Fork me on GitHub

jee-pac4j versus pac4j-jee

With pac4j v5.2, there is a very important new dependency: pac4j-jee. Though, there already exists a jee-pac4j artifact and this may seem confusing!

Let’s come back to the basics: unlike any other security framework, pac4j is first of all a security engine agnostic from any framework and it’s hosted in the Github project:

1) pac4j-XXX dependencies = protocol supports

The core components which will be used for all protocol supports and pac4j implementations are in the pac4j-core dependency. There are:

To support various protocols, there are several dependencies in the pac4j project with their related implementations of the security model:

So, on one side, pac4j-XXX dependencies are protocol supports in the main pac4j project.

2) YYY-pac4j libraries = framework implementations

On the other hand, you want to use pac4j in your development framework and the pac4j-XXX dependencies are not sufficient for that. You need to implement pac4j for your framework.

For example, there is a play-pac4j library (hostead at: which adapts/implements pac4j for the Play framework v2. In this library, there are a PlayWebContext, a SecurityAction using the DefaultSecurityLogic, …

The YYY-pac4j libraries are the implementations of pac4j for various environments: Play, Spring Web, Shiro, Ratpack, Vert.x, … and especially JEE.

In the jee-pac4j library (hostead at:, there is a SecurityFilter which is a simple JEE filter using the DefaultSecurityLogic. You could also expect to find a JEEContext which is the local implementation of the abstracted WebContext, but in fact, this component is not located in the jee-pac4j library. As several development environnements are JEE based (like Spring, SparkJava, Shiro, JEE), the core JEE components were in the pac4j-core dependency. They are now in the pac4j-jee dependency.

This way, things are cleaner: any non-JEE-based implementation must pull pac4j-core while any JEE-based implementation must pull pac4j-jee.

So with the release of pac4j v5.2.0, come the updated releases of jee-pac4j v6.1.0, spring-webmvc-pac4j v5.1.0, spring-security-pac4j v6.1.0 and buji-pac4j v6.1.0, all pulling the pac4j-jee dependency v5.2.0.

Jérôme LELEU - December 2021