Let’s create a page where the users of our app can login with their credentials. AWS Cognito needs a username and password to authenticate a user. To keep things simple we are going to use the user’s email as their username (as opposed to asking them to create a username). We’ll be touching on this further when we create the signup form.

So let’s start by creating the basic form that’ll take the user’s email (as their username) and password.

Add the Container

Create a new file src/containers/Login.js and add the following.

import React, { Component } from 'react';
import {
  Button,
  FormGroup,
  FormControl,
  ControlLabel,
} from 'react-bootstrap';
import './Login.css';

class Login extends Component {
  constructor(props) {
    super(props);

    this.state = {
      username: '',
      password: '',
    };
  }

  validateForm() {
    return this.state.username.length > 0
      && this.state.password.length > 0;
  }

  handleChange = (event) => {
    this.setState({
      [event.target.id]: event.target.value
    });
  }

  handleSubmit = (event) => {
    event.preventDefault();
  }

  render() {
    return (
      <div className="Login">
        <form onSubmit={this.handleSubmit}>
          <FormGroup controlId="username" bsSize="large">
            <ControlLabel>Email</ControlLabel>
            <FormControl
              autoFocus
              type="email"
              value={this.state.username}
              onChange={this.handleChange} />
          </FormGroup>
          <FormGroup controlId="password" bsSize="large">
            <ControlLabel>Password</ControlLabel>
            <FormControl
              value={this.state.password}
              onChange={this.handleChange}
              type="password" />
          </FormGroup>
          <Button
            block
            bsSize="large"
            disabled={ ! this.validateForm() }
            type="submit">
            Login
          </Button>
        </form>
      </div>
    );
  }
}

export default Login;

We are introducing a couple of new concepts in this.

  1. In the constructor of our component we create a state object. This will be where we’ll store what the user enters in the form.

  2. We then connect the state to our two fields in the form by setting this.state.username and this.state.password as the value in our input fields. This means that when the state changes, React will re-render these components with the updated value.

  3. But to update the state when the user types something into these fields; we’ll call a handle function called handleChange. This function grabs the id (set as controlId for the <FormGroup>) of the field being changed and updates it’s state with the value the user is typing in. Also, to have access to the this keyword inside handleChange we store the reference to an anonymous function like so: handleChange = (event) => { } .

  4. We are setting the autoFocus flag for our username field. So that when our form loads, it sets focus to it.

  5. We also link up our submit button with our state by using a validate function called validateForm. This simply checks if our fields are non-empty, but can easily do something more complicated.

  6. Finally, we trigger our callback handleSubmit when the form is submitted. For now we are simply suppressing the browsers default behavior on submit but we’ll do more here later.

Let’s add a couple of styles to this in the file src/containers/Login.css.

@media all and (min-width: 480px) {
  .Login {
    padding: 60px 0;
  }

  .Login form {
    margin: 0 auto;
    max-width: 320px;
  }
}

These styles roughly target any non-mobile screen sizes.

Add the Route

Now we link this container up with the rest of our app by adding the following line to src/Routes.js below our home <Route>.

<Route path="/login" exact component={Login} />

And include our component in the header.

import Login from './containers/Login';

Now if we switch to our browser and navigate to the login page we should see our newly created form.

Login page added screenshot

Next, let’s connect our login form to our AWS Cognito set up.