Jan 18, 2018

Boilerplate code for JWT authentication for a TypeScript Express JSON API delivered over HTTP.


The purpose of this TypeScript module is to make it easy to set up a new authenticated Express API without having to write all the code that allows user login, authentication, JWT handling, changing passwords, etc. There are many ways this could be done, so feel free to modify what I have done here to suit your needs.


Import the utility like this:

See main.ts for an example implementation, repeated below:

import { Server } from './Server';
let server: Server = new Server('/api');

server.routes(); //adds all of the user/auth routes
server.router.get('/example'), async (req: Request, res: Response) => {
  return res.json({ example: "hello" });

The route above is automatically protected by the auth API. You may also check authorization by typing the following into your async router function:

if (!auth.isType("admin")) return res.status(401).send("Unauthorized");

Full Code

View the full code on GitHub.

First time setup

Type the following to set up the environment for both Docker and NPM:

npm install


Configure the files run.sh and run-docker.sh with your first user. The Server has a setup route that creates an initial user.

Running the Server

Run the following:

npm run compose
npm run up

Or alternatively:

docker-compose build --no-cache
docker-compose up

Database in Docker, Python locally

Run the following:

npm run db
npm start

Or with only docker and the shell:

docker-compose up db -d

Cleaning up

Shutting down the database and clearing the data:

docker-compose down -v

Additional commands

You may run tsc to compile /src/.ts* folder into /dist/.js*

You may run webpack to compile /src/main.ts and all dependencies into /dist/bundle.js


I recently wrote a post that goes into more depth about testing an HTTP JSON API with Python. I had actually made that test module specifically while I made the express API. The gist of it is:

Setting up Test Environment

cd tests
virtualenv env
source ./env/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt

Running tests

python manyUsers.py
python selectUser.py
python userRoutes.py