Model Glue Event Security Using Broadcasts and Results

2008 June 05
tags: Model Glue
by Paul Marcotte
When building web applications, you will inevitably need to provide secure pages or an entire area of your application for users and administrators. For my most recent Model Glue project I wanted to define a common approach to securing all access to the admin area with the exception of login pages. After several failed attempts at universal security, I decided that securing events is best achieved through explicit broadcasts and results, with a minimal amount of logic handled within the controller. Here's a simple example. Let's presume that the default event for my admin sub-application is "admin.home", here is my event listener declaration. <event-handler name="admin.home">
<message name="loginRequired" />
<result name="noValidLogin" do="login.go" redirect="true" />
<result do="layout" />
<include name="content" template="home.cfm" />
The loginRequired has a listener defined by the following. <controller name="SecurityController" type="admin.controller.SecurityController">
<message-listener message="loginRequired" function="verifyLogin" />
Finally, in my SecurityController, the verifyLogin method looks like this. <cffunction name="verifyLogin" access="public" returnType="void" output="false">
<cfargument name="event" type="any">
<cfif not getSecurityService().adminLoggedIn()>
<cfset arguments.event.addresult("noValidLogin")>
In a previous application I chose to use event.forward() within my controller to redirect the request to the login event. Although this works, it is, in my opinion, better to use addResult and have Model Glue handle the redirection. Although the xml is more verbose, I really like that the intent of each event is clearly defined. Which provides a nice roadmap for any other developers that may take over the project.