ESAPI Getting Started Guide

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ESAPI is very easy to use. This tutorial shows how to get a simple application working with the reference implementation of ESAPI. Please remember that the reference implementation is a simple example. The Authenticator uses a text-based password file. This is to make it easy to test ESAPI without installing a database or directory. Enterprises will want to create their own implementation of the API that works with their identity management solution.

Step 1: Setting up a resources directory

Create a directory to hold ESAPI resources. This should be a secure location as it will contain a significant amount of security information. For example, you might create a directory called "C:\resources" (Windows) and use the operating system access control mechanisms (NTFS on Windows) to restrict access.

Step 2: Setting ESAPI configuration properties

If it isn't there already, copy the default ESAPI.Properties file into your resources directory. Edit the MasterPassword property and choose a long, difficult-to-guess string, as the security of your application depends on it.

MasterPassword=xxxxx

Also copy the antisamy.xml file into your resources directory, which defines the antisamy policy that you'll use in ESAPI.

Step 3: Configuring user accounts

The simplest way to get started is to create an "admin" account to work with. ESAPI has a command line tool that will create your users.txt file. Type the below, for example (all one line):

java -Dorg.owasp.esapi.resources="c:\resources"
-classpath owasp-esapi-java-1.1.1.jar
org.owasp.esapi.Authenticator yourname yourpass admin

Step 4: Hello, ESAPI!

More information about ESAPI functions and its usage is available through the ESAPI's demo application known as THE ESAPI Swingset.