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Authentication Over WebSocket

You can use SubscriptionServer lifecycle hooks to create an authenticated transport by using onConnect to validate the connection.

SubscriptionsClient supports connectionParams (example available here) that will be sent with the first WebSocket message. All GraphQL subscriptions are delayed until the connection has been fully authenticated and your onConnect callback returns a truthy value.

You can use these connectionParams in your onConnect callback and validate the user credentials. You can also extend the GraphQL context of the current user's subscription with the authenticated user data.

import { execute, subscribe } from 'graphql';
import { SubscriptionServer } from 'subscriptions-transport-ws';
import { schema } from './schema';

const validateToken = (authToken) => {
    // ... validate token and return a Promise, rejects in case of an error

const findUser = (authToken) => {
    return (tokenValidationResult) => {
        // ... finds user by auth token and return a Promise, rejects in case of an error

const subscriptionsServer = new SubscriptionServer(
    onConnect: (connectionParams, webSocket) => {
       if (connectionParams.authToken) {
            return validateToken(connectionParams.authToken)
                .then((user) => {
                    return {
                        currentUser: user,

       throw new Error('Missing auth token!');
    server: websocketServer

The example above validates the user's token that is sent with the first initialization message on the transport, then it looks up the user and returns the user object as a Promise. The user object found will be available as context.currentUser in your GraphQL resolvers.

In case of an authentication error, the Promise will be rejected, and the client's connection will be rejected as well.

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