1.0.7 • Public • Published

    node-authorizator Build Status


    Node module for user authorization based on different authorization policies.


    To install authorizator use following command:

    npm install authorizator

    How to use authorizator?

    First you need to require authorizator module:

    var authorizator = require('authorizator');

    Next you need to say your node app to use and init authorizator module.

    app.use(passport.initialize({'role': 'user.role'}));

    Above function inits main parts of authorizator module. You can also pass some options to authorizator module. Note that in this case we are passing role option to authorizator module. What does it mean?

    Authorizator module must somehow know where to find information about user role. Default is to search for role.user variable from request argument, but you can also provide some other location of user role. Note that role info must be available from request argument.

    Next, you need to call authorizator use function, to say authorizator to use some authorization policy. You can use multiple policies to authorize users. Let's we say that we want use ActionBasedPolicy (will be described soon), you can use following:


    If you don't provide any policies, authorizator will throw Error.

    You can also remove policy from authorizator with unuse function:


    Authorizator core uses Strategy design pattern, and in this case strategies represents policies, and each policy represents way on which you want to authorize user.

    You can add your own policies, or use some of authorizator default policies. Currently ActionBasedPolicy and RoleBasedPolicy are implemented.


    Hm, action based what?

    Imagine that you know which roles you will have in your node app. Each role has binded actions which role can execute. Also imagine that you have ability to inherit actions from some other role, in order to make action definition (which some role has) easier.

    That is ActionBasedPolicy. So let's see how it works in practice.

    First let's include ActionBasedPolicy in our node app:

    var ActionBasedPolicy = require('authorizator').ActionBasedPolicy;

    Then you need to call use function with new ActionBasedPolicy instance as parameter:


    Then you need to define your roles and their actions. Let's define admin and moderator roles.

    var moderator = authorizator.addRole('moderator').can('edit users', 'remove users');
    var admin = authorizator.addRole('admin').can('remove moderator', 'add moderator').inherits('moderator');

    We can see that we use can function to pass list of actions (action names or action instances) which role can execute, and optionally call inherits method to inherit actions from some other role (we pass role instance or role name).

    Now if you want see all actions which some role can execute, you can use:


    If you want to see all registeres roles, use:


    At the end, when you want to authorize role use following:'/some/restricted/path', authorizator.wants('add moderator'), function (req, res) { 
      // only authorized users can execute this code 

    Here we see wants function, which is actually main function of authorizator module, and function which passes user role into chain of authentication policies, and if all policies say that user can execute action, request will be approved, otherwise user will get Error 401


    Earlier we saw one policy for authorizing users. Authorizator provide another one, so let's explain what is RoleBasedPolicy.

    Let we say that we have defined two roles. Admin and moderator. Now we need to define some actions. Let we define action with name edit users. In previous policy we have binded actions directly to users with can function, but in this case we won't do that.

    Instead of that, we say which minimum roles, or which roles in general are needed to execute some action.

    So let's see how it looks like in practice.

    Define two new roles.

    var admin = authorizator.addRole('admin');
    var moderator = authorizator.addRole('moderator');

    After that define some action.

    var editUsersAction = authorizator.addAction('edit users');

    For that action specify roles which can execute action.

    editUsersAction.requires(admin, moderator);
    // note that we can also specify actual names of actions if we don't have their references
    // editUsersAction.requires('admin', 'moderator');

    And that is it. Now you can call wants method on some of your routes to authorize user.'/some/restricted/path', authorizator.wants('edit users'), function (req, res) { 
      // only authorized users can execute this code 

    But wait. RoleBasedPolicy offer also another way to specify users which can execute action.

    Let's we say that we have defined admin, moderator and editUsersAction variables as previous ones.

    You can do something like this:

    editUsersAction.rolePriority(admin, moderator);

    What happened here? So with first line we say that minimum required role for this action is administrator. But authorizator doesn't know anything about priority order of roles, and because of that with second line we tell authorizator how role priority looks like.

    Priority is specified from highest to lowest. In this case, if user has role moderator, he will be rejected from executing action, because minimum role for this action is admin. After specifing this, we call wants method on standard way:'/some/restricted/path', authorizator.wants('edit users'), function (req, res) { 
      // only authorized users can execute this code 

    Auxiliry functions


    Function for getting some role by name:

    var role = authorizator.getRole('roleName');


    Function for getting some action by name:

    var action = authorizator.getAction('actionName');


    Function for getting all defined roles:

    var roles = authorizator.roles();


    Function for adding new authorization policy to authorizator:



    Function for removing some authorization policy from authorizator:



    • Example app
    • Tests


    If you have any questions or issues, you can open new issue, or contact me directly on




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