Catalyst::Authentication::Store - All about authentication stores


NOTE This is documentation for the old store system used in versions of Catalyst::Plugin::Authentication prior to 0.10. This is NOT how the new realm-based stores work. This is here for reference only.

See Catalyst::Plugin::Authentication::Internals instead.


A key issue to understand about authentication stores is that there are potentially many of them. Each one is registered into the application, and has a name.

For most applications, there is only one, and in this framework it is called 'default'.

When you use a plugin, like

    use Catalyst qw/

the Store plugins typically only act at setup time. They rarely do more than check out the configuration, and register e.g. Store::Foo, and set it as the default store.

    __PACKAGE__->default_auth_store( $store );

    # the same as

    __PACKAGE__->register_auth_stores( default => $store );


All credential verifiers should accept either a user object, or a user ID.

If a user ID is provided, then they will fetch the user object from the default store, and check against it.

This should be pretty much DWIM all the time.

When you need multiple authentication backends per application then you must fetch things yourself. For example:

    my $user = $c->get_auth_store("other_store")->get_user($id);

    $c->login( $user, $supplied_password );

Instead of just:

    $c->login( $id, $supplied_password );

which will go to the default store.


Writing an authentication storage backend is a very simple matter.

The only method you really need to support is get_user.

This method should accept an arbitrary list of parameters (determined by you or the credential verifyer), and return an object inheriting Catalyst::Authentication::User.

For introspection purposes you can also define the user_supports method. See below for optional features. This is not necessary, but might be in the future.

Integrating with Catalyst::Plugin::Session

If your users support sessions, your store should also define the from_session method. When the user object is saved in the session the for_session method is called, and that is used as the value in the session (typically a user id). The store is also saved in the hash. If $user->store returns something registered, that store's name is used. If not, the user's class is used as if it were a store (and must also support from_session).

Optional Features

Each user has the supports method. For example:

    $user->supports(qw/password clear/);

should return a true value if this specific user has a clear text password.

This is on a per user (not necessarily a per store) basis. To make assumptions about the store as a whole,

    $store->user_supports(qw/password clear/);

is supposed to be the lowest common denominator.

The standardization of these values is to be goverened by the community, typically defined by the credential verification plugins.

Stores implying certain credentials

Sometimes a store is agnostic to the credentials (DB storage, for example), but sometimes it isn't (like an Htpasswd file).

If you are writing a backend that wraps around a module, like Catalyst::Authentication::Store::Htpasswd wraps around Authen::Htpasswd, it makes sense to delegate the credential checks.

This particular example caused the following "feature" to be added:

    $user->supports(qw/password self_check/);

Writing a plugin to go with the backend

Typically the backend will do the heavy lifting, by registering a store.

These plugins should look something like this:

    sub setup {
        my $c = shift;

            # a store can be an object or a class