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    0.1.1 • Public • Published


    An authorization Middleware for Condor. Condor is a GRPC Framework for node.

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    This module control access to GRPC methods, based on the access rules defined.

    It has been thought to work with JWTs, but you can plug in any other strategy.


    npm i --save condor-framework condor-auth

    How to use

    By default, this module is designed to work with JWts and role-based authorization. Anyways, it's flexible enough to allow any other authorization strategy.

    Role-based authorization

    Two steps are needed for role-based authorization to work:

    Resource-based authorization

    For resource based authorization, you can skip step one, and just use custom validators when defining the access rules.

    1. Mapping Roles

    By default, condor-auth expects a valid JWT token in the authorization metadata. It will verify it, and convert it to an object you can easily use.

    Then, you need to define how to map the information in the token to the roles the user has.

    Let's say for example, that the user has the admin role in my-grpc-application, and the user roles in another-app.

    Here's an example on how you would instantiate condor-auth and map the permissions.

    // index.js
    const Condor = require('condor-framework');
    const Auth = require('condor-auth').Auth;
    const Greeter = require('./greeter');
    // Options must contain any information required to verify the token (see documentation below)
    const options = {
      'applicationName': 'my-grpc-service',
      'secretOrPublicKey': 'shhhhh',
    const auth = new Auth((context, token) => {
      // if 'authorization' metadata was received, is a valid token and could be verified 
      // using the received options, 'token' will contain a valid token object
      console.log('token', token);
      // do your magic here, to calculate the resources and roles the user has access to
      // You can get the information from the token (or from anywhere).
      // Then return an object with the information.
      return {
        'my-grpc-service': ['admin'],
        'another-app': ['user', 'another-role'],
        'realm': ['admin', 'user', 'yet-another-role'],
    }, options);
    // Then just initiate the server, and use the middleware
    const app = new Condor()
      .addService('./protos/greeter.proto', 'myapp.Greeter', new Greeter())

    As you can see, the mapping method must return an object. This object should be a map with the resource names as the keys, and an array of roles as the values.

    2. Configuring Access Rules

    After mapping the roles, you will need to define the rules to access each of the methods in your GRPC service.

    By default, when no options are passed, it will try to read the access rules from access-rules.js. This file is where you configure all the access rules for your application.

    The rules file should export an object, with the full names of the services as keys, and an optional default key which will be used for every method that is not defined in the file.

    Rules Example

    This example will show you the available options:

    // access-rules.js
    module.exports = {
      'default': '$authenticated',
      'myapp.Greeter': {
       'sayHello': 'special',
       'sayHelloOther': 'other-app:special',
       'sayHelloRealm': 'realm:admin',
       'sayHelloCustom': customValidation,
       'sayHelloPublic': '$anonymous',
       'sayHelloMultiple': ['special', 'realm:admin', customValidation],
    function customValidation (context, token) => {
        if (token.hasRole('myRole') && context.metadata.get('someKey')[0] === 'someValue') {
            return true; // allow to continue
        return false; // deny access

    Using these rules, we're telling the application:

    • By default, for every method not defined in the file, the user must be authenticated (without taking into account any roles).

    • sayHello requires the user to have the special permission/role in this application. (applicationName option must be set, to determine the name of this application)

    • sayHelloOther requires the user to have the special permission/role in the other-app resource.

    • sayHelloRealm requires the user to have the admin permission/role in the realm resource.

    • sayHelloCustom access will be calculated by the customValidation method.

    • sayHelloPublic will be public ($anonymous)

    • sayHelloMultiple shows how you can pass not only one but an array of options to authorize the call. In this example, to authorize the method we are requiring any of these 3 conditions:

      • The user to have the special permission/role in this application
      • The user to have the admin permission/role in the realm resource
      • The customValidation method to return true

    Rules Options

    $anonynous and $authenticated

    You can use $authenticated to enforce a user to be authenticated before accessing the method (without verifying any roles). A user is considered authenticated when the token received in the metadata is valid.

    On the other hand, you can use $anonymous to make a resource public.

    Role and Resource:Role

    If it's a role in the current application, you can just use the permission/role name e.g. special. For this to work, you must pass the applicationName option when creating the Auth instance.

    If it's a permission or role of another application/resource, use the resource name and the role/permission name. e.g. another-app:special.

    Custom Validators

    If you need some specific logic to authorize/deny access, just pass the function that must perform the validation (make sure to pass the actual function, not only the function name).

    The validation function will be called with two parameters:

    • context: The context being processed.
    • token: The decoded token if any, null otherwise.

    The validation function must return a truthy value to allow access. Any falsy value will deny access.

    Multiple options for a method

    You can pass not only one option, but an array of options to authorize the call. If any of them pass, the call will be authorized.

    How to require two roles? (use AND instead of OR)

    The module is designed for the most common scenario, but we're sure there will be cases where your requirements will be different, in that case you can use custom validation functions that do exactly what you want. You can have for example something like this:

    module.exports = {
      'default': '$authenticated',
      'myapp.Greeter': {
       'sayHelloCustom': tokenHasAllRoles('special', 'admin'),
    function tokenHasAllRoles() {
     const roles = arguments;
     return (context, token) => {
       // Verify that the token has all the roles
       return roles.every((role) => {
         return token.payload.roles.contains(role);


    All values are optional. Their default values are:

    Option Description Default
    applicationName The name of the application. To allow rules like 'my-role', instead of 'my-app:my-role')
    rulesFile The path to the rules file access-rules.js
    rules The access rules to use (can be used instead of rulesFile)
    secretOrPublicKey The key that should be used to verify a token
    strategy The strategy to use (if you don't want to use the default strategy)

    Also, it will accept any options of the verify method of the jsonwebtoken module. Such options will be used to verify the token.


    Strategies allow you to customize:

    • How the tokens are verified and decoded
    • How the tokens are mapped to roles

    Known strategies are:

    • Default strategy: Bundled. It decodes and verifies JWTs using jsonwebtoken module. It doesn't provide a mapping method.
    • condor-auth-keycloak. It verifies the token against keycloak, and map realm roles and resources roles automatically.

    How to create your own strategy

    You will to define the following methods:

    • mapRoles(context, token): (Optional): This method receives the context, and token, and should return an object with the resource names as keys and an array of roles the user has, as values.
    • decodeAndVerifyToken(context, options): (Optional): This method receives the context, and all the options passed in the Auth constructor. It should return the decoded token if valid, or null/undefined otherwise. Any thruthy value will be consider as a valid token, and the user will be considered to be authenticated. You can take a look at the DefaultStrategy to see an example of the implementation.

    How to call from a client

    The caller just need to include the authorization metadata, with a valid JWT.

    const grpc = require('grpc');
    const jwt = require('jsonwebtoken');
    const proto = grpc.load('./protos/greeter.proto');
    const client = proto.myapp.Greeter('', grpc.credentials.createInsecure());
    const myJWT = jwt.sign({ roles: 'myRole' }, 'shhhhh');
    const data = {'name': 'Peter'};
    const metadata = new grpc.Metadata();
    metadata.set('authorization', myJWT);
    client.sayHello(data, (err, result) => {
      console.log('err', err);
      console.log('result', result);

    License and Credits

    MIT License. Copyright 2017

    Built by the GRPC experts at Devsu.


    npm i condor-auth

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