The WS-Security Wrapper is an adapter program that converts plain XML exchanges to and from SOAP with WS-Security. It's designed to be used by applications which need access to secure Web services but do not have full SOAP implementations available. The Wrapper serves as an intermediary for the application, adding SOAP and WS-Security to their input messages for submission to the service, then verifying the WS-Security on the response and sending the actual response message data back to the application. The Wrapper itself is written in Java, and is compatible with Java 5 and later.
The Wrapper was implemented by Sosnoski Software Associates Ltd under contract from the SMS Project of the New Zealand Ministry of Education. The original use of the Wrapper was to support secure communications from Student Management Systems (some of which are based on older software platforms which do not provide WS-Security implementations) with Ministry services. The Ministry has supported the release of the Wrapper software as an open source project in order to both share the work that has been done and encourage the Wrapper's wider use and further enhancement.
The original implementation was designed specifically for communications with Web services running on the Microsoft .Net platform version 1.1, with Web Services Extensions 2.0, using X.509 digital certificates for PKI signing and encryption. Later updates added more flexibility to support a full range of security configurations, including compatability with recent versions of the Microsoft Web Communications Framework (WCF) and support for multiple target services.
The security processing done by the Wrapper is controlled by the configuration for the target service. Each service configuration consists of a required properties file along with any of several optional files, including a server certificate, a certification authority certificate, and request and response XSLT transformation scripts. The properties file controls how messages are signed and/or encrypted, along with other features of the security handling such as timestamps.
The Wrapper is intended for use in secure environments where the local network is trusted and only external communications with the target services need to be secured. By default, all message exchanges between the client applications and the Wrapper are unsecured, meaning they are exposed to other systems on the local network. In addition, the Wrapper provides an unsecured Web management console which gives control over the configuration and management of the Wrapper. These features would need to be changed if the Wrapper were to be used in an insecure environment (for instance, by requiring secure socket connections for message exchanges with the client applications and the Web management console, and by restricting access to the Web management console).
License and support
The code is provided under an MIT license:
Copyright (c) 2007-2012, New Zealand Ministry of Education. All rights reserved. Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met: * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer. * Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution. * Neither the name of WSWrapper nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission. THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
Commercial support, including customization and packaging of the WS-Security Wrapper for easy installation, is available from Sosnoski Software Associates Ltd. Email the company if you'd like to discuss your needs.