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  • Securing Your Spring Boot Endpoints with AOP and Custom Annotations
  1. Defining Access Levels: We start with an AccessLevel enum to represent different user roles (ADMIN, BASIC, etc.).
public enum AccessLevel {
  1. Creating the @SecureEndpoint Annotation: This annotation marks methods or entire controllers that require authorization. It optionally takes an array of allowed AccessLevel values.
  1. Implementing the SecurityAspect: This is the AOP magic. The @Before advice ensures it runs before any method annotated with @SecureEndpoint or within a controller annotated with @SecureEndpoint.
    • The aspect retrieves the authorization header from the request (implementation details omitted for brevity).
    • It then extracts the user’s type from the authorization token (replace "BASIC" with your token parsing logic).
    • The aspect retrieves the @SecureEndpoint annotation and its allowed access levels.
    • Finally, it checks if the user’s type matches any of the allowed access levels. If not, an UnauthorizedException is thrown, preventing further processing.
  1. Creating the Test Controller: This demonstrates the usage of our annotations. The /getAll endpoint requires admin access, while the base /test route allows everyone.

Benefits of this Approach

  • Clean Separation of Concerns: Security logic is encapsulated within the aspect, keeping controllers focused on business logic.
  • Modular and Reusable: The @SecureEndpoint annotation simplifies authorization configuration for endpoints.
  • Extensible: The AccessLevel enum can be easily expanded to accommodate new user roles.
  • Replace the placeholder String userType = “BASIC”; in SecurityAspect with logic to extract the user type from your chosen token-based authentication system. This might involve libraries like Spring Security or custom token parsing utilities based on your JWT format.
  • Consider improving exception handling. Instead of a generic UnauthorizedException, create specific exceptions for different authorization failures (e.g., InvalidTokenException, InsufficientPermissionsException).
  • The current approach checks for an exact user type match. You can extend this to handle more complex scenarios. For instance, define a permission hierarchy where specific roles inherit access levels from broader ones.
  • Write unit tests for the SecurityAspect to ensure it behaves as expected with different access levels and user types. Integration tests can verify the overall authorization flow within your application.

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