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Securing user sessions

This guide will give you the resources and information you need to hook in your authentication logic to ChatKitty and secure user sessions with Chat Functions.

With Chat Functions, you can define custom logic for complex tasks like user authentication, and respond to chat events that happen within your application. Chat Functions are serverless functions that are provided by the ChatKitty Platform and run a secure cloud environment allowing you to extend the capabilities of ChatKitty Platform. With Chat Functions, there is no need to reimplement authentication as you can use the same authentication logic as the rest of your application.

You define Chat Functions as Node.js functions and can install and import NPM dependencies. The "User Attempted Start Session"

Create a ChatKitty project before proceeding

Anything developers build on ChatKitty needs to connect through a ChatKitty project. If this is your first time creating a ChatKitty project, checkout our step-by-step getting started guide, which will guide you through creating your ChatKitty project.

In this guide, we're going over a few options you can use to authenticate user sessions:

Disable guest users in production

It is highly recommended you disable guest users when using ChatKitty in production.

Using Firebase

Firebase Authentication provides backend services, SDKs, and ready-made UI libraries to authenticate users using Firebase. It supports authentication using passwords, phone numbers, popular federated identity providers like Google, Facebook and Twitter, and more.

Read a step-by-step walk-through of how to create a Firebase project and how to integrate it into your app.

Installing firebase-admin

Firebase provides an admin Node.js SDK. https://www.npmjs.com/package/firebase-admin

Add the firebase-admin NPM package as a Chat Runtime dependency.

Using the Dashboard

From your ChatKitty application dashboard, go to the "Functions" page:

Dashboard screenshot: side menu, functions

Go to the "Runtime" tab and add a new dependency to firebase-admin.

Dashboard screenshot: runtime, add firebase admin Remember to click the "Save" icon to confirm your chat runtime dependencies changes.

Configuring firebase-admin

Next, initialize the Firebase Admin SDK, so it can be used inside your Chat Functions.

From the "Runtime" tab, click the drop-down and select "Initialization Script". You can import NPM modules into your Chat Runtime using the CommonJS require function.

Import the Firebase Admin NPM module and initialize Firebase using a Firebase Service Account Key for your project.

Dashboard screenshot: initialization script, firebase admin

Checking user credentials

Create users before checking credentials

Don't forget to create a user before checking credentials in a "User Attempted Start Session" Chat Function.

To authenticate a user before starting a user session, we'll check the Firebase ID token issued for the user in an authentication Chat Function.

From your ChatKitty application dashboard, go to the "Functions" page. The "User Attempted Start Session" event chat function should be selected:

Dashboard screenshot: chat function, blank

This chat function runs whenever a user attempts to start a chat session. Edit the chat function to delegate user authentication to Firebase.

const firebase = require('firebase-admin');

async function handleEvent(event: UserAttemptedStartSessionEvent, context: Context) {
const username = event.username; // Client SDK sends the users' Firebase UID as the username

const idToken = event.authParams.idToken; // Include the Firebase ID token as an auth param

const { uid } = await firebase.auth().verifyIdToken(idToken); // Check Firebase credentials

if (username !== uid) throw new Error("This token was not issued for this user");
}

Dashboard screenshot: chat function, complete Remember to click the "Save" icon to confirm your chat function changes.

Client-side, when starting a user session, pass the Firebase UID and ID token to be checked.

const credential = // Firebase user credential

const result = await chatkitty.startSession({
username: credential.user.uid,
authParams: {
idToken: await credential.user.getIdToken(),
},
});

Disabling guest users

ChatKitty allows guest users to start user sessions without authentication. to disable guest users for an application, update the application settings, setting guestUsers to DISABLED.