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I am building an app in PHP Lumen which returns a token upon login. I am not sure how to proceed beyond this.

How am I supposed to maintain a session using these tokens?

Specifically, how do I store the tokens on the client side if I am using reactjs or vanilla HTML/CSS/jQuery and send them in every request I make for the secure part of my web app?

What I usually do is to keep the token in the local storage, this way I can persist the token even if the user leaves the site.

localStorage.setItem('app-token', theTokenFromServer);

Every time the user loads the page, the first thing I do is to look for the existence of the token.

token = localStorage.getItem('app-token');

If using react, I'd keep the token on the global state (using redux for example):

function loadAppToken(token) {
  return {
    type: 'LOAD_TOKEN',
    payload: { token },
  };
}

With vanilla javascript I'd keep it on my connection utility. Which might look something like the following:

const token = localStorage.getItem('app-token');

export function request(config) {
   const { url, ...others } = config;

   return fetch(url, {
     ...others,
     credentials: 'include',
     headers: {
       'Authorization': `Bearer ${token}`
     },
   });
}

I'd still have a fetch utility in a react app, similar to the previous code, but I'd send the token in the options, by getting it in a redux middleware for every single request.

12 users liked answer #0dislike answer #012
Crysfel profile pic
Crysfel

Let's assume you want to build an APP with.

  1. ReactJS
  2. REST API with PHP
  3. Using JWT

1. Introduction

You must forget about sessions when building REST API's.

REST API's are meant to be stateless, so they must not depend on sessions, they must process requests with only the data given by the client.

2. Authentication

All the client wants to do is only to exchange some username & password for a token.

This is an example HTTP request

POST /api/v1/authentication HTTP/1.1
Host: localhost
Content-Type: application/json
{
    "username": "foo",
    "password": "bar"
}

And the response is:

{
    "token": "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
}

3. let's go into more details into request/response

How our API will process the authentication request?

  1. It will check if a user with username foo & password bar is founded and it's active in DB

  2. It will generate a JWT (Json Web Token)

  3. It will return response containing the JWT

This is some super simple auth method, just for example.

public function authAction()
{
  /** Get your payload somehow */
  $request = $_POST;

  //Validate if username & password are given/

  $user = $this->model->auth($username, $password);

  if(!$user) {
    //throw error for not valid credentials
  }

  $jwt = $this->jwt->create($user);

  //return response with $jwt
}

As you see they are no sessions set or anything.

How our client side will process the response?

The client could use some package like superagent for handling the requests & responses to our API this way the process will be simplified to this:

  let data = {
    username: email,
    password: password
  };

  request
    .post('/api/v1/authentication')
    .set('Content-Type', 'application/json')
    .send(data)
    .end(function (error, response) {
      //response.body.token
    });

4. Creating JWT on server side

You could use some 3RD PT package for generating and validating JWT instead of writing it yourself.

Look at this package, you can see how it's done.

And remember to always create strong signatures. I recommend using RSA keys

I am not advertising or supporting this project, just found it useful to share it here. I had never used it, I'm using something similar to this on my NodeJS projects.

5. Saving JWT on client side

They are two ways as you already know localStorage & cookies For me I am using cookies, because:

  1. They are a bit more secure.
  2. Expire date can be set without implementing some custom logic.
  3. Older browser support (very old browsers, so it's not that important).

But it's all up to you.

6. Using JWT

From now on every request to server you must include your JWT.

In your REST API you must write a method to validate the JWT and exchanging it for user object.

Example request:

  let jwt = ...; //GET IT FROM LOCALSTORAGE OR COOKIE

  request
    .get('/api/v1/posts')
    .set('Content-Type', 'application/json')
    .set('Authorization', jwt)
    .end(function (error, response) {

    });

How API will process this request

public function postsAction()
{
  $jwt = $this->headers->get('Authorization');

  if(!$this->jwt->validate($jwt)) {
    //throw unauthorized error
  }

  $user = $this->model->exchangeJWT($jwt);

  //Your logic here
}

7. Expire date & cookie

If you are using cookie to save your JWT, be careful with setting the expire dates.

The cookie expire date must be equal to the JWT expire date.

6 users liked answer #1dislike answer #16
Codew profile pic
Codew

Currently working on same type of application using lumen for API. Following 3 steps for Token based Authentication in Lumen with JWT:

1. Create Token and return after login success

public function login(Request $request) {
    $token = $this->jwt->attempt(['user_name' => $data['user_name'], 'password' => $data['password']]); //$token = $this->jwt->attempt($data); 
    if (!$token) {
        $response = array('success' => false, 'data' => null, 'detail' => array('message' => Messages::MSG_INVALID_USER, 'error' => array(Messages::MSG_INVALID_USER)));
        return response()->json($response);
    } else {
        $user = \Auth::setToken($token)->user();
        $data = array('token' => $token,'user_id' => $user->id);
        $response = array('success' => true, 'data' => $data, 'detail' => array('message' => Messages::MSG_SUCCESS, 'error' => null));
        return response()->json($response);
    }
}

2. Define middleware for token verification

public function handle($request, Closure $next, $guard = null) {
    try {
        $token = $request->header('X-TOKEN');
        $user_id = $request->header('X-USER');
        $user = \Auth::setToken($token)->user();
        if ($user && $user->id == $user_id) {
            return $next($request);
        } else {
            $response = array('success' => false, 'data' => null, 'detail' => array('message' => Messages::MSG_ERR_INVALID_TOKEN, 'error' => Messages::MSG_ERR_INVALID_TOKEN));
            return response()->json($response);
        }
    } catch (Exception $ex) {
        $response = array('success' => false, 'data' => null, 'detail' => array('message' => Messages::MSG_ERROR_500, 'error' => array($ex)));
        return response()->json($response);
    }
}

3. Store token in localstorage or in cookies

localStorage.setItem("Token", JSON.stringify(TokenData));
TokenData = JSON.parse(localStorage.getItem("Token"));

or

$.cookie('Token', JSON.stringify(TokenData), {expires: 1, path: '/'});
TokenData = JSON.parse($.cookie("Token"));

4. Send token with every request in headers

Request with custom headers

$.ajax({
    url: 'foo/bar',
    headers: { 'X-TOKEN': TokenData.Token ,'X-USER': TokenData.UserId}
});

Headers to every request

$.ajaxSetup({
        headers: { 'X-TOKEN': TokenData.Token ,'X-USER': TokenData.UserId}
    });

Hope it'll help.

Note: Add some checks and data validations while reading data from localstorage or cookies .

3 users liked answer #2dislike answer #23
Govind Samrow profile pic
Govind Samrow

You can store it in the browser's localStorage, then set it in the header for each request to the server.

2 users liked answer #3dislike answer #32
Giovanni Lobitos profile pic
Giovanni Lobitos

For encryption and decryption you can use in built laravel's Crypt Model

use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Crypt;

What we do for generating APIs token is will take array of required fields.

Let's create data

$data = [
    'user_id' => $user->id,
    'time_stemp' => \Carbon::now() // Carbon is laravel's time model(class) for managing times
    'expire_on' => \Carbon::now()->addDays(2); //here i'm setting token expires time for 2 days you can change any
];

$data = serialize($data);

then encrypt your data with Crypt

$accessToken = Crypt::encrypt($data);

Now send to front end in response and save in local storage or cookie anything no need for time here will check on server only.

Now in every request pass that token and on server side create one middle ware that will parse your data and if your token time is less then expire time then move forward else send error 403 or anything you want.

How to parse data on server side

Create middleware using command : php artisan make:middleware ApiAuth then is handle part

//Accesstoken you passed in $headers or in $request param use whatever you like
$searilizerData = Crypt::decrypt($headers['AccessToken']);
$data = unserialize($searilizerData);
//check if expire_on is less then current server time
if($data['expire_on] <= \Curbon::now()){
   next(); // let them contuine and access data
} else {
      throw new Exception ("Your token has expired please regenerate your token",403);
}

Hope this will help :)

2 users liked answer #4dislike answer #42
Binit Ghetiya profile pic
Binit Ghetiya

You actually don't need any ReactJS or VanillaJS. Just pure HTML and PHP actually. What I do is just store it as a cookie.

First of all, as you receive the token from Lumen, save it in your user database for specific user. Then set user id and accesstoken as cookies which expire after a certain time with this code:

setcookie('userid',$userid, time()+(3600 * 24 * 15),"/");
setcookie('accesstoken',$accesstoken, time()+(3600 * 24 * 15),"/");
header('Location: /home.php');
//You can change the 15 in setcookie() to amount of days the cookie will expire in.
//The "/" in setcookie is important, because it ensures the cookies will be available on every page the user visits on your website.
//The header function redirects to your home page after log in

Then below is how your home page would look. It checks if accesstoken cookie exists, if it does, it double checks that the token matches the current token in the user database. If it's a match, it shows 'logged in' page. If not, you should show/redirect to login page.

<?php
if (isset($_COOKIE['accesstoken']))
{
//connect to your user database and check that the cookie accesstoken matches
// if it doesn't match, deal with it appropriately, such as deleting all cookies then redirecting to login page.
}
?>
<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<html>
<head>
<title>Sup</title>
</head>
<body>
<?php if (isset($_COOKIE['accesstoken'])){ ?>

<h1>User logged in!</h1>
<h3>Do whatever you need to do if user is logged in</h3>

<?php } else { ?>

<h1>No accesstoken found</h1>
<h3>More than likely you will want to show login page here</h3>

<?php } ?>
</body>
</html>

and then to logout is simple. The code below removes accesstokens by setting them to expired:

setcookie("accesstoken", "", time() - 3600);
setcookie("userid", "", time() - 3600);
header('Location: /youareloggedout.html');

Remember, that is the BASICS of a functional log in / log out system. If I explained all security measures needed, this post would be even longer. Be sure to do your research. Some topics to start you off are prepared statements and preventing XSS attacks. :)

1 users liked answer #5dislike answer #51

I'll write down a quick todo and best practices, as there are many ways to do it with code.

Backend

  • (POST) login route {email, password} it will create a token. You can use JWT (Json Web Token) The token will be returned to the client. Inside the token, you can store some basic details: user id, username, token expiration, user type etc. https://jwt.io/

Client

  • login request, pass {email, password}.

    On success, get the token and store it locally, localstorage is preferred, but cookie is possible as well.

  • on each page load with your react app, you should have a function check for that token, it will decrypt it, and get the details for further use.

    I mean get the username, user id etc. More important if you will want to add it, is the "expiration", if the token was expired you redirect the user to login page, OR you can re-request for a new token, it really depends on your app.

  • logout, is quite simple... simply remove the token from the client side and redirect to login page.

  • Make sure that for "authenticated" pages, you check that the token exists, and even further you can check the user type.

** for client side decoding of JWT, you can use: https://www.npmjs.com/package/jwt-client

0 users liked answer #6dislike answer #60
Tzook Bar Noy profile pic
Tzook Bar Noy

I have recently finished a react web portal where we have used JWT to initiate, maintain and expire user's session.

  1. Upon login, sending user credentials to login API. Upon success, get the token back from back-end API. Back-end maintains the token generation and expiration.
  2. Store the token in react state (we use redux store) and in session storage (in case page is refreshed, we can get it back from session storage).
  3. (Optional) Start a per second counter in session storage (to check how long user is idle)
  4. After login, every API call requires the token to be sent in header. API calls are made using fetch. If API call is successful, we get the token back from back-end and we replace it with existing token (stay fresh).
  5. All API calls are 'fetch'ed via a generic customFetch function. Idea is to have a generic fetch to see if back-end response is 401 (access denied). If it is 401, the token is expired or invalid (user is trying to access something without login). In this case, we throw user out of portal, back to login/home page (displaying the error that access is denied).
  6. (Optional) If user is idle for too long (checking the second counter > 900 i.e. 15 min), we show warning to user that session is about to expire, gives user a choice to continue. If user clicks continue, we call an API to retrieve user's profile again, thus making sure that token is still valid. If API is not successful, we log user out and send back to login/home page. The second counter sets back to 1 just before any API call is made (user is active and doing something).
  7. Needless to say that before sending user to login/home page by any of the above scenarios, we clear the session storage and reset the state (redux store).
  8. In case of any refresh happens, we retrieve token from session storage and dispatch initial actions to build the state (redux store) again. If any of the actions (API) fail, we display the message to user that session is expired or invalid and you need to login thus sending user back to login/home page.

Code snippets

Assume that you have retrieved the token from login API call:

set token in session storage and state (redux store)

window.sessionStorage.setItem('partyToken', token)
store.dispatch({type: 'profile/setToken', payload: { token }})

retrieval token from session storage or state (redux store)

const token = window.sessionStorage.getItem('token')
const token = store.getState().profile && store.getState().profile.token

Of course you can define a common function where you can set/refresh the token after every API call. Similar for retrieval because you need the token before you make API call.

0 users liked answer #7dislike answer #70
Umesh profile pic
Umesh

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