OAuth in Node.js CLI Apps

OAuth in Node.js CLI Apps

OAuth in Node.js CLI Apps. OAuth is a popular tool for logging in to web apps, but Node makes it easy to use OAuth for CLI apps too. Here's how you can add OAuth support to a Slack CLI app.

I recently wrote about  building a CLI app in Node.js, which showed how to build a CLI app that sent Slack messages from Node.js. But it omitted a key detail:  how to get a Slack OAuth token. And that's a big omission, because getting auth credentials right is typically the hardest part of working with any API. In this article, I'll describe how you can use  Express and  open to get an OAuth token for a CLI app.


In the  previous tutorial, I explained how to add a login command to your Slack CLI that you could run using node ./index.js login, or as slack-cli login after bundling for npm. Below is how you can implement this command using  yargs:

const Configstore = require('configstore');
const { prompt } = require('enquirer');
const yargs = require('yargs');

// `slack-cli` is the name of the file that configstore will use.
const config = new Configstore('slack-cli');

  'Set your bot token',
  () => {},
  async function handler(argv) {
    // Open an enquirer prompt to ask for the user's token
    const { token } = await prompt({
      type: 'password',
      name: 'token',
      message: 'Enter your Slack bot token:'

    // Persist the token to the user's disk using configstore
    config.set({ token });
    console.log('Token stored successfully!');

This login command is simple, but it puts the responsibility of  setting up a Slack app on your user, and setting up a Slack app is an intricate UI-based process that is hard to automate. If you want to build a CLI tool on top of an API, you're better off using  OAuth.

If you use  OAuth, you can create an app once and then, when a user logs in, you get a token for that one Slack OAuth app.

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