Spring Boot API: Authorization

Gravatar for jim.anderson@auth0.com
By Jim Anderson

This tutorial demonstrates how to add authorization to an API using the Okta Spring Boot Starter. We recommend that you log in to follow this quickstart with examples configured for your account.

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System requirements: Java 17

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, see Validate Access Tokens.

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. Leave the Signing Algorithm as 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 permissions

Permissions let you define how resources can be accessed on behalf of 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 define allowed permissions in the Permissions view of the Auth0 Dashboard's APIs section.

Configure Permissions

Configure the Sample Project

The sample project uses a /src/main/resources/application.yml 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 configured. If you clone the example from GitHub, you will need to fill it in yourself.

    # Replace with the domain of your Auth0 tenant.
    issuer: https://{yourDomain}/
    # Replace with the API Identifier for your Auth0 API.
    audience: {yourApiIdentifier}

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Attribute Description
okta.oauth2.audience The unique identifier for your API. If you are following the steps in this tutorial it would be https://quickstarts/api.
okta.oauth2.issuer The issuer URI of the resource server, which will be the value of the iss claim in the JWT issued by Auth0. Spring Security will use this property to discover the authorization server's public keys and validate the JWT signature. The value will be your Auth0 domain with an https:// prefix and a / suffix (the trailing slash is important).

Install dependencies

If you are using Gradle, you can add the required dependencies using the Spring Boot Gradle Plugin and the Dependency Management Plugin to resolve dependency versions:

// build.gradle

plugins {
    id 'java'
    id 'org.springframework.boot' version '3.1.5'
    id 'io.spring.dependency-management' version '1.1.3'

dependencies {
    implementation 'org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-web'
    implementation 'com.okta.spring:okta-spring-boot-starter:3.0.5'

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

// pom.xml



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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

To configure the application as a Resource Server and validate the JWTs, create a class that will register a SecurityFilterChain, an instance of SecurityFilterChain, and add the @Configuration annotation.

The example below shows how to secure API methods using the HttpSecurity object provided in the filterChain() method of the SecurityConfig class. Route matchers are used to restrict access based on the level of authorization required:

// src/main/java/com/auth0/example/security/SecurityConfig.java

import org.springframework.context.annotation.Bean;
import org.springframework.security.config.annotation.web.builders.HttpSecurity;
import org.springframework.security.config.annotation.web.configuration.EnableWebSecurity;
import org.springframework.security.web.SecurityFilterChain;

public class SecurityConfig {

    public SecurityFilterChain filterChain(HttpSecurity http) throws Exception {
        return http.build();

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Create the API controller

Create a new record named Message, which will be the domain object the API will return:

// src/main/java/com/auth0/example/model/Message.java

public record Message(String message) {}

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Create a new class named APIController to handle requests to the endpoints:

// src/main/java/com/auth0/example/web/APIController.java

import com.auth0.example.model.Message;
import org.springframework.http.MediaType;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.CrossOrigin;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.GetMapping;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMapping;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RestController;

 * Handles requests to "/api" endpoints.
 * @see com.auth0.example.security.SecurityConfig to see how these endpoints are protected.
@RequestMapping(path = "api", produces = MediaType.APPLICATION_JSON_VALUE)
// For simplicity of this sample, allow all origins. Real applications should configure CORS for their use case.
@CrossOrigin(origins = "*")
public class APIController {

    @GetMapping(value = "/public")
    public Message publicEndpoint() {
        return new Message("All good. You DO NOT need to be authenticated to call /api/public.");

    @GetMapping(value = "/private")
    public Message privateEndpoint() {
        return new Message("All good. You can see this because you are Authenticated.");

    @GetMapping(value = "/private-scoped")
    public Message privateScopedEndpoint() {
        return new Message("All good. You can see this because you are Authenticated with a Token granted the 'read:messages' scope");

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Run the Application

To build and run the sample project, execute the bootRun Gradle task.

Linux or macOS:

./gradlew bootRun

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gradlew.bat bootRun

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If you are configuring your own application using Maven and the Spring Boot Maven Plugin, you can execute the spring-boot:run goal.

Linux or macOS:

mvn spring-boot:run

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mvn.cmd spring-boot:run

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The sample application will be available at http://localhost:3010/. Read about how to test and use your API in the Using Your API article.

What can you do next?

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