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Authentication with Redirect

There will be times that we need to protect certain pages or routes so only authorized people can access them. We can use the Redirect component supplied to us by react-router-dom to direct users away from pages they shouldn't be able to get to. Returning a Redirect component will cause the page to redirect to the page we desire.

To demonstrate this, let's add a login form to protect our CMS from unauthenticated users. This will be a very simple login form. In a real scenario, you will want to talk to a backend database to validate user credentials and have a form of authorization in place to make sure logged-in users have the corect permissions to change things. Also, all permissions should be doublechecked on the backend server as well before allowing changes to happen. However, the conecpt of using the Redirect component will be the same.

We will start out by reviewing everything we have seen so far. Start off by adding a new Route for our login page at /login in the App component.

import React from 'react';
import { Switch, Route } from 'react-router-dom';
import Cms from './Cms';
import Login from './Login';

const App = () => (
  <div className="app-routes">
      <Route path="/login" component={Login} />
      <Route path="/" component={Cms} />

export default App;

Notice we have wrapped our routes in a Switch component and put the login route above our root route. This is because at /login, both Routes will match. View this in the browser at /login.

Next we need to hook things up so that we are taken to our root route after we have a successful login. Update the onSubmit method in src/fe/components/Login/index.js to look like the below.

onSubmit(e) {

  const { username, password } = this.state;
  const { history } = this.props;

  this.setState({ error: false });

  if (!(username === 'george' && password === 'foreman')) {
    return this.setState({ error: true });

  store.set('loggedIn', true);

Now, if you try logging in with a username of george and the password of foreman, it should send you to /users. Now, let's do something similar in the Cms component. Let's send the user to the login form when they logout. First, pull history out of props.

const Cms = ({ history }) => {

Next, pass history as the only argument to our handleLogout call as the onClick handler for the "Logout" Menu.Item.

<Menu.Item name="logout" onClick={handleLogout(history)}>

This is a function that returns a callback function to be called. We pass it history so that it will be within its scope for us to use later. Now update the handleLogout function to look like this.

const handleLogout = history => () => {

We are now accepting the history object and using it to navigate to the login form after removing the local data we are using to track if a user is logged in.

Now that all that stuff is hooked up, let's protect our CMS routes. We need to check if a user is logged in, and if they are not, we will redirect them back to the login page. Instead of pushing onto the history object, we can use the Redirect component to do this for us. Add this to the top of the Cms component.

if (!isLoggedIn()) {
  return <Redirect to="/login" />;

Make sure to import the isLoggedIn helper and the Redirect component.

import { Route, Link, Switch, Redirect } from 'react-router-dom';
import isLoggedIn from '../../helpers/is_logged_in';

Now, make sure you are logged out, and try navigating to the /users page. Notice, how we are redirected right back to the login page. Try going to a user's edit page, such as /users/3/edit. It redirects us right back again! That was simple.

To demonstrate this again, let's make it so that if we are logged in and try to access the login page, we are redirected to the users table page. At the top of the render method in the Login component, add the following.

if (isLoggedIn()) {
  return <Redirect to="/users" />;

Make these are imported at the top of the page.

import { Redirect } from 'react-router-dom';
import isLoggedIn from '../../helpers/is_logged_in';

Now, log in and try navigating to /login. You will be redirected right back /users just like we wanted!

In the last video, we will wrap up everything we have learned and discuss where to go next.