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Specialized Realm Implementations
Tomcat provides two methods for protecting resources. The first authentication implementation provided with Tomcat is a memory realm. The class that implements the memory realm is org.apache.catalina.realm.MemoryRealm.
The MemoryRealm class uses a simple XML file as a container of users. The second authentication implementation included with Tomcat is a JDBC realm.
A JDBCRealm class is much like the MemoryRealm, with the exception of where it stores its collection of users. A JDBCRealm stores all of its users in a userdefined, JDBC-compliant database.
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Tomcat valves are a new technology introduced with Tomcat 4. They allow you to associate an instance of a Java class with a particular Catalina container.
Valves are proprietary to Tomcat and cannot, at this time, be used in a different servlet/JSP container.