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Example: Play Framework + AngularJS


git clone
cd jwt-scala/examples/play-angular-standalone

Then go to localhost:9000 to see the small application running.


The goal of the application is to demonstrate how to use JWT (Json Web Token) as a way to manage the user session rather than cookies, the default way in Play Framework. Using JWT, we take all the good parts (signature using play.http.secret.key), add a bit of JSON syntax, and put all that in an HTTP header. So it's just as secured as a cookie would be, it's just at a different place.

One nice benefit of JWT is that... it is not cookies! Cookies can be disabled (sometime by default... I'm looking at you Windows Phone), people don't like them (I'm talking about the ones in the internet). One major problem is that... it is not cookies. Those are automatically send with every request. With JWT, we need to manually add the header each time we send a request. You will also need to persist them client-side whereas the browser would have done that for you using cookies. There is no silver bullet for that, it depends mostly on what technologies you are using for your front-end, but you can use this micro-library that I quickly wrote to help you reading and storing the token. In the case of this application, we will take advantage of the HTTP interceptors provided by AngularJS to achieve the final result.


TODO: generate ScalaDoc

The API is nearly the same as the Session one inside Play, just renamed JwtSession. For example, the method Result.withSession(session: Session) is now Result.withJwtSession(session: JwtSession). The other main different is that the session is no longer a Map[String, String] but rather a JsObject (actually two because there are the header part and the claim part, but you should mostly be interested in the claim part).

After that, we just use Action composition inside Play to handle all our security in one place. You can read the Secured trait that group everything.

How to...

Write in the session

Ok.addingToJwtSession("user", User("Paul"))

You can directly write case classes inside the session as long as you have an implicit Writes somewhere around. Which is as easy as...

import play.api.libs.json._
import play.api.libs.functional.syntax._

case class User(name: String)
object User {
  implicit val userFormat = Json.format[User]

Read from the session

// Return Option[User]

Just as before, you can directly read case classes from session if there is an implicit Reads around. Which is as easy as... oh wait, we have already done that!

More stuff...