Relay API

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At some point, your APIs may need to allow limited access to users, servers, or servers on behalf of users. This tutorial demonstrates how to use the OAuth 2.0 authorization features of Auth0 to give your applications (or third-party applications) limited access to your APIs on behalf of users. For more information, check out our documentation.

Create a Resource Server (API)

In the APIs section of the Auth0 Dashboard, click the Create API button. Provide a Name and Identifier for your API. The identifier you set will later be used as the audience when configuring access_token verification. Be sure to choose the RS256 signing algorithm.

Create API

Add API Authorization

To restrict access to the resources served by your API, a check needs to be made to determine whether the incoming request contains valid authorization information. There are various methods for including authorization information in a request, but for integration with Auth0, your API needs to check for a valid JSON Web Token (JWT). When users log into your application, they will receive an id_token and an access_token which are both JWTs. The specific JWT that needs to be sent to your API is the access_token.

Add the Dependencies

Add express-jwt and express-graphql as dependencies.

npm install express-jwt express-graphql --save

Configuration

By default, your API will be set up to use RS256 as the algorithm for signing tokens. Since RS256 works by using a private/public keypair, tokens can be verified against the public key for your Auth0 account. This public key is accessible at https://YOUR_AUTH0_DOMAIN/.well-known/jwks.json.

Configure the express-jwt middleware to use the remote JWKS for your Auth0 account.

// server.js

const express = require('express');
const app = express();
const graphqlHttp   = require('express-graphql');
const jwt = require('express-jwt');
const jwksRsa = require('jwks-rsa');

// Authentication middleware. When used, the
// access token must exist and be verified against
// the Auth0 JSON Web Key Set
const authenticate = jwt({
  // Dynamically provide a signing key
  // based on the kid in the header and 
  // the singing keys provided by the JWKS endpoint.
  secret: jwksRsa.expressJwtSecret({
    cache: true,
    rateLimit: true,
    jwksRequestsPerMinute: 5,
    jwksUri: `https://YOUR_AUTH0_DOMAIN/.well-known/jwks.json`
  }),

  // Validate the audience and the issuer.
  audience: '{YOUR_API_IDENTIFIER}',
  issuer: `https://YOUR_AUTH0_DOMAIN/`,
  algorithms: ['RS256']
});

Secure your API

In your Relay app, you serve a GraphQL object from a single endpoint, which is typically at /graphql. You can protect this endpoint globally with the express-jwt middleware.

app.use('/graphql', authenticate, graphqlHttp({schema: schema}));

Send an Access Token from your Front End

When you send a request to the GraphQL endpoint, you need to include the user's access_token as an Authorization header. This can be done by tapping into Relay's network layer and extending requests to include a header.

const token = localStorage.getItem('access_token');

Relay.injectNetworkLayer(
  new Relay.DefaultNetworkLayer('http://localhost:3000/graphql', {
    headers: {
      Authorization: 'Bearer ' + token
    }
  })
);
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