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Version: 2023.3

Authenticate Against Pimcore Objects

As Symfony's security component is quite complex, Pimcore provides base implementations to facilitate integrating the security configuration with users stored as Pimcore objects.

As example, assume we have a user object which is defined in a App\Model\DataObject\User class and stores its password in a field named password (field type Password). The password field is configured to use the password_hash algorithm which is the standard way to handle passwords in PHP these days (internally it uses bcrypt). The class definition looks like this (you can find a working example in the demo-basic install profile):


As a user object needs to implement the UserInterface provided by Symfony, we override the generated class and implement the remaining methods which are not implemented by field getters:

// src/Model/DataObject/User.php

namespace App\Model\DataObject;

use Pimcore\Model\DataObject\ClassDefinition\Data\Password;
use Pimcore\Model\DataObject\User as BaseUser;
use Symfony\Component\Security\Core\User\UserInterface;

* Our custom user class implementing Symfony's UserInterface.
class User extends BaseUser implements UserInterface
* Trigger the hash calculation to remove the plain text password from the instance.
* This is necessary to make sure no plain text passwords are serialized.
public function eraseCredentials(): void
/** @var Password $field */
$field = $this->getClass()->getFieldDefinition('password');
$field->getDataForResource($this->getPassword(), $this);

Next, we configure Pimcore to use our overridden class:

# config/config.yaml
'Pimcore\Model\DataObject\User': 'App\Model\DataObject\User'

Loading users with a User Provider

A user provider is responsible for finding matching user objects for a given username. Pimcore ships an ObjectUserProvider which loads users from a defined class type and searches the username for a configured property. In our case, we want to load users from the App\Model\DataObject\User and query the username field. To be able to use our user class in the security configuration, we define a user provider service which is configured to load our user implementation (make sure your bundle is able to load service definitions, see Loading Service Definitions):

# config/services.yaml
# The user provider loads users by Username.
# Pimcore provides a simple ObjectUserProvider which is able to load users from a specified class by a configured
# field. The will load users from the App\Model\DataObject\User by looking at
# their username field.
class: Pimcore\Security\User\ObjectUserProvider
arguments: ['App\Model\DataObject\User', 'username']

We'll use this service later in our security configuration to tell the firewall where to load its users from. For details have a look at ObjectUserProvider which is basically calling User::getByUsername($username, 1) internally. If you have more complex use cases you can extend the ObjectUserProvider or ship your completely custom implementation.

For more information see How to Create a custom User Provider on the Symfony docs.

Password hashing

The standard approach of hashing and verifying a user's password in Symfony is to delegate the logic to a PasswordHasherInterface which is responsible for calculating and verifying password hashes. As Pimcore's Password field definition already provides this logic, the password hasher needs to be configured to delegate the logic to the user object.

Symfony builds and caches one password hasher instance per user type (class). To be able to delegate the calculation to the user object it is necessary to build an password hasher instance which is scoped to the user object and can access the user's properties at runtime. Pimcore adds this as additional layer of configuration which allows to specify a password hasher factory per user type which in turn can decide if it needs to build dedicated instances of password hashers per user.

To be able to integrate our user object, we need 2 integration points:

  • A PasswordFieldHasher which has access to the user instance and delegates calculation and verification of the password hash to the password field definition. The password hasher needs to be configured with the name of the field it should operate on (password in our case).
  • A UserAwarePasswordHasherFactory which builds a dedicated instance of a PasswordFieldHasher per user object.

To achieve this, we define a factory service which builds PasswordFieldHasher instances as specified above:

# The password hasher factory is responsible for verifying the password hash for a given user. As we need some special
# handling to be able to work with the password field, we use the UserAwarePasswordHasherFactory to build a dedicated
# hasher per user. This service is configured in to handle our user model.
class: Pimcore\Security\Hasher\Factory\UserAwarePasswordHasherFactory
- Pimcore\Security\Hasher\PasswordFieldHasher
- ['password']

Now, instead of configuring the password hasher in security.password_hashers as it is the standard Symfony way, configure your password hasher factory service instead in This is just an additional way of building password hashers - if you don't need any user specific handling, just stick to the standard Symfony way.

# the password hasher factory as defined in services.yaml

When a password hasher is loaded for a App\Model\DataObject\User object, the UserAwarePasswordHasherFactory will build a dedicated instance of PasswordFieldHasher instead of always returning the same instance for all users.

Configuring the firewall

As all our needed services are in place, we can start to use them from the firewall configuration. As an example, let's configure a simple firewall which authenticates via HTTP basic auth. Our final configuration looks like the following:

# the password hasher factory as defined in services.yaml

# the user provider as defined in services.yaml

# demo_cms firewall is valid for the whole site
# the provider defined above
provider: demo_cms_provider
http_basic: ~

This should get you started with a custom authentication system based on Pimcore objects. For further information see: