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Using Credentials provider with a custom backend in NextAuth.js!

Twisha
I love everything web!
Updated on ・3 min read

Hello! NextAuth is a great choice when it comes to adding authentication to your next.js app. And it's easy to see why, with it's vast coverage of providers ranging from Google, Github, Facebook, Apple, Slack, Twitter and more (!) it can help you set up you authentication within a few minutes!

However sometimes you might need to use your own custom backend with an email/password login for various reasons. That's where you would want to use the credentials provider linked with your API server. I was in a similar situation and couldn't find a detailed description with examples so it took me a while piece together the ins and out (especially handling errors from the custom backend and handling them on your own custom login page). Hope this helps you out if you're in the same boat!

First, we need to setup next-auth for the app. It's a straightforward process and the instructions can be found here

Now we need to set up our pages/api/[..nextauth].js to something like this

import NextAuth from 'next-auth'
import Providers from 'next-auth/providers'
import axios from 'axios'

const providers = [
  Providers.Credentials({
    name: 'Credentials',
    authorize: async (credentials) => {
      const user = await axios.post('https://myapi.com/login',
        {
          user: {
            password: credentials.password,
            email: credentials.email
          }
        },
        {
          headers: {
            accept: '*/*',
            'Content-Type': 'application/json'
          }
        })

      if (user) {
        return user
      } else {
        return null
      }
    }
  })
]

const callbacks = {
  // Getting the JWT token from API response
  async jwt(token, user) {
    if (user) {
      token.accessToken = user.token
    }

    return token
  },

  async session(session, token) {
    session.accessToken = token.accessToken
    return session
  }
}

const options = {
  providers,
  callbacks
}

export default (req, res) => NextAuth(req, res, options)

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And your custom login page which in my case is pages/login.js will have a form submit handler which will use nextauth's signIn function to log the user in

import { signIn } from 'next-auth/client'

const handleLogin = () => {
    signIn('credentials',
      {
        email,
        password,
        // The page where you want to redirect to after a 
        // successful login
        callbackUrl: `${window.location.origin}/account_page` 
      }
    )
  }

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At this point if you have entered the correct credentials and your API endpoint is working as you'd hope it to work, you should be able to log in just fine.

But if there is any issue such as the server being down, invalid credentials etc. you will be redirected to the default error page (like the image below).

NextAuth Error

Instead what I want is to redirect it to my custom login page and explain the situation in a bit more detail to the user. So here's what we do, let's tweak the pages/api/[..nextauth].js a bit

import NextAuth from 'next-auth'
import Providers from 'next-auth/providers'
import axios from 'axios'

const providers = [
  Providers.Credentials({
    name: 'Credentials',
    authorize: async (credentials) => {
      try {
        const user = await axios.post('https://myapi.com/login',
        {
          user: {
            password: credentials.password,
            email: credentials.email
          }
        },
        {
          headers: {
            accept: '*/*',
            'Content-Type': 'application/json'
          }
        })

        if (user) {
          return {status: 'success', data: user}
        } 
      } catch (e) {
        const errorMessage = e.response.data.message
        // Redirecting to the login page with error message          in the URL
        throw new Error(errorMessage + '&email=' + credentials.email)
      }

    }
  })
]

const callbacks = {
  async jwt(token, user) {
    if (user) {
      token.accessToken = user.data.token
    }

    return token
  },

  async session(session, token) {
    session.accessToken = token.accessToken
    return session
  }
}

const options = {
  providers,
  callbacks,
  pages: {
    error: '/login' // Changing the error redirect page to our custom login page
  }
}

export default (req, res) => NextAuth(req, res, options)

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We will also update our login page pages/login.js to look for URL changes and any error messages

import { useRouter } from 'next/router'

export default function Login () {
  const [email, setEmail] = useState('')
  const [password, setPassword] = useState('')
  const [loginError, setLoginError] = useState('')
  const router = useRouter()

  useEffect(() => {
    // Getting the error details from URL
    if (router.query.error) {
      setLoginError(router.query.error) // Shown below the input field in my example
      setEmail(router.query.email) // To prefill the email after redirect
    }
  }, [router])
}

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And with this setup we can display the error message in whichever format we prefer on our custom login page. For example, I'm displaying the error message I receive from server as below

User friendly error message

P.S I haven't added the HTML part in the code snippets as it is self-explanatory. But if you want it, please let me know in the comments and I will add it :)

You can find the code here

Hopefully this article helped you in your custom authentication journey!

Shoutout to @iainCollins, @balazsorban and all the contributors to NextAuth.js for the awesome work!

Discussion (28)

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hashinclude72 profile image
Shubham Jaswal

you can also set redirect = false and catch response from signIn function :

const res = await signIn('credentials',
      {
        email,
        password,
        callbackUrl: `${window.location.origin}/account_page` 
        redirect: false,
      }
    )
if (res?.error) handleError(res.error)
if (res.url) router.push(res.url);
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signIn return a Promise which has following structure :

{
    error: string || undefined,
    status: number,
    ok: boolean,
    url: url || null
}
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you can check more on next-auth.js.org/getting-started/c...

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twisha profile image
Twisha Author

Cool! Happy to see it has been added as a feature. Thanks for the update :)

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brianwachira profile image
brianwachira

How does this work?
I have followed your example and am not getting any response in login page

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juanda_dev profile image
Juan Martínez

Thank you so much! I hated that the function reloaded the page every time I submit the form

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mnengwa profile image
mnengwa

Hi guys, the article has gotten me as far as a successful authentication, for which am grateful. However, I am unable to get the session data using getSession() or useSession() client-side for which they both return null. What are the possible causes of the bug/issue?

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twisha profile image
Twisha Author • Edited

Have you added the Provider in your _app.js ?

import { Provider } from 'next-auth/client'

export default function App ({ Component, pageProps }) {
  return (
    <Provider session={pageProps.session}>
      <Component {...pageProps} />
    </Provider>
  )
}
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hrghafoori profile image
HamidReza Ghafoori

for me it returns undefined.
Did you solve your problem? If yes, can you explain me how?

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daviddossantos profile image
David Cruz • Edited

Hi guys, if you need the token in an axios request, do it like this!

api.tsx

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lucastech profile image
Lucas

I would be interested in the HTML parts as well! do you have a zip of the shell project? I'm new to building React and Next applications from the ground up and find that most tutorials omit important details, making it very difficult to figure out what they are

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twisha profile image
Twisha Author

Sure thing. I'll add the HTML part soon

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shadeemerhi profile image
Shadee Merhi

Hi there! Thank you for this very helpful article. I understand the login process, but how would you go about creating a custom registration page? Would you have to use the same 'authorize' callback that would have to hit different API endpoints (/login, /signup)? I would love to hear your thoughts on this :)

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bharath_ profile image
Bharath Radhakrishnan

Hello Twisha, I came here after one full days googling. I wanted to create a social media sign up button for a nextjs app with with what you call a custom laravel backend. The usage of ' pages/api/[..nextauth].js ' made me asking, where are they even using the custom backend .
So Just to confirm, even you have a custom backend you have to use pages/api feature in the app and define your auth providers there and call the custom backend api's from there right ?

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twisha profile image
Twisha Author

Hey Bharath,

If you are using a third party provider for authentication i.e Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter etc. you don't need a custom backend as everything will be handled by nextauth.js.

If instead you want to use email-passsword login where the credentials are sent to your custom backend (in this case I'm assuming your Laravel app) then you can use the Credentials provider and configure it as it is explained in the article.

For third party provider logins (google, facebook, twitter etc.) nextauth has good documentation. For example this one is for Google -> next-auth.js.org/providers/google

Overall all the configurations for next-auth is in the pages/api/[..nextauth].js file.

Hope it answers your question :)

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bharath_ profile image
Bharath Radhakrishnan

What I actually wanted was to save the username, email ... fields after the google / signup to my own database. I think I figured it out. I am using the callbacks options inside the [...nextauth].js to call my api to pass username and email to my backend to store in my db.

Thread Thread
twisha profile image
Twisha Author

Ah okay I see what you mean, thanks for sharing your solution :)

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mnengwa profile image
mnengwa

Hi Twisha, nice article. However the file to configure the providers should be pages/api/auth/[...nextauth].js NOT pages/api/auth/[...next-auth].js

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twisha profile image
Twisha Author

That's correct! Thanks for catching that. Will update the article

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danisimba profile image
Dani

Muy útil ... mucha gracias!

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twisha profile image
Twisha Author

Glad it's helpful :)

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elissonmichael profile image
Élisson Michael

Thanks for sharing this.

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twisha profile image
Twisha Author

Glad it helped! :)

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caiogrossi profile image
Caio Grossi

THANK YOU SO MUCH !

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twisha profile image
Twisha Author

Glad it helped! :)

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senorlobito profile image
senor_lobito

You just absolutely saved me! First article I found which is dealing with own backend. 1000x thanks @twisha !

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twisha profile image
Twisha Author

I'm so glad! :)

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joaopedrozo profile image
João Pedrozo

In the JWT callback you access the token inside user.data, isn't that not secure?

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nosnart profile image
Son Tran

Can you share the source code of this article

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twisha profile image
Twisha Author • Edited

Yup I have updated the article with a link!