An example demonstrating LoopBack access control mechanisms.
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README.md

loopback-example-access-control

$ git clone https://github.com/strongloop/loopback-example-access-control
$ cd loopback-example-access-control
$ npm install
$ node .

In this example, we create "Startkicker" (a basic Kickstarter-like application) to demonstrate authentication and authorization mechanisms in LoopBack. The application consists of four types of users:

  • guest
  • owner
  • team member
  • administrator

Each user type has permission to perform tasks based on their role and the application's ACL (access control list) entries.

Prerequisites

Tutorials

Knowledge

Procedure

Create the application

Application information

  • Name: loopback-example-access-control
  • Directory to contain the project: loopback-example-access-control
$ lb app loopback-example-access-control
... # follow the prompts
$ cd loopback-example-access-control

Add the models

Model information

  • Name: user
    • Datasource: db (memory)
    • Base class: User
    • Expose via REST: No
    • Custom plural form: Leave blank
    • Properties
      • None
  • Name: team
    • Datasource: db (memory)
    • Base class: PersistedModel
    • Expose via REST: No
    • Custom plural form: Leave blank
    • Properties
      • ownerId
        • Number
        • Not required
      • memberId
        • Number
        • Required
  • Name: project
    • Datasource: db (memory)
    • Base class: PersistedModel
    • Expose via REST: Yes
    • Custom plural form: Leave blank
    • Properties
      • name
        • String
        • Not required
      • balance
        • Number
        • Not required

No properties are required for the user model because we inherit them from the built-in User model by specifying it as the base class.

$ lb model user
... # follow the prompts, repeat for `team` and `project`

Define the remote methods

Define three remote methods in project.js:

Create the model relations

Model relation information

  • user
    • has many
      • project
        • Property name for the relation: projects
        • Custom foreign key: ownerId
        • Require a through model: No
      • team
        • Property name for the relation: teams
        • Custom foreign key: ownerId
        • Require a through model: No
  • team
    • has many
      • user
        • Property name for the relation: members
        • Custom foreign key: memberId
        • Require a through model: No
  • project
    • belongs to
      • user
        • Property name for the relation: user
        • Custom foreign key: ownerId

Add model instances

Create a boot script named sample-models.js.

This script does the following:

Configure server-side views

LoopBack comes preconfigured with EJS out-of-box. This means we can use server-side templating by simply setting the proper view engine and a directory to store the views.

Create a views directory to store server-side templates.

$ mkdir server/views

Create index.ejs in the views directory.

Configure server.js to use server-side templating. Remember to import the path package.

Add routes

Create routes.js. This script does the following:

When you log in sucessfully, projects.html is rendered with the authenticated user's access token embedded into each link.

Create the views

Create the views directory to store views.

In this directory, create index.ejs and projects.ejs.

Create a role resolver

Create role-resolver.js.

This file checks if the context relates to the project model and if the request maps to a user. If these two requirements are not met, the request is denied. Otherwise, we check to see if the user is a team member and process the request accordingly.

Create ACL entries

ACLs are used to restrict access to application REST endpoints.

ACL information

  • Deny access to all project REST endpoints
    • Select the model to apply the ACL entry to: (all existing models)
    • Select the ACL scope: All methods and properties
    • Select the access type: All (match all types)
    • Select the role: All users
    • Select the permission to apply: Explicitly deny access
  • Allow unrestricted access to GET /api/projects/listProjects
    • Select the model to apply the ACL entry to: project
    • Select the ACL scope: A single method
    • Enter the method name: listProjects
    • Select the role: All users
    • Select the permission to apply: Explicitly grant access
  • Only allow admin unrestricted access to GET /api/projects
    • Select the model to apply the ACL entry to: project
    • Select the ACL scope: A single method
    • Enter the method name: find
    • Select the role: other
    • Enter the role name: admin
    • Select the permission to apply: Explicitly grant access
  • Only allow team members access to GET /api/projects/:id
    • Select the model to apply the ACL entry to: project
    • Select the ACL scope: A single method
    • Enter the method name: findById
    • Select the role: other
    • Enter the role name: teamMember
    • Select the permission to apply: Explicitly grant access
  • Allow authenticated users to access POST /api/projects/donate
    • Select the model to apply the ACL entry to: project
    • Select the ACL scope: A single method
    • Enter the method name: donate
    • Select the role: Any authenticated user
    • Select the permission to apply: Explicitly grant access
  • Allow owners access to POST /api/projects/withdraw
    • Select the model to apply the ACL entry to: project
    • Select the ACL scope: A single method
    • Enter the method name: withdraw
    • Select the role: The user owning the object
    • Select the permission to apply: Explicitly grant access
$ lb acl
# follow the prompts, repeat for each ACL listed above

Try the application

Start the server (node .) and open localhost:3000 in your browser to view the app. You will see logins and explanations related to each user type we created:

  • Guest Guest
    • Role = $everyone, $unauthenticated
    • Has access to the "List projects" function, but none of the others
  • John Project owner
    • Role = $everyone, $authenticated, teamMember, $owner
    • Can access all functions except "View all projects"
  • Jane Project team member
    • Role = $everyone, $authenticated, teamMember
    • Can access all functions except "View all projects" and "Withdraw"
  • Bob Administator
    • Role = $everyone, $authenticated, admin
    • Can access all functions except "Withdraw"

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