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8.5. Summary

In this chapter, we've explored the architecture that forms the basis of the Java security API. This architecture is based on the Security and Provider classes, which together form a set of mappings that allow the security API to determine dynamically the set of classes it should use to implement certain operations.

Implementing a provider is trivial, but implementing the set of classes that must accompany a provider is much harder. We've shown a simple provider class in this chapter. Although we'll show the engine classes in the next few chapters, the mathematics behind designing and implementing a successful cryptographic algorithm are beyond the scope of this book. However, this architecture also allows users and administrators to buy or download third-party implementations of the security architecture and plug those implementations seamlessly into the Java virtual machine; a partial list of available third-party implementations appears in Appendix C, "Security Resources".

In the next few chapters, we'll examine the specifics of the engine classes--that is, the operations--that this security provider architecture makes possible. In those chapters, we'll see how the engines are used, and the benefits each engine provides.

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