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Authentication

In order to use the features of the Chat SDK for JavaScript in your client apps, a SendBird instance should be initiated in each client app through user authentication with Sendbird server. The instance communicates and interacts with the server based on an authenticated user account, and is allowed to use the Chat SDK's features. This page explains how to authenticate your user with the server.


Initialize the Chat SDK with APP_ID

The initialization code has been updated. Refer to the new code below.

To use our chat features, you should initialize a SendBird instance by passing the APP_ID of your Sendbird application as an argument to a parameter in the new SendBird(). The new SendBird() must be called once across your client app. Typically, initialization is implemented in the user login view.

With local caching, a new optional parameter has been added to the SendBird() method, which is localCacheEnabled.

The localCacheEnabled determines whether the client app will use the local storage through Sendbird Chat SDK or not. Because this is optional, the default value will be false. If you want to build a client app with our local caching functionalities, set the localCacheEnabled to true.

// Initialize a SendBird instance to use APIs in your app.
var sb = new SendBird({appId: APP_ID, localCacheEnabled: true });   // The `localCacheEnabled` is optional. The default is false.

When localCacheEnabled is set to true, different data stores are utilized depending on the app environment. It employees indexedDB in a browser environment while using AsyncStorage in a React Native environment. For those who are using local caching in React Native, call useAsyncStorageAsDatabase() before connect() to set AsyncStorage as the database storage.

const sb = new SendBird();
sb.useAsyncStorageAsDatabase(AsyncStorage); // This sets AsyncStorage as the database store.
await sb.connect();

Note: If indexedDBstore isn't available in the browser or you don't set the AsyncStorage as the database storage, the Chat SDK will fall back to use the device's memory, not the local cache, even if localCacheEnabled is set to true. When this happens, a warning will show in the Logger to notify the situation.


Connect to Sendbird server with a user ID

By default, Sendbird server can authenticate a user just by a unique user ID. Then the server queries the database to check for a match upon the request for connection. If no matching user ID is found, the server creates a new user account with the user ID. The ID should be unique within a Sendbird application to be distinguished from others, such as a hashed email address or phone number in your service.

This authentication procedure is useful when in development or if your service doesn't require additional security.

If you are using local caching, the connection process will differ depending on the callback. When one of the error codes 400300, 400301, 400302, and 400310 returns, you should clear all user data cached in the local storage and then reconnect to Sendbird server. Except when these errors occur, the client app can still draw a channel list view and a chat view in the offline mode using locally cached data. The SDK will receive an user object through a callback and try to reconnect later on.

Note: The user object can be passed in a callback only when the client app has succeeded in making the connection with the same user ID in the past. Because the sb.connect() now requires a callback, use the sb.currentUser to fetch the user data. Go to the Event handler page to learn more about the usages of the Chat SDK's handlers and callbacks.

// The USER_ID below should be unique to your Sendbird application.
sb.connect(USER_ID, function(user, error) {
    if (error) {
        // Handle error.
    }

    // The user is connected to Sendbird server.
});

Note: You must connect to Sendbird server before calling any methods through the Chat SDK (apart from initializing your SendBird instance). If you attempt to call a method without connecting, a CONNECTION_REQUIRED (800101) error would be returned.


Connect to Sendbird server with a user ID and a token

When a user logs in to a client app using the Chat SDK, you can choose how to authenticate a user. A user authentication can be done with just their own user ID, but also with either an access token or a session token. If any token is issued for a user, it must be provided to Sendbird server each time the user logs in by using the sb.connect() method.

Using an access token

Through our Chat Platform API, an access token can be generated when creating a user. You can also issue an access token for an existing user. Once an access token is issued, a user is required to provide the access token in the sb.connect() method which is used for logging in.

  1. Using the Chat API, create a Sendbird user account with the information submitted when a user signs up or in to your service.
  2. Save the user ID along with the issued access token to your persistent storage which is securely managed.
  3. When the user attempts to log in to a client app, load the user ID and access token from the storage, and then pass them to the sb.connect() method.
  4. Periodically replacing the user's access token is recommended to protect the account.

Note: From Settings > Application > Security > Access token permission setting in your dashboard, you are able to prevent users without an access token from logging in to your Sendbird application or restrict their access to read and write messages.

// The USER_ID below should be unique to your Sendbird application.
sb.connect(USER_ID, ACCESS_TOKEN, function(user, error) {
    if (error) {
        // Handle error.
    }

    // The user is authenticated using the access token and is connected to Sendbird server.
});

Using a session token

You can also use a session token instead of an access token to authenticate a user. It's a more secure option because session tokens expire after a certain period whereas access tokens don't. Our Chat Platform API guide further explains about the difference between access token and session token, how to issue a session token, and how to revoke all session tokens.


Set a session handler

When a user logs in to a client app using the Chat SDK, a user can be authenticated with a session token. Once the user is authenticated, the Chat SDK connects the user to the Sendbird server and is able to send data requests to it. Each session can last up to ten minutes as long as the session token which the user was authenticated with hasn't been revoked. Once the session is expired after ten minutes, the user's session token will be automatically refreshed using sb.SessionHandler(). When the session token expires after seven days of its issued date, you must issue a new session token and pass it on to the session handler to refresh the session again.

If the WebSocket connection is disconnected and reconnected during the ten-minute session window, the Chat SDK will automatically reconnect the session internally, as long as the session token hasn't expired or hasn't been revoked.

Note: sb.SessionHandler() must be set before the server connection is requested.

The following code shows how to implement the handler.

const sessionHandler = new sb.SessionHandler();
sessionHandler.onSessionTokenRequired = (onSuccess, onError) => {
  // A new session token is required in the SDK to refresh the session.
  // Refresh the session token and pass it onto the SDK through `onSuccess(NEW_TOKEN)`.
  // If you do not want to refresh the session, pass on a null value through `onSuccess(null)`.
  // If any error occurred while refreshing the token, let the SDK know about it through `onError()`.

};
sessionHandler.onSessionClosed = () => {
  // The session refresh has been denied from the app.
  // Client app should guide the user to a login page to log in again.
};
sessionHandler.onSessionRefreshed = () => {
  // OPTIONAL. No action is required.
  // Called when the session is refreshed.
};
sessionHandler.onSessionError = err => {
  // OPTIONAL. No action is required.  
  // Called when an error occurred during the session refresh.
};
sb.setSessionHandler(sessionHandler);

// sb.connect() should be called after setting sb.SessionHandler(). 

Disconnect from Sendbird server

A user should be disconnected from Sendbird server when they no longer need to receive messages from an online state. However, the user will still receive push notifications for new messages from group channels they've joined.

When disconnected, all types of event handlers in a user's client app registered by the sb.addChannelHandler() or sb.addConnectionHandler() stop receiving event callbacks from the server. Then, all internally cached data in the client app, such as the channels that are cached when the sb.OpenChannel.getChannel() or sb.GroupChannel.getChannel() is called, are also flushed.

Note: By default, most of the data related to users, channels, and messages are internally cached in the SendBird instance of a user's client app, which are retrieved by the corresponding query instances or received through the event handlers.

sb.disconnect(function() {
    // The current user is disconnected from Sendbird server.
    ...
});

Update user profile

Using the updateCurrentUserInfo() method, you can update a user's nickname and profile image with a URL.

sb.updateCurrentUserInfo(NICKNAME, PROFILE_URL, function(response, error) {
    if (error) {
        // Handle error.
    }

    // A new profile images is successfully uploaded to Sendbird server.
    // You could redraw the profile in a view in response to this operation.
    ...
});

Or, you can upload a profile image directly using the updateCurrentUserInfoWithProfileImage() method.

sb.updateCurrentUserInfoWithProfileImage(NICKNAME, PROFILE_FILE, function(response, error) {
    if (error) {
        // Handle error.
    }

    // A new profile images is successfully uploaded to Sendbird server.
    // You could redraw the profile in a view in response to this operation.
    ...
});

Note: A user's profile image can be a JPG (.jpg), JPEG (.jpeg), or PNG (.png) file of up to 25 MB.