Connect (Express) Access Control simple middleware
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Connect Access Control middleware

License MIT - Copyright Nicolas Chambrier

What's inside?

  • You can use this module with Express or any other Connect-based application
  • You'll find an application middleware to configure access control layer
  • You'll be able to globally protect a list of paths in your application, or...
  • ... protect any action, one by one, using the route middleware


From NPM (easiest and best way):

npm install connect-access-control

From Git (if you want to contribute, or get a dev version):

git clone node_modules/connect-access-control

Enable access control in your application

Load the middleware:

var accessControl = require('connect-access-control');

Enable access control in your application:


If you use default retrieve and save options, you must have enabled session support before enabling access control:


Access credentials

The middleware will populate request with a new key "user" (see option reqKey to customize this). req.user will provide the following methods:

  • grant(roles, callback) add role(s) to user, and call callback() after credentials are saved
  • revoke(roles, callback) remove role(s) from user, and call callback() after credentials are saved
  • revokeAll(callback) remove all roles from user, and call callback() after credentials are saved
  • isSuperAdmin() checks if user has a super-admin role
  • getRoles() returns the list of user's roles
  • has(roles) checks if user matches the given combination of roles (see "Checking roles")
  • login(callback) marks user as logged in, retrieve his initial roles (see option initialize), and call callback() after credentials are saved
  • logout(callback) marks user as logged out, and call callback() after credentials are saved
  • isLoggedIn() checks if user has been marked as logged in


Global options:

  • accessControl.securedPaths list of automatically secured paths (called "global protection"), each one can be a string (exact path) or a regular expression
  • accessControl.requiredLoggedIn set to true if global protection should require to be logged in
  • accessControl.requiredRoles roles that must be required for globally protected pages
  • accessControl.ignoredPaths list of paths that won't trigger the access control (no req.user created), each one can be a string (exact path) or a regular expression
  • accessControl.superAdmin list the roles that will be considered as super-admin roles
  • accessControl.limitedAccessCallback will be called for secured pages with required roles that are not matched (function(req,res,next))
  • accessControl.notLoggedInCallback will be called for secured pages requiring logged in user (function(req,res,next))
  • accessControl.loginPath the default notLoggedInCallback will redirect to this path
  • accessControl.initialize will retrieve initial roles from user as soon as he logs in (function(req,callback), where callback is function(roles or null if nothing loaded)), default does not initialize anything
  • accessControl.retrieve will retrieve current roles for user (function(req,callback) where callback is function(loggedin,roles)), default will retrieve from session
  • will save current roles from user (function(req,loggedin,roles,callback)) where callback is function()), default will save to session
  • accessControl.reqKey will allow you to customize how req will be populated, default is "user" to create a req.user object

Instance options:

  • ignoredPaths will be merged with global option ignoredPaths
  • securedPaths will be merged with global option securedPaths
  • requiredLoggedIn will replace global option requiredLoggedIn
  • requiredRoles will replace global option requiredRoles
  • superAdmin will be merged with global option superAdmin
  • initialize will replace global option initialize
  • retrieve will replace global option retrieve
  • save will replace global option save

Secure your application (Express samples)

Globally (this is not the best way in my opinion, but maybe the easiest at beginning):

// Global protection
// Globally protected pages require login
accessControl.requiredLoggedIn = true;
// Globally protected pages require role "authorized"

Per page:

// Require logged in
app.get('/private',, function (req, res) { ... });
// Require role "admin" or "moderator"
app.get('/moderate',[["admin", "moderator"]]), function (req, res) { ... });

Look at the sample Express application provided in the sample directory.

Checking roles

The way roles are required is directly inspired by symfony's credentials system. You can imbricate arrays to alternate AND and OR operations.

Here are some examples that will explain this system more easily than the full explanation ;)

["role1", "role2]                           role1 AND role2
[["role1", "role2"]]                        role1 OR role2
["role1", ["role2", "role3"]]               role1 AND (role2 OR role3)
["role1", ["role2", ["role3", "role4"]]]    role1 AND (role2 OR (role3 AND role4))

As you see, the first level of array = AND operation, then each time you add a level you alternate: OR, then AND, then OR, etc...

With this simple system you can declare any complex combinations of roles to secure your pages.

Version history

  • 1.0.0 2011-07-30: Initial release