ExpressJS middleware to generate JWT auth tokens & provide user role management
Last updated 3 years ago by tylerfowler .
MIT · Repository · Bugs · Original npm · Tarball · package.json
$ cnpm install authgw 
SYNC missed versions from official npm registry.


Exposes an API to create user auth tokens based on the JWT spec and provides middleware plugins for user role access management on a route-by-route basis and for validating an auth token generated by this library.

  • currently only supports Express but could easily be extended for other formats


  const AuthGW = require('authgw');
  const app    = require('express')();
  const { TransportMethods, Flavors } = require('authgw');

  // set AuthGW configuration, library is stateful so only do this once
  let authgw = new AuthGW(
    // list of user roles, or null/empty if not using roles
    // it is important that the roles are ordered from lowest access level
    // to highest access level
    [ 'guest', 'user', 'admin' ],

    // issuer name, used to validate that a token came from a trusted source

    // data schema, defines the data for what's written as into a token's
    // payload, required keys throw errors during validation when falsy
      { name: "userid",   required: true  },
      { name: "username", required: false }

    // general options, defaults are shown
      flavor: Flavors.EXPRESSJS, // the flavor of middleware to use, options found in lib/flavors.js
      tokenSecret: '<randomly generated>', // the secret key used to encrypt the tokens
      tokenExpiredCode: 419 // HTTP code to return if token is expired, 419 Session Timeout (unofficial) is the default

      // the transport is a wrapper around the method used to get the token
      // from a request, as well as putting the token into responses using
      // convenience methods
      transport: {
        method: TransportMethods.HEADER, // use headers for transporting tokens, options found in the TokenTransports enumeration
        key: 'x-access-token' // the 'key' to use when retrieving the token, in this case a header name

  // tell our Express app to use the middleware generated by our configuration
  // this middleware will return 401 errors if a request contains an invalid
  // or expired auth token, otherwise it will write the data fields provided by
  // the data schema to the request object, returning 401 if the token does not
  // contain a data field marked "required" by the schema

  // we can use the Role Manager to lock down routes to a given list of roles,
  // these are handled on a route-by-route basis and it's highly recommended
  // to place the middleware declaration directly before the route definition,
  // though they can be declared anywhere as long as it's before the route def
  const RoleMgr = authgw.RoleManager;

  // only allow Admin users
  app.get('/supersecret', RoleMgr.restrictTo('admin'), (req, res) => { ... });

  // users and admins'/myroute', RoleMgr.restrictTo(['user', 'admin']), (req, res) => { ... });

  // as the role lists get long and repetitive it's a good idea to start creating
  // named role groups using RoleManager#addRoleGrouping
  RoleMgr.addRoleGrouping('users', [ 'user', 'admin' ]);

  // RoleMgr.allowUsers() is now equiv. to RoleMgr.restrictTo(['user', 'admin'])
  app.get('/userstuff', RoleMgr.allowUsers(), (req, res) => { ... });

  // errbody
  app.get('/robots.txt', RoleMgr.allowAll(), (req, res) => { ... });
  // or
  app.get('/robots.txt', RoleMgr.restrictTo('*'), (req, res) => { ... });

  // create an auth token
  app.get('/signin', RoleMgr.allowAll(), (req, res) => {
    // get the data specified by the authgw configured data scheme
    let userData = { userid: req.body.userid, username: req.body.username };

      // data that is bundled w/ the token, will be injected into req when this
      // token goes through the middleware during a request

      // role given to the token holder

      // expiry of this token in minutes, expired tokens will be rejected by
      // the token verification middleware
      24 * 60
    // inject the token into the response in any way you see fit
    .then(mytoken => res.send(mytoken))
    // or, use the authgw instance to inject the token according to the
    // rules set by the token transport settings
    .then(mytoken => authgw.injectToken(res, mytoken));


Beware the dreaded invalidation loop

It is vitally important that the client does not send another request with a token known to be invalid (i.e. your client has received the status code indicating session expiration or invalidation), or else the middleware will simply continue to send the error code – resulting in an infinite loop.

Randomly generated secrets

By default this library will make your JWT secret a random hex value generated from 24 random bytes (using Node's crypto library). This means that whenever your application restarts all tokens generated before the restart will now be invalid. Worse, if you use a round robin technique with multiple Node processes then the tokens will not be compatible between the instances. So it's highly recommended that you override this setting.


  • make docs better, specifically add API docs
  • allow middleware to be configured to use extra claims as validation
  • remove dependency on underscore
  • remove dependency on Bluebird, use native Promises & allow it to be pluggable

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  • 1.0.3                                ...           latest (3 years ago)

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  • 0.0.1                                ...           4 years ago
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