Java Access Control List

What Does Java Access Control List Mean?

A Java access control list (ACL) is a data structure that grants or denies permission to access resources based on its object entries. The ACL is independent of authentication or encryption schemes, as well as other guarded resources. A typical ACL entry includes a principal or group object, associated permission objects and a positive or negative value. The entry must have a positive value to allow the principal object to perform the action.


The package contains all interfaces required to implement the Java ACL, while the data structure specifies the default package implementation. The Java ACL principal or group object is a human or system process, and the permission object is a user-allowed operation.

Techopedia Explains Java Access Control List

In the Java ACL model, a user may need to request a specific data operation. The ACL checks its entries to determine user permissions and if the user is authorized, the user may perform the operation. The ACL is a guard that grants or denies access permission by acting on contained data entries.

Java ACL may be explained with the following example: An individual named John wants to delete a particular piece of data. When John makes a request to delete the data, the ACL checks its entries to verify whether or not John may perform this action. If an entry confirms that John is authorized, John may delete the data. If John does not have the appropriate user permission, he is unable to perform the deletion and is denied access.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…