Understanding Authentication and Authorization in Dropwizard App

Understanding Authentication and Authorization in Dropwizard App

What are authentication and authorization and how to implement it in a Dropwizard app with Kotlin

Do you know how to perform authentication and authorization in Dropwizard? Neither did I, but I had to learn it for a recent project and I thought to share what I have learned with you.


Authentication is used in order to identify who the user is. There are several authentication schemes that are used by the HTTP authentication framework.

In this post, we will talk about the “Basic” authentication schemes for simplicity. An important note: In the basic scheme, the user ID and password are passed in base64-encoding over the network. HTTPS/TLS should be used if you are using this scheme.

The Basic scheme flow:

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Basic scheme flow

  1. The client tries to access a server resource through HTTP GET.
  2. The server sends a 401 Unauthorized response along with WWW-Authenticate header, which defines the authentication method. In our case, the authentication method is “Basic”.
  3. The client can trigger HTTP GET including an Authorization header with the credentials, in order to authenticate.
  4. In this step there are three options:
  • The server will send HTTP 200 OK, which indicates that the authentication has succeeded.
  • The server will send HTTP 401 Unauthorized response again, which means the credentials were wrong.
  • The server will send HTTP 403 forbidden. In this case, the user authenticated successfully but does not have the right permissions in order to access the resource.

You can find the official HTTP/1.1 Authentication documentation in RFC-7235

security kotlin

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