User login system

docassemble has a built-in username and password system. Users can click “Log in” in the upper-right-hand corner to log in, and if they do not have a username and password on the system, they can register.

End users who are not logged in will lose their session information if they close their web browser. If they register and log in, however, they can fill out part of an interview, close the web browser, log back in again, and pick up where they left off.

When a user registers in the docassemble system, their default “privilege” is that of “user,” which has the lowest privileges. There are seven privileges defined by default in docassemble:

  • user - users with this privilege have no elevated privileges; anyone who registers can be a user.
  • admin - users with this privilege can do everything. admin privileges are required for editing the Configuration and administering user accounts.
  • cron - this privilege is exclusively held by the cron user. When scheduled tasks run, they are run by the cron user with this privilege.
  • customer - nothing in the docassemble code gives the customer privilege any greater power than a user. This privilege exists because some docassemble developers might want to make a distinction between users who have paid money and users who have not.
  • developer - users with the developer privilege can use the Train, Package Management, Logs, Playground, and Utilities features.
  • advocate - users with the advocate privilege can use the Monitor feature. They have the ability to access user data. This privilege is intended for users who are not developers or administrators but who are expected to use the “multi-user interview” feature to enter users’ interviews for purposes of providing support.
  • trainer - users with the trainer privilege can access the Train feature.

The documentation will mention when a feature or function requires a particular privilege. For example, access to API endpoints depends on the privileges of the user whose API key is used to access the API.

A user who has the admin privilege can upgrade the privleges of any user by going to the User List on the menu and editing the user. There is also an API endpoint for editing user privileges.

The “privileges” system is intended to be used by docassemble developers in their interviews. An admin user can add additional privileges by going to the Privileges List. In interview logic, you can call user_has_privilege() to send the user down a different logical path depending on what privilege or privileges the user has. In addition, an admin user can delegate administrative powers to users that have a given privilege by editing the permissions directive in the Configuration.

When docassemble is first installed, it creates a user with “admin” privileges with the following login information:

As soon as docassemble is set up, you should log in as this user, go to User List, edit the [email protected] user, and change its e-mail address and password.

Users can log in with Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft Azure. This requires obtaining API keys with those companies. See the documentation for the oauth configuration directive for details. Users can also log in with their mobile phone by receiving a verification code via SMS. See the documentation for the phone login and twilio configuration directives for details.

Users who log in with an e-mail address and password have the additional option of using two-factor authentication.

If you do not want your users to be able to log in, you can hide the “Sign in or sign up to save answers” link by setting the show login setting in the configuration.

When a user is logged in, the user’s information is made available to docassemble interviews through the user_info() function.

User administration


All registered users can edit their “Profile” from the user menu. The fields available include:

  • First name
  • Last name

Users with privileges of admin or developer can also edit other fields, including:

  • Country Code (must be an official country code like us)
  • First subdivision (e.g., state)
  • Second subdivision (e.g., county)
  • Third subdivision (e.g., municipality)
  • Organization (e.g., company, non-profit organization)

The user profile fields directive in the Configuration controls which fields are editable by the user.

User List

Administrators can go to the “User List” from the menu. From here, administrators can edit the profiles of each user in the system. Users can be deactivated, so that they can no longer log in. Deactivated accounts can be reactivated. The privileges of each user can be edited. For example, a user with privileges of “user” can be given the privileges of “developer” or “admin.”

Privileges List

Administrators can go to the “Privileges List” by clicking “Edit Privileges” on the User List page. From here, administrators can add new privilege types, or delete privilege types that were already created.

Add User

Administrators can add users by clicking “Add a user” on the User List page. The user’s first name, last name, e-mail, password, and user role(s) must be set.

Invite User

Administrators can invite people to register by clicking “Invite a user” on the User List page. docassemble will send an e-mail with a link that the person can click on to register. If allow registration is set to False, this is the only way that users can register on the site.

The administrator can select the role that the user will be assigned when he or she registers.

The name of the site that is mentioned in the e-mail can be configured with the appname directive. If the appname is MyDocassemble, the e-mail will look like this:

You have been invited to join MyDocassemble.

To register for an account, please click on the link below.

– MyDocassemble

Screening users

Interviews can behave differently depending on whether the user is logged in, or the role of the logged-in user.

There are three functions that facilitate this:

  • user_logged_in() - returns True or False depending on whether the user is logged in.
  • user_info() - if the user is logged in, this returns information from the user’s profile
  • user_has_privilege() - returns True or False depending on whether the user has given privileges.

Here is an example of an interview that requires the user to be logged in:

initial: true
code: |
  if not user_logged_in():
event: kick_out_user
question: |
  I am sorry, but you need to log in if you want to use this interview.
  - Log in: signin
  - Exit: exit
mandatory: true
question: |
  Thanks for completing the interview!

Note that the use of the initial modifier is very important here. It ensures that the interview will check to make sure the user is logged in every time in the interview is processed. If the code was only mandatory, the user could log in, then log out, and still use the interview, because once a mandatory code block runs to completion, it is thereafter ignored.

Here is an example of code that directs users to different endpoints depending on their roles:

initial: true
code: |
  if user_has_privilege('litigant'):
  elif user_has_privilege('judge'):

The following interview excerpt uses information about the logged-in user in an interview question:

initial: true
code: |
  if user_logged_in():
field: intro_screen
question: |
  Welcome, ${ user_info().first_name }!
subquestion: |
  Press Continue to start the interview.

This code screens out a user by e-mail address:

initial: true
code: |
  if not user_logged_in():
  if user_info().email.endswith('.gov'):
event: kick_out_the_government
question: |
  Go away, government spy!

Interaction of user roles and actions

If you use actions in your interview, docassemble will run those actions before it processes the initial and mandatory questions in your interview. However, if you have a screening process in your interview, such as those illustrated in the previous section, you might not want these actions to be able to bypass that screening.

This could be a problem if, for example, you use interview_url_action() to provide URLs to users in order to access an interview. Anyone in possession of such a URL could access the interview with it, bypassing any screening process you established.

To ensure that actions are only run after the screening process, you can use the process_action() function.

Consider the last example from the previous section. To ensure that actions are only processed after the screening process is complete, you would change the first code block to:

initial: true
code: |
  if not user_logged_in():
  if user_info().email.endswith('.gov'):

This explicitly indicates to docassemble the point in the interview processing when you want the actions to be processed. If your screening process prevents process_action() from running, the action will be ignored.

If you do not include a call to process_action() within a code block in your interview, docassemble will automatically run process_action() immediately. (The process_action() function will run after imports and modules blocks, but before initial and mandatorycode blocks.)