The previous section was about fine-tuning the Frank!Framework. You learned about the DTAP stage and about setting properties. This section continues about fine-tuning the Frank!Framework. You will learn how to restrict access to the Frank!Console. On your production environment this is important, because you want to protect the integrity of your data and you do not want unauthorized users to read customer data.

When you use Apache Tomcat as your application server, you configure security by editing the Apache Tomcat configuration files. You do not need a manual deployment of Apache Tomcat to practice. Instead you will use the Frank!Runner which installs Apache Tomcat automatically, and then you will change the Apache Tomcat files manually. Please do not take this approach for your production environment. The Frank!Runner sometimes overwrites your security edits.

Tutorial on setting up security

Please set up security as follows:

  1. We recommend that you create a new directory to do this section. You are going to tweak files managed by the Frank!Runner. and you do not want your existing configurations to break. Let us call your directory security.

  2. On a command prompt, please change directory to security and clone the Frank!Framework as follows:

    security> git clone
  3. You can work with the example configurations of the Frank!Framework, so you do not need Please change directory to your Frank!Runner checkout and start the Frank!Framework as follows:

    security\frank-runner> start.bat
  4. The Frank!Runner will download Apache Tomcat and the Frank!Framework. If you are using Windows, it will create a new command window to start Apache Tomcat. When you see the message INFO: Server startup in <n> ms with <n> some number, then press ctrl-c to stop the Frank!Runner again. You need to do this in the new command window. Alternatively, you can run stop.bat in the original command window.

  5. Please check that you have the following directory structure:

    |- frank-runner
       |- build.xml
       |- start.bat
       |- stop.bat
       |- examples
       |- build
          |- apache-ant-1.10.7
          |- apache-tomcat-7.0.100
          |- h2
          |- openjdk-8u232-b09
          |- tmp

The file build.xml is an ANT script that is used by start.bat to start the Frank!Framewok. By changing build.xml, you can control the version of the Frank!Framework you are using. By default, you always use the latest version. The examples directory contains Frank configs that you can use out-of-the-box. You are using them because you did not provide In the directory build, you see a subdirectory apache-tomcat-7.0.100 with your Apache Tomcat installation.


When you are reading this, you may be using later versions of Apache Ant, Apache Tomcat and the JDK. The directory names will be slightly different in this case. Please check the directory names you have. Use your directory names instead of the directory names you see in the reminder of this section.

  1. Please open file security\frank-runner\build\apache-tomcat-7.0.100\webapps\ROOT\WEB-INF\web.xml in a text editor. Scroll down until you see the following:

        When a security-constraint element is present Tomcat will autenticate the
        user for all url's whereas WebSphere does this only for the url's mentioned
        in the security constraint(s). The PublicAccess security constraint will
        make Tomcat behave the same as WebSphere.
        <!-- security-constraint>
    </security-constraint -->
  2. Uncomment the security-constraint, resulting in:

        When a security-constraint element is present Tomcat will autenticate the
        user for all url's whereas WebSphere does this only for the url's mentioned
        in the security constraint(s). The PublicAccess security constraint will
        make Tomcat behave the same as WebSphere.
  3. At the bottom, uncomment the closing tag to arrive at:

  4. Close the file you edited, web.xml

  5. Open file security\frank-runner\build\apache-tomcat-7.0.100\conf\tomcat-users.xml.

  6. The file has a lot of comments. The only non-commentary tags are the opening <tomcat-users> and the closing </tomcat-users>. Between them, add a new user. Please insert the following XML:

    <user username="frank" password="frank" roles="IbisObserver"/>

    You create a user with username frank and password frank. This user gets role IbisObserver. The possibilities for the roles will be explained later in this page.

With security enabled, users should connect to your Apache Tomcat server through https. You need a dummy certificate for this and you need to enable https traffic in your server.xml file. Please do the following:

  1. To create the dummy certificate, change directory to security\frank-runner\build\openjdk-8u232-b09\bin. Execute the following command there:

    security\frank-runner\build\openjdk-8u232-b09\bin> keytool -genkey -alias tomcat -keyalg RSA
  2. To enable https, edit security\frank-runner\build\apache-tomcat-7.0.100\conf\server.xml. Uncomment the following piece:

    <Connector port="8443" protocol="org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11Protocol"
        maxThreads="150" SSLEnabled="true" scheme="https" secure="true"
        clientAuth="false" sslProtocol="TLS" />

Now you can start the Frank!Runner.

  1. Please change directory to security\frank-runner and execute start.bat.

  2. Browse to http://localhost.

  3. Your browser shows a message that your site is not secure. This is true, because your certificate was not signed by a Certificate Authority. For your production environment, you need a real certificate from a Certificate Authority. Every browser hides an option to carry on nevertheless. Apply this option to continue.

  4. A dialog appears asking you to login, see below:

  5. Enter username frank and password frank, the credentials you configured in tomcat-users.xml. You should now see the Frank!Framework as shown below. You see an error that something is wrong with your security certificate, but you do enter the Frank!Console.

  6. In the main menu, click “Testing” to expand it (number 1 in the figure below):

  7. Click “Test Pipeline” (number 2). You see the page shown below:

  8. Select adapter “Example1Adapter” (number 1). Enter some dummy text in the Message field (number 2). Press “Send” (number 3).

  9. To the top-right, the following message appears:

  10. This message will normally be removed in about five seconds. You can see it longer by hovering over it.


    Restricting access to the Frank!Console is not sufficient in itself to implement security. You also need to restrict access to your Apache Tomcat configuration and installation files, and you need to restrict access to your Apache Tomcat server. If you have an external database, you also have to implement security on that. All this is beyond the scope of the Frank!Manual.

Overview of security roles

With the above tutorial, you learned how security is configured. Now we explain what options you have to restrict access to the Frank!Console. Your options follow from the roles that are defined within the Frank!Framework. See the following list:

Can call an Ibis WebserviceListener.
Can look in configurations, statistics and log files.
Can browse message logs, message stores and error stores, see section Processed Messages. Can resend or delete the messages in them. Can reload configurations and start and stop adapters. Has all IbisObserver permissions too.
Can do a full reload and test a pipeline, has all IbisDataAdmin permissions too.
Can execute jdbc query, send jms message and test a service, has all IbisAdmin and IbisWebService permissions too.


“What is ‘Ibis’?”, you might ask. WeAreFrank! used this brand before they acquired their name. Before, the company was called “Integration Partners”. In that time, they used the brands “Ibis” and “Ibis Adapter Framework”. These names have not all been replaced by their Frank! equivalents.

You can assign these roles to users, as you did when you edited tomcat-users.xml. You assign a value to the roles attribute that is a comma-separated list of roles. Each role should be taken from the list.