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Minimalist authorisation mechanism for node servers
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Minimalist authorisation mechanism for node servers ⚡️. Designed for efficient use in GraphQL servers, authorizr allows flexible and easy to reason about authoristion checks. By creating a new authorizr object per request, the implementation is free to pre-optimise as much or as little of the heavy lifting as desired.

I've written a little on the idea behind this library on my blog.


npm install authorizr

Example Usage

Create a new authorizr.

import Authorizr from 'authorizr';

// Create a new authorisation object
const authorizr = new Authorizr(context => {
  // Do any pre-calculation per instance (eg. get commonly used info from db)
  return new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
    const teams = db.findUserTeams(context.userId);
    const perms = db.findUserPermissions(context.userId);
    Promise.all([teams, perms])
      .then(res => {
        // Resolve the promise with data that is passed into every auth check
        resolve({ userId: context.userId, teams: res[0], perms: res[1] })

    // Each check function is passed the pre-calculated global context, any arguments
    // passed into the entity and any arguments passed into the specific check
    isOwner: (ctx, entityId, args) => ctx.teams[entityId].owner === ctx.userId,
    isAdmin: (ctx, entityId, args) => ctx.teams[entityId].admin === ctx.userId

Create a new authorizr instance using the context of the request (before the graphql query is executed). This allows the authorizr to setup all the checks for the user making the request.

req.ctx.auth = authorizr.newRequest(ctx);

Use the checks in an easily readable way in the resolve functions.

resolve: function(id, args, { auth }) {
      .then(res => 
    if (res) {
      // Do protected access


new Authorizr(setupFn [, options])

Create a new Authorizr instance.

  • setupFn: A function that accepts arbitrary inputs and does pre-optimisation for each request. Returns an arbitrary object, or a promise resolving to an arbitrary object, that will be passed to each individual authorisation check.

  • options: An optional object of options:

    • cache: Default true. Set to false to disable caching each authorisation check.

addEntity(name, checks)

Adds an entity for doing authorisation checks against.

  • name: The name of the function to be called when authorising requests.
  • checks: An object with check names mapping to functions for completing each check. Each check has the signature: check(globalCtx, entityArgs, checkArgs)
    • globalCtx: The result of the setupFn for this request.
    • entityId: The argument passed to the entity auth call (usually identifying the entity to perform the check against.
    • checkArgs: The arguments passed to the individual auth check.


Creates a new context for authorisation calls. The setupFn will be called as part of this initialisation.

  • context: Any context needed for authorisation, passed directly into setupFn. Usually identification about who is making the request.


Identifies an entity for completing authorisation checks against and returns an object with chainable check methods from the addEntity call.

  • entityId: Argument used to identify the entity.


Completes an authorisation check using context from the request and entity calls. Th

  • checkArgs: Arguments used to pass in information needed for the check


Returns a promise resolving to true if all the checks passed, otherwise resolving to false.


Returns a promise resolving to true if any the checks passed, otherwise resolving to false.

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