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Getting Started with JWT

JWT (vapor/jwt) is a package for parsing and serializing JSON Web Tokens supporting both HMAC and RSA signing. JWTs are often used for implementing decentralized authentication and authorization.

Since all of the authenticated user's information can be embedded within a JWT, there is no need to query a central authentication server with each request to your service. Unlike standard bearer tokens that must be looked up in a centralized database, JWTs contain cryptographic signatures that can be used to independently verify their authenticity.

If implemented correctly, JWTs can be a powerful tool for making your application horizontally scalable. Learn more about JWT at jwt.io.

Tip

If your goal is not horizontal scalability, a standard bearer token will likely be a better solution. JWTs have some downsides worth considering such as the inability to revoke a token once it has been issued (until it expires normally).

Let's take a look at how you can get started using JWT.

Package

The first step to using JWT is adding it as a dependency to your project in your SPM package manifest file.

// swift-tools-version:4.0
import PackageDescription

let package = Package(
    name: "MyApp",
    dependencies: [
        /// Any other dependencies ...

        // 🔏 JSON Web Token signing and verification (HMAC, RSA).
        .package(url: "https://github.com/vapor/jwt.git", from: "3.0.0"),
    ],
    targets: [
        .target(name: "App", dependencies: ["JWT", ...]),
        .target(name: "Run", dependencies: ["App"]),
        .testTarget(name: "AppTests", dependencies: ["App"]),
    ]
)

That's it for basic setup. The next section will give you an overview of the package's APIs. As always, feel free to visit the API Docs for more specific information.

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