pundit

0.3.0 • Public • Published

Pundit.js

Minimal and tiny authorisation library that uses a plain old JavaScript object (POJO).

  • No dependencies
  • Written in TypeScript
  • Small bundle size
  • React/Preact support

Adapted from the Pundit Ruby gem.

Introduction

Similar to the Pundit gem's simple PORO (plain old Ruby object) architecture, this library maintains a small, user/record interface that is designed to be easy to use, flexible for evolving needs, and simple to test. Authorisation is an important part of applications, and is often overly coupled with business logic.

With Pundit.js, we attempt to address some of that coupling by wrapping authorisation logic and providing components to keep your logic concise and readable where it's used.

Installation

npm install --save pundit
# yarn add pundit
# pnpm add pundit

Usage

In order to use Pundit.js, you can initialise a policy by setting up an object of functions/methods called actions. Actions typically map to permissions or routes in your application.

Client-side permissions should not replace a proper authorisation system in your backend.

Creating a policy

A policy accepts a user, often the current user of your session, and the resource you wish to authorise against, referred to as a record.

Policies can be defined by extending the Policy class. Add a constructor that accepts the user and record objects as parameters, also calling this.setup.apply(this) to initialise the actions defined in the class.

import { Policy } from 'pundit'

export default class PostPolicy extends Policy {
  constructor(user, record) {
    super(user, record)
    this.setup.apply(this)
  }

  edit() {
    return this.user.id === this.record.userId
  }

  destroy() {
    return this.user.isAdmin
  }
}

Actions are defined as methods belonging to the extended Policy class. Each action method should return true or false depending on whether the specified user/record combination is permitted for that action.

You can then instantiate the class and use the can method to check if the action is authorised.

import PostPolicy from 'src/policies/post.policy.js'

const user = { id: 1, isAdmin: false }
const post = { id: 11, userId: 1 }
const postPolicy = new PostPolicy(user, post)

postPolicy.can('edit') // Returns true
postPolicy.can('destroy') // Returns false

Since the role of Pundit.js is to reuse authorisation logic, for real world use we recommend that you define policy classes in a centralised folder in your application such as src/policies. The policies can then be imported into each file that needs to check the authorisation rules for the resource type.

Actions can also be added to an instantiated policy by using the add method which accepts a plain function with user and record parameters. The following is equivalent logic to defining policy actions by extending the Policy class:

import { Policy } from 'pundit'

const user = { id: 1, isAdmin: false }
const post = { id: 11, userId: 1 }
const postPolicy = new Policy(user, post)

postPolicy.add('edit', (user, record) => user.id === record.userId)
postPolicy.add('destroy', (user) => user.isAdmin)

postPolicy.can('edit') // Returns true
postPolicy.can('destroy') // Returns false

Using with React

You can determine what is shown based on what a user is authorised to see by using the When component.

import { When } from 'pundit'
import PostPolicy from 'src/policies/post.policy.js'

// ...

return (
  <When can="edit" policy={postPolicy} user={user} record={post}>
    <EditButton />
  </When>
)

The user and record attributes are not required if these passed into the policy's contructor when instantiating it. The following acts as a shorthand:

return (
  <When can="edit" policy={new PostPolicy(user, post)}>
    <EditButton />
  </When>
)

In order to avoid passing user/policy/record props to every usage of the When component you can use the PunditProvider.

import { PunditProvider, When } from 'pundit'
import PostPolicy from 'src/policies/post.policy.js'

// ...

return (
  <PunditProvider policy={postPolicy} user={user} record={post}>
    <When can="view">
      <Link />
    </When>
    <When can="fork">
      <ForkButton />
    </When>
    <When can="edit">
      <EditButton />
    </When>
    <When can="destroy">
      <DeleteButton />
    </When>
  </PunditProvider>
)

As with the When component, you can pass the user and record attributes via the policy's constructor with PunditProvider. You can also override these attributes for particular usages of When within the provider, for example to check if an alternative user or record is authorised.

return (
  <PunditProvider policy={new PostPolicy(user, post)}>
    <When can="view">
      <Link>View Post</Link>
    </When>
    <When can="view" user={masqueradeUser}>
      <Link>View Post Masquerading as {masqueradeUser.name}</Link>
    </When>
    <When can="view" record={nextPost}>
      <Link>View Next Post</Link>
    </When>
  </PunditProvider>
)

Testing

Policies can be unit tested, for example with Jest/Vitest:

import PostPolicy from 'src/policies/post.policy.js'

describe('post policy, edit action', () => {
  const user = { id: 1 }

  it('grants access if post is authored by user', () => {
    const post = { userId: user.id }
    expect(new PostPolicy(user, post).can('edit')).toBe(true)
  })

  it('denies access if post is not authored by user', () => {
    const differentUser = { id: 2 }
    const post = { userId: differentUser.id }
    expect(new PostPolicy(user, post).can('edit')).toBe(false)
  })
})

License

MIT

Contributing

  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request

Authors

Built by johno (@4lpine) and Chris Alley.

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Install

npm i pundit

Weekly Downloads

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Version

0.3.0

License

MIT

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Collaborators

  • johno
  • chrisalley