0.8.0 • Public • Published


Serene middleware to perform Bearer auth with ACLs.


$ npm install --save serene-auth-bearer


import Serene from 'serene';
import SereneAuthBearer from 'serene-auth-bearer'
import SereneResources from 'serene-resources';
let service = new Serene();
let resources = {
  widgets: {
    acl: {
      list: '**',
      get: '*',
      create: ['admin', 'support'],
      update: 'admin',
      delete: []
  sprockets: {
    // etc
// this package depends on SereneResources, which must be registered first
service.use(new SereneResources(resources));
service.use(new SereneAuthBearer('secret'));
service.use(function (request, response) {
  // this only runs if authentication checked out


The middleware checks the Authorization header for a Bearer token, which it decodes as a JSON Web Token (JWT) using the jsonwebtoken package.

It expects to see a field in the token called one of roles, scopes, role or scope, which is either a string or an array of strings stating the role(s)/scope(s) granted to the user.

If the token is invalid (e.g., expired, malformed, etc) or does not grant the necessary scopes, HTTP 403 is returned. If there is no Authorization header present or it is not of the correct scheme, then HTTP 401 is returned.

This package depends on the serene-resources package to provide resource descriptions, and looks for the ACL in the acl field of said description. The ACL is given as a hash, with a field for each supported operation. The following values are supported:

  • '**' - allow all requests
  • '*' - allow all authenticated requests
  • [] - deny all requests
  • undefined, null, or key not present - HTTP 405 Method not allowed
  • any role - the token must have the specified role
  • an array of roles - the token must have any of the specified roles

Therefore, in the Usage example above, the widgets resource defines the following constraints:

  • list - accessible by anyone
  • get - accessible by anyone with a valid token
  • create - accessible only by tokens with an admin or support role
  • update - accessible only by tokens with an admin role
  • replace - not supported
  • delete - forbidden to everyone

Note that forbidden to everyone and not supported have the same effect, that all requests are denied: it just depends what message you want to send the requester.

constructor(secret, jwtOptions)


  • secret - string or buffer containing either the secret for HMAC algorithms, or the PEM encoded private key for RSA and ECDSA

  • options - options hash passed stright into jwt.verify


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