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User Data Storage Scenario

Auth0 provides a sample app, a mobile music application, that reflects the end-to-end user experience when using Auth0 with an custom external database. The sample app is an iOS app created using the Auth0 iOS seed project. The backend uses the Node.js API.

For a visualization of the application's overall structure, see the Mobile + API architecture scenario.

Metadata

App metadata

The following data points from our mobile music application are appropriate to store in app_metadata:

  • User's subscription plan
  • User's right (or lack thereof) to edit featured playlists

These two data points should be stored in app_metadata instead of user_metadata because they should not be directly changeable by the user.

User metadata

The following data points from our mobile music application are appropriate to store in user_metadata:

  • Application preferences;
  • Any details chosen by the user to alter their experience of the app upon login.

Note that, unlike the data points for app_metadata, the user can easily and readily change those stored in user_metadata.

We can let the user change their displayName, which is the name the user sees upon logging in and is displayed to other users of the app.

To display the user's chosen identifier whenever they log in, we use a rule to get the user.user_metadata value.

function(user, context, callback){
  user.user_metadata = user.user_metadata || {};
  user.user_metadata.displayName = user.user_metadata.displayName || "user";

  auth0.users.updateUserMetadata(user.user_id, user.user_metadata)
    .then(function(){
      callback(null, user, context);
    })
    .catch(function(err){
      callback(err);
    });
}

Here's a look at the screen the user would use to change their displayName:

To save the changes to the database, the application makes a call to the Get a User endpoint of the Management API to identify the appropriate user:


curl --request GET \
  --url https://youraccount.auth0.com/api/v2/users/user_id \
  --header 'authorization: Bearer YOUR_ID_TOKEN_HERE'
var client = new RestClient("https://youraccount.auth0.com/api/v2/users/user_id");
var request = new RestRequest(Method.GET);
request.AddHeader("authorization", "Bearer YOUR_ID_TOKEN_HERE");
IRestResponse response = client.Execute(request);
package main

import (
	"fmt"
	"net/http"
	"io/ioutil"
)

func main() {

	url := "https://youraccount.auth0.com/api/v2/users/user_id"

	req, _ := http.NewRequest("GET", url, nil)

	req.Header.Add("authorization", "Bearer YOUR_ID_TOKEN_HERE")

	res, _ := http.DefaultClient.Do(req)

	defer res.Body.Close()
	body, _ := ioutil.ReadAll(res.Body)

	fmt.Println(res)
	fmt.Println(string(body))

}
HttpResponse<String> response = Unirest.get("https://youraccount.auth0.com/api/v2/users/user_id")
  .header("authorization", "Bearer YOUR_ID_TOKEN_HERE")
  .asString();
var request = require("request");

var options = {
  method: 'GET',
  url: 'https://youraccount.auth0.com/api/v2/users/user_id',
  headers: {authorization: 'Bearer YOUR_ID_TOKEN_HERE'}
};

request(options, function (error, response, body) {
  if (error) throw new Error(error);

  console.log(body);
});
#import <Foundation/Foundation.h>

NSDictionary *headers = @{ @"authorization": @"Bearer YOUR_ID_TOKEN_HERE" };

NSMutableURLRequest *request = [NSMutableURLRequest requestWithURL:[NSURL URLWithString:@"https://youraccount.auth0.com/api/v2/users/user_id"]
                                                       cachePolicy:NSURLRequestUseProtocolCachePolicy
                                                   timeoutInterval:10.0];
[request setHTTPMethod:@"GET"];
[request setAllHTTPHeaderFields:headers];

NSURLSession *session = [NSURLSession sharedSession];
NSURLSessionDataTask *dataTask = [session dataTaskWithRequest:request
                                            completionHandler:^(NSData *data, NSURLResponse *response, NSError *error) {
                                                if (error) {
                                                    NSLog(@"%@", error);
                                                } else {
                                                    NSHTTPURLResponse *httpResponse = (NSHTTPURLResponse *) response;
                                                    NSLog(@"%@", httpResponse);
                                                }
                                            }];
[dataTask resume];
$curl = curl_init();

curl_setopt_array($curl, array(
  CURLOPT_URL => "https://youraccount.auth0.com/api/v2/users/user_id",
  CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER => true,
  CURLOPT_ENCODING => "",
  CURLOPT_MAXREDIRS => 10,
  CURLOPT_TIMEOUT => 30,
  CURLOPT_HTTP_VERSION => CURL_HTTP_VERSION_1_1,
  CURLOPT_CUSTOMREQUEST => "GET",
  CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER => array(
    "authorization: Bearer YOUR_ID_TOKEN_HERE"
  ),
));

$response = curl_exec($curl);
$err = curl_error($curl);

curl_close($curl);

if ($err) {
  echo "cURL Error #:" . $err;
} else {
  echo $response;
}
import http.client

conn = http.client.HTTPSConnection("youraccount.auth0.com")

headers = { 'authorization': "Bearer YOUR_ID_TOKEN_HERE" }

conn.request("GET", "/api/v2/users/user_id", headers=headers)

res = conn.getresponse()
data = res.read()

print(data.decode("utf-8"))
require 'uri'
require 'net/http'
require 'openssl'

url = URI("https://youraccount.auth0.com/api/v2/users/user_id")

http = Net::HTTP.new(url.host, url.port)
http.use_ssl = true
http.verify_mode = OpenSSL::SSL::VERIFY_NONE

request = Net::HTTP::Get.new(url)
request["authorization"] = 'Bearer YOUR_ID_TOKEN_HERE'

response = http.request(request)
puts response.read_body
import Foundation

let headers = ["authorization": "Bearer YOUR_ID_TOKEN_HERE"]

let request = NSMutableURLRequest(url: NSURL(string: "https://youraccount.auth0.com/api/v2/users/user_id")! as URL,
                                        cachePolicy: .useProtocolCachePolicy,
                                    timeoutInterval: 10.0)
request.httpMethod = "GET"
request.allHTTPHeaderFields = headers

let session = URLSession.shared
let dataTask = session.dataTask(with: request as URLRequest, completionHandler: { (data, response, error) -> Void in
  if (error != nil) {
    print(error)
  } else {
    let httpResponse = response as? HTTPURLResponse
    print(httpResponse)
  }
})

dataTask.resume()

This is followed by a call to the Update a User endpoint to update the user_metadata field:


curl --request PATCH \
  --url 'https://YOUR_DOMAIN/api/v2/users/user_id' \
  --header 'authorization: Bearer YOUR_ACCESS_TOKEN' \
  --header 'content-type: application/json' \
  --data '{"user_metadata": {"displayName": "J-vald3z"}'
var client = new RestClient("https://YOUR_DOMAIN/api/v2/users/user_id");
var request = new RestRequest(Method.PATCH);
request.AddHeader("authorization", "Bearer YOUR_ACCESS_TOKEN");
request.AddHeader("content-type", "application/json");
request.AddParameter("application/json", "{\"user_metadata\": {\"displayName\": \"J-vald3z\"}", ParameterType.RequestBody);
IRestResponse response = client.Execute(request);
package main

import (
	"fmt"
	"strings"
	"net/http"
	"io/ioutil"
)

func main() {

	url := "https://YOUR_DOMAIN/api/v2/users/user_id"

	payload := strings.NewReader("{\"user_metadata\": {\"displayName\": \"J-vald3z\"}")

	req, _ := http.NewRequest("PATCH", url, payload)

	req.Header.Add("authorization", "Bearer YOUR_ACCESS_TOKEN")
	req.Header.Add("content-type", "application/json")

	res, _ := http.DefaultClient.Do(req)

	defer res.Body.Close()
	body, _ := ioutil.ReadAll(res.Body)

	fmt.Println(res)
	fmt.Println(string(body))

}
HttpResponse<String> response = Unirest.patch("https://YOUR_DOMAIN/api/v2/users/user_id")
  .header("authorization", "Bearer YOUR_ACCESS_TOKEN")
  .header("content-type", "application/json")
  .body("{\"user_metadata\": {\"displayName\": \"J-vald3z\"}")
  .asString();
var request = require("request");

var options = {
  method: 'PATCH',
  url: 'https://YOUR_DOMAIN/api/v2/users/user_id',
  headers: {authorization: 'Bearer YOUR_ACCESS_TOKEN', 'content-type': 'application/json'},
  body: '{"user_metadata": {"displayName": "J-vald3z"}'
};

request(options, function (error, response, body) {
  if (error) throw new Error(error);

  console.log(body);
});
#import <Foundation/Foundation.h>

NSDictionary *headers = @{ @"authorization": @"Bearer YOUR_ACCESS_TOKEN",
                           @"content-type": @"application/json" };

NSData *postData = [[NSData alloc] initWithData:[@"{"user_metadata": {"displayName": "J-vald3z"}" dataUsingEncoding:NSUTF8StringEncoding]];

NSMutableURLRequest *request = [NSMutableURLRequest requestWithURL:[NSURL URLWithString:@"https://YOUR_DOMAIN/api/v2/users/user_id"]
                                                       cachePolicy:NSURLRequestUseProtocolCachePolicy
                                                   timeoutInterval:10.0];
[request setHTTPMethod:@"PATCH"];
[request setAllHTTPHeaderFields:headers];
[request setHTTPBody:postData];

NSURLSession *session = [NSURLSession sharedSession];
NSURLSessionDataTask *dataTask = [session dataTaskWithRequest:request
                                            completionHandler:^(NSData *data, NSURLResponse *response, NSError *error) {
                                                if (error) {
                                                    NSLog(@"%@", error);
                                                } else {
                                                    NSHTTPURLResponse *httpResponse = (NSHTTPURLResponse *) response;
                                                    NSLog(@"%@", httpResponse);
                                                }
                                            }];
[dataTask resume];
$curl = curl_init();

curl_setopt_array($curl, array(
  CURLOPT_URL => "https://YOUR_DOMAIN/api/v2/users/user_id",
  CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER => true,
  CURLOPT_ENCODING => "",
  CURLOPT_MAXREDIRS => 10,
  CURLOPT_TIMEOUT => 30,
  CURLOPT_HTTP_VERSION => CURL_HTTP_VERSION_1_1,
  CURLOPT_CUSTOMREQUEST => "PATCH",
  CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS => "{\"user_metadata\": {\"displayName\": \"J-vald3z\"}",
  CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER => array(
    "authorization: Bearer YOUR_ACCESS_TOKEN",
    "content-type: application/json"
  ),
));

$response = curl_exec($curl);
$err = curl_error($curl);

curl_close($curl);

if ($err) {
  echo "cURL Error #:" . $err;
} else {
  echo $response;
}
import http.client

conn = http.client.HTTPSConnection("")

payload = "{\"user_metadata\": {\"displayName\": \"J-vald3z\"}"

headers = {
    'authorization': "Bearer YOUR_ACCESS_TOKEN",
    'content-type': "application/json"
    }

conn.request("PATCH", "/YOUR_DOMAIN/api/v2/users/user_id", payload, headers)

res = conn.getresponse()
data = res.read()

print(data.decode("utf-8"))
require 'uri'
require 'net/http'
require 'openssl'

url = URI("https://YOUR_DOMAIN/api/v2/users/user_id")

http = Net::HTTP.new(url.host, url.port)
http.use_ssl = true
http.verify_mode = OpenSSL::SSL::VERIFY_NONE

request = Net::HTTP::Patch.new(url)
request["authorization"] = 'Bearer YOUR_ACCESS_TOKEN'
request["content-type"] = 'application/json'
request.body = "{\"user_metadata\": {\"displayName\": \"J-vald3z\"}"

response = http.request(request)
puts response.read_body
import Foundation

let headers = [
  "authorization": "Bearer YOUR_ACCESS_TOKEN",
  "content-type": "application/json"
]

let postData = NSData(data: "{"user_metadata": {"displayName": "J-vald3z"}".data(using: String.Encoding.utf8)!)

let request = NSMutableURLRequest(url: NSURL(string: "https://YOUR_DOMAIN/api/v2/users/user_id")! as URL,
                                        cachePolicy: .useProtocolCachePolicy,
                                    timeoutInterval: 10.0)
request.httpMethod = "PATCH"
request.allHTTPHeaderFields = headers
request.httpBody = postData as Data

let session = URLSession.shared
let dataTask = session.dataTask(with: request as URLRequest, completionHandler: { (data, response, error) -> Void in
  if (error != nil) {
    print(error)
  } else {
    let httpResponse = response as? HTTPURLResponse
    print(httpResponse)
  }
})

dataTask.resume()

You must replace YOUR_ACCESS_TOKEN with a Management API Access Token.

User data permission rules

Use rules to implement permissions on whether a user can edit featured playlists or not.

Assign Playlist Editor role

The first rule sends a request to our Node API, which then queries the database connected to Heroku to check how many plays the user’s playlist has. If the number is 100 or greater, we assign playlist_editor as a value in the roles array in app_metadata.

function (user, context, callback) {
  user.app_metadata = user.app_metadata || {};
  user.app_metadata.roles = user.roles || [];

  var CLIENT_SECRET = configuration.AUTH0_CLIENT_SECRET;
  var CLIENT_ID = configuration.AUTH0_CLIENT_ID;

  var scope = {
    user_id: user.user_id,
    email: user.email,
    name: user.name
  };

  var options = {
    subject: user.user_id,
    expiresInMinutes: 600,
    audience: CLIENT_ID,
    issuer: 'https://example.auth0.com'
  };

  var id_token = jwt.sign(scope, CLIENT_SECRET, options);

  var auth = 'Bearer ' + id_token;

  request.get({
    url: 'https://example.com/playlists/getPlays',
    headers: {
       'Authorization': auth,
      'Content-Type': 'text/html'
    },
    timeout: 15000
  }, function(err, response, body){
    if (err)
      return callback(new Error(err));
    var plays = parseInt(body, 10);

    if (plays >= 100 && user.roles.indexOf('playlist_editor') < 0){
      user.app_metadata.roles.push('playlist_editor');
      auth0.users.updateAppMetadata(user.user_id, user.app_metadata)
        .then(function(){
          callback(null, user, context);
        })
        .catch(callback);
    }

    else if (plays < 100 && user.roles.indexOf('playlist_editor') >= 0){
      user.app_metadata.roles = [];
      auth0.users.updateAppMetadata(user.user_id, user.app_metadata)
        .then(function(){
          callback(null, user, context);
        })
        .catch(callback);
    }
    else{
      callback(null, user, context);
    }

  });

}

Scope parameter specifies role

The second rule gets the app_metadata field and assigns the roles array to a field in the user object so it can be accessed without calling app_metadata on the application. The scope parameter can then specify roles upon the user logging in without including everything in app_metadata in the user object:

function(user, context, callback) {
   if (user.app_metadata) {
      user.roles = user.app_metadata.roles;
   }
   user.roles = user.roles || [];
   callback(null, user, context);
}

After we've implemented these two rules, the app recognizes whether the user is a playlist editor or not and changes the welcome screen accordingly. If playlist_editor is in the roles array stored in the user's app_metadata, the user will be welcomed as an EDITOR after signing in:

Associate a user's music with the user

We need to associate a user's music with that user, but this information is not required for authentication. Here's how to store this information in a separate database that is integrated with the backend of the application.

The user's unique identifier is their user_id. Here is a sample row from the songs table in our database:

song_id songname user_id
1 Number One Hit google-oauth2

The Node.js backend authenticates requests to the URI associated with getting the user’s personal data from the database by validating a JSON Web Token.

Here is the code implementing JWT validation from the Node.js seed project:

var genres = require('./routes/genres');
var songs = require('./routes/songs');
var playlists = require('./routes/playlists');
var displayName = require('./routes/displayName');

var authenticate = jwt({
  secret: process.env.AUTH0_CLIENT_SECRET,
  audience: process.env.AUTH0_CLIENT_ID
});

app.use('/genres', authenticate, genres);
app.use('/songs', authenticate, songs);
app.use('/playlists', authenticate, playlists);
app.use('/displayName', authenticate, displayName);

We can add functionality to handle different data requests from our Application. For example, if we receive a GET request to /secured/getFavGenre, the API calls the queryGenre() function, which queries the database for and responds with the user’s favorite genre.

@IBAction func getGenre(sender: AnyObject) {
        let request = buildAPIRequest("/genres/getFav", type:"GET")
        let task = NSURLSession.sharedSession().dataTaskWithRequest(request) {[unowned self](data, response, error) in
            let genre = NSString(data: data!, encoding: NSUTF8StringEncoding)
            dispatch_async(dispatch_get_main_queue(), {
                self.favGenre.text = "Favorite Genre:  \(genre!)"
            })
        }
        task.resume()
    }

The function buildAPIRequest() takes the path and HTTP method of the request as parameters and builds a request using the base URL of our Node.js API that's hosted on Heroku.

In the Application, the getGenre() function makes a request to the API and changes the app's interface to display the request response to /genres/getFav. The backend retrieves the required data for this action using the queryGenre() function and returns the results to the Application:

function queryGenre(user_id, res){

  db.connect(process.env.DATABASE_URL, function(err, client) {
  if (err) throw err;

  client
    .query('SELECT fav_genre as value FROM user_data WHERE user_id = $1', [user_id], function(err, result) {

      if(err) {
        return console.error('error running query', err);
      }
      res.send(result.rows[0].value);
    });
  });

};

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