Tutorial: Secure a Java web app using the Spring Boot Starter for Azure Active Directory


This article demonstrates creating a Java app with the Spring Initializr that uses the Spring Boot Starter for Azure Active Directory (Azure AD).

In this tutorial, you learn how to:

  • Create a Java application using the Spring Initializr
  • Configure Azure Active Directory
  • Secure the application with Spring Boot classes and annotations
  • Build and test your Java application

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.


The following prerequisites are required in order to complete the steps in this article:

  • A supported Java Development Kit (JDK). For more information about the JDKs available for use when developing on Azure, see https://aka.ms/azure-jdks.
  • Apache Maven, version 3.0 or later.

Create an app using Spring Initializr

  1. Browse to https://start.spring.io/.

  2. Specify that you want to generate a Maven project with Java, enter the Group and Artifact names for your application, and then click the link to Switch to the full version of the Spring Initializr.

    Specify Group and Aritifact names

  3. Scroll down to the Core section and check the box for Security, and in the Web section check the box for Web, then scroll down to the Azure section and check the box for Azure Active Directory.

    Select Security, Web and Azure Active Directory starters

  4. Scroll to the top or bottom of the page and click the button to Generate Project.

    Generate Spring Boot project

  5. When prompted, download the project to a path on your local computer.

Create Azure Active Directory instance

Create the Active Directory instance

  1. Log into https://portal.azure.com.

  2. Click +Create a resource, then Identity, and then Azure Active Directory.

    Create new Azure Active Directory instance

  3. Enter your Organization name and your Initial domain name. Copy the full URL of your directory; you will use that to add user accounts later in this tutorial. (For example: wingtiptoysdirectory.onmicrosoft.com.) When you have finished, click Create.

    Specify Azure Active Directory names

  4. Select your account name on the top-right of the Azure portal toolbar, then click Switch directory.

    Select your Azure account name

  5. Select your new Azure Active Directory from the drop-down menu.

    Choose your Azure Active Directory

  6. Select Azure Active Directory from the portal menu, click Properties, and copy the Directory ID; you will use that value to configure your application.properties file later in this tutorial.

    Copy your Azure Active Directory ID

Add an application registration for your Spring Boot app

  1. Select Azure Active Directory from the portal menu, click App registrations, and then click New application registration, .

    Add a new app registration

  2. Specify your application Name, use http://localhost:8080 for the Sign-on URL, and then click Create.

    Create new app registration

  3. When the page for your app registration appears, copy your Application ID; you will use this value to configure your application.properties file later in this tutorial. Click Settings, and then click Keys.

    Create app registration keys

  4. Add a Description and specify the Duration for a new key and click Save; the value for the key will be automatically filled in when you click the Save icon, and you need to copy down the value of the key to configure your application.properties file later in this tutorial. (You will not be able to retrieve this value later.)

    Specify app registration key parameters

  5. From the main page for your app registration, click Settings, and then click Required permissions.

    App registration required permissions

  6. Click Windows Azure Active Directory.

    Select Windows Azure Active Directory

  7. Check the boxes for Access the directory as the signed-in user and Sign in and read user profile, and then click Save.

    Enable access permissions

  8. On the Required permissions page, click Grant Permissions, and click Yes when prompted.

    Grant access permissions

  9. From the main page for your app registration, click Settings, and then click Reply URLs.

    Edit Reply URLs

  10. Enter "http://localhost:8080/login/oauth2/code/azure" as a new reply URL, and then click Save.

    Add new Reply URL

  11. From the main page for your app registration, click Manifest, then set the value of the oauth2AllowImplicitFlow parameter to true, and then click Save.

    Configure app manifest


    For more information about the oauth2AllowImplicitFlow parameter and other application settings, see Azure Active Directory application manifest.

Add a user account to your directory, and add that account to a group

  1. From the Overview page of your Active Directory, click All Users, and then click New user.

    Add a new user account

  2. When the User panel is displayed, enter the Name and User name.

    Enter user account information


    You need to specify your directory URL from earlier in this tutorial when you enter the user name; for example:


  3. Click Groups, then select the groups that you will use for authorization in your application, and then click Select. (For the purposes of this tutorial, add the account to the Users group.)

    Select the user's groups

  4. Click Show password, and copy the password; you will use this when you log into your application later in this tutorial. When you have copied the password, click Create to add the new user account to your directory.

    Show the password

Configure and compile your app

  1. Extract the files from the project archive you created and downloaded earlier in this tutorial into a directory.

  2. Navigate to the parent folder for your project, and open the pom.xml Maven project file in a text editor.

  3. Add the dependencies for Spring OAuth2 security to the pom.xml:

  4. Save and close the pom.xml file.

  5. Navigate to the src/main/resources folder in your project and open the application.properties file in a text editor.

  6. Specify the settings for your app registration using the values you created earlier; for example:

    # Specifies your Active Directory ID:
    # Specifies your App Registration's Application ID:
    # Specifies your App Registration's secret key:
    # Specifies the list of Active Directory groups to use for authorization:


    Parameter Description
    azure.activedirectory.tenant-id Contains your Active Directory's Directory ID from earlier.
    spring.security.oauth2.client.registration.azure.client-id Contains the Application ID from your app registration that you completed earlier.
    spring.security.oauth2.client.registration.azure.client-secret Contains the Value from your app registration key that you completed earlier.
    azure.activedirectory.active-directory-groups Contains a list of Active Directory groups to use for authorization.


    For a full list of values that are available in your application.properties file, see the Azure Active Directory Spring Boot Sample on GitHub.

  7. Save and close the application.properties file.

  8. Create a folder named controller in the Java source folder for your application; for example: src/main/java/com/wingtiptoys/security/controller.

  9. Create a new Java file named HelloController.java in the controller folder and open it in a text editor.

  10. Enter the following code, then save and close the file:

    package com.wingtiptoys.security;
    import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMapping;
    import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RestController;
    import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
    import org.springframework.security.access.prepost.PreAuthorize;
    import org.springframework.security.oauth2.client.OAuth2AuthorizedClient;
    import org.springframework.security.oauth2.client.authentication.OAuth2AuthenticationToken;
    import org.springframework.ui.Model;
    public class HelloController {
       public String helloWorld() {
          return "Hello World!";


    The group name that you specify for the @PreAuthorize("hasRole('')") method must contain one of the groups that you specified in the azure.activedirectory.active-directory-groups field of your application.properties file.

    You can also specify different authorization settings for different request mappings; for example:

    public class HelloController {
       public String helloWorld() {
          return "Hello Users!";
       public String groupOne() {
          return "Hello Group 1 Users!";
       public String groupTwo() {
          return "Hello Group 2 Users!";
  11. Create a folder named security in the Java source folder for your application; for example: src/main/java/com/wingtiptoys/security/security.

  12. Create a new Java file named WebSecurityConfig.java in the security folder and open it in a text editor.

  13. Enter the following code, then save and close the file:

    package com.wingtiptoys.security;
    import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
    import org.springframework.security.config.annotation.method.configuration.EnableGlobalMethodSecurity;
    import org.springframework.security.config.annotation.web.builders.HttpSecurity;
    import org.springframework.security.config.annotation.web.configuration.EnableWebSecurity;
    import org.springframework.security.config.annotation.web.configuration.WebSecurityConfigurerAdapter;
    import org.springframework.security.oauth2.client.oidc.userinfo.OidcUserRequest;
    import org.springframework.security.oauth2.client.userinfo.OAuth2UserService;
    import org.springframework.security.oauth2.core.oidc.user.OidcUser;
    @EnableGlobalMethodSecurity(prePostEnabled = true)
    public class WebSecurityConfig extends WebSecurityConfigurerAdapter {
        private OAuth2UserService<OidcUserRequest, OidcUser> oidcUserService;
        protected void configure(HttpSecurity http) throws Exception {

Build and test your app

  1. Open a command prompt and change directory to the folder where your app's pom.xml file is located.

  2. Build your Spring Boot application with Maven and run it; for example:

    mvn clean package
    mvn spring-boot:run

    Build your application

  3. After your application is built and started by Maven, open http://localhost:8080 in a web browser; you should be prompted for a user name and password.

    Logging into your application


    You may be prompted to change your password if this is the first login for a new user account.

    Changing your password

  4. After you have logged in successfully, you should see the sample "Hello World" text from the controller.

    Successful login


    User accounts which are not authorized will receive an HTTP 403 Unauthorized message.


In this tutorial, you created a new Java web application using the Azure Active Directory starter, configured a new Azure AD tenant and registered a new application in it, and then configured your application to use the Spring annotations and classes to protect the web app.

Next steps

To learn more about Spring and Azure, continue to the Spring on Azure documentation center.