Mail Session on tomcat and jetty via jndi

Γιώργος Βαλοτάσιος  01/05/2010

It’s been a while since I last bloged but here I am again with something that took me a little bit in order to figure out how exactly should someone define a mail Session at the config files of jetty and tomcat. So the problem here is to define a mail session with name mail/Session using the host as mail server with username mailserver_username and password mypassword.

Show me the code!

Actually in both cases I found documentation on how to define the mail session but didn’t find out how to define the authentication part of it. Let’s jump to the solution


Jetty has the jetty-env.xml file you can use to define resources of the web application. So with in the Configure xml element we add the following

<New id="mailSessionId" class="">
      <New class="org.eclipse.jetty.jndi.factories.MailSessionReference">
        <Set name="user">mailserver_username</Set>
        <Set name="password">mypassword</Set>
        <Set name="properties">
          <New class="java.util.Properties">
            <Put name=""></Put>
            <Put name="mail.debug">true</Put>
            <Put name="mail.smtp.auth">true</Put>


Just like jetty, tomcat has its own file to put configuration about possible references. That is context.xml where we should put the following with in the Context xml element:

<Resource name="mail/Session" auth="Container"
  password="mypassword" />


In both cases I had to dig more than the usual as I din’t find anywhere an as is solution. Things became a little bit clear when start reading the javadoc of its container. For jetty things was a little bit better as you only need the javadoc and then you can figure out the configuration (very nice xml based way to deal with classes but not as short as a configuration should be).

For tomcat the configuration is much more smaller but in order to see how to define the host and the username to use I had to have a look at tomcat source code. I mean why there isn’t any full example at the java doc on the attributes a user can use in order for the org.apache.naming.factory.MailSessionFactory to create a javax.mail.Session using an javax.mail.Authenticator with given username and password.

Getting the session

With in the web application we get the session looking for the given name form an InitialContext. The following snipet will do the trick

Context initial = new InitialContext();
Session session = (Session) initial.lookup("java:/comp/env/mail/Session");