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README.md

UAL New Authenticator Walkthrough 🔐

This tutorial walks through the steps required to create a UAL for Ledger Authenticator.

EOSIO Labs

About EOSIO Labs

EOSIO Labs repositories are experimental. Developers in the community are encouraged to use EOSIO Labs repositories as the basis for code and concepts to incorporate into their applications. Community members are also welcome to contribute and further develop these repositories. Since these repositories are not supported by Block.one, we may not provide responses to issue reports, pull requests, updates to functionality, or other requests from the community, and we encourage the community to take responsibility for these.

Overview

The Universal Authenticator Library creates a single universal API which allows app developers to integrate multiple signature providers with just a few lines of code. This is done through custom Authenticators.

An Authenticator represents the bridge between UAL and a custom signing method.

A developer that wishes to add support for their signature provider to UAL must create an Authenticator by implementing 2 classes. An Authenticator and a User.

The Authenticator class represents the business logic behind the renderer, handles login/logout functionality and initializes the User class.

Logging in returns 1 or more User objects. A User object provides the ability for an app developer to request the app User sign a transaction using whichever authenticator they selected when logging in.

In this tutorial I'll walk through the steps of implementing a custom UAL Authenticator, we'll be creating a ual-ledger Authenticator. I'll try to explain some of the implementation specific details for ual-ledger and show examples of other UAL Authenticators.

Each step in this tutorial has a correlating branch on github labeled step-1, step-2, etc. Each step assumes you are starting at the correlating branch.

At the end we'll test the custom Authenticator with an example app found in example/app.

Getting Started

Step 1: Project setup

~ git clone git@github.com:EOSIO/ual-authenticator-walkthrough.git
~ cd ual-authenticator-walkthrough/examples/authenticator
~ yarn

At this point you should have a basic folder structure that looks like this.

screenshot

Step 2: Creating the abstract Authenticator and User classes

Create a new class Ledger in src/Ledger.js thats extends from the Authenticator class and add empty functions for all the abstract methods.

Next we'll do the same thing for the LedgerUser in src/LedgerUser.js that extends from the User class.

Export both files from src/index.js with the contents below.

export * from './Ledger'
export * from './LedgerUser'

View the completed Ledger.js

View the completed LedgerUser.js

Step 3: Implementing the Authenticator class

The internal business logic of each Authenticator method will depend on the signing method you are using. The only limitations are the input/return types must match the abstract method it is implementing.

Although not all methods may be necessary for your Authenticator, you're required to implement all abstract methods from the base Authenticator class.

The key methods here are init, getStyle, login, logout.

  1. init() - Should be used to handle any async operations required to initialize the authenticator. isLoading() should return true until all async operations in init are complete and the authenticator is ready to accept login/logout requests.

  2. getStyle() - Gives you the ability to customize your Authenticator and how it is displayed to app users.

    getStyle() {
      return {
        // An icon displayed to app users when selecting their authentication method 
        icon: './custom-icon.png',
        // Name displayed to app users
        text: 'Ledger',
        // Background color displayed to app users who select your authenticator
        background: '#44bdbd',
        // Color of text used on top the `backgound` property above
        textColor: '#FFFFFF',
      }
    }
  3. login() - The implementation depends entirely on the signing method you are using, whether it supports multiple chains, and the communication protocol used. You'll need to create a new User class, verify the keys match the account provided, add the User to an array, and return the array of User's. Otherwise throw an error with the appropriate messaging, this error will be displayed to the app user.

    Here are variations of login() with a brief description of the different approaches.

    • ual-ledger - Ledger requires an accountName and calls requiresGetKeyConfirmation to determine if the app user has already confirmed the public key from their ledger device, if so they won't need to give permission again. By calling LedgerUser.isAccountValid() the authenticator utilizes the eosjs-ledger-signature-provider and communicates with the ledger device through the U2F protocol.

      async login(accountName) {
        for (const chain of this.chains) {
          const user = new LedgerUser(chain, accountName, this.requiresGetKeyConfirmation(accountName))
          await user.init()
          const isValid = await user.isAccountValid()
          if (!isValid) {
            const message = `Error logging into account "${accountName}"`
            const type = UALErrorType.Login
            const cause = null
            throw new UALLedgerError(message, type, cause)
          }
          this.users.push(user)
        }
      
        return this.users
      }
    • ual-scatter - Scatter does not require an accountName parameter and uses the Scatter-JS library to communicate with Scatter Desktop.

      async login() {
        try {
          for (const chain of this.chains) {
            const user = new ScatterUser(chain, this.scatter)
            await user.getKeys()
            this.users.push(user)
          }
      
          return this.users
        } catch (e) {
          throw new UALScatterError(
            'Unable to login',
            UALErrorType.Login,
            e)
        }
      }
    • ual-lynx - Lynx injects a lynxMobile object into the browsers global window object, by accessing lynxMobile we can call requestSetAccount and receive an object containing the account information of the account logged into the Lynx Wallet.

      async login() {
        if (this.users.length === 0) {
          try {
            const account = await window.lynxMobile.requestSetAccount()
            this.users.push(new LynxUser(this.chains[0], account))
          } catch (e) {
            throw new UALLynxError(
              'Unable to get the current account during login',
              UALErrorType.Login,
              e)
          }
        }
      
        return this.users
      }
  4. logout() - Responsible for terminating connections to external signing methods, if any exist, and deleting user information that may have been cached in the User or Authenticator classes.

    Variations of logout()

    • ual-ledger - The eosjs-ledger-signature-provider performs a simple caching of public keys that need to be cleared on logout. We accomplish this by calling signatureProvider.clearCachedKeys() and remove the logged in users by reassigning this.users to an empty array.

      async logout() {
        try {
          for (const user of this.users) {
            user.signatureProvider.cleanUp()
            user.signatureProvider.clearCachedKeys()
          }
          this.users = []
        } catch (e) {
          const message = CONSTANTS.logoutMessage
          const type = UALErrorType.Logout
          const cause = e
          throw new UALLedgerError(message, type, cause)
        }
      }
    • ual-scatter - Calling this.scatter.logout() removes the Identity from scatter utilizing scatters built in method for logging out.

      async logout() {
        try {
          this.scatter.logout()
        } catch (error) {
          throw new UALScatterError('Error occurred during logout',
            UALErrorType.Logout,
            error)
        }
      }
    • ual-lynx - Since lynx does not provide a method of logging out we simple reassign this.users to an empty array.

      async logout() {
        this.users = []
      }

View the completed Ledger.js

Step 4: Implementing the User class

You are required to implement all abstract methods from the base User class.

The main methods to be implemented here are getKeys, signTransaction, signArbitrary.

  1. getKeys() - Calling this method should return an array of public keys 🔑. How the authenticator gets those keys depends on the signing method you are using and what protocol it uses. For example, ual-ledger uses the eosjs-ledger-signature-provider to communicate with the Ledger device through the U2F protocol and ual-scatter simply returns the keys it has already received from the inital call to scatter.getIdentity.

    Here are variations of getKeys()

    • ual-ledger
      async getKeys() {
        try {
          const keys = await this.signatureProvider.getAvailableKeys(this.requestPermission)
          return keys
        } catch (error) {
          const message = `Unable to getKeys for account ${this.accountName}.
            Please make sure your ledger device is connected and unlocked`
          const type = UALErrorType.DataRequest
          const cause = error
          throw new UALLedgerError(message, type, cause)
        }
      }
    • ual-scatter
      async getKeys() {
        if (!this.keys || this.keys.length === 0) {
          // `refreshIdentity` calls `scatter.getIdentity` then
          // sets the `keys` and `accountName` properties on the 
          // `User` class
          await this.refreshIdentity()
        }
      
        return this.keys
      }
  2. signTransaction(transaction, config) - Exposes the same API as Api.transact in eosjs.

  3. signArbitrary(publicKey, data, helpText) - A utility function to sign arbitrary data. If your authenticator does not support this type of signing you can simple return an error with the correct message.

    Example of an authenticator that does not support signArbitrary

    // LedgerUser.js
    
    async signArbitrary() {
      throw new UALLedgerError(
        `${Name} does not currently support signArbitrary`,
        UALErrorType.Unsupported,
        null,
      )
    }

View the completed LedgerUser.js

Step 5: Test your Authenticator 🔑🔓

Now that we've implemented all the abstract methods on our Ledger and LedgerUser classes lets test them in the example react app provided in examples.

Go to examples and follow the instructions.

ual screenshot

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Contribution

Check out the Contributing guide and please adhere to the Code of Conduct

License

MIT licensed

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