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The following steps will explain how secure applications in SAP Cloud Platform, Neo which are built based on the S/4HANA Cloud SDK.

Note: This post is part of a series. For a complete overview visit the SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK Overview.

Goal of this blog post

In the last tutorial you learned how to protect your application with authentication and authorization on SAP Cloud Platform, CloudFoundry. In this tutorial we will quickly show you what is required to cover the same aspects for a Neo-based application. As you will see, the Neo model on application security management is simpler compared to CloudFoundry. This stems from the fact, that on Neo the microservice-based approach is less established and requires therefore less configuration overhead. The tutorial covers the following aspects:

  1. Enhance your project with authentication and authorization metadata.
  2. Deploy the application with authentication information.

Prerequisites

Enable authentication

In fact, if you have used the archetype to generate your project for SAP Cloud Platform, Neo, the application is already enabled for authentication by default. To review the authentication go to your application/src/main/webapp/WEB-INF directory and look at the web.xml file.

<login-config>
    <auth-method>FORM</auth-method>
</login-config>

<session-config>
    <session-timeout>20</session-timeout>
</session-config>

<security-role>
    <role-name>Everyone</role-name>
</security-role>

<security-constraint>
    <web-resource-collection>
        <web-resource-name>All SAP Cloud Platform users</web-resource-name>
        <url-pattern>/*</url-pattern>
    </web-resource-collection>
    <auth-constraint>
        <role-name>Everyone</role-name>
    </auth-constraint>
</security-constraint>

There you can see that the archetype uses the FORM authentication method (which will use the SAML configuration). In addition you find the session configuration as well as the definition of one security role for Everyone. Per definition every authenticated user has the role “Everyone”. The entire model is based on the Java EE standard which is documented, for example, here.

Introduce a new role

Introducing a new role is fairly simple. You can add into the web.xml something like the following to introduce the CostCenterManager role.

<security-role>
    <role-name>CostCenterManager</role-name>
</security-role>

Now the paths of the application can be protected and constrained to certain roles you define for me. For a more fine-grained access-control, please refer to the standard JavaEE documentation.

Protecting resources with roles

<security-constraint>
    <web-resource-collection>
        <web-resource-name>Only for cost center managers</web-resource-name>
        <url-pattern>/hello</url-pattern>
    </web-resource-collection>
    <auth-constraint>
        <role-name>CostCenterManager</role-name>
    </auth-constraint>
</security-constraint>

After you made all changes you are ready to deploy the application to Neo.

Deploying to SAP Cloud Platform, Neo

cd application
mvn clean install

You can use the cockpit on SAP Cloud Platform to deploy or update your application as follows. Alternatively, use the deploy and start commands for Neo introduced in step 2 of this tutorial series.

Go to your SCP account on hanatrial.ondemand.com and select Applications / Java Applications / Deploy Application. Select the recent build from your application/target directory:

Hit “Deploy” and wait for the assembly to be uploaded. Once uploaded click the start button so that the application is going to be started.

While the application is starting, select the application and go to the Security / Roles menu.

Click the Assign button and assign your user ID to the CostCenterManager role.

Afterwards, go back to the application and select the URL to try it out yourself:

Local deployment

In order to assign roles to users of the local deployment you have to do the following.

First go in your project and open the neousers.json file, e.g., using:

cd application/localServerContent/config_master/com.sap.security.um.provider.neo.local/
open neousers.json

Then add the roles to the respective users in the corresponding attribute:

"Roles": [ "CostCenterManager" ]

After that, redeploy the application using

mvn scp:clean scp:push -pl application/

If you then go to http://localhost:8080/hello you should see the application in action behind a protected resource.

Small tips and tricks

You may want to consider the following additional attributes in your web.xml to decrease the likelihood of XSS and similar attacks (e.g., stolen JSESSIONID).

<security-constraint>
    <web-resource-collection>
        <web-resource-name>Only for cost center managers</web-resource-name>
        <url-pattern>/hello</url-pattern>
    </web-resource-collection>
    <auth-constraint>
        <role-name>CostCenterManager</role-name>
    </auth-constraint>
 	<user-data-constraint>
         <transport-guarantee>CONFIDENTIAL</transport-guarantee>
    </user-data-constraint>
</security-constraint>

<session-config>
	<session-timeout>20</session-timeout>
	<cookie-config>
		<secure>true</secure>
	</cookie-config>
</session-config>

That’s it for today. Now you have learned the basics to protect your application on SAP Cloud Platform, Neo which are based on the SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK. Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts about more advanced usages of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK.

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