Session Management

Blitz has built in session management that can be used with any type of authentication or identity providers.

Session management performs the following functions:

  1. Tracking whether a user is logged in or not
  2. Attribute multiple requests to the same user, even when they are logged out
  3. Protection against CSRF attacks

Session on the Server

In Queries & Mutations

SessionContext is available off of ctx which is provided as the second parameter to all queries and mutations because of the sessionMiddleware that's in blitz.config.js.

// app/queries/someQuery.ts
import {SessionContext} from "blitz"
export default async function someQuery(input: any, ctx: {session?: SessionContext} = {}) {
// Access the SessionContext class
ctx.session!.userId
ctx.session!.roles
ctx.session!.create(/*...*/)
return
}

In getServerSideProps or API Routes

You can also get the session context inside

getServerSideProps or inside API routes with getSessionContext like this:

import {getSessionContext} from "@blitzjs/server"
export const getServerSideProps = async ({req, res}) => {
const session = await getSessionContext(req, res)
console.log("User ID:", session.userId)
return {props: {}}
}

Session on the Client

Blitz provides a

useSession() hook that returns PublicData with isLoading property. This hook can be used anywhere in your application.

import {useSession} from "blitz"
function SomeComponent() {
const session = useSession()
session.userId
session.roles[0]
session.isLoading
return /*... */
}

Production Deployment Requirements

In production, you must provide the

SESSION_SECRET_KEY environment variable with at least 32 characters. This is your private key for signing JWT tokens.

Anonymous Sessions

If a user is not logged in, an anonymous session will automatically be created for them. You can use

ctx.session.setPublicData() and ctx.session.setPrivateData() for anonymous sessions the same as for logged in users. Any data you set for an anonymous session will automatically be transferred to an authentication session when a user logs in.

Anonymous sessions are JWT tokens that are stored on the client as an httpOnly cookie that never expires.

PublicData for anonymous sessions is kept in the session JWT and not stored in the database. Anonymous sessions will only be saved in your database if you call session.setPrivateData().

The anonymous session will be created on the first network request, whether SSR or via an API. This will happen as long as

sessionMiddleware is in your middleware chain for that request.

One use case for this is saving shopping cart items for anonymous users. If an anonymous user later signs up or logs in, the anonymous session data can be merged into their new authenticated session.

Anonymous session

PublicData looks like this:

{
userId: null,
roles: []
}

Manual API Requests

When making a request from the client to an API route, you need to include the anti-CSRF token in the

anti-csrf header like this:

import {getAntiCSRFToken} from "blitz"
const antiCSRFToken = getAntiCSRFToken()
if (antiCSRFToken) {
// Set fetch request header["anti-csrf"] = antiCSRFToken
}

And then you can get the sessionContext in the API route like this:

import {getSessionContext} from "@blitzjs/server"
export default async function ({req, res}) {
const session = await getSessionContext(req, res)
console.log("User ID:", session.userId)
res.json({userId})
}

Session Configuration

You can customize session management by passing an object to the

sessionMiddleware factory function.

// blitz.config.js
const {sessionMiddleware, unstable_simpleRolesIsAuthorized} = require("@blitzjs/server")
module.exports = {
middleware: [
sessionMiddleware({
//highlight-start
sessionExpiryMinutes: 1234,
unstable_isAuthorized: unstable_simpleRolesIsAuthorized,
//highlight-end
}),
],
}

Available options:

type SessionConfig = {
sessionExpiryMinutes?: number /* Default: 30 days */
sameSite?: "strict" | "lax" | "none" /* Default: 'lax' */
getSession: (handle: string) => Promise<SessionModel | null>
getSessions: (userId: string | number) => Promise<SessionModel[]>
createSession: (session: SessionModel) => Promise<SessionModel>
updateSession: (handle: string, session: Partial<SessionModel>) => Promise<SessionModel>
deleteSession: (handle: string) => Promise<SessionModel>
unstable_isAuthorized: (userRoles: string[], input: any) => boolean
}
interface SessionModel extends Record<any, any> {
handle: string
userId?: string | number
expiresAt?: Date
hashedSessionToken?: string
antiCSRFToken?: string
publicData?: string
privateData?: string
}

Using without Prisma

Currently the session management has zero-config support for Prisma, but you can also use it with any other database by overriding the database access functions defined above in

SessionConfig. The functions can do anything, but they must conform to the defined input and outputs types. For example you could store session in Redis if you wanted.

How it Works

Authenticated sessions use opaque tokens that are stored in the database.

Implementation Details

Session Creation

  • At login, the server creates two opaque tokens:
    • An access token.
    • An anti-csrf token.
  • Both are a 32 character long string.
  • The access token is sent to the frontend via an httpOnly, secure cookie.
  • The anti-csrf token is sent to the frontend via a normal, secure cookie that can be read from Javascript.
  • The SHA256 hash of the access token will be stored in the database. This token has the following properties mapped to it:
    • userId
    • expiry time
    • session data
  • The anti-csrf token is stored alongside the access token.
  • Creating a new session while another one exists results in the headers / cookies changing. However, the older session will still be alive.
  • For serious production apps, a cronjob is needed to remove all expired tokens on a regular basis.

Session Verification

  • For each request that requires CSRF protection, the frontend sends the anti-csrf token in the request header.
  • An incoming access token is verified by checking that it's in the db and that it has not expired. After each verification, the expiry time of the access token is updated.
  • CSRF attacks are prevented by checking that the incoming anti-csrf token (from the header) is the one associated with the session.

Session Revocation/Logout

  • This is done by deleting the session from the database.
  • Logout additionally clears the cookies, and a header is sent signaling the frontend to remove the anti-csrf token from the localstorage

Types

SessionContext

export interface SessionContext {
/**
* null if anonymous
*/
userId: string | number | null
roles: string[]
handle: string | null
publicData: PublicData
authorize: (roleOrRoles?: string | string[]) => void
isAuthorized: (roleOrRoles?: string | string[]) => boolean
create: (publicData: PublicData, privateData?: Record<any, any>) => Promise<void>
revoke: () => Promise<void>
revokeAll: () => Promise<void>
getPrivateData: () => Promise<Record<any, any>>
setPrivateData: (data: Record<any, any>) => Promise<void>
setPublicData: (data: Record<any, any>) => Promise<void>
}

PublicData

interface PublicData extends Record<any, any> {
userId: string | number | null
roles: string[]
}
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