An Open Access Peon

09 August 2016

Using Oracle Thin Driver with Client/Server Authentication SSL

Oracle Database server supports SSL on the wire encryption plus client and server authentication. This can be a bit tricky to set up and after much exhaustive searching I've never found a complete description of the steps to set up the client-side configuration (or at least, using a Tomcat Resource).

The following instructions describe how I set up SSL authentication (/encryption) from a Tomcat WebApp to Oracle Database server.

You must use a recent OJDBC6.JAR. Older versions (I can't work out which) have a bug relating to parsing passwords from connection properties. Download the latest OJDBC6 or OJDBC7 from Oracle. Place ojdbc6.jar into tomcat/lib.

You will need the "keytool" from the Java JDK or JRE.

Create a new keystore with self-signed certificate:

keytool -genkey -alias %computername% -keystore keystore.jks -storepass changeme -validity 3650

When prompted you probably want to use your machine name for the "What is your first and last name" (the CN= bit of the addressing).

Export the self-signed certificate:

keytool -export -keystore keystore.jks -storepass changeme -alias %computername% -file %computername%.cer

Provide this to your Oracle DBA who will import the certificate into the database trust store (wallet). The DBA should provide you a certificate chain for the server. Import these into your Java keystore:

keytool -importcert -noprompt -keystore keystore.jks -storepass changeme -file SERVER.CRT

In your Tomcat server.xml create a new Resource entry under GlobalNamingResources:

In your WebApp's context.xml create an appropriate mapping:

You can then connect to and use your new database connection using:


It is generally easier to debug SSL configuration problems using the sqlplus client tool. You will need an Oracle wallet (orapki tool) to do this, which I won't cover in this blog post. The following may help diagnose problems with your client configuration though.
  • Format error - check connectionProperties doesn't contain spaces/newlines
  • IO Error: The Network Adapter could not establish the connection - 1) check your have the correct passwords for trustStorePassword and keyStorePassword 2) try a newer version of ojdbc6.jar / confirm you are using the verison you expect 3) this is a genuine network/hostname problem 4) Ensure isn't specified in or elsewhere (seems to override connectionProperties)
  • IO Error: NL Exception was generated - check server.xml's resource url attribute is formatted correctly