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Cocoon authentication

This article will guide you through the steps showing how to use the Authentication Framework in a Cocoon 2.2 application.
  1. Maven dependencies.
  2. Spring configuration.
  3. Sitemap.
  4. Login page and controls.
Maven dependencies
You need the following dependency in your pom.xml:

Spring configuration
Authentication Framework has a flexible configuration based on a concepts of applications and security handlers. There can be several applications defined and running at the same that are simply independent security zones of your web application. The security details of an application are specified using a security handler. There are several implementations provided and you're free to implement your own. Here is the SimpleSecurityHandler used that takes the hardcoded credentials:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<beans xmlns=""

  <!-- This is a simple security handler -->
  <bean name="org.apache.cocoon.auth.SecurityHandler/handler"
    <property name="userProperties">

  <!-- This is the standard application -->
  <bean name="org.apache.cocoon.auth.Application/myapp"
    <property name="securityHandler" ref="org.apache.cocoon.auth.SecurityHandler/handler"/>
You can protect your functionality with authentication using different ways. Below is the most straightforward way represented using the protected URI space that requires authentication.

Below are two pipelines managing the authentication process and the protected functionality. The pipeline delete/item is made internal-only, so it can be externally accessed only via the protected area: protected/delete/item. The request parameter destination is used to redirect back to the protected area once a user passes the authentication successfully.
<map:pipeline id="authentication">
  <!-- Simple login page -->
  <map:match pattern="login">
    <!-- if we are already logged in, redirect to destination -->
    <map:act type="cauth-is-logged-in">
      <map:parameter name="application" value="search"/>
      <map:redirect-to uri="{request-param:destination}"/>
    <map:generate src="cocoon:/page/login.jx"/>
    <map:serialize type="xhtml"/>

  <!-- Form target which performs auth service -->
  <map:match pattern="do-login">
    <!-- try to login -->
    <map:act type="cauth-login">
      <map:parameter name="application" value="search"/>
      <map:parameter name="name" value="{request-param:username}"/>
      <map:parameter name="password" value="{request-param:password}"/>
      <map:redirect-to uri="{request-param:destination}"/>
    <!-- something was wrong, try it again -->
    <map:redirect-to uri="login?{request:queryString}"/>

  <!-- Logout link which invalidates the session -->
  <map:match pattern="do-logout">
    <map:act type="cauth-logout">
      <map:parameter name="application" value="search"/>
      <map:redirect-to uri="{request-param:destination}"/>
    <map:redirect-to uri="login?{request:queryString}"/>

  <!-- Protected area -->
  <map:match pattern="protected/**">
    <map:act type="cauth-is-logged-in">
      <map:parameter name="application" value="search"/>
      <map:generate src="cocoon:/{../1}"/>
      <map:serialize type="xhtml"/>
    <!-- something was wrong, redirect to login page -->
    <map:redirect-to uri="{request:contextPath}{request:servletPath}/login?destination={request:requestURI}?{request:queryString}"/>

<map:pipeline id="protected" internal-only="true">
  <!-- example of protected pipeline -->
  <map:match pattern="delete/item">
    <map:call function="deleteItem"/>
You can find three authentication actions used above: cauth-is-logged-in, cauth-login and cauth-logout. They are provided as a part of Authentication Framework, thus, do not require additional configuration.

Login page and controls
The login page is simple and implemented as a JX template. It takes care of submitting the authentication form properly with the correct destination parameter value. The variable blockPath helps to avoid redirection issues with incorrect relative URLs.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<jx:template xmlns:jx="">

  <!-- Import other used templates  -->
  <jx:import uri="page/templates/page.jx"/>

  <jx:set var="blockPath" value="${cocoon.request.contextPath + cocoon.request.servletPath}"/>

      <h2 id="title">Login</h2>
      <form action="${blockPath}/do-login?destination=${cocoon.request.destination}" method="POST">
        <div>You need to be authenticated to perform upload/remove actions.</div>
              <td>User name:</td>
                <input type="text" name="username"/>
                <input type="password" name="password"/>
                <input type="submit" value="Login"/>

Here is another JX template snippet that shows how to add a common html markup with logged in user name and controls. It also takes care of providing the destination parameter and uses the same blockPath variable as above.
<jx:set var="user" value="${cocoon.session.getAttribute('cauth-user-myapp')}"/>

  <jx:when test="${user != null}">
    <span id="logged_in">
      <span id="label_username">${user.getId()}</span>
      <a href="${blockPath}/do-logout?destination=${cocoon.request.requestURI}">
        <img src="${blockPath}/resource/external/icons/logout.png" title="Log out"/>
    <span id="not_logged_in">
      <a href="${blockPath}/do-login?destination=${cocoon.request.requestURI}">
        <img src="${blockPath}/resource/external/icons/login.png" title="Log in"/>
To conclude, I'll list other useful resources as the online documentation is quite poor:


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