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Passkey Example Implementation in Node.js, MySQL & Vanilla JS/HTML

Introduction: Passkeys For User Authentication

In the evolving landscape of web security, passkeys are emerging as a revolutionary method of user authentication. This guide provides a beginner-friendly overview of implementing passkeys in web applications, offering a glimpse into a more secure and user-friendly authentication future.

Read the full and detailed blog post with code snippets and architecture charts here.

Passkeys are Different Compared to Traditional Methods

Passkeys, unlike traditional passwords, offer enhanced security and convenience. Passkey bring many advantages over conventional password-based systems. Key points include their resistance to phishing attacks and ease of use.

Frontend, Backend and Database Need to be Adapted for Passkeys
Implementing passkeys requires a specific setup including a web server, e.g. Node.js (TypeScript), a frontend via HTML + JavaScript and a database, e.g. MySQL.

Call the Web Authentication API in the Frontend

The frontend setup is crucial for a seamless user experience. You can use Vanilla HTML/JavaScript to create a user interface that supports passkey authentication. There are two major points in the frontend that need to be adapted for passkey authentication: starting the passkeyRegister and starting the passkeyAuthenticate flow.

Add a WebAuthn Server to Your Backend

A secure backend is vital for handling passkey authentication. You need a WebAuthn server like SimpleWebAuthn that is added as package to your Node.js web server. This WebAuthn server needs to be configured to handle passkey authentication requests properly.

Store and Manage Passkeys in a Database

Integrating passkeys with a database, e.g. MySQL is a critical step. You need to pay attention to securely storing the passkey in the right format / encoding. Setting up your intial passkey database schema design is crucial as later changes might break important parts of your web app.


Passkeys are the new login method for user authentication. They combine security and convenience and this article should have helped to better understand what’s needed to set up a minimum viable passkey-based web app. To explore the full tutorial for a detailed step-by-step guide on implementing passkeys in your web apps, visit Corbado’s Full Passkey Tutorial.

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