Ruby On Rails Authorization

Authentication tells your application to trust a user, granting him or her access to it. But that might not be enough. Most times, you will need to grant or restrict users from accessing specific parts of your application based on a number of attributes (commonly named "claims", being their "role", "department", or "country" a few examples). In this section, you'll learn how to assign a "role" claim to your users, and use those claims to authorize them to access an "admin" page.

Sample Project

Download a sample project specific to this tutorial configured with your Auth0 API Keys.

System Requirements
  • Ruby 2.3.1
  • Rails 5.0.0
Show requirements

Create a Rule to Assign Roles

Many identity providers will supply access claims, like roles or groups, with the user. You can request these in your token by setting scope: openid roles or scope: openid groups. However, not every identity provider provides this type of information. Fortunately, Auth0 has an alternative to it, which is creating a rule for assigning different roles to different users.

This tutorial assumes that you've already read the rules tutorial and you know how to implement a basic rule in your app.

Create a Rule to assign roles

First, we will create a rule that assigns our users either an admin role, or a single user role. To do so, go to the new rule page and select the "Set Roles To A User" template, under Access Control. Then, replace this line from the default script:

if ('') > -1)

to match the condition that fits your needs. Notice that you can also set more roles other than admin and user, or customize the whole rule as you please.

By default, it says that if the user email contains they will be given an admin role, otherwise a regular user role.

Add Dependencies

Add the following dependencies to your Gemfile and run bundle install:

gem 'omniauth', '~> 1.3.1'
gem 'omniauth-auth0', '~> 1.4.2'

Create the Admin and Unauthorized Views

Add a placeholder text to indicate the user has accessed the admin area in the Admin View (app/views/admin/show.html.erb):

<div class="alert alert-success" role="alert">
  You are viewing this because you are logged in and you have 'admin' role.
 <%= link_to "Back to Home", dashboard_path %> 

And a placeholder to indicate the user cannot access the requested content in the Unauthorized View (app/views/unauthorized/show.html.erb):

<div class="alert alert-danger" role="alert">
  Unauthorized: you are not allowed to see this content
 <%= link_to "Back to Home", dashboard_path %> 

Create the Admin Controller

In the Admin Controller, add a before_action to check if the user has the admin role. If not, redirect the user to the unauthorized page:

class AdminController < ApplicationController
  include Secured
  before_action :admin?

  def show


  def admin?
    redirect_to unauthorized_show_path unless roles.include?('admin')

  def roles
    app_metadata ? app_metadata[:roles] : []

  def app_metadata

That's it. Now you can verify that only users logged in with an email that contains @example (or following the rule you've introduced) will be able to access the admin page.

Previous Tutorial
7. Rules
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