Lock vs. a Custom UI

When adding Auth0 to your web apps, you have the option to implement either:

Lock is a drop-in authentication widget that provides a standard set of behaviors and a customizable user interface. Auth0.js is a client-side library that does not come with a user interface but allows for expanded customization of the behavior and appearance of the login. The Authentication API provides integration without requiring the use of Auth0 libraries. The best option to choose will depend on the needs of your app.

When to Implement Lock vs. a Custom UI

Desired UI Attributes: Lock Custom UI
Possesses the structure, look, and feel of Lock. Yes No
Has a simple design that fits in with most modern websites with just a few tweaks to its custom color. Yes No
Adapts to your configuration and only show the allowable options in the appropriate situations. Yes No
Chooses the correct connection automatically. Yes No
Remembers the last used connection for a given user. Yes No
Automatically accommodates internationalization. Yes No
Automatically provides a password policy checking at sign up. Yes No
Follows strict appearance requirements as set by your company. No Yes
Allows for expert usage of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. No Yes
Adapts to a simpler process for username/password and social provider authentication. No Yes
Handles multiple database or Active Directory Connections. No Yes

Lock

Lock is an embeddable login form that makes it easy for your users to authenticate using a selected connection. Lock will automatically handle most of the details involved in creating and authenticating users.

With Lock, you will be implementing a UI that:

  • Is robust and provides an excellent user experience on any device with any resolution;
  • Has a simple design that fits in with most websites with just a few tweaks to its custom color;
  • Adapts to your configuration, displaying the appropriate form controls for each available connection and only those which are allowed (such as sign up or password reset);
  • Selects the correct connection automatically. You may specify a desired default behavior for ambiguous cases;
  • Remembers the last used connection for a given user;
  • Automatically accommodates internationalization;
  • Provides instant password policy checking at sign up.

Although you cannot alter Lock's behavior, you can configure several basic options.

When to Use Lock

Consider using Lock if:

  • You like structure, look, and feel of Lock;
  • You prefer an easier implementation;
  • Your process includes many of the use cases that Lock handles out of the box, such as Enterprise logins, databases with password policies, sign up and password reset, authentication with social providers, and avatars;
  • You want a login form that can be reused in multiple areas.

Custom User Interface

If the requirements of your app cannot be met by the standardized behavior of Lock, or if you have a complex custom authentication process, a custom user interface is needed.

With the auth0.js library or the Authentication API, you can customize the behavior and flow of the process used to trigger sign up and authentication.

Unlike with Lock, neither of these options includes a user interface. You will have complete control over the user experience for sign up and authentication flow, and for the UI aspects of layout, look and feel, branding, internationalization, RTL support, and more.

When to Use a Custom User Interface

Consider implementing a custom user interface in conjunction with the auth0.js library or the Authentication API for your app if:

  • You have strict requirements for the appearance of the user interface;
  • You are comfortable with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript;
  • You only need to handle username/password and social provider authentication;
  • You have multiple database or Active Directory Connections.

See also