Multi-Tenancy on Cumul.io Dashboard with Auth0

In a previous blog post we had walked through a number of ways to handle multi-tenancy in Cumul.io. Now in this tutorial we will walk through how to configure your Cumul.io dashboard with multi-tenancy based on user information on login, which we manage with Auth0. Before we dive into the specifics, let me give you some context on what these two platforms are used for;

Cumul.io: SaaS that allows you to create your own data insight and analytics dashboards that you can easily integrate and embed within your own platform.

Auth0: A flexible solution to add authentication and authorisation services to your application. You can connect any application to Auth0 and define how you want your users to log in.

You can either clone this repo and follow the steps exactly, or you could take this as a guide for your own setup. The repository already implements a simple single page web app which has an integrated dashboard that you can run locally. To be able to follow these steps you will need a Cumul.io account (Free trials are available here) and an Auth0 account.

Why set up multi-tenancy on your dashboard?

Multi-tenancy on your dashboard gives you the freedom of deciding who sees what when they visit it. It lets you decide for example what an internal user may see (such as an employee) or what an end user may see.

Assume you have a company which owns various products and you want to see how sales are going for each product. You want to have a dashboard that displays this but you don’t want all employees to see all products, rather the one related to their department. This is only one simple example of why you would want user-based filtering. It is so that you can make sure an end user only gets to see what’s intended for them.

Our aim in this tutorial will be to get our imaginary employees Angelina and Brad to go from seeing this:

To these:

Step 1 – Create a Dashboard

First step, log into your Cumul.io account and create a new dashboard (we’ve named ours “Multi-Tenancy Demo”). In this example we use the “United Widgets Sales” dataset, which you can find at:
DATA → (+) → Demo Data → United Widgets Sales Import:

Find United Widgets Sales Demo Data

We have selected a grouped line chart and have used the Month in Datetime for the X axis, the Amount for the Measure and grouped by Product name to obtain the following:

Example Line Chart with the United Widgets Sales dataset

To place the chart and attach data to it, it is a simple drag and drop. You can find the chart and other options on the left ‘Add items’ tab. You can also drop data into the relevant axes from the Data tab.

Step 2 – Create an Application and Users with Auth0

Let’s assume our company has 2 employees. Angelina Julie and Brad Pots. Now we will add them as users to our app on Auth0.

  1. In the Applications menu, create a new Application and select Single Page Web Applications:

    in Settings:
    1. Copy ‘Domain’ & ‘Client ID’ to the same attributes in the auth_config.json file in the repo you’ve cloned

    2. In ‘Application URIs’ set the parameters:
      Allowed Callback URLs : http://localhost:3000
      Allowed Logout URLs : http://localhost:3000
      Allowed Web Origins : http://localhost:3000
    3. Save Changes
    4. In the Connections tab, deactivate google-oauth2 
  2. In the APIs menu, copy the API Audience to the audience attribute in the auth_config.json file.

    Here, we use the default System API (Auth0 Management API). But you may also create your own custom API and have the freedom of defining your own permissions:

    You can browse permissions in the Auth0 Management API to get an idea of what sort of permissions you would like to include in your custom API.

  3. Add some users in User Management → Users:
    1. Go to Users & create 2 users (you will be asked to provide them passwords): 
      bradpots@exampleapp.com & angelinajulie@exampleapp.com
    2. In the user_metadata of these users, add their firstName and language. In app_metadata add their department.
      user_metadata is meant for user preferences that they could easily change, whereas app_metadata is for user information that an admin would control:

//for Brad
{
 "user_metadata" :  {
   "firstName": "Brad", 
   "language": "fr" 
   },
   "app_metadata" :  {
     "department": "Quadbase" 
   }
} 

//for Angelina
{
 "user_metadata" :  { 
   "firstName": "Angelina", 
   "language": "en" 
   } ,
 "app_metadata" : {
   "department": "Linedoncon"
   }
}

Edit user_metadata on Auth0

Edit the app_metadata on Auth0

Step 3 – Add Dashboard to Web App

If you are following this tutorial with the example repo (cumulio-auth0):

  1. npm install
  2. Create a file called ‘.env’ in the root directory. Here, create the following 2 keys and add the KEY and TOKEN from your Cumul.io account (You can create one in your Profile settings under API Tokens):
    CUMULIO_API_KEY=XXX
    CUMULIO_API_TOKEN=XXX
  3. In ‘server.js’ and ‘public/js/app.js’ replace ‘dashboardId’ with your own dashboard’s ID which you can find at the bottom of the Settings tab on your dashboard editor.

If you are following this tutorial with your own set up, or would like some more info on how this setup works, we have some additional guidance for you. You can follow the steps in this guide to integrate and embed your dashboard within your own setup and this blog that explains how to integrate dashboards securely.

Step 4 – Create Rules in Auth0

This step is where we allow our app to receive metadata for users once they log in. Here, we will use user_metadata for user preferences such as language selection, and we will use fields in app_metadata as parameters for the dashboard to filter on. This will allow users to only see the Sales for only their department.

In order to achieve this, we will add relevant metadata to our jwt tokens. For this, we can add a rule in Auth0:

Go to Auth Pipeline → Rules and create an empty rule with name ‘Add metadata to token’. Here you can use the following code or modify it to your needs. This rule adds the user_metadata and app_metadata to your jwt token.

⚠️ This makes sense for this use case as the user_metadata and app_metadata are both very small here. However if you have large metadata content you may want to consider making a separate call to Auth0

function (user, context, callback) {
  const namespace = 'https://myexampleapp/';
  user.user_metadata = user.user_metadata || {};
  Object.keys(user.user_metadata).forEach((k) => {
    context.idToken[namespace + k] = user.user_metadata[k];
    context.accessToken[namespace + k] = user.user_metadata[k];
  });
  Object.keys(user.app_metadata).forEach((k) => {
    context.idToken[namespace + k] = user.app_metadata[k];
    context.accessToken[namespace + k] = user.app_metadata[k];
  });
  callback(null, user, context);
}

In server.js, notice the following block of code. This tells Cumul.io that you want to use ‘department’ that you’ve received from the jwt token as a parameter to filter on.

app.get('/authorization', checkJwt, (req, res) => {
  const authNamespace = 'https://myexampleapp/';
  client.create('authorization', {
    type: 'temporary',
    expiry: '1 day',
    inactivity_interval: '30 minutes',
    securables: [dashboardId],
    metadata: {
      'department': [req.user[authNamespace + 'department']]
    }
  })
    .then((result) => {
      return res.status(200).json(result);
    });
});

In the following section, we will add the parameter to the dashboard and filter the line chart on this parameter.

Step 5 – Create Parameters on the Dashboard

Now the application is receiving department as a parameter, but the dashboard is not doing anything with it. If you run (npm run start), go to localhost:3000 on a browser and log in as Brad, you will still see a chart containing sales data for all departments:

Brad’s dashboard with no filter

Now it’s time to create a department parameter on the dashboard and add it to a filter:

  1. On the FILTERS tab on your dashboard, create a parameter called ‘department’ of type Hierarchy[] and add as many department names (from Product Names in the dataset) to this parameter as you want, or even leave it empty (in this case, you will see ‘No Data’ on the Cumul.io admin dashboard once you add the parameter to a filter in the next step).
    For more information about how this works and how to set it up, have a look at this article about Parameterizable filters.
  2. Create a filter by going to the FILTERS tab and adding new filter to DASHBOARD FILTERS. You can define your filter as follows:

  3. Apply

Once you apply this new filter, the chart you see on your Cumul.io dashboard will display data only for product names that are included in the department parameter, and nothing if you haven’t added any values to the parameter.

Now you’re all set! You can run npm run start and go to localhost:3000 on a browser. Once you login as one of your users you will see that they can only see data related to their department.

For Angelina:

Step 6 – Add Extra Metadata (Optional)

Now that you’ve filtered your dashboard depending on what department your employee works on, let’s walk through what you can do to add something else if you want to. This section is a summary of steps you will need to take, and can be adjusted as you wish.

Assume you don’t only want to filter based on department, but you also want to filter a dashboard based on an employee’s date of employment. For some reason, let’s say you don’t want an employee to see sales data from before they joined. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Let’s add a ‘join_date’ field to our users’ app_metadata on Auth0. For example:

//for  Angelina app_metadata
{
  "department": "Linedoncon",
  "join_date": "2019-11-01T00:00:00.000Z"
}

  1. Add join_date as metadata to send to cumul.io in server.js:

app.get('/authorization', checkJwt, (req, res) => {
  const authNamespace = 'https://myexampleapp/';
  client.create('authorization', {
    type: 'temporary',
    expiry: '1 day',
    inactivity_interval: '30 minutes',
    securables: [dashboardId],
    metadata: {
      'department': [req.user[authNamespace + 'department']],
      'join_date': [req.user[authNamespace + 'join_date']]
    }
  })
    .then((result) => {
      return res.status(200).json(result);
    });
});

  1. Create a join_date parameter of type Datetime on Cumul.io (We’ve selected 1 September 2017 as default value)

  2. Add a filter to your dashboard that filters dates greater than join_date and Apply

  3. Run npm run start and go to localhost:3000
    When you login as Angelina for example, you now only see sales data for dates on and before her join_date (1 Nov 2019)

NOTE: At this point as your code is expecting a join_date field from the metadata it’s receiving from Auth0, you will have to add the same field in other users’ app_metadata.

You are all set and now should have a working web app with an integrated multi-tenant dashboard! Finally, here are some useful resources to conclude:

Some Useful Resources

Cumul.io

Auth0

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