splendido/meteor-accounts-meld


Meteor package to meld user accounts registered with the same email address, or associate many different 3rd-party login services with the same user account.

http://test-accounts-meld.meteor.com/

Language: JavaScript


Build Status

accounts-meld

Meteor package to meld user accounts registered with the same email address, or simply associate many different 3rd-party login services with the same user account.

Some Details

Originally conceived as a core part of the package accounts-templates-core, was finally released as an independent package to let everyone interested exploit it their own way.

For a very basic working example test-account-meld can be cloned and configured with the preferred login services specifying their configuration inside this file.

In a near future, its integration within the package accounts-templates-core will be available for testing at any of the live examples linked from http://accounts-templates.meteor.com

A very basic example, styled for twitter bootstrap, showing how to write the templates to present the final user with the choice about whether to meld or not to meld two accounts registered with the same email address, is provided with the package accounts-meld-client-bootstrap. For more details about this topic, please have a look at the Documentation below.

Enjoy!

Table of Contents

Introduction

accounts-meld tried to address the following aspects:

  1. No two accounts registered with the same email address can exist
  2. Many different 3rd-party login services could be associated with the same user account
  3. Different accounts created in different times referring to the same email address might/should be melded together.

There might be many reasons for an application to wish to address the above points. Examples could be:

  • preventing a user to register herself using different services to exploit some initial trial offer more than once (1.)
  • leverage the integration with many different social networks to provide a better user experience (2.)
  • gather as many information as possible, about a particular user, from different services (2.)
  • let a user, which has forgotten which service used to register to the application, the ability to recover the old account and all the information associated with it (3.)

and possibly more than these...

Features

  • Server-side code only!
  • Fewest possible login operations to save round trip information exchanges with the server.
  • Optional callback to be used for document migration.
  • Customizable users' object melding not to loose any information.
  • Optional interaction with the user (by means of a few additional templates not included with the core package) to ask whether to perform a meld action or not.
  • Will meld accounts from the following login services (more will be added, see the Disclaimer chapter below):
Service Will meld Reason
Twitter No Twitter does not provide any email information.
Facebook -- Yes -- Facebook provides the user email + Facebook enrolment process ensures this email is verified.
Google -- Yes -- Google provides a "verified email" field.
GitHub No GitHub does not provide a way to know if the user email is verified.
LinkedIn -- Yes -- LinkedIn provides the user email + LinkedIn enrolment process ensures this email is verified

To add support for LinkedIn, use the package pauli:accounts-linkedin and add the r_emailaddress permission to your LinkedIn app (section OAuth User Agreement of the app settings).

Disclaimer

The present work is released, as is, under the MIT license and, in no cases, for no reasons, the author can be considered responsible for any information losses or any possible damages derived by its use.

For security reasons all the rationale behind accounts-meld is based upon verified email addresses. This is to prevent any malicious user to register herself using another user's email address and instantly being asked/allowed to meld the new account with the old one originally belonging to the user under identity theft attack!

All the logic put in place to detect pairs of accounts possibly belonging to the same user is based on the registered_emails field provided by the use of accounts-emails-field package.

I strongly suggest (and encourage) anyone possibly interested in using accounts-meld to personally check how the services that will be made available work. Especially, please verify whether it is possible to use them to login to another application before the registered email address was verified!

It would be very kind of you if any verification attempt, either successful or not, could be published among the issues for the repository of accounts-email field. The three major points being:

  • assess whether there is a field, among the service information provided soon after the login, stating the email verification state (e.g. google provides the field verified_email while linkedin and facebook provides none)
  • confirm that the email address registered with the service is provided under the field email or the field emailAddress (linkedin)
  • try to register a new user with a specific service and next try to use the same service to login into the application before confirming/verifying the email ownership.

After reporting, the logic behind the package accounts-emails-field could be aligned with the result of the above checks so to ensure correct behaviour with as many services as possible!

Here is a list of already tested services:

service let non-verified in email field email verified field
twitter X
facebook X
google X X X
github X (may be null)
linkedin X

A big thank in advance to anyone contributing!

Acknowledgements

Undeniably, the package accounts-merge together with discussions directly entertained with its author @lirbank played a big role in writing this package. Actually at the very beginning accounts-meld was not even conceived as a package itself: only after a bit of googling around and various thinking the decision was taken, mainly because there was quite a bit of work involved and different projects might had different peculiar purposes.

Along the way also [accounts-multi] was released, basically as a consequence of this post.

So, big thanks to @lirbank, @dburles, and the original author of the snipped provided by him.

Many thanks also to everyone else which already provided, or will be, kind words, support, PR, suggestions and testing.

Documentation

accounts-meld exploits a couple of server-side hooks to check email addresses associated with users' account. The aim is to permit different accounts belonging to the same user to be melded together in a unique account without losing any information associated with them. This means any field present inside the user objects as well as migrating all documents inside the database to the surviving account.

Logic

There are two different logic in place.

The first one checks all login attempts looking for other accounts with at least one verified email address in common. If one such email is found the two accounts will be elected for melding (see below). In case of a meld action, the surviving user account will be the one just logged in.

The second one permits the currently logged in user to add new services to its account: a call to Meteor.loginWithSomething() will be intercepted so to add the new service data to the current user object. In case another account using the same service associated with the same user id exists, the two accounts will be elected for melding (see below) and in case of a meld action is performed the surviving user account will be the currently logged in one. Although it is possible to add 3rd-party services to accounts created with classical sign-up flow (provided by accounts-password), at the moment it is not possible to do the contrary: a call to Meteor.loginWithPassword will log out the current user and login the one associated with the password service. After this, only in case the email used with the password service is already verified, the two account will be elected for melding (see below). In case of a meld action, the surviving user account will be the one originally associated with the password service.

Melding

Depending on the application, account-meld can be configured to automatically perform any possible accounts melding rather than let the user choose whether to meld or not to meld... This can be regulated with the configuration parameter askBeforeMeld. In case you do not need automatic melding and want to let the user choose, some client-side template must be put in place. These are not included into accounts-meld for many reasons. The first one being for package size to be kept low and not to pollute the client with useless templates. While the most important one is every application has it's own logic, style and peculiarities: precooked client-side templates won't fit!

By the way, to get you up quickly as well as to show what could be done client-side, the package accounts-meld-client-bootstrap, styled for bootstrap, allows for very basic user interaction.

Package Configuration

There are some configuration options that can be used to customize the behaviour of account-meld. The only thing to do to configure your preferences is call AccountsMeld.configure within a server-side file. As an example, you could create the file server/configuration/accounts_meld.js containing the following:

var meldDBCallback = function(src_user_id, dst_user_id){
    SomeCollection.update({user_id: src_user_id}, {$set: {user_id: dst_user_id}}, {multi: true});
};

AccountsMeld.configure({
    askBeforeMeld: true,
    meldDBCallback: meldDBCallback
});

to ask the client before melding accounts and migrating documents to the surviving account.

The package provides the following options:

  • askBeforeMeld - optional Boolean, default false
  • checkForConflictingServices - optional Boolean, default false
  • meldUserCallback - optional function, default null
  • meldDBCallback - optional function, default null
  • serviceAddedCallback - optional function, default null

askBeforeMeld

This flags specifies whether accounts melding should be performed automatically without warning the user or not.

In case it is set to false, after every successful login attempt, if another account using the same verified email address is found, the two account are instantly melded in background without telling anything to the user.

In case it is set to true, every time a melding operation would be triggered, a new document containing melding details is inserted inside the collection MeldActions. This actually allows for server-client interaction eventually letting the user to choose whether to meld or not. See the section MeldActions for more details.

checkForConflictingServices

This flags specifies whether another check is to be performed before to proceed with a melding operation. Specifically, the only (hopefully) weird case that can happen is having to meld userA

{
    _id: 12345,
    services: {
        foobook: {
            id : 111,
            email: "email@example.com",
            ...
        },
        linkedout: {
            id : 222,
            email: "verified@domain.com",
            ...
        }
    }
}

with userB

{
    _id: 67890,
    services: {
        foobook: {
            id : 333,
            email: "anotheremail@anotherdomain.com",
            ...
        },
        goggle: {
            id : 444,
            email: "verified@domain.com",
            ...
        }
    }
}

which share the same verified email with address verified@domain.com. We can be sure they belong to the same user, but the problem is they both have service data for the service foobook but referring to two different ids! Although we might expect this is a very rare case, it might happen (and so it will standing to Murphy's law...).

By setting checkForConflictingServices to true, this particular case will be checked before performing the meld of the two user object. In case some conflict is found, the melding operation is simply cancelled without taking any further action. This means that the next time will be cancelled again or, in case askBeforeMeld was also set to true, the user will be prompted again with the choice to meld the two accounts. ...it might be that in the future this flow will be reorganized better!

In case you let checkForConflictingServices to false (default value) the meld operation which migrates userA to userB will result in userB having one more service (linkedout) and still foobook pointing to id 333:

{
    _id: 67890,
    services: {
        foobook: {
            id : 333,
            email: "anotheremail@anotherdomain.com",
            ...
        },
        goggle: {
            id : 444,
            email: "verified@domain.com",
            ...
        },
        linkedout: {
            id : 222,
            email: "verified@domain.com",
            ...
        }
    }
}

Thing will continue to work! But the fact that both the user and the application will have lost a connection to foobook id: 111.

It mostly up to you judging whether this is bad or not...

meldUserCallback

One of the aim to accounts-meld is not to loose anything about any two melded accounts! But since the user object can be personalized differently by different applications it is very unlikely to have something suits everyone's needs.

This is why meldUserCallback let you specify a callback to deal with the two user object under melding. Below is an example about how to define such a callback.

meldUserCallback = function(src_user, dst_user){
    // create a melded user object here and return it
    var meldedUser = _.clone(dst_user);
    // meldedUser.createdAt = src_user.createdAt;
    // ...

    return meldedUser;
};

AccountsMeld.configure({
    meldUserCallback: meldUserCallback
});

the two arguments passed in are the two objects fetched from Meteor.users which are going to be melded. src_user is the one that will be deleted while dst_user is the one which will survive.

And this is how it is called:

var meldedUser = meldUserCallback(src_user, dst_user);
meldedUser = _.omit(meldedUser, '_id', 'services', 'emails', 'registered_emails');
_.each(meldedUser, function(value, key){
    dst_user[key] = value;
});

In particular the line

meldedUser = _.omit(meldedUser, '_id', 'services', 'emails', 'registered_emails');

ensures that any accidental modification to sensitive fields will be neglected so not to hamper the functioning of the package and, in turn, of the application.

If no callback is provided the following default melding will be performed:

    if (src_user.createdAt < dst_user.createdAt)
        dst_user.createdAt = src_user.createdAt;
    // 'profile' field
    var profile = {};
    _.defaults(profile, dst_user.profile || {});
    _.defaults(profile, src_user.profile || {});
    if (!_.isEmpty(profile))
        dst_user.profile = profile;

which could be fine in many cases...

meldDBCallback

Another callback not to loose anything can be provided (and should be) to let you change any reference to the src_user._id you might have inside your DB. This is where you can migrate documents belonging to (or simply referencing) the user that will be deleted to the one that will survive. The following code shows how to do it:

var meldDBCallback = function(src_user_id, dst_user_id){
    // Here you can modify every collection you need for the document referencing
    // to src_user_id to be modified in order to point to dst_user_id
    SomeCollection.update(
        {user_id: src_user_id},
        {$set: {user_id: dst_user_id}},
        {multi: true}
    );
    AnotherCollection.update(
        {owner: src_user_id},
        {$set: {owner: dst_user_id}},
        {multi: true}
    );
};

AccountsMeld.configure({
    meldDBCallback: meldDBCallback
});

the two arguments passed in are the two ids associated with the source and destination users.

serviceAddedCallback

In case a new service is added to the current user object without the need of any meld action, the serviceAddedCallback can be used to update, e.g., the user profile.

Warning: Since no particular checks are put in place, it is up to the developer not to modify sensible fields like 'services', 'emails', 'registered_emails', etc.

The following code provides and example about how to pick up new information for the user profile from a newly added service:

var serviceAddedCallback = function(user_id, service_name){
    if (service_name === 'foobook'){
        var user = Meteor.users.findOne(user_id);
        var link = user.services[service_name].link;
        if (link)
            Meteor.users.update(user_id, {$set: {"profile.fb_link": link}});
    }
};

AccountsMeld.configure({
    serviceAddedCallback: serviceAddedCallback
});

MeldActions

The package accounts-meld exports a collection called MeldActions which is used for client-server communication in case askBeforeMeld was set to true.

The collection content referencing to the currently signed in user is published under the name pendingMeldActions. So, to be able to access it, the client should subscribe with:

Meteor.subscribe("pendingMeldActions");

For reading more about how to use it, please have a look at the beginning of the file accounts-meld-server.js where there are some more details about it. Differently you might also want to have a look at the source code of the package accounts-meld-client-bootstrap and simply copy/paste what you need.

How to Ensure Everything Works as Expected

Behind The Scenes

To intercept 3rd-party services log in attempts the function Accounts.updateOrCreateUserFromExternalService is substituted with another one from accounts-meld which, in turn calls the original one (if need be). This is to allow adding new services to the currently signed in user.

Differently, the hook Accounts.onLogin, is used to register a callback to execute a check on registered emails after the user has been successfully logged in. In particular the field registered_emails provided by the package accounts-emails-field is exploited to look inside the collection Meteor.users whether there are other user objects having at least one validated email address in common with those associated (and validated) with the currently signed in user.

Project Statistics

Sourcerank 7
Repository Size 105 KB
Stars 99
Forks 21
Watchers 7
Open issues 27
Dependencies 0
Contributors 4
Tags 6
Created
Last updated
Last pushed

Top Contributors See all

Luca Mussi steph643 Pranay Shah Haydn

Packages Referencing this Repo

splendido:accounts-meld
Meteor package to link/meld user accounts registered with the same (verified) email address.
Latest release 1.3.1 - Updated - 99 stars

Recent Tags See all

v1.3.0 April 07, 2015
v1.2.0 August 13, 2014
v1.1.2 July 31, 2014
v1.1.1 June 19, 2014
v0.1.0 June 15, 2014
v1.1.0 June 15, 2014

Something wrong with this page? Make a suggestion

Last synced: 2016-05-27 14:34:43 UTC

Login to resync this repository