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Get started using App Check with reCAPTCHA Enterprise in web apps

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This page shows you how to enable App Check in a web app, using the reCAPTCHA Enterprise provider. When you enable App Check, you help ensure that only your app can access your project's Firebase resources. See an Overview of this feature.

reCAPTCHA Enterprise is a paid service with a no-cost quota. App Check also supports reCAPTCHA v3, a service that is no-cost. To learn the differences between reCAPTCHA v3 and reCAPTCHA Enterprise, see the comparison of features.

Note that App Check uses reCAPTCHA Enterprise score-based site keys, which make it invisible to users. The reCAPTCHA Enterprise provider will not require users to solve a challenge at any time.

If you want to use App Check with your own custom provider, see Implement a custom App Check provider.

1. Set up your Firebase project

  1. Add Firebase to your JavaScript project if you haven’t already done so.

  2. Open the reCAPTCHA Enterprise section of the Cloud console and do the following:

    1. If you're prompted to enable the reCAPTCHA Enterprise API, do so.
    2. Create a Website-type key. You will need to specify domains on which you host your web app. Leave the "Use checkbox challenge" option unselected.
  3. Register your apps to use App Check with the reCAPTCHA Enterprise provider in the App Check section of the Firebase console. You will need to provide the site key you got in the previous step.

    You usually need to register all of your project's apps, because once you enable enforcement for a Firebase product, only registered apps will be able to access the product's backend resources.

  4. Optional: In the app registration settings, set a custom time-to-live (TTL) for App Check tokens issued by the provider. You can set the TTL to any value between 30 minutes and 7 days. When changing this value, be aware of the following tradeoffs:

    • Security: Shorter TTLs provide stronger security, because it reduces the window in which a leaked or intercepted token can be abused by an attacker.
    • Performance: Shorter TTLs mean your app will perform attestation more frequently. Because the app attestation process adds latency to network requests every time it's performed, a short TTL can impact the performance of your app.
    • Quota and cost: Shorter TTLs and frequent re-attestation deplete your quota faster, and for paid services, potentially cost more. See Quotas & limits.

    The default TTL of 1 hour is reasonable for most apps. Note that the App Check library refreshes tokens at approximately half the TTL duration.

2. Add the App Check library to your app

Add Firebase to your web app if you haven't already. Be sure to import the App Check library.

3. Initialize App Check

Add the following initialization code to your application, before you access any Firebase services. You will need to pass your reCAPTCHA Enterprise site key, which you created in the Cloud console, to activate().

Web version 9

const { initializeApp } = require("firebase/app");
const { initializeAppCheck, ReCaptchaEnterpriseProvider } = require("firebase/app-check");

const app = initializeApp({
  // Your Firebase configuration object.
});

// Create a ReCaptchaEnterpriseProvider instance using your reCAPTCHA Enterprise
// site key and pass it to initializeAppCheck().
const appCheck = initializeAppCheck(app, {
  provider: new ReCaptchaEnterpriseProvider(/* reCAPTCHA Enterprise site key */),
  isTokenAutoRefreshEnabled: true // Set to true to allow auto-refresh.
});

Web version 8

firebase.initializeApp({
  // Your Firebase configuration object.
});

// Create a ReCaptchaEnterpriseProvider instance using your reCAPTCHA Enterprise
// site key and pass it to activate().
const appCheck = firebase.appCheck();
appCheck.activate(
  new firebase.appCheck.ReCaptchaEnterpriseProvider(
    /* reCAPTCHA Enterprise site key */
  ),
  true // Set to true to allow auto-refresh.
);

Next steps

Once the App Check library is installed in your app, deploy it.

The updated client app will begin sending App Check tokens along with every request it makes to Firebase, but Firebase products will not require the tokens to be valid until you enable enforcement in the App Check section of the Firebase console.

Monitor metrics and enable enforcement

Before you enable enforcement, however, you should make sure that doing so won't disrupt your existing legitimate users. On the other hand, if you're seeing suspicious use of your app resources, you might want to enable enforcement sooner.

To help make this decision, you can look at App Check metrics for the services you use:

Enable App Check enforcement

When you understand how App Check will affect your users and you're ready to proceed, you can enable App Check enforcement:

Use App Check in debug environments

If, after you have registered your app for App Check, you want to run your app in an environment that App Check would normally not classify as valid, such as locally during development, or from a continuous integration (CI) environment, you can create a debug build of your app that uses the App Check debug provider instead of a real attestation provider.

See Use App Check with the debug provider in web apps.

Note on cost

App Check creates an assessment on your behalf to validate the user's response token each time a browser running your web app refreshes its App Check token. Your project will be charged for each assessment created above the no-cost quota. See reCAPTCHA Enterprise pricing for details.

By default, your web app will refresh this token twice every 1 hour. To control how frequently your app refreshes App Check tokens (and thus how frequently new assessments are created), configure their TTL.