Ember and Sails authentication options

What are the possible ways of authenticating an Ember app with a Sails backend? This is an overview of the current offer of tools and addons available for session and token based authentication.

In the past I've used succesfully Ember Simple Auth (ESA), so I'll default to it. The question is now reduced to: What will I use in Sails to be able to talk to ESA?


A Express compatible authentication middleware. The library is designed to be very flexible, also framework and database agnostic. It is a mature tool that can do much more than other packages.

Since Sails is built on top of Express, this will work, an example can be found at: sails-authorization Also, in how-to-sane you'll find a Passport + ESA + OAuth2 solution.

Other Passport based packages: sails-auth, sails-generate-auth


Provides user authentication for Sails with JSON web tokens (JWT). This tool was built exclusively for Sails and relies on jwt-simple.

Sane Stack

Chances are that you are using Sane. The latest version, 0.1.0-beta.1, introduces a feature that allows you to install addons.


A Sane addon that provides basic authentication for the full stack. Under the hood its using express-jwt + ESA + OAuth2.

This package is a machinepack, that is the name given to NPM modules that comply to a standarized interface described in node-machine.org

You'll find a usage example and a more detailed explanation of how it works in Sane-Auth example.


If you are working with Sails and Ember, the assumption is that your backend works as a RESTful API, all you need is one of these:

If for some reason you have extra requirements (e.x. need a session) look into this:

Gastón I. Silva