A scala based authorization library for Play
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An simple to use authorization module for Play 2.5.x This project allows you to add very basic authorization logic to your Play application.

Get started

Download the sources from this repository and run

sbt publishLocal

After the command completes you can add a dependency to your project using the following lines:

libraryDependencies += "nl.fizzylogic" %% "padlock" % "0.1.0-SNAPSHOT"

Authorizing access to actions

To authorize access to an operation you can use one of the following two action builders.

  • ActionWithOptionalPrincipal
  • AuthenticatedAction
class MyController @Inject() (val authorizationHandler: AuthorizationHandler) 
extends Controller with AuthorizationSupport {
  def myAction = AuthenticatedAction { implicit request =>
    Ok("Hello world")

The controller needs access to an AuthorizationHandler implementation. This implementation looks like this:

import play.api.mvc.Results._

class MyAuthorizationHandler extends AuthorizationHandler {
  override def denied[A](request: RequestWithPrincipal[A]) = {
  override def unauthorized[A](request: RequestWithOptionalPrincipal[A]) = {
  override def principal(request: Request[A]) = {
    //TODO: Retrieve a principal from a user store

Whenever an AuthenticatedAction determines that there's no current user it will invoke the unauthorized method on the AuthorizationHandler.

The current user is determined using the principal method on the AuthorizationHandler.

The authorization logic relies on a Principal implementation to get information about the current user. You can create your own by implementing the Principal trait.

More complex authorization operations

The basic authorization operations allow you to specify whether an action should have a principal or that it is optional but accessible for an operation.

If you want to create more complex authorization operations you can implement a custom authorization policy by implementing the AuthorizationPolicy trait.

import nl.fizzylogic.padlock._

class MyAuthorizationPolicy extends MyAuthorizationPolicy {
  override def allowed[A](request: RequestWithPrincipal[A]) = {
    request.principal.claims.filter(x => x.claimType.equals("SomeType") && x.value.equals("SomeValue")).length > 0

You can use the authorization policy using a specific action refiner implementation in the AuthorizationSupport trait.

def myAction = (AuthenticatedAction andThen authorizeUsingPolicy(myPolicyInstance)) {
  Ok("Hello world")

When the user is not authorized to access the action based on the policy, the user will automatically get the result as produced by the denied method in the AuthorizationHandler.

Other features that are coming soon

One of my biggest gripes with existing frameworks is that they don't allow you to authorize access to specific pieces of data. All they do is provide a way to authorize specific HTTP endpoints.

My solution doesn't do any better at the moment and I want to change that. I want you to be able to authorize access to specific blogposts or whatever your app happens to have as resources.

Want to contribute?

I'm more than happy to accept pull requests for this project. Open one up and show your cool ideas!