Valid since:
XL Release 4.0.10

Version 4.0.10 of XL Release introduced HttpRequest, a new underlying base class for HTTP requests which is used in webhooks and is available in custom tasks. HttpRequest is based on Apache HTTP Components (Apache HC). This offers more configuration options around HTTP than Jython’s implementation of httplib, which was used previously (usually via the deprecated XLRequest base class).

Apache HC’s default SSL configuration aims for security, failing to accept things like hostname mismatches between a target host and its certificate (some of the default settings cause slightly different behavior when compared to the old XLRequest class).

Here are some examples of how to configure the Apache HC client in HttpRequest with different SSL options. These are based on a fresh 4.0.10 installation of XL Release for SSL has been enabled and a self-signed certificate for localhost has been generated.

Extract HttpRequest to the extensions directory

Create one of the following directories, if it does not already exist:

  • For XL Release 4.7.x or earlier: XL_RELEASE_SERVER_HOME/ext/pythonutil
  • For XL Release 4.8.0 or later: XL_RELEASE_SERVER_HOME/ext/xlrelease

Extract the class (in XL_RELEASE_SERVER_HOME/lib/server-<version>.jar) into the directory. This will override the class provided in the JAR file. You can do this by copying the JAR file to a temporary directory, opening it with a ZIP file browser (change the file extension to .zip if necessary), and extracting the file from the pythonutil or xlrelease directory.

Set up a sandbox template with a test task

Create a simple “sandbox” release template with a single script task to test the various settings:

"Sandbox" release template

This fails on two counts, as expected: first, it’s a self-signed certificate and, secondly, the certificate is for localhost, not nb-aphillips (the machine’s hostname):

SSL handshake error

Configure HttpRequest to trust self-signed certificates

As a first step, configure HttpRequest to trust the self-signed certificate. This means changing HttpRequest to not use Apache HC’s default HttpClient object, but one that is configured with the required SSL options. Here, the original client = HttpClients.createDefault() call is commented out and a createHttpClient method that returns a client configured to trust all certificates has been added.

from org.apache.http.conn.ssl import SSLContextBuilder, SSLConnectionSocketFactory, TrustSelfSignedStrategy
def executeRequest(self, request):
    client = None
    response = None
        # replace the original default client with a call to our new method
        #client = HttpClients.createDefault()
        client = self.createHttpClient()
# we're adding this method to the class
def createHttpClient(self):
    # see the Javadoc for SSLConnectionSocketFactory for more options
    builder = SSLContextBuilder()
    builder.loadTrustMaterial(None, TrustSelfSignedStrategy())
    socketfactory = SSLConnectionSocketFactory(
    # print 'DEBUG: Created custom HttpClient to trust all certs\n'
    return HttpClients.custom().setSSLSocketFactory(socketfactory).build()

Note that an additional import statement for the required classes to the initial section of has also been added.

Now, there is only a hostname mismatch:

Hostname mismatch

Configure HttpRequest to ignore hostname mismatches

Configuring the HTTP client to also ignore hostname mismatches is a matter of adding an additional configuration option in the new createHttpClient method:

def createHttpClient(self):
    builder = SSLContextBuilder()
    builder.loadTrustMaterial(None, TrustSelfSignedStrategy())
    # now also adding ALLOW_ALL_HOSTNAME_VERIFIER here
    socketfactory = SSLConnectionSocketFactory(, SSLConnectionSocketFactory.ALLOW_ALL_HOSTNAME_VERIFIER)
    # print 'DEBUG: Created custom HttpClient to trust all certs and allow hostname mismatches\n'
    return HttpClients.custom().setSSLSocketFactory(socketfactory).build()

You can also configure the client to only ignore hostnames (but not trust self-signed certificates):

def createHttpClient(self):
    socketfactory = SSLConnectionSocketFactory(SSLContextBuilder().build(), SSLConnectionSocketFactory.ALLOW_ALL_HOSTNAME_VERIFIER)
    # print 'DEBUG: Created custom HttpClient to allow hostname mismatches\n'
    return HttpClients.custom().setSSLSocketFactory(socketfactory).build()

In this case, you can also remove TrustSelfSignedStrategy from the org.apache.http.conn.ssl import ... line, as it is not used.

With this change, the test task can call the server successfully:

Successful server call

Code samples are based on this useful Stack Overflow post. Thanks, mavroprovato!

Note: In the light of the POODLE SSL vulnerability, another SSL configuration option you may wish to consider is to allow only TLS connections. See the Javadoc for SSLConnectionSocketFactory for information about how to construct the socket factory to achieve this.

Important: The code here is sample code only that is not officially supported by XebiaLabs. If you have questions, please contact our support team.