Servlet 3.1 is a relatively minor release included in Java EE 7. However, the Java EE foundational API still contains some very important changes. One such set of features are the security enhancements done in Servlet 3.1 such as the new role-name="*" and role-name="**" options. Servlet 3.1 co-spec lead Shing Wai Chan outlines the use case for the feature and shows you how to use it in a recent code example driven post. He also references the features in his brief Servlet 3.1 overview presentation on the GlassFish Videos YouTube channel(embedded below).
role-name="*" and role-name="**" in Servlet 3.1
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