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Timed JWT payloads and HTTP redirect improvements with Open Liberty

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Austin Bailey on Jan 22, 2021
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With Open Liberty you can now make use of the new nbfOffset attribute, allowing for "not-before" timed payloads via JWT Builder. Also included is new behaviour for HTTP redirects that permits the use of fully relative linking.

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dependencies {
    libertyRuntime group: 'io.openliberty', name: 'openliberty-runtime', version: '[,)'

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Scheduled payloads with JWT Builder

New in Open Liberty, the jwtBuilder element has been enhanced with a new attribute called nbfOffset which can be used to configure an NBF claim for a JWT payload. The time set for the nbfOffset will be added to the current time and the result will determine when Json Web Tokens will start to be accepted for processing.

To configure the "not-before" claim using jwtBuilder, add the following to your sever.xml configuration file.

<jwtBuilder nbfOffset="1800s" />

If the JWT was issued at the current time, then the token can only be used after 1800 seconds have passed from the current time.

jwtBuilder is a part of the jwt-1.0 feature, to add the feature to your project add the following to the server.xml:


For more information:

Relative linking for HTTP Redirects

Included in Open Liberty is an enhancement for the servlet-4.0 feature, within Open Liberty the sendRedirect() is used to direct a client to a new page or location away from the original page. Previously, Open Liberty would always convert the provided relative URL in the sendRedirect() function to an absolute URL. This could lead to problems for applications that took advantage of reverse proxy servers.

To solve the problems presented, Open Liberty has introduced a new redirecttorelativeurl web container property that will tell the application whether or not to construct absoulte URLs from relative redirect links. This property can be set in the server.xml file:

    <webContainer redirecttorelativeurl="true"/>

For more information:

Notable bugs fixed in this release

We’ve spent some time fixing bugs in, including the following issues:

  • Improved recovery when core components are reinstalled at runtime

    An external contributor reported a flaw in Open Liberty’s detection of changes to the JARs that compose the server implementation. When such changes were detected Liberty would force the JAR to be uninstalled and installed again. In most cases this allowed the runtime to recover and function properly. In specific cases, where some core component was re-installed, Liberty would not properly recover and it would result in some Java packages to be unavailable for class loading. For example, on Java 11 the package javax.xml.soap would become unavailable to the application class loaders.

    The most common environment where this occurred was running Open Liberty in OpenShift. This behavior has now been corrected for Open Liberty

  • OAuth user registry lookups may use incorrect custom cache key

    In previous releases, a flaw existed where a previously authenticated user’s Subject might not be found in the authentication cache during an OAuth authentication flow, when using a custom user registry. The cache key used to retrieve user claims from the authentication cache was based on the realm and username, but the correct cache key might be a combination of the OAuth provider name and the OAuth token object itself. The behavior has been corrected and the appropriate cache key should now be used.

    For more information visit the Open Liberty Documentation.

  • Add HTTP/2 IOException for misbehaving client error case

    It was previously possible for the HTTP/2 channel to throw a NullPointerException when it attempted to write out HTTP headers on a connection that had been terminated due to a connection error. Beginning in Open Liberty, the HTTP/2 channel will now throw a more informative IOException for this scenario. Read more about Open Liberty’s support for HTTP/2.

  • CONTAINER_NAME env variable is not reflected in logstashCollector-1.0

    Starting from Open Liberty, JSON logs created by the logstashCollector-1.0 feature do not properly reflect the value set for the environment variable CONTAINER_NAME. The value set for CONTAINER_NAME should be reflected in the serverName field of the JSON logs, but the default server name from is shown instead. This behaviour has been corrected for Open Liberty, visit the Logstash Collector Documentation for more information.

  • Stop the ACME Certificate Checker Task when the server is stopping

    Support for the Automatic Certificate Management Environment (ACME) protocol was added in Open Liberty, enabling automatic fetching of browser-trusted TLS certificates from an ACME certificate authority. This release resolves a bug where the background task scheduled to check for expiring or revoked certification remains scheduled after the server enters quiesce phase. The task is now cancelled when the server is stopping. Read more about Open Liberty’s support for the ACME protocol.

  • Enable MyFaces 2.3.7 for Open Liberty

    The jsf-2.3 feature in Open Liberty makes use of Apache MyFaces JavaServer Faces implementation. With the release of Apache MyFaces 2.3.7 a number of improvements and bug fixes have been made, for more information visit the Apache MyFaces 2.3.7 changelog.

  • Dynacache initialization issue when ID is missing

    An external user discovered that the initialization of a distributedMap fails with a NullPointerException if the id element is not present in the distributedMap configuration. A clearer message should have been displayed to indicate the required id element is missing. To address this the distributedMap definition has been modified to mark the id element as required.

    The configuration runtime will now issue an error message:

    CWWKG0058E: The element distributedMap with the unique identifier default-0 is missing the required attribute id.

    and the distributedMap will not be put into service. This new behaviour is introduced in Open Liberty

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