Monday, March 24, 2008


I've been playing around with the OWASP ESAPI since I volunteered to write some content for the OWASP Java project.

While I always knew that ESAPI was a great concept, now that I've actually used it, I see how robust it is and how much hard work went into it by Jeff Williams and his colleagues.

I like to keep things simple for myself and avoid the use of things like resource intensive IDE's (Eclipse) :-) I just like to write my simple test scripts/programs/servlets in textpad and run/compile things from the command line. That said, getting the ESAPI working took a bit of trial and error.

Once I figured out that I needed to set a system resource in my JRE which points to the location of, I was pretty much rocking and rolling. I progressed pretty easily, and as I ran into more road blocks, I realized these were just more objects that needed to be in the same folder as the properties file - such as users.txt (an adhoc user repository). I guess if I used Eclipse properly, this wouldn't be such a hassle.

But I take pride in the fact that I don't rely on any IDE to get my code to compile.

While I plan on working with ESAPI and writing about it more in the future, here is a basic list of what you need to configure to get ESAPI cooking without any IDE nonsense:

1. Download JAR:

2. Install Tomcat & JDK ( has a great tutorial if you're new to this)
3. Configure environment:

JAVA_HOME=c:\program files\java\jdk1.6.0_05
Path=C:\program files\java\jdk1.6.0_05\bin
CLASSPATH=c:\dev\test;c:\program files\java\jdk1.6.0_05\lib;%CATALINA_HOME%\lib\servlet-api.jar;%CATALINA_HOME%\lib\jsp-api.jar;c:\bin\esapi\owasp-esapi-java-1.1.1.jar

4. Edit catalina.bat to include appropriate start up options in JAVA environment:
set JAVA_OPTS=-Dorg.owasp.esapi.resources="/bin/ESAPI"

5. Place file and users.txt in /bin/ESAPI (or where ever you specify the path to be)

6. Configure some simple servlets that invoke the API (see OWASP ESAPI for some code samples).


Anonymous said...

nice job! IDE's are the devil. Unless you count XEmacs as an IDE.

Such a sad commentless blog. You need to do some SEO or something.

Santosh said...

What are your thoughts on HDIV (Http Data Integrity Validator) & OWASP Java project along with Spring Acegi Security...?