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Integration guides/Authentication

Authenticate Neon Postgres application users with Okta

Learn how to add authentication to a Neon Postgres database application with Okta

User authentication is critical for web applications, especially for apps internal to an organization. Okta Workforce Indentity Cloud is an identity and access management platform for organizations, that provides authentication, authorization, and user management capabilities.

In this guide, we'll walk through building a simple Next.js application using Neon's Postgres database, and add user authentication to it using Okta. We will cover how to:

  • Set up a Next.js project with Okta for authentication
  • Create a Neon Postgres database and connect it to your application
  • Define a database schema using Drizzle ORM and generate migrations
  • Store and retrieve user data associated with Okta user IDs


Okta provides a different solution called Customer Identity Cloud, powered by Auth0, to authenticate external customers for Saas applications. This guide focuses on the Workforce Identity Cloud for internal applications. For an example guide using Auth0, refer to our Auth0 guide.


To follow along with this guide, you will need:

  • A Neon account. If you do not have one, sign up at Neon. Your Neon project comes with a ready-to-use Postgres database named neondb. We'll use this database in the following examples.
  • An Okta administrator account for user authentication. Okta provides a free trial that you can use to set one up for your organization.
  • Node.js and npm installed on your local machine. We'll use Node.js to build and test the application locally.

Initialize your Next.js project

We will create a simple web app that lets you add a favorite quote to the home page, and edit it afterwards. Run the following command in your terminal to create a new Next.js project:

npx create-next-app guide-neon-next-okta --typescript --eslint --tailwind --use-npm --no-src-dir --app --import-alias "@/*"

Now, navigate to the project directory and install the required dependencies:

npm install @neondatabase/serverless drizzle-orm 
npm install -D drizzle-kit dotenv
npm install next-auth@beta

We use the @neondatabase/serverless package as the Postgres client, and drizzle-orm, a lightweight typescript ORM, to interact with the database. We also use dotenv to manage environment variables and the drizzle-kit CLI tool for generating database migrations. For authentication, we'll use the auth.js library (aliased as v5 of the next-auth package), which provides a simple way to add authentication to Next.js applications. It comes with built-in support for Okta.

Also, add a .env.local file to the root of your project, which we'll use to store Neon/Okta connection parameters:

touch .env.local

Setting up your Neon database

Initialize a new project

  1. Log in to the Neon console and navigate to the Projects section.
  2. Select an existing project or click the New Project button to create a new one.
  3. Choose the desired region and Postgres version for your project, then click Create Project.

Retrieve your Neon database connection string

Navigate to the Connection Details section to find your database connection string. It should look similar to this:


Add this connection string to the .env.local file in your Next.js project.

# .env.local


Configuring Okta for authentication

Create an Okta application

  1. Log in to your Okta developer account and navigate to the Applications section. Click the Create App Integration button.
  2. Select OIDC - OpenID Connect as the sign-in method.
  3. Select Web Application as the application type and click Next.
  4. Provide a name for your application, e.g., "Neon Next Guide".
  5. Set Sign-in redirect URIs to http://localhost:3000/api/auth/callback/okta and Sign-out redirect URIs to http://localhost:3000.
  6. Click Save to create the application.

Retrieve your Okta configuration

From the application's General tab, find the Client ID and Client SECRET. Also note down your Okta Issuer URI, which is the first part of your Okta account's URL, e.g., If it isn't clear, visit the Security > API section from the sidebar in the console to find the Issuer URI and remove /oauth2/default from the end.

Add these as environment variables to the .env.local file in your Next.js project:

# .env.local


The last variable, AUTH_SECRET, is a random string used by Auth.js to encrypt tokens. Run the following command to generate one and add it to your .env.local file:

npx auth secret


If you set up an Okta organization account specifically for this guide, you might need to assign yourself to the created Okta application to test the authentication flow. Visit Applications > Applications from the sidebar and select the application you created. In the Assignments tab, click Assign and select your own user account.

Implementing the application

Define database connection and schema

Create a db folder inside the app/ directory. This is where we'll define the database schema and connection code.

Now, add the file app/db/index.ts with the following content:

/// app/db/index.ts

import { neon } from "@neondatabase/serverless";
import { drizzle } from "drizzle-orm/neon-http";
import { UserMessages } from "./schema";

if (!process.env.DATABASE_URL) {
  throw new Error("DATABASE_URL must be a Neon postgres connection string");

const sql = neon(process.env.DATABASE_URL);

export const db = drizzle(sql, {
  schema: { UserMessages },

This exports a db instance that we can use to execute queries against the Neon database.

Next, create a schema.ts file inside the app/db directory to define the database schema:

/// app/db/schema.ts

import { pgTable, text, timestamp } from "drizzle-orm/pg-core";

export const UserMessages = pgTable("user_messages", {
  user_id: text("user_id").primaryKey().notNull(),
  createTs: timestamp("create_ts").defaultNow().notNull(),
  message: text("message").notNull(),

This schema defines a table user_messages to store a message for each user, with the user_id provided by Auth0 as the primary key.

Generate and run migrations

We'll use the drizzle-kit CLI tool to generate migrations for the schema we defined. To configure how it connects to the database, add a drizzle.config.ts file at the project root.

/// drizzle.config.ts

import type { Config } from "drizzle-kit";
import * as dotenv from "dotenv";

dotenv.config({ path: ".env.local" });

if (!process.env.DATABASE_URL)
  throw new Error("DATABASE_URL not found in environment");

export default {
  schema: "./app/db/schema.ts",
  out: "./drizzle",
  driver: "pg",
  dbCredentials: {
    connectionString: process.env.DATABASE_URL,
  strict: true,
} satisfies Config;

Now, generate the migration files by running the following command:

npx drizzle-kit generate:pg

This will create a drizzle folder at the project root with the migration files. To apply the migration to the database, run:

npx drizzle-kit push:pg

The user_messages table will now be visible in the Neon console.

Configure Okta authentication

Create a new file auth.ts in the root directory of the project and add the following content:

import NextAuth from "next-auth";
import Okta from "next-auth/providers/okta";

export const { handlers, signIn, signOut, auth } = NextAuth({
  providers: [Okta],
  callbacks: {
    async session({ session, token }) { = token.sub as string;
      return session;

This file initializes Auth.js with Okta as the authentication provider. It also defines a callback to set the sub claim from the Okta token as the session user ID.

Implement authentication routes

Create a new dynamic route at app/api/auth/[...nextauth]/route.ts with the following content:

/// app/api/auth/[...nextauth]/route.ts

import { handlers } from "@/auth";

export const { GET, POST } = handlers;

This route file imports the authentication handlers from the auth.ts file that handle all auth-related requests — sign-in, sign-out, and redirect after authentication.

The auth object exported from ./auth.ts is the universal method we can use to interact with the authentication state in the application. For example, we add a User information bar to the app layout that indicates the current user's name and provides a sign-out button.

Replace the contents of the app/layout.tsx file with the following:

import type { Metadata } from "next";
import { Inter } from "next/font/google";
import "./globals.css";
import { auth } from "@/auth";

const inter = Inter({ subsets: ["latin"] });

export const metadata: Metadata = {
  title: "Create Next App",
  description: "Generated by create next app",

async function UserInfoBar() {
  const session = await auth();
  if (!session) {
    return null;

  return (
    <div className="bg-gray-100 py-2 px-4">
      <span className="text-gray-800">
        Welcome, {session.user?.name}!{" "}
        <a href="/api/auth/signout" className="text-blue-600 hover:underline">
          Sign out

export default function RootLayout({
}: Readonly<{
  children: React.ReactNode;
}>) {
  return (
    <html lang="en">
      <body className={inter.className}>
        <UserInfoBar />

Add interactivity to the application

Our application has a single page that lets the logged-in user store their favorite quote and display it. We implement Next.js server actions to handle the form submission and database interaction.

Create a new file at app/actions.ts with the following content:

/// app/actions.ts

"use server";

import { auth } from "@/auth";
import { UserMessages } from "./db/schema";
import { db } from "./db";
import { redirect } from "next/navigation";
import { eq } from "drizzle-orm";

export async function createUserMessage(formData: FormData) {
  const session = await auth();
  if (!session) throw new Error("User not authenticated");

  const message = formData.get("message") as string;
  await db.insert(UserMessages).values({
    user_id: session.user?.id as string,


export async function deleteUserMessage() {
  const session = await auth();
  if (!session) throw new Error("User not authenticated");

  await db
    .where(eq(UserMessages.user_id, session.user?.id as string));

The createUserMessage function inserts a new message into the user_messages table, while deleteUserMessage removes the message associated with the current user.

Next, we implement a minimal UI to interact with these functions. Replace the contents of the app/page.tsx file with the following:

/// app/page.tsx

import { createUserMessage, deleteUserMessage } from "./actions";
import { db } from "./db";
import { auth } from "@/auth";

async function getUserMessage() {
  const session = await auth();
  if (!session) return null;

  return db.query.UserMessages.findFirst({
    where: (messages, { eq }) =>
      eq(messages.user_id, session.user?.id as string),

function LoginBox() {
  return (
    <main className="flex min-h-screen flex-col items-center justify-center p-24">
        className="rounded-md bg-[#00E699] px-3.5 py-2.5 text-sm font-semibold text-gray-800 shadow-sm hover:bg-[#00e5BF] focus-visible:outline focus-visible:outline-2 focus-visible:outline-offset-2 focus-visible:outline-[#00E699]"
        Log in

export default async function Home() {
  const session = await auth();
  const existingMessage = await getUserMessage();

  if (!session) {
    return <LoginBox />;

  const ui = existingMessage ? (
    <div className="w-2/3 text-center">
      <h1 className="text-3xl">{existingMessage.message}</h1>
        className="w-full rounded px-8 pt-6 pb-8 mb-4"
        <div className="w-full text-center">
            value={"Delete Quote"}
            className="bg-[#00E699] transition-colors hover:bg-[#00e5BF] text-gray-800 font-semibold py-2 px-4 rounded focus:outline-none cursor-pointer"
  ) : (
    <form action={createUserMessage} className="shadow-md w-2/3 rounded px-8">
      <div className="mb-6">
          placeholder="Mistakes are the portals of discovery - James Joyce"
          className="text-center appearance-none border rounded w-full p-3 text-gray-700 leading-tight focus:outline-none"
      <div className="w-full text-center">
          value={"Save Quote"}
          className="bg-[#00E699] cursor-pointer transition-colors hover:bg-[#00e5BF] text-gray-800 font-semibold py-2 px-4 rounded focus:outline-none"

  return (
    <main className="flex -mt-16 min-h-screen flex-col align-center justify-center items-center px-24">
      <h2 className="text-2xl pb-6 text-gray-400">
          ? "Your quote is wonderful..."
          : "Save an inspiring quote for yourself..."}

This code implements a form with a single text field that lets the user input a quote, and submit it, whereby the quote is stored in the database and associated with the user's Okta user ID. If a quote is already stored, it displays the quote and provides a button to delete it.

The property set on the session object provides the current user's ID, which we use to interact with the database on their behalf. If the user is not authenticated, the page displays a login button instead.

Running the application

To start the application, run the following command:

npm run dev

This will start the Next.js development server. Open your browser and navigate to http://localhost:3000 to see the application in action. When running for the first time, you'll see a Log In button which will redirect you to the Auth.js widget, prompting you to sign in with Okta.

Once authenticated, you'll be able to visit the home page, add a quote, and see it displayed.


In this guide, we walked through setting up a simple Next.js application with user authentication using Okta and a Neon Postgres database. We defined a database schema using Drizzle ORM, generated migrations, and interacted with the database to store and retrieve user data.

Next, we can add more routes and features to the application. The auth method can be used in the Next.js API routes or middleware to protect endpoints that require authentication.

To view and manage the users who authenticated with your application, you can navigate to your Okta admin console and view the Directory > People section in the sidebar.

Source code

You can find the source code for the application described in this guide on GitHub.


For more information on the tools used in this guide, refer to the following documentation:

Need help?

Join our Discord Server to ask questions or see what others are doing with Neon. Users on paid plans can open a support ticket from the console. For more detail, see Getting Support.

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