Managing user permissions in your React app

Sergii Stotskyi
Feb 5, 2018 · 5 min read
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if (user.role === ADMIN || user.auth && === {
<button onClick={this.deletePost.bind(this)}>Delete</button>
if (ability.can('delete', post)) {
<button onClick={this.deletePost.bind(this}>Delete</button>

Demo App

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  • a user can update or delete only todos which are assigned to him (“me” option in dropdown).

Defining user permissions

First of all, lets define our user permissions in a file src/config/ability.js.

Checking Permissions in React

At first, you may think that integration will be quite easy: just import created ability, addifs around some components in render function and we are done. That may work but only until you don’t change ability rules.

  • on which accepts subject (subject can be either a string or an object).
  • ability.update([{ subject: 'all', actions: 'manage' }]) to get full access to manage everything;
  • ability.rules to get a list of current abilities;
  • for more information about possible options and how to configure ability please read in official documentation and/or ask questions in gitter chat.


With that, we have a really nice way of managing user permissions in a React app.

{ (user.role === ADMIN || user.auth && todo.assignee === &&
<button onClick={this.deleteTodo.bind(this}>Delete</button> }
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Interested in integration with another framework?

CASL has complementary packages for major frontend frameworks, check the articles below:


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