The Price of all “Rest with Spring” course packages will increase by $50 next Friday:


1. Overview

A common requirement for a web application is to redirect different types of users to different pages after login. An example of this would be redirecting standard users to a /homepage.html page and admin users to a /console.html page for example.

This article will show how to quickly and safely implement this mechanism using Spring Security. The article is also building on top of the Spring MVC tutorial which deals with setting up the core MVC stuff necessary for the project.

2. The Spring Security Configuration

Spring Security provides a component that has the direct responsibility of deciding what to do after a successful authentication – the AuthenticationSuccessHandler. This strategy component is configurable via the namespace:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

    <http use-expressions="true" >
        <intercept-url pattern="/login*" access="permitAll" />
        <intercept-url pattern="/**" access="isAuthenticated()" />

        <form-login login-page='/login.html' 


    <beans:bean id="myAuthenticationSuccessHandler"
        class="" />

                <user name="user1" password="user1Pass" authorities="ROLE_USER" />
                <user name="admin1" password="admin1Pass" authorities="ROLE_ADMIN" />


The parts of this configuration to focus on are the definition of the custom authentication success handler bean and using that bean to configure the <form-login> element and the authentication-success-handler-ref attribute.

The rest of the configuration is pretty standard stuff: a single, simple <http> element securing everything and only permitting unauthenticated access to /login*, and the standard in-memory authentication provider to keep things simple.

3. The Custom Authentication Success Handler

Besides the AuthenticationSuccessHandler interface, Spring also provides a sensible default for this strategy component – the AbstractAuthenticationTargetUrlRequestHandler and a simple implementation – the SimpleUrlAuthenticationSuccessHandler. Typically these implementations will determine the URL after login and perform a redirect to that URL.

While somewhat flexible, the mechanism to determine this target URL does not allow the determination to be done programmatically – so we’re going to implement the interface and provide a custom implementation of the success handler. This implementation is going to determine the URL to redirect the user to after login based on the role of the user:

public class MySimpleUrlAuthenticationSuccessHandler
  implements AuthenticationSuccessHandler {
    protected Log logger = LogFactory.getLog(this.getClass());

    private RedirectStrategy redirectStrategy = new DefaultRedirectStrategy();

    public void onAuthenticationSuccess(HttpServletRequest request, 
      HttpServletResponse response, Authentication authentication)
      throws IOException {
        handle(request, response, authentication);

    protected void handle(HttpServletRequest request, 
      HttpServletResponse response, Authentication authentication)
      throws IOException {
        String targetUrl = determineTargetUrl(authentication);

        if (response.isCommitted()) {
              "Response has already been committed. Unable to redirect to " 
              + targetUrl);

        redirectStrategy.sendRedirect(request, response, targetUrl);

    protected String determineTargetUrl(Authentication authentication) {
        boolean isUser = false;
        boolean isAdmin = false;
        Collection<? extends GrantedAuthority> authorities
         = authentication.getAuthorities();
        for (GrantedAuthority grantedAuthority : authorities) {
            if (grantedAuthority.getAuthority().equals("ROLE_USER")) {
                isUser = true;
            } else if (grantedAuthority.getAuthority().equals("ROLE_ADMIN")) {
                isAdmin = true;

        if (isUser) {
            return "/homepage.html";
        } else if (isAdmin) {
            return "/console.html";
        } else {
            throw new IllegalStateException();

    protected void clearAuthenticationAttributes(HttpServletRequest request) {
        HttpSession session = request.getSession(false);
        if (session == null) {

    public void setRedirectStrategy(RedirectStrategy redirectStrategy) {
        this.redirectStrategy = redirectStrategy;
    protected RedirectStrategy getRedirectStrategy() {
        return redirectStrategy;

The determineTargetUrl – which is the core of the strategy – simply looks at the type of user (determined by the authority) and picks the target URL based on this role.

So, an admin user – determined by the ROLE_ADMIN authority – will be redirected to the console page after login, while the standard user – as determined by ROLE_USER – will be redirected to the homepage.

4. Conclusion

As always, the code presented in this article is available over on Github. This is a Maven based project, so it should be easy to import and run as it is.

The Price of all “Rest with Spring” course packages will increase by $50 next Friday:


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Dummy Guy

Thank you man! You helped me =)

Edward Beckett

Nice… Just what I was looking for… +1

jitendra kumawat

Thanks, you did good job!!!

Wouter Samaey

I tried to use an auto wired service and a request scoped bean here, but that doesn’t work. Any idea why I cannot access these? I get an error message saying that perhaps the code is executed outside of the request. Is there anything to this?

Eugen Paraschiv

That will depend on weather or not you’re inside a request or not – do you have any sample project I could look at? You can fork the tutorial on github and include this new request bean so that I can easily replicate the exception. Cheers,

Billy Turf

Nice blog. What is the purpose of calling the method clearAuthenticationAttributes(request) ?

Eugen Paraschiv

Hey Billy – so, the implementation of the AuthenticationSuccessHandler is mostly copied from the SimpleUrlAuthenticationSuccessHandler – with a few modifications, as explained above. That call comes from the original implementation with the purpose of removing any remaining session data after finishing the handling of the request. Cheers,