Trying the ForgeRock Embedded Login JavaScript Library

Written by Marc Craig


Instructions for trying the ForgeRock embedded login JavaScript library.

ForgeRock provides a sample JavaScript library to help web clients handle login interaction. The login API is ForgeRock Access Management’s (AM) /json/authenticate login API.

More Than Username-Password Login

As developers, when we think about login interactions, the first method that comes to mind is providing a username-password combination. Either the username-password credentials are correct and login is successful, or we get it wrong and have to try again (or select the forgotten password link). AM can handle this simple case, but AM excels at solving the more general authentication case. Providing a username-password combination might only be a first step in a multi-factor authentication process, followed up with a one-time password from an authenticator app on your phone. Or perhaps the authentication process does not involve a password at all.

In any case, the underlying model for authentication is one of challenge-response. Whether you enter your email address and password, or show your passport with your boarding pass, the authenticator challenges you for credentials that you provide as a response to the challenge. Although the general model is more abstract than hard-coded APIs for specific cases, it gives you the power to handle many more authentication use cases, including cases that you do not foresee when first building your application.

The AM /json/authenticate API implements the general model with a limited number of possible challenges and responses. Each sequence of challenge-responses is something the AM administrator configures at run time. The sequences evolve as new authentication methods arise and new use cases are enabled. Having a library that lets your web clients easily present the challenges and gather the response data improves your productivity.

Sample Login Widget

The code for the sample library is publicly available at The library is designed to work with no dependency on other libraries, and to fit with whichever front end technology you already use. Fork the repository and clone a local copy to try it.

The library wraps the challenge-responses with code to render the user interaction. By default, it creates HTML DOM Nodes and attaches them to the DOM. You can customize this rendering process as necessary to fit your web client.

The repository includes a sample.html page to demonstrate login with a bare bones widget that shows the interaction sequentially to you as the developer. The rest of this article uses the sample page to demonstrate the library.

Basic Login

Before trying the sample.html page, set up basic authentication with ForgeRock AM. You can do this repeatably, according to the instructions at forgeops-init/7.0/oauth2/development at master · ForgeRock/forgeops-init · GitHub. When you follow those instructions, you deploy the ForgeRock platform including AM into minikube on your computer, or into the Google Kubernetes cloud. The forgeops-init OAuth 2.0 sample configuration was created to demonstrate standards-based profile management. It works well for this use case, too.

In the OAuth 2.0 sample configuration, AM uses HTTPS to protect connections. When running the ForgeRock platform locally, the certificate is signed with a sample CA certificate that your browser does not trust by default.

Once you have AM up and running, perform these steps to try basic login:

  1. If you have set up AM without using the configuration described above, edit the authenticateUrl in sample.html to fit your installation.

  2. Serve the sample page through an HTTP server such as http-server.For example: cd /path/to/forgerockEmbeddedLogin && http-server -p 8888

  3. Trust the certificate for HTTPS.Either trust import the CA cert in your browser, or run the browser in a mode that skips certificate errors, such as: google-chrome --ignore-certificate-errors http://localhost:8888/sample.html.

  4. Log in with a basic username/password combination such as user.0:password:first login interactionWhen you select Login, the library makes the call to AM and renders the result. The success message in the header indicates that you are logged in:first login resultTo log out, browse to the AM console and manually log out.

Simple Customization

You can customize the sample.html page to get a sense of how easy it is to modify the UI.

For example, add a logout link to the result of a successful login, and try the commented customization that switches to labels for the login prompt text.

Here’s a diff of the changes:

diff --git a/sample.html b/sample.html
index 77c6636..6e8ec62 100644
--- a/sample.html
+++ b/sample.html
@@ -24,7 +24,7 @@
         successHandler: function() {
             document.getElementById("loginHeader").innerHTML = "Logged In!";
-            this.loginElement.innerHTML = '';
+            this.loginElement.innerHTML = '<a href="">Log out</a>';
         failureHandler: function() {
             document.getElementById("loginHeader").innerHTML = "Login Failure!";
@@ -33,6 +33,7 @@

     /* Example for how to customize various callbacks:
+    */
     login.renderNameCallback = function (callback, index, prompt) {
         let el = document.createElement("div");
         el.innerHTML = `<label>${prompt} : <input type="text" name="callback_${index}" value="${callback.input[0].value}"></label>`;
@@ -44,7 +45,6 @@
         el.innerHTML = `<label>${prompt} : <input type="password" name="callback_${index}" value="${callback.input[0].value}"></label>`;
         return Promise.resolve(el.firstElementChild);
-    */

When you reload the page, you see the labels:

custom login

On success, you see a logout link that logs you out of AM and returns to the sample page:

custom login

Extending Login to a Second Factor

As described above, AM lets you extend authentication. This section shows how the library supports extending authentication to a second factor.

First set up multi-factor authentication in AM:

  1. Log in to the AM console as AmAdmin.If you use the forgeops-init-based deployment locally, the AM console URL login page is under, and AmAdmin has credentials amadmin:password.

  2. Configure the following components for two-factor authentication with the ForgeRock authenticator app as the second factor:

  1. Log out of the AmAdmin account.
  2. Register your device with AM using the ForgeRock authenticator.If you use the forgeops-init-based deployment locally, the registration URL is can register as a user like user.0:password.
  3. Edit the sample.html page’s authenticateUrl to use the mfa chain.If you use the forgeops-init-based deployment locally,
authenticateUrl: "",
  1. Refresh the sample.html page, and log in:
  • The initial screen is the same as before.Log in as the user who registered the ForgeRock authenticator.
  • The next screen requests a one-time password from the ForgeRock authenticator:

one-time password

  • On success, you see the screen with the logout link as before.

Notice that the only change to your application was the URL to AM for the chain enabling multi-factor authentication. The sample library instantly adapts your client application to go beyond username-password login.