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Using Java RMI with SSL

Many have asked how a Java Remote Method Invocation (Java RMI) application can make remote invocations over secure SSL connections. Below are some questions and answers about using Java RMI with SSL.

Q1: Is it possible to use Java RMI with SSL?

A1: Yes, it is possible, with the use of custom socket factories. An application can export a remote object to use custom socket factories that create sockets of a desired type (for example, SSL sockets). Using this technique, an application can use SSL socket communication instead of the default socket communication. For further details on using custom socket factories, see the tutorial: Using Custom Socket Factories with Java RMI.

Q2: Where can I find a pure Java programming language implementation of SSL?

A2: The JDK includes the Java Secure Socket Extension (JSSE) API which provides an implementation of SSL sockets. See the JSSE Reference Guide for more detailed information on the features and benefits of JSSE.

Q3: Where can I find an example using Java RMI with SSL?

A3: There is an example bundled with the JSSE code examples that illustrates how to use SSL-based connections for calls to a remote object. This is achieved by exporting a remote object to use custom socket factories that create SSL sockets. The JDK provides some standard SSL-based custom socket factory classes; see the javax.rmi.ssl package for more details.

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