1.1.0 • Public • Published

Permission is Express & Passport-compatible authorization middleware for Node.js. It provides customizable management of access control list (ACL).


$ npm install --save permission


Fast start

It is as simple as require('permission'), because you do want to require permission, don't you? Don't mess your model nor view with control-specific logic. Pass middleware determing which roles user needs to have!

router.get('/', require('permission')(['admin']), function(req, res) {

Pass an array determining which roles one controller supports. Pass an empty array to ensure nobody has access, even when authenticated. Leave empty if you want to allow any role to be authorized, but still to be authenticated (signed in).

router.get('/', require('permission')(), function(req, res) {

Fill out array with more roles, if needed.

router.get('/', require('permission')(['admin', 'user']), function(req, res) {

Advantage start

There are permission options some of which you'll most likely want to customize. You can do so by setting permission name in Express' app object:

app.set('permission', {role: 'myRole'});

It is optional to customize any option, but when done so, customized option needs to follow its interface. Here you can find listed all the properties that you may customize:

role Defines property name for Express' user. Defaults to role.

notAuthenticated Defines what to do with non-authenticated user. Both notAuthenticated and notAuthorized (see below) implement the same interface. This interface consists of 4 properties:

  • flashType {string}: type of the Flash message
  • message {string}: flash message
  • redirect {string}: URL or path for Express redirection
  • status {number}: HTTP status for response

Not all the properties are needed to be present at the same time. See control flow for more information.

Only status property of notAuthenticated is set by default to value 401.

notAuthorized Defines what to do with non-authorized user. Shares the same interface with notAuthenticated. Only status property of notAuthorized is set by default to value 403.

after Defines custom callback function to be called upon determining the state of user authentication/authorization. This is the function's skeleton:

function(req, res, next, authorizedStatus){}

Arguments req, res and next are Express objects, while authorizedStatus refers to one of the following values:

  • authorized : user has been successfully authorized
  • notAuthenticated : user has failed to authenticate.
  • notAuthorized : user has been successfully authenticated, but failed to authorize.

This allows you to organise logic based on authorized status of the user. You can access these constants with:

var p = require('permission')
p.AUTHORIZED === 'authorized' // true
p.NOT_AUTHENTICATED === 'notAuthenticated' // true
p.NOT_AUTHORIZED === 'notAuthorized' // true

Control flow

It is noted that you don't need to customize any permission option. But, if you want to, not all of them are needed. This section explains the control flow:

After permission has determined user's authorized status, it:

  1. calls after and passes it authorizedStatus
  2. if after is not provided, calls Express res.redirect() with redirect value and sets Flash message
  3. if redirect of specific state is not provided, calls Express res.status() with status.


This example shows how permission options can be used: we want to redirect user with message if he fails to authenticate and send HTTP status 403 if he fails to authorize.

var notAuthenticated = {
    flashType: 'error',
    message: 'The entered credentials are incorrect',
    redirect: '/login'
app.set('permission', {
    role: 'userRole',
    notAuthenticated: notAuthenticated 

Not that we used defaults HTTP status for authorization fail.


If you want to suggest something, make a pull request or contribute in any other form, you're welcome to do so @ GitHub's repository.

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  • tomislavtenodi