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MicroProfile 5.0, JWE support in OIDC and Social Media Login, and many more exciting new features in Open Liberty

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Ryan Storey on Jan 18, 2022

Open Liberty offers many exciting new features including MicroProfile 5.0, enabling applications to use MicroProfile APIs together with Jakarta EE 9.1. Other enhancements include MicroProfile RestClient’s implementation switching from Apache CXF to RESTEasy, MicroProfile OpenAPI receiving an update to support multiple applications, and JWE support being added to OpenID Connect Client and Social Media Login. Several other features and many bug fixes are also included in, as well as the introduction of signature files for our downloadable release binaries.

In Open Liberty

View the list of fixed bugs in

Run your apps using

If you’re using Maven, here are the coordinates:


Or for Gradle:

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

Or if you’re using Docker:

FROM open-liberty

Or take a look at our Downloads page.

Ask a question on Stack Overflow

MicroProfile 5.0

MicroProfile 5.0 enables applications to use MicroProfile APIs together with Jakarta EE 9.1. MicroProfile 5.0, which includes Config 3.0, Fault Tolerance 4.0, Rest Client 3.0, Health 4.0, Metrics 4.0, Open Tracing 3.0, Open API 3.0, and JWT propagation 2.0, does not provide any other functional updates except aligning with the Jakarta namespace.

MicroProfile Rest Client 3.0 - Switching to RESTEasy

Although all features included in MicroProfile 5 received updates to make them compatible with Jakarta EE 9, Rest Client 3.0 deserves extra attention as its Open Liberty implementation is switching to RESTEasy (previously it used Apache CXF). This change brings with it some behavior and property changes (most of which are already documented as differences between jaxrs-2.1 and restfulWS-3.0).

Add the feature to the server.xml:


Support multiple applications in mpOpenApi-2.0

MicroProfile OpenAPI helps you document the REST endpoints of your application by creating and serving documentation in the OpenAPI format.

MicroProfile OpenAPI can now create OpenAPI documentation for more than one application. Previously, only the first deployed web module which included a JAX-RS application would be documented. When two or more web modules containing JAX-RS applications are deployed, the MicroProfile OpenAPI feature can now create documentation for each of them and then merge that documentation together.

To enable this functionality, you must set the MicroProfile Config property mp.openapi.extensions.liberty.merged.include=all, e.g. by adding this to your server.xml:

<variable name="mp.openapi.extensions.liberty.merged.include" value="all"/>

With this property set, deploy several JAX-RS applications and visit /openapi/ui on your Open Liberty server where you should see documentation for all the applications.

The following MP Config properties can be used to configure this feature:

Name Description Default Values


List of modules which should be included in the merged OpenAPI documentation


  • all (to include all applications)

  • first (to include only the first web module deployed, matching the previous behavior)

  • comma-separated list of <appname> (to include individual applications) and <appname>/<modulename> (to include individual modules within an EAR)


  • List of modules which should be excluded from the merged OpenAPI documentation

  • Takes priority over the list of included modules


  • none (to exclude nothing)

  • comma-separated list of <appname> (to exclude individual applications) and <appname>/<modulename> (to exclude individual modules within an EAR)

This property sets the info section of the final Open API document


  • The value must be a valid OpenAPI info section in JSON format. If this property is set, the info section in the final OpenAPI document is replaced with the value of the property. This replacement is made after any merging is completed.

For more information, refer to the openAPI multi-module documentation.

Support JWE for OpenID Connect Client and Social Media Login

With this release, the OpenID Connect Client 1.0 and Social Media Login 1.0 features support receiving tokens in the JSON Web Encryption (JWE) format. A JWE is a way to represent encrypted content using JSON. In addition to supporting JWE, the OpenID Connect Client 1.0 feature provides an option to temporarily cache access token validation results for inbound propagation. Both features add support for the RS384, RS512, HS384, HS512, ES256, ES384, and ES512 signature algorithms.

Prior to this release, the OpenID Connect Client 1.0 and Social Media Login 1.0 features did not support consuming access or ID tokens in JWE format. This limited our interoperability with other OIDC clients and providers that use JWEs to propagate access tokens or provide identifying information about the authenticated user. With this release, the OpenID Connect Client 1.0 and Social Media Login 1.0 features will be able to interoperate with OpenID Connect Providers that provide JWE formatted access and ID tokens.

You can configure a Liberty OpenID Connect Relying Party to process access and ID tokens that are in a JWE format. The corresponding OpenID Connect Provider should support creating JWE access or ID tokens.

  • Set the OpenID Connect Provider with the OpenID Connect Relying Party’s public key that is used to encrypt the Content Encryption Key according to the OpenID Connect Provider’s documentation.

  • Set the keyManagementKeyAlias attribute to the private key alias of the key management key that is used to decrypt the Content Encryption Key of JWE token. The key must exist in the keyStore configured for the SSL configuration referred by the sslRef attribute. For example,

    <openidConnectClient keyManagementKeyAlias="privateKeyAlias" />

Optional: Configure access token cache. You can configure a Liberty OpenID Connect Relying Party to cache access token validation results for inbound propagation.

  • Set the accessTokenCacheEnabled attribute to true.

  • Set the accessTokenCacheTimeout attribute to a duration specifying how long an authenticated subject that is created by using a propagated access token is cached.

  • Set the tokenReuse attribute to true if the OpenID Connect Relying Party must cache results for a JWT access token that includes a jti claim.

    Although enabling this support may result in a performance improvement, it is recommended that the value for the accessTokenCacheTimeout attribute is short to reduce the possibility of a stale result as compared to what a validation call to the OpenID Connect Provider would have produced.

You can also configure Liberty OIDC Social Login to process ID tokens that are in a JWE format. The corresponding OpenID Connect Provider should support creating JWE ID tokens.

  • Set the OpenID Connect Provider with the OIDC Social Login’s public key that is used to encrypt the Content Encryption Key according to the OpenID Connect Provider’s documentation.

  • Set the keyManagementKeyAlias attribute to the private key alias of the key management key that is used to decrypt the Content Encryption Key of JWE token. The key must exist in the keyStore configured for the SSL configuration referred by the sslRef attribute. For example,

    <oidcLogin keyManagementKeyAlias="privateKeyAlias" />

The signatureAlgorithm attributes of both elements now support the RS384, RS512, HS384, HS512, ES256, ES384, and ES512 signature algorithms.

<openidConnectClient signatureAlgorithm="RS384"/>
<oidcLogin signatureAlgorithm="RS384"/>

Block Loading of Classes with Known Vulnerabilities (e.g. Apache log4j "JndiLookup")

Applications deployed to Liberty may run versions of Log4j2 that are affected by Log4Shell (CVE-2021-44228) and related vulnerabilities.

This new function modifies the application and library class loaders to block the loading of the org.apache.logging.log4j.core.lookup.JndiLookup class, which is the cause of the vulnerability.

Users should analyze their applications for use of Log4j2 with urgency; in the meantime this functionality may help mitigate Log4Shell and other vulnerabilities related to the org.apache.logging.log4j.core.lookup.JndiLookup class. However, one should note that this will not protect in cases where the Log4j2 classes have been renamed (a process known as "shading") or if Log4j2 is loaded by other class loaders, such the Java system class loader or user-created class loaders.

Release packages are now signed

Starting in release, we are signing our downloadable binaries. You can use these signature files and the corresponding public key to verify the authenticity and integrity of an Open Liberty release package.

The Open Liberty project uses its private key to digitally sign each Open Liberty release. You can use the Open Liberty public key to check the signature, verify that the package was released by Open Liberty, and that it was not modified since its release.

You can verify a release package either locally, by using the openssl command and a *.sig file, or on Maven Central, by using the gpg command.

Verifying Open Liberty packages with OpenSSL

To verify an Open Liberty release package locally, you must first download an Open Liberty .zip package, the corresponding .sig file, and the Open Liberty public key. You can then run the openssl command to verify the package.

Go to the Download package section of the Get Started page and download an Open Liberty .zip package and its corresponding .sig file.

Obtain the public key file by using the public key link on the Get Started page.

After you download the files, use the openssl command from the command line to verify the package. For example:

openssl dgst -sha256 -verify WebSphereLiberty_06-02-2021.pem -signature

Verified OK

This example uses the WebSphereLiberty_06-02-2021.pem public key file and signature file to verify the release package. Replace the signature file and package version values according to the package that you want to verify. If the verification is successful, the command produces the following console output.

Verify Liberty packages on Maven Central

To verify Open Liberty packages on Maven Central, you must first download the public key to your local machine by using the gpg or gpg2 command. You must edit the trust level for the key owner. You can then use this key to remotely verify an Open Liberty .asc release file on Maven Central.

Run the following command to download the public key file. The key ID value for the public key is 46102B8E.

gpg2 --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys 46102B8E

Use the gpg2 --edit-key command to set the trust for the key owner to 5. When you run the gpg2 --edit-key command, the console displays information about the key owner, followed by an internal command prompt. At this prompt, enter the trust command. You are then prompted to select a level of trust. Enter 5.

gpg2 --edit-key "WebSphere Liberty"
gpg> trust

Set trust 5

Verify the file by running the gpg2 --verify command. The following example verifies the Open Liberty release package:

gpg2 --verify

gpg: assuming signed data in ''
gpg: Signature made Wed Nov 24 09:02:44 2021 EST
gpg: using RSA key 91FFD9A642D060B66B802B9D4D210F6946102B8E
gpg: Good signature from "WebSphere Liberty (Works for IBM) [email protected]" [ultimate]
gpg: aka "WebSphereLiberty" [ultimate]

Using expansion variables in server.env

This update allows you to specify environment variables in the server.env file on Linux which are resolved when the server starts. This capability already exists on Windows.

Prior to this update, it might be necessary to provide custom packaged servers with hard-coded values in the server.env. Now server.env can consume these values from the system environment. On Windows this capability already existed, though it was not documented anywhere.

On Windows, this capability is enabled by default and has always existed. Since this is new to all other operating systems, it is necessary to enable the new capability by adding a comment line near the top of the file:

# enable_variable_expansion

Environment variables are specified using ${variable_name} syntax, except on Windows where the syntax is !variable_name! In the examples below the LOG_FILE variable is assigned the value of an environment variable. This example changes the name of the log file from the default name of console.log.

Example server.env on Windows:


Example server.env on Linux:

# enable_variable_expansion

For more information check out the Server configuration overview documentation.

JVM Working Directory

This enhancement introduces a new SERVER_WORKING_DIR environment variable which allows the user to set the JVM working directory location to something other than the ${WLP_OUTPUT_DIR}/serverName location. For portability purposes, the path supports not only absolute paths (one that contains a c:\ on Windows, or a / on linux based operating systems), but also allows users to specify relative paths to the ${WLP_OUTPUT_DIR}/serverName directory.

For example, the user could set the Open Liberty JVM output to be added to the ${WLP_OUTPUT_DIR}/serverName/logs location so that all JVM related data would be in with the server log data (relative path example) by setting the following:


Or the user could move the information outside of the ${WLP_OUTPUT_DIR}/serverName location by doing something similar to the following (which would put the data in the /wlp/usr/servers/logs/ folder and is an absolute path example for Linux based operating systems):


An absolute path example on Windows would look similar to the following:


This enhancement gives users more flexibility regarding the location of the Open Liberty JVM output.

Customizing Stale Connection Identification

Open Liberty maintains a pool of JDBC connections to improve performance. It is necessary for Open Liberty to be able to identify when connections have become stale and are no longer usable so that such connections can be removed from the pool. Open Liberty leverages multiple standards made available by the JDBC and SQL specifications, as well as relying on some built-in knowledge of vendor-specific behavior for some JDBC drivers in order to achieve this.

Not all JDBC drivers completely follow the JDBC/SQL specifications in identifying stale connections. If you are using such a JDBC driver, it is now possible for you to provide additional configuration for a data source that helps identify the vendor-specific SQL states and error codes that are raised by the JDBC driver, enabling Liberty to better maintain the connection pool.

Configure one or more <identifyException> subelements under <dataSource> to provide the SQLException identification detail.

  ... other features

<dataSource id="DefaultDataSource" jndiName="jdbc/myDataSource">
    <jdbcDriver libraryRef="myJDBCLib"/>
    <properties databaseName="TESTDB" serverName="localhost" portNumber="1234"/>
    <!-- identify the following as stale connections, -->
    <identifyException sqlState="08000" as="StaleConnection"/>
    <identifyException errorCode="2468" as="StaleConnection"/>
    <!-- remove built-in identification of SQL state S1000 -->
    <identifyException sqlState="S1000" as="None"/>

<library id="myJDBCLib">
    <file name="C:/drivers/some-jdbc-driver.jar"/>

Improvements to Deployment Descriptor Parsing

This update updates the parsing of application deployment descriptor resources and updates the parsing of application bindings and extensions resources. These resources are XML format files which provide metadata for the application. Deployment descriptors are community defined, and include XML files application.xml, ejb-jar.xml, web.xml, application-client.xml and ra.xml. Bindings and extensions resources are in addition to the community defined resources, and are vendor specific. IBM defined bindings and extensions resources include ibm-application-bnd.xml, ibm-application-ext.xml, and several others. This update modifies the parsing of these XML resources in two ways. First, by relaxing rules relating to the header elements of the resources. The parsing rules were relaxed, allowing XML resources to have less header information than was previously required. Before the update, several header elements were required. After the update, only a version or a namespace-URI value are required. Second, this update improves the error messages which are displayed if there are problems parsing a resource. Error messages are now more specific, and contain more accurate information which describes where the errors occurred.

Notable bugs fixed in this release

We’ve spent some time fixing bugs. The following sections describe just some of the issues resolved in this release. If you’re interested, here’s the full list of bugs fixed in

  • featureUtility installServerFeature fails when user feature is listed

    featureUtility installServerFeatures previously contained bugs when the user configured a product extension in their server.xml, e.g.


    If the user feature file doesn’t contain the following regex (Liberty version), \\d\\d\\.\\d\\.\\d\\.\\d\\.esa, the user feature would not be installed to the defined product extension. The user feature doesn’t need to have the same version as the Liberty version. The tool didn’t fetch the installed features properly. Changes have been made to the underlying code to ensure that the feature name is extracted correctly from the filename.

  • ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException during startup with mpOpenApi

    During startup, mpOpenApi uses jandex to index classes and the following exception was observed:

    java.lang.ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException: Index 0 out of bounds for length 0
            at org.jboss.jandex.Indexer.updateTypeTarget(
            at org.jboss.jandex.Indexer.updateTypeTargets(
            at org.jboss.jandex.Indexer.index(
            at io.openliberty.microprofile.openapi20.utils.IndexUtils.indexContainer(
            at io.openliberty.microprofile.openapi20.utils.IndexUtils.indexContainer(

    This exception should not occur, however this was an issue in jandex which was fixed in version 2.4.1, therefore we fixed this issue by updating jandex to version 2.4.1.

  • Classes are still indexed by mpOpenAPI when mp.openapi.scan.disable=true

    When the config option mp.openapi.scan.disable=true, application classes were still indexed using Jandex even though the result is discarded and isn’t used to generate the OpenAPI document. This was unhelpful since scanning is a relatively slow operation. We expect classes to not be scanned at all. A fix has been implemented so that classes are not scanned at all when scanning is disabled.

  • Memory Leak with mpJWT

    When using JWTs to authenticate into a server, there was a chance a memory leak would occur after running for a long time leading to an OutOfMemory error. A workaround was to disable the authCache by adding the following to the server.xml.

    <authentication id="Basic" cacheEnabled="false" />

    In this case, the HashMap in AuthenticationGuard never had entries removed from it because the key used for the put (hashtableAuthData) is different from the key used later to see if it should be removed (authenticationData). This eventually leads to a large HashMap and OOM Error. The change here to fix the issue was to make sure the same key is used in relinquishAccess that was used in requestAccess, which ensures that entries are removed from the HashMap.

  • New HTTP/2 streams still accepted while server is closing

    Due to an oversight in a previous fix, HTTP/2 streams could still be accepted after the server shutdown process begins. This would happen during server shutdown, with a quiesce timeout active, and an HTTP/2 connection actively generating new streams. As long as new streams keep the connection open during the quiesce timeout, the quiesce warning message would be invoked. A similar warning would be logged:

    CWWKE1106W: 1 shutdown operations did not complete during the quiesce period.

    During quiesce, connections should begin closing down. In HTTP/1.1 this implies disabling keep-alive. In HTTP/2, sending a GOAWAY once quiesce begins. We have worked on improving the HTTP/2 server shutdown behaviour to fix this issue.

  • Unresolved gRPC bundles in feature when used alongside servlet-5.0

    Previously, the components within the grpc monitor bundles did not properly resolve when running on the Jakarta EE9 servlet-5.0 feature. This bug occurred when gRPC runs alongside the servlet-5.0 feature and some monitoring feature is enabled. For instance, this bug would occur with grpc-1.0 and mpMetrics-4.0. This bug was fixed by updating the range of io.grpc versions for EE9.

  • JNDI lookup to CORBA URL can hang

    A naming lookup that results in the first call to the CORBA COSNaming NameService should cause the service to be activated. However, previously, if two concurrent naming lookups found the service not yet activated, a race condition could have occurred, and one of the calls could have hung. This happened because the activator incorrectly propagates an exception:


    The NamingServiceAdapterActivator should simply return false to indicate that activation failed. One call should activate the service and use it, and the other call should use the already-activated service. Both calls should succeed. A fix has been implemented to solve this issue.

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