Using HTTP Basic authentication is a common mechanism to check user’s authenticity, when creating REST-enabled API’s to prevent applications and it’s functionalities from unathorized access. Service Bus 12c (SB) supports this authentication method by using a OWSM security policy. The corresponding authentication information are transported in the HTTP header.
In some cases, for example when only user-relevant data should be determined when querying information from Enterprise Information Systems (EIS), the information about the current user that are available  in the HTTP header might be helpful. As an alternative the username information could be transported in the payload of each Service Call, e.g. as a query parameter.
In the following I will describe, which steps are needed to extract the username from the HTTP header, so transporting the same information twice, in the header and the payload, can be avoided.
Starting point is a simple HelloWorld service, which expects a valid HTTP Basic authentication token. In the example a corresponding OWSM policy is used to realize this. The service as such has an operation „greet“ that takes no parameter. As result, it returns a personalized salution based on the passed authorization header.
Enabling HTTP basic authentication on proxy services
In the Proxy Service configuration it has to be ensured that the option „Get all headers“ is enabled in the transport configuration. Unfortunately setting this option is not sufficient, because SB removes Security information from the HTTP header before entering the processing pipeline. To force SB to keep the authentication information the additional java option „“ has to be added in A server restart is needed to enable the updated JVM settings.
Parsing out the username from the HTTP basic authentication token is done by a Java Callout that call a static method from a Java class that does the needed „magic“.
public class UsernameExtractor {

  public static String extract(String pHttpAuthenticationToken) {

    final String authenticationTokenWithoutBasicPrefix = pHttpAuthenticationToken

    final String base64DecodedAuthorizationString = new String(DatatypeConverter

    return base64DecodedAuthorizationString.split(":")[0];
The Java class from above is packaged in form of a JAR file, which is added to the corresponding HelloWorld project. The invocation is done by using a Java callout during message processing in the pipeline.
Parsing out the username from HTTP header using a Java Callout
After deploying the HelloWorld SB service to Oracle Service Bus 12c, the service can be tested using SOAP UI.
Resulting salutation after service invocation
As it can be seen from the result, the service works as expected. The resulting salutation contains the username passed with the corresponding authentication information in the HTTP header.

Sven Bernhardt is a technology enthusiast and works for OPITZ CONSULTING as Chief Architect as part of the Corporate Development team. Within his role, he’s responsible for managing the technology portfolio and developing Best Practices and Guidelines. In addition, Sven supports his colleagues with implementing Software solutions for Customers. Sven acts as regular speaker on various conferences, talking about technology or architecture topics, and is also sharing his thoughts and experiences by writing articles and blog posts. In addition, he's Kong Champion and Oracle ACE Director.


  1. Pingback: SOA & BPM Community Newsletter February 2015 | SOA Community Blog

Write A Comment