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1.1.24 • Public • Published


Handles app authorization, redirecting users to the "Authorize this App" page, acquiring access tokens, and refreshing access tokens when they expire.

Your LTI app accepts launches at your launchPath via POST. caccl-authorizer uses that same path to kick off the Canvas authorization process: direct users to your launchPath via GET and they'll be authorized and then redirected to the defaultAuthorizedRedirect path.

Part of the CACCL library



After creating your express app but before adding routes, initialize caccl-authorizer to add routes and middleware to make authorization possible.

const initAuthorization = require('caccl-authorizer');

// TODO: create express app

    app: /* express app with express-session enabled*/,
    developerCredentials: {
        client_id: /* developer client id */,
        client_secret: /* developer client secret */,
    canvasHost: /* your canvas host name */,

// TODO: add routes to express app

To authorize a user, redirect them to the launchPath via GET. caccl-authorizer will handle the entire authorization process then redirect them to the defaultAuthorizedRedirect path. After authorization, the user's access token will appear in the req object: req.accessToken.

Important: you must initialize caccl-authorizer before adding refreshed routes (see autoRefreshRoutes below).

Configuration Options

When initializing caccl-authorizer, you can pass in many different configuration options to customize CACCL's behavior or turn on/off certain functionality.

Note: configuration options are optional unless otherwise stated

Main Configuration Options

Important configuration options you probably should include.

Config Option Type Description Default/Required
app express app the server express app with express-session enabled required
developerCredentials object canvas app developer credentials in the form: { client_id, client_secret } required
canvasHost string canvas host to use for oauth exchange
allowAuthorizationWithoutLaunch boolean if true, allows user to be authorized even without a launch (when no LTI launch occurred and simulateLaunchOnAuthorize is false) false

App Information

Optional information about your app.

Config Option Type Description Default
appName string the name of the app for use in simulated launches and in errors "this app"
launchPath string redirect users to this path via GET to kick off the authorization process "/launch"

Authorization Configuration

Options that change how authorization functions. By default, when authorization is complete, the user will be redirected to /, and when the access token expires (after 1hr), it will automatically be refreshed when the user visits any route (*). The refresh tokens are stored in a memory token store. All of these features can be customized via the config options below.

Config Option Type Description Default
defaultAuthorizedRedirect string the default route to visit after authorization is complete (you can override this for a specific authorization call by including example: /launch?next=/profile) "/"
autoRefreshRoutes string[] list of routes to automatically refresh the access token for (if the access token has expired), these routes must be added after caccl-authorizer has been initialized ["*"]
tokenStore TokenStore null to turn off storage of refresh tokens, exclude to use memory token store, or include a custom token store (see these docs) memory store

Tip: we recommend setting autoRefreshRoutes to all the paths where you will need access to the Canvas API. Then, the accessToken will never have expired when the user visits one of those paths.

Simulated Launch Options

Enabling this feature allows users to visit the launchPath (GET), go through the authorization process, and then caccl-authorizer simulates an LTI launch. This essentially makes it possible for users to launch your app without visiting Canvas, simply by visiting the launchPath.

To enable this feature,

Config Option Type Description Default
simulateLaunchOnAuthorize boolean if true, simulates an LTI launch upon successful authorization (if the user hasn't already launched via LTI) false

Session Information

After the authorization process, caccl-authorizer stores information in the user's session:

  • req.session.authorized [boolean] - true if the user has successfully authorized with Canvas
  • req.session.authFailed [boolean] - true if the user's authorization process failed. If this is true, authFailureReason will be defined.
  • req.session.authFailureReason [string] - the reason the user's authorization failed. See values below:

Possible values of req.session.authFailureReason:

  • "error" - a Canvas error occurred: Canvas responded erratically during the authorization process
  • "internal_error" - an internal error occurred on the server while attempting to process authorization
  • "denied" - the user denied the app access to Canvas when they were prompted
  • "invalid_client" - the app's client_id is invalid: the app is not approved to interact with Canvas


npm i caccl-authorizer

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