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Version: 7.7

Setting up dbAuth to be passwordless

Security is really important. Sometimes you don't want to integrate with a third-party authentication services. Whatever the reason, Redwood has you covered with Redwood's dbAuth to authenticate users. This is a great option.

One thing though is now you're collecting the user's login and password. If you'd like to not collect that, an alternative is to generate a token in place of the password. The only data needed for passwordless is the users email address.

In this how-to I'll show you how to set up dbAuth to be passwordless, you'll still need to set up a way to send emails, but there's plenty of ways to do that.

Background

Let me start by sharing a little bit about how passwordless works.

What is a passwordless authentication method?

A passwordless authentication method is a method of authentication where the user is not required to enter a password. Instead, the user is sent a link to their email address. When they click the link, they are logged in.

Passwordless uses a token that is time-sensitive. So instead of storing a password, we store a token, and an expiration.

That token is generated randomly and is stored in the database.

How to do it

1. Modify the Prisma schema

First, we need to modify the Prisma schema.

If you followed the tutorial you'll have a User model. Here's is what it looks like with after the changes.

model User {
id Int @id @default(autoincrement())
name String?
email String @unique
loginToken String
loginTokenExpiresAt DateTime?
salt String?
}

Make note of the optional salt field.

Once you've made the changes, you'll need to migrate your database.

yarn rw prisma migrate dev

2. Setting up the generateToken function

Next, we need to create a function that will generate a token and an expiration date.

If you followed the tutorial, you might not have a /api/src/services/users/users.js file. If that's the case, you can create it with the following command using your terminal.

yarn rw g service users

Now that you have the file, let's add the generateToken function.

/api/src/services/users/users.js
// add this import to the top of the file
import CryptoJS from 'crypto-js'
// add this to the bottom of the file
export const generateLoginToken = async ({ email }) => {
try {
// look up if the user exists
let lookupUser = await db.user.findFirst({ where: { email } })
if (!lookupUser) return { message: 'Login Request received' }
// here we're going to generate a random password of 6 numbers
let randomNumber = (() => {
let random = CryptoJS.lib.WordArray.random(6)
let randomString = random.toString()
let sixDigitNumber = randomString.replace(/\D/g, '')
if (sixDigitNumber.length < 6) {
sixDigitNumber = sixDigitNumber.padStart(6, '0')
}
if (sixDigitNumber.length > 6) {
sixDigitNumber = sixDigitNumber.slice(0, 6)
}
return sixDigitNumber.toString()
})()
console.log({ randomNumber }) // email the user this number
let salt = CryptoJS.lib.WordArray.random(30)
let loginToken = CryptoJS.PBKDF2(randomNumber, salt, {
keySize: 256 / 32,
}).toString()
// now we'll update the user with the new salt and loginToken
let loginTokenExpiresAt = new Date()
loginTokenExpiresAt.setMinutes(loginTokenExpiresAt.getMinutes() + 15)
let data = {
salt,
loginToken,
loginTokenExpiresAt,
}
await db.user.update({
where: { id: lookupUser.id },
data
})

return { message: 'Login Request received' }
} catch (error) {
console.log({ error })
throw new UserInputError(error.message)
}
}

3. Add generateToken to the SDL and secure loginToken

In addition to the new function, we need to add it to the sdl file. While we're here let's also ensure we do not expose the loginToken. This file may be users.sdl.js or users.sdl.ts depending on if you set up Redwood to use JavaScript or TypeScript.

/api/src/graphql/users.sdl.js
export const schema = gql`
type User {
id: Int!
name: String
email: String!
}
input CreateUserInput {
name: String
email: String!
}
input UpdateUserInput {
name: String
email: String!
}
type userTokenResponse {
message: String!
}
type Mutation {
createUser(input: CreateUserInput!): User! @requireAuth
updateUser(id: Int!, input: UpdateUserInput!): User! @requireAuth
deleteUser(id: Int!): User! @requireAuth
generateToken(email: String!): userTokenResponse! @skipAuth
}

4. Modify the auth function

We need to consider how we want to limit the authentication. I've added a expiration date to the token, so we'll need to check that.

/api/src/functions/auth.js
// ... other functions
const loginOptions = {
handler: async (user) =>{
let loginExpiresAt = new Date(user?.loginTokenExpiresAt)
let now = new Date()
if (loginExpiresAt < now) throw 'Login token expired'
// if the user logged in with a token we need to break
// the token. We'll do this by clearing the salt and
// expiration
// this will make the token a one-time use
db.user.update({
where: { id: user.id },
data: {
loginTokenExpiresAt: null,
salt: null,
}
})
return user
},
errors: {
// here I modified the following, feel free to modify the other messages
incorrectPassword: 'Incorrect token',
}
}
// we also need to update the signupOptions
const signupOptions = {
handler: ({ username, hashedPassword, userAttributes }) => {
return db.user.create({
data: {
email: username,
loginToken: hashedPassword,
salt: null,
name: userAttributes.name,
}
})
}
// ... othter stuff
}
// and last we need to update the authFields
const authHandler = new DbAuthHandler(event, context, {
db: db,
authModelAccessor: 'user',
authFields: {
id: 'id',
hashedPassword: 'loginToken',
salt: 'salt',
},
// ... other stuff
})

As of right now, nothing works, lets fix that.

5. Making the login form

We need to make a form that will allow the user to enter their email address.

Let's start with the generator.

yarn rw g component LoginPasswordlessForm

This created a component in web/src/components/LoginPasswordlessForm/LoginPasswordlessForm.js. Let's update it.

/web/src/components/LoginPasswordlessForm/LoginPasswordlessForm.js
import {
Form,
Label,
TextField,
PasswordField,
Submit,
FieldError,
} from '@redwoodjs/forms'
import { navigate, routes, Link } from '@redwoodjs/router'
import { MetaTags, useMutation } from '@redwoodjs/web'
import { Toaster, toast } from '@redwoodjs/web/toast'
const GENERATE_LOGIN_TOKEN = gql`
mutation generateLoginToken($email: String!) {
generateLoginToken(email: $email) {
message
}
}
`

const LoginPasswordlessForm = ({ setWaitingForCode, setEmail }) => {
const [generateLoginToken] = useMutation(
GENERATE_LOGIN_TOKEN,
{
onCompleted: () => {
toast.success('Check your email for a login link')
setWaitingForCode(true)
},
}
)
const onSubmit = async (data) => {
setEmail(data.email)
const response = await generateLoginToken({
variables: { email: data.email },
fetchPolicy: 'no-cache',
})
if (response.error) {
toast.error(response.error)
}
}

return (
<>
<MetaTags title="Login" />
<main className="rw-main">
<Toaster toastOptions={{ className: 'rw-toast', duration: 6000 }} />
<div className="rw-scaffold rw-login-container">
<div className="rw-segment">
<header className="rw-segment-header">
<h2 className="rw-heading rw-heading-secondary">Login</h2>
</header>

<div className="rw-segment-main">
<div className="rw-form-wrapper">
<Form onSubmit={onSubmit} className="rw-form-wrapper">
<Label
name="email"
className="rw-label"
errorClassName="rw-label rw-label-error"
>
Email
</Label>
<TextField
name="email"
className="rw-input"
errorClassName="rw-input rw-input-error"
validation={{
required: {
value: true,
message: 'Email is required',
},
}}
/>

<FieldError name="email" className="rw-field-error" />
<div className="rw-button-group">
<Submit className="rw-button rw-button-blue">
Send Token
</Submit>
</div>
</Form>
</div>
</div>
</div>
<div className="rw-login-link">
<span>Don&apos;t have an account?</span>{' '}
<Link to={routes.signup()} className="rw-link">
Sign up!
</Link>
</div>
</div>
</main>
</>
)
}

export default LoginPasswordlessForm

We aren't rendering it anywhere yet, but when we do it will look like this.

image

6. Making the login with token form

Now we also need a form that will accept the code that was sent to the user.

yarn rw g component LoginPasswordlessTokenForm
/web/src/components/LoginPasswordlessTokenForm/LoginPasswordlessTokenForm.js
import { useEffect, useRef } from 'react'

import {
Form,
Label,
TextField,
PasswordField,
Submit,
FieldError,
} from '@redwoodjs/forms'
import { navigate, routes, Link } from '@redwoodjs/router'
import { MetaTags, useMutation } from '@redwoodjs/web'
import { Toaster, toast } from '@redwoodjs/web/toast'

import { useAuth } from 'src/auth'

const LoginPasswordlessTokenForm = ({ setWaitingForCode, email, code }) => {
const { isAuthenticated, logIn } = useAuth()
useEffect(() => {
if (isAuthenticated) {
navigate(routes.home())
}
if (email && code) {
console.log('email', email)
logIn({ username: email, password: code })
}
}, [isAuthenticated, email, code, logIn])
const onSubmit = async (data) => {
// login expects a username and password for dbauth
// so we are passing them.
const response = await logIn({ username: email, password: data.loginToken })
if (response.error) {
toast.error(response.error)
}
}

return (
<>
<MetaTags title="Login" />
<main className="rw-main">
<Toaster toastOptions={{ className: 'rw-toast', duration: 6000 }} />
<div className="rw-scaffold rw-login-container">
<div className="rw-segment">
<header className="rw-segment-header">
<h2 className="rw-heading rw-heading-secondary">
Login with Token
</h2>
</header>

<div className="rw-segment-main">
<div className="rw-form-wrapper">
<Form onSubmit={onSubmit} className="rw-form-wrapper">
<Label
name="email"
className="rw-label"
errorClassName="rw-label rw-label-error"
>
Email
</Label>
<TextField
name="email"
className="rw-input"
errorClassName="rw-input rw-input-error"
readOnly={true}
defaultValue={email}
/>

<FieldError name="email" className="rw-field-error" />
<Label
name="loginToken"
className="rw-label"
errorClassName="rw-label rw-label-error"
>
Token
</Label>
<TextField
name="loginToken"
className="rw-input"
errorClassName="rw-input rw-input-error"
/>

<FieldError name="loginToken" className="rw-field-error" />
<div className="rw-button-group">
<Submit className="rw-button rw-button-blue">Login</Submit>
</div>
<div className="rw-button-group">
<button
className="rw-button rw-button-blue"
onClick={() => {
setWaitingForCode(false)
}}
>
Get another Token
</button>
</div>
</Form>
</div>
</div>
</div>
<div className="rw-login-link">
<span>Don&apos;t have an account?</span>{' '}
<Link to={routes.signup()} className="rw-link">
Sign up!
</Link>
</div>
</div>
</main>
</>
)
}

export default LoginPasswordlessTokenForm

This will be the form loaded after the email is entered. Again, we aren't rendering it anywhere, but we will in the next step.

Here's a preview of the form.

image

7. Making the new login page

Now each of those forms are controlled with the props we pass to them. We will make a new page that will control the state of the forms.

yarn rw g page LoginPasswordless
/web/pages/LoginPasswordlessPage/LoginPasswordlessPage.js
import { useEffect, useState } from 'react'

import { useLocation } from '@redwoodjs/router'
import { MetaTags } from '@redwoodjs/web'

import LoginPasswordlessForm from 'src/components/LoginPasswordlessForm/LoginPasswordlessForm'
import LoginPasswordlessTokenForm from 'src/components/LoginPasswordlessTokenForm/LoginPasswordlessTokenForm'

const LoginPasswordlessPage = () => {
let [waitingForCode, setWaitingForCode] = useState(false)
let [email, setEmail] = useState()
let [code, setCode] = useState()
// onload set email from query string
let { search } = useLocation()
useEffect(() => {
let params = new URLSearchParams(search)
// decode magic param
let magic = params.get('magic')
let decoded = window.atob(params.get('magic'))
// if magic param exists, set email and waitingForCode
if (magic) {
// decoded is email:code
let [email, code] = decoded.split(':')
setEmail(email)
setCode(code)
setWaitingForCode(true)
}
}, [search])

return (
<>
<MetaTags
title="LoginPasswordless"
description="LoginPasswordless page"
/>

{!waitingForCode && (
<LoginPasswordlessForm
setWaitingForCode={setWaitingForCode}
setEmail={setEmail}
/>
)}
{waitingForCode && (
<LoginPasswordlessTokenForm
email={email}
setWaitingForCode={setWaitingForCode}
code={code}
/>
)}
</>
)
}

export default LoginPasswordlessPage

8. Updating the signup page

We need to update the signup page to just take the email.

/web/src/pages/SignupPage/SignupPage.js
import { useRef } from 'react'
import { useEffect } from 'react'

import {
Form,
Label,
TextField,
PasswordField,
FieldError,
Submit,
} from '@redwoodjs/forms'
import { Link, navigate, routes } from '@redwoodjs/router'
import { MetaTags } from '@redwoodjs/web'
import { toast, Toaster } from '@redwoodjs/web/toast'

import { useAuth } from 'src/auth'

const SignupPage = () => {
const { isAuthenticated, signUp } = useAuth()
let randomString = (length) {
if(typeof length == undefined) length = 32;
const characterSet = 'ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789';
const array = new Uint8Array(length);
window.crypto.getRandomValues(array);
const returnString = Array.from(array)
.map((value) => characterSet[value % characterSet.length])
.join('');
return returnString;
}
useEffect(() => {
if (isAuthenticated) {
navigate(routes.home())
}
}, [isAuthenticated])

// focus on username box on page load
const emailRef = useRef(null)
useEffect(() => {
emailRef.current?.focus()
}, [])

const onSubmit = async (data) => {
const response = await signUp({
username: data.email,
password: randomString(), // this is a random string and is not important
})

if (response.message) {
toast(response.message)
} else if (response.error) {
toast.error(response.error)
} else {
// user is signed in automatically
toast.success('Welcome!')
}
}

return (
<>
<MetaTags title="Signup" />

<main className="rw-main">
<Toaster toastOptions={{ className: 'rw-toast', duration: 6000 }} />
<div className="rw-scaffold rw-login-container">
<div className="rw-segment">
<header className="rw-segment-header">
<h2 className="rw-heading rw-heading-secondary">Signup</h2>
</header>

<div className="rw-segment-main">
<div className="rw-form-wrapper">
<Form onSubmit={onSubmit} className="rw-form-wrapper">
<Label
name="email"
className="rw-label"
errorClassName="rw-label rw-label-error"
>
Email
</Label>
<TextField
name="email"
className="rw-input"
errorClassName="rw-input rw-input-error"
ref={emailRef}
validation={{
required: {
value: true,
message: 'Email is required',
},
}}
/>
<FieldError name="email" className="rw-field-error" />

<div className="rw-button-group">
<Submit className="rw-button rw-button-blue">
Sign Up
</Submit>
</div>
</Form>
</div>
</div>
</div>
<div className="rw-login-link">
<span>Already have an account?</span>{' '}
<Link to={routes.login()} className="rw-link">
Log in!
</Link>
</div>
</div>
</main>
</>
)
}

export default SignupPage

You should see the changes and it should look like this!

image

9. Updating the routes

The last thing we need to to do is update the routes to use the new page.

/web/src/Routes.js
const Routes = () => {
// other stuff
return (
<Router useAuth={useAuth}>
<Route path="/login" page={LoginPasswordlessPage} name="login" />
<Route path="/signup" page={SignupPage} name="signup" />
{/*other routes*/}
</Router>
)
}

You did it!

Now that you did you can rest easy. Your authentication relies on just your database but also, if some bad actor got access to it the only user data you have is really the email address.