web Token signature algorithm

Configure your API to use the RS256 signing algorithm.

Protect API Endpoints

The routes shown below are available for the following requests:

  • GET /api/public: available for non-authenticated requests
  • GET /api/private: available for authenticated requests containing an Access Token with no additional scopes
  • GET /api/private-scoped: available for authenticated requests containing an Access Token with the read:messages scope granted

The example below shows how to implement secure API methods. In the AppConfig class, add route matchers to the snippet. The hasAuthority() method provides a way to specify the required scope for the resource.

Create the API Controller

Create a new class called APIController to handle each request to the endpoints.

Next, in the file, configure which endpoints are secure and which are not.

To build and run the seed project, use the command: mvn spring-boot:run.

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