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This document describes the details of the LoopBack 4 Authentication component from the @loopback/authentication package.

It begins with the architecture of @loopback/authentication from high level. Then comes with the sub-sections for each artifact provided by the component. Each section shows:

  • How to use it in the application. (Code that users need to add when using the module.)
  • The mechanism of that artifact. (Code that explains the mechanism.)

Here is a high level overview of the authentication component.


As illustrated in the diagram, this component includes:

  • A decorator to express an authentication requirement on controller methods
  • A provider to access method-level authentication metadata
  • An action in the REST sequence to enforce authentication
  • An extension point to discover all authentication strategies and handle the delegation

Then let’s take a look of the detailed overview of the authentication component.


Basically, to secure your API endpoints, you need to:

  • decorate the endpoints of a controller with the @authenticate(strategyName, options?) decorator (app developer)
  • insert the authentication action in a custom sequence (app developer)
  • create a custom authentication strategy with a unique name (extension developer)
  • register the custom authentication strategy (app developer)

The Authentication Component takes care of the rest.


npm install --save @loopback/authentication

Mounting Authentication Component

To utilize authentication in an application application.ts, you must load the authentication component named AuthenticationComponent.

import {AuthenticationComponent} from '@loopback/authentication';
export class MyApplication extends BootMixin(
) {
  constructor(options?: ApplicationConfig) {

    // ------ ADD SNIPPET AT THE BOTTOM ---------
    // Mount authentication system
    // ------------- END OF SNIPPET -------------

The AuthenticationComponent is defined as follows:

export class AuthenticationComponent implements Component {
  providers?: ProviderMap;

  constructor() {
    this.providers = {
      [AuthenticationBindings.AUTH_ACTION.key]: AuthenticateActionProvider,
      [AuthenticationBindings.STRATEGY.key]: AuthenticationStrategyProvider,
      [AuthenticationBindings.METADATA.key]: AuthMetadataProvider,

As you can see, there are a few providers which make up the bulk of the authentication component.


  • The binding key AuthenticationBindings.METADATA.key is bound to AuthMetadataProvider which returns authentication decorator metadata of type AuthenticationMetadata
  • The binding key AuthenticationBindings.AUTH_ACTION.key is bound to AuthenticateActionProvider which returns an authenticating function of type AuthenticateFn
  • The binding key AuthenticationBindings.STRATEGY.key is bound to AuthenticationStrategyProvider which resolves and returns an authentication strategy of type AuthenticationStrategy

The purpose of these providers and the values they return will be explained in the sections below.

Next topic: Authentication Decorator