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Michael Kimsal:
Why do no almost no web frameworks come with any authentication/authorization?
Feb 22, 2013 @ 10:14:08

In a new post to his site Michael Kimsal poses an interesting question about something he's noticed in several frameworks - and not just PHP ones: there seems to be a lack of authentication/authorization functionality coming bundled in.

Why do almost no web frameworks provide any default authentication/authorization functionality, with default examples of best practices for common use cases. The standard response I’ve gotten for years was/is “well, everyone’s needs for authentication are different”. No, they are not. A (very?) large majority of web applications (which is what most web frameworks are used to build), require some form of user login and authorization management, and often self-registration, dealing with lost passwords, etc.

He points out that by not having something a user can immediately deploy that's been well tested and relatively risk-free, it can introduce security holes as a developer is "left to fend for themselves". He suggests that the "not everyone's the same" mentality that seems to go with authentication/authorization isn't as valid as once thought. He does point out that both Symfony2 and Zend Framework 2 come with ACL functionality, but no common user handling. He mentions ones in a few other tools used in other languages too like Devise in Ruby, Spring Security in Grails and a membership system in ASP.NET.

tagged: framework opinion authorization authentication missing feature

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