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Version: 0.14

User Login

ChiselStrike supports the process of having your own users. Your website can let them log in (eg, using an OAuth provider), and your ChiselStrike backend will be aware of who logged in and even maintain a collection of all known users. Let's examine how this works in ChiselStrike.

An easy way to support many OAuth providers, as well as email and SMS authentication is to leverage the NextAuth.js framework in the frontend. NextAuth is popular, feature-rich, and open-source. It takes little effort to set up and can be used with both NextJS and Gatsby.

Rather than roll our own OAuth implementations, we decided to rely on NextAuth and what it readily provides. We have developed a ChiselStrike adapter for NextAuth; when configured to use this adapter, NextAuth will save the user data in your ChiselStrike backend, where your routes and policies can use it.

As suggested in the adapter README, your frontend can tell ChiselStrike who's currently logged in by including a ChiselUID header in your requests. The value of this header should be the NextAuth user ID.

Accessing User Info in the Backend

The ChiselStrike backend keeps track of your website's users via a builtin type called AuthUser. When a user logs in for the first time, a new AuthUser entity is added. And when a route is invoked, it has access to this builtin type.

One interesting thing to do is have AuthUser-typed fields in your entities. For example:

my-backend/models/models.ts
import { AuthUser, ChiselEntity } from "@chiselstrike/api"

export class BlogComment extends ChiselEntity {
content: string = "";
author: AuthUser;
}

This makes it easy to link a BlogComment to the user who created it: you simply provide a special author value when creating it. The ChiselStrike API includes a function named loggedInUser, which returns the AuthUser object corresponding to the user currently logged in (or undefined if no one is logged in). This works, for example:

my-backend/routes/example.ts
import { BlogComment } from '../models/models.ts';
import { RouteMap, loggedInUser, responseFromJson } from '@chiselstrike/api';

export default new RouteMap()
.post("/", async function (req) {
let c = BlogComment.build(await req.json());
c.author = await loggedInUser();
if (c.author === undefined) { return responseFromJson('Must be logged in', 401) }
await c.save();
return responseFromJson('saved successfully');
});

You can even restrict a user's access to only their own comments; please see "Restricting Data Access to Matching User".

note

AuthUser instances are managed by ChiselStrike. Trying to create or destroy them in your code will fail with an error.