Java Spring MVC

View on Github

Java Spring MVC

Gravatar for
By Luciano Balmaceda

This tutorial demonstrates how to add user login to a Java Spring MVC application. We recommend you to Log in to follow this quickstart with examples configured for your account.

I want to explore a sample app

2 minutes

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

View on Github
System requirements: Java 7 and up | Gradle 3.3 and up | Spring Boot 1.5.3 or above

New to Auth? Learn How Auth0 works, how it integrates with Regular Web Applications and which protocol it uses.

Configure Auth0

Get Your Application Keys

When you signed up for Auth0, a new application was created for you, or you could have created a new one.

You will need some details about that application to communicate with Auth0. You can get these details from the Application Settings section in the Auth0 dashboard.

You need the following information:

  • Client ID
  • Domain

If you download the sample from the top of this page these details are filled out for you.

If you have more than one application in your account, the sample comes with the values for your Default App.

App Dashboard

Configure Callback URLs

A callback URL is a URL in your application where Auth0 redirects the user after they have authenticated.

You need to whitelist the callback URL for your app in the Allowed Callback URLs field in your Application Settings. If you do not set any callback URL, your users will see a mismatch error when they log in.

If you are following along with the sample project you downloaded from the top of this page, you should set the Callback URL to http://localhost:3000/callback.

Configure Spring to Use Auth0

Setup Dependencies

You'll need to configure Spring Boot in your project first. You can generate the base project in this link, choosing Web in the dependencies and clicking the button "Generate Project". The downloaded project has the Spring Boot dependencies and plugin applied. You then need to add a Server dependency like Tomcat or Gretty, which one is up to you. Check our sample code for more information. The next step is to add the auth0-java-mvc-commons library. This one allows you to use Auth0 with Java for server-side MVC web apps. It generates the Authorize URL that you need to call in order to authenticate and validates the result received on the way back to finally obtain the Auth0 Tokens that identify the user. You can always check the latest version in the library's GitHub.

If you are using Gradle, add it to your build.gradle:

compile 'com.auth0:mvc-auth-commons:1.+'

If you are using Maven, add it to your pom.xml:


Configure your Java Spring App

Your Java Spring App needs some information in order to authenticate against your Auth0 account. The samples read this information from the properties file src/main/resources/, but you could store them anywhere else. The required information is:

com.auth0.domain: YOUR_AUTH0_DOMAIN
com.auth0.clientId: YOUR_CLIENT_ID
com.auth0.clientSecret: YOUR_CLIENT_SECRET

The library we're using has this default behavior:

  • Request the scope openid, needed to call the /userinfo endpoint later to verify the User's identity.
  • Request the code Response Type and later perform a Code Exchange to obtain the tokens.
  • Use the HS256 Algorithm along with the Client Secret to verify the tokens.

But it also allows us to customize its behavior:

  • To use the RS256 Algorithm along with the Public Key obtained dynamically from the Auth0 hosted JWKs file, pass a JwkProvider instance to the AuthenticationController builder.
  • To use a different Response Type, set the desired value in the AuthenticationController builder. Any combination of code token id_token is allowed.
  • To request a different scope, set the desired value in the AuthorizeUrl received after calling AuthenticationController#buildAuthorizeUrl().
  • To specify the audience, set the desired value in the AuthorizeUrl received after calling AuthenticationController#buildAuthorizeUrl().

Check populated attributes

If you download the seed using our Download Sample button then the domain, clientId and clientSecret attributes will be populated for you, unless you are not logged in or you do not have at least one registered application. In any case, you should verify that the values are correct if you have multiple applications in your account and you might want to use another than the one we set the information for.

Project Structure

The Login project sample has the following structure:

- src
-- main
---- java
------ com
-------- auth0
---------- example
---- resources
---- webapp
------ WEB-INF
-------- jsp
---------- home.jsp
- build.gradle

The project contains a single JSP: the home.jsp which will display the tokens associated to the user after a successful login and provide the option to logout.

The project contains a Filter: the which will check for existing tokens before giving the user access to our protected /portal/* path. If the tokens don't exist, the request will be redirected to the LoginController. This Filter is set on the class.

The project contains also five Controllers:

  • Invoked when the user attempts to login. The controller uses the client_id and domain parameters to create a valid Authorize URL and redirects the user there.
  • The controller captures requests to our Callback URL and processes the data to obtain the credentials. After a successful login, the credentials are then saved to the request's HttpSession.
  • The controller reads the previously saved tokens and shows them on the home.jsp resource.
  • Invoked when the user clicks the logout link. The controller invalidates the user session and redirects the user to the login page, handled by the LoginController.
  • The controller triggers upon any non-handled exception and redirects the user to the /login path.

Lastly, the project defines a helper class: the which will be in charge of creating new instances of AuthenticationController. By defining it as a Spring Component, the framework will handle its creation.

Trigger Authentication

Let's begin by making your Auth0 credentials available on the App. In the AppConfig class we tell Spring to map the properties defined in the file to the corresponding fields by using the @Configuration and @Value annotations. We also define the class as a @Component so we can later autowire it to make it available on other classes:

public class AppConfig {
    @Value(value = "${com.auth0.domain}")
    private String domain;

    @Value(value = "${com.auth0.clientId}")
    private String clientId;

    @Value(value = "${com.auth0.clientSecret}")
    private String clientSecret;

Now create the AuthenticationController instance that will create the Authorize URLs and handle the request received in the callback. Any customization on the behavior of the component should be done here, such as requesting a different scope or using a different signature verification algorithm.

// src/main/java/com/auth0/example/

public class AuthController {
    private final AuthenticationController controller;
    private final String userInfoAudience;

    public AuthController(AppConfig config) {
        controller = AuthenticationController.newBuilder(config.getDomain(), config.getClientId(), config.getClientSecret())
        userInfoAudience = String.format("https://%s/userinfo", config.getDomain());

    public Tokens handle(HttpServletRequest request) throws IdentityVerificationException {
        return controller.handle(request);

    public String buildAuthorizeUrl(HttpServletRequest request, String redirectUri) {
        return controller.buildAuthorizeUrl(request, redirectUri)

To authenticate the users we will redirect them to the Auth0 Login Page which uses the best version available of Lock. This page is what we call the "Authorize URL". By using this library we can generate it with a simple method call. It will require a HttpServletRequest to store the call context in the session and the URI to redirect the authentication result to. This URI is normally the address where our app is running plus the path where the result will be parsed, which happens to be also the "Callback URL" whitelisted before. Finally, we will request the "User Info" audience in order to obtain an Open ID Connect compliant response. After we create the Authorize URL, we redirect the request there so the user can enter their credentials. The following code snippet is located on the LoginController class of our sample.

@RequestMapping(value = "/login", method = RequestMethod.GET)
protected String login(final HttpServletRequest req) {
    String redirectUri = req.getScheme() + "://" + req.getServerName() + ":" + req.getServerPort() + "/callback";
    String authorizeUrl = controller.buildAuthorizeUrl(req, redirectUri);
    return "redirect:" + authorizeUrl;

After the user logs in the result will be received in our CallbackController, either via a GET or a POST Http method. The request holds the call context that we've previously set by generating the Authorize URL with the controller. When we pass it to the controller, we get back either a valid Tokens instance or an Exception indicating what went wrong. In the case of a successful call, we need to save the credentials somewhere we can access them later. We will use again the HttpSession of the request. A helper class called SessionUtils is included in the library to set and read values from a request's session.

@RequestMapping(value = "/callback", method = RequestMethod.GET)
protected void getCallback(final HttpServletRequest req, final HttpServletResponse res) throws ServletException, IOException {
  try {
      Tokens tokens = controller.handle(req);
      SessionUtils.set(req, "accessToken", tokens.getAccessToken());
      SessionUtils.set(req, "idToken", tokens.getIdToken());
  } catch (IdentityVerificationException e) {

It it's recommended to store the time in which we requested the tokens and the received expiresIn value, so that the next time when we are going to use the token we can check if it has already expired or if it's still valid. For the sake of this sample we will skip that validation.

Display the Home Page

Now that the user is authenticated (the tokens exists), the Auth0Filter will allow them to access our protected resources. In the HomeController we obtain the tokens from the request's session and set them as the userId attribute so they can be used from the JSP code:

@RequestMapping(value = "/portal/home", method = RequestMethod.GET)
protected String home(final Map<String, Object> model, final HttpServletRequest req) {
    String accessToken = (String) SessionUtils.get(req, "accessToken");
    String idToken = (String) SessionUtils.get(req, "idToken");
    if (accessToken != null) {
        model.put("userId", accessToken);
    } else if (idToken != null) {
        model.put("userId", idToken);
    return "home";

Run the Sample

To run the sample from a terminal, change the directory to the root folder of the project and execute the following line:

./gradlew clean bootRun

If you are using a Windows environment, execute gradlew clean appRun

After a few seconds, the application will be accessible on http://localhost:3000/. Try to access the protected resource http://localhost:3000/portal/home and note how you're redirected by the Auth0Filter to the Auth0 Login Page. The widget displays all the social and database connections that you have defined for this application in the dashboard.

Login using Lock

After a successful authentication you'll be able to see the home page contents.

Display Token

Log out by clicking the Logout button at the top right of the home page.

Use Auth0 for FREE