TypeScript icon, indicating that this package has built-in type declarations

1.4.1 • Public • Published

CASL Prisma

@casl/prisma NPM version CASL Join the chat

This package allows to define CASL permissions on Prisma models using Prisma WhereInput. And that brings a lot of power in terms of permission management in SQL world:

  1. We can use Prisma Query to define permissions, no need to learn MongoDB query language anymore.
  2. Additionally, we can ask our SQL database questions like: "Which records can be read?" or "Which records can be updated?".


npm install @casl/prisma @casl/ability
# or
yarn add @casl/prisma @casl/ability
# or
pnpm add @casl/prisma @casl/ability


This package is a bit different from all others because it provides a custom createPrismaAbility factory function that is configured to check permissions using Prisma WhereInput:

import { User, Post, Prisma } from '@prisma/client';
import { PureAbility, AbilityBuilder, subject } from '@casl/ability';
import { createPrismaAbility, PrismaQuery, Subjects } from '@casl/prisma';

type AppAbility = PureAbility<[string, Subjects<{
  User: User,
  Post: Post
}>], PrismaQuery>;
const { can, cannot, build } = new AbilityBuilder<AppAbility>(createPrismaAbility);

can('read', 'Post', { authorId: 1 });
cannot('read', 'Post', { title: { startsWith: '[WIP]:' } });

const ability = build();
ability.can('read', 'Post');
ability.can('read', subject('Post', { title: '...', authorId: 1 })));

See CASL guide to learn how to define abilities. Everything is the same except of conditions language.

Note on subject helper

Because Prisma returns DTO objects without exposing any type information on it, we need to use subject helper to provide that type manually, so CASL can understand what rules to apply to passed in object.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to automate this, except of adding additional column to all models. For more details, check this issue.

To get more details about object type detection, please read CASL Subject type detection

Note on Prisma Query runtime interpreter

@casl/prisma uses ucast to interpret Prisma WhereInput in JavaScript runtime. However, there are few caveats:

  • equality of JSON columns is not implemented
  • equality of array/list columns is not implemented (however operators like has, hasSome and hasEvery should be more than enough)
  • when defining conditions on relation, always specify one of operators (every, none, some, is or isNot)

Interpreter throws a ParsingQueryError in cases it receives invalid parameters for query operators or if some operation is not supported.

Finding Accessible Records

One nice feature of Prisma and CASL integration is that we can get all records from the database our user has access to. To do this, just use accessibleBy helper function:

// ability is a PrismaAbility instance created in the example above

const accessiblePosts = await prisma.post.findMany({
  where: accessibleBy(ability).Post

That function accepts Ability instance and action (defaults to read), returns an object with keys that corresponds to Prisma model names and values being aggregated from permission rules WhereInput objects.

Important: in case user doesn't have ability to access any posts, accessibleBy throws ForbiddenError, so be ready to catch it!

To combine this with business logic conditions, just use AND:

const accessiblePosts = await prisma.post.findMany({
  where: {
    AND: [
      { /* business related conditions */ }

TypeScript support

The package is written in TypeScript what provides comprehensive IDE hints and compile time validation.

Makes sure to call prisma generate. @casl/prisma uses Prisma generated types, so if client is not generated nothing will work.

Additionally, there are several helpers that makes it easy to work with Prisma and CASL:


It's a generic type that provides Prisma.ModelWhereInput in generic way. We need to pass inside a named model:

import { User } from '@prisma/client';
import { Model, PrismaQuery } from '@casl/prisma';

// almost the same as Prisma.UserWhereInput except that it's a higher order type
type UserWhereInput = PrismaQuery<Model<User, 'User'>>;


Just gives a name to a model. That name is stored using ForcedSubject<TName> helper from @casl/ability. To use a separate column or another strategy to name models, don't use this helper because it only works in combination with subject helper.


Creates a union of all possible subjects out of passed in object:

import { User } from '@prisma/client';
import { Subjects } from '@casl/prisma';

type AppSubjects = Subjects<{
  User: User
}>; // 'User' | Model<User, 'User'>

To support rule definition for all, we just need to explicitly do it:

type AppSubjects = 'all' | Subjects<{
  User: User
}>; // 'User' | Model<User, 'User'>

type AppAbility = PureAbility<[string, AppSubjects], PrismaQuery>;

Custom PrismaClient output path

Prisma allows to generate client into a custom directory in this case @prisma/client doesn't re-export needed types anymore and @casl/prisma cannot automatically detect and infer types. In this case, we need to provide required types manually. Let's assume that we have the next configuration:

generator client {
  provider = "prisma-client-js"
  output   = "../src/generated/client"

Then we need to create a custom file for casl-prisma integration:

// src/casl-prisma.ts
import {
} from "@casl/prisma/runtime";
import { hkt } from "@casl/ability";
import type { Prisma, PrismaClient } from "./generated/client";

type ModelName = Prisma.ModelName;
type ModelWhereInput = {
  [K in Prisma.ModelName]: Uncapitalize<K> extends keyof PrismaClient
    ? Extract<Parameters<PrismaClient[Uncapitalize<K>]['findFirst']>[0], { where?: any }>["where"]
    : never

type WhereInput<TModelName extends Prisma.ModelName> = Extract<ModelWhereInput[TModelName], Record<any, any>>;

interface PrismaQueryTypeFactory extends hkt.GenericFactory {
  produce: WhereInput<ExtractModelName<this[0], ModelName>>

type PrismaModel = Model<Record<string, any>, string>;
// Higher Order type that allows to infer passed in Prisma Model name
export type PrismaQuery<T extends PrismaModel = PrismaModel> =
  WhereInput<ExtractModelName<T, ModelName>> & hkt.Container<PrismaQueryTypeFactory>;

type WhereInputPerModel = {
  [K in ModelName]: WhereInput<K>;

const createPrismaAbility = createAbilityFactory<ModelName, PrismaQuery>();
const accessibleBy = createAccessibleByFactory<WhereInputPerModel, PrismaQuery>();

export {

Want to help?

Want to file a bug, contribute some code, or improve documentation? Excellent! Read up on guidelines for contributing.

If you'd like to help us sustain our community and project, consider to become a financial contributor on Open Collective

See Support CASL for details


MIT License

Package Sidebar


npm i @casl/prisma



Weekly Downloads






Unpacked Size

77.2 kB

Total Files


Last publish


  • stalniy