User roles and permissions are essential for controlling access and managing privileges in web applications. In this guide, we'll explore how to implement user roles and permissions in Flask, a Python web framework. By following this guide, you'll be able to create a secure and role-based authorization system for your Flask application, allowing different users to access different parts of your application based on their roles.

Step 1: Setting Up Your Flask Application

Start by setting up your Flask application and installing the necessary extensions. Here's a sample directory structure:


Step 2: Creating User Roles

Create user roles and define their permissions. In your Flask application, you can create a model to represent user roles. Here's a basic example:

from flask import Flask
from flask_sqlalchemy import SQLAlchemy
app = Flask(__name)
app.config['SQLALCHEMY_DATABASE_URI'] = 'sqlite:///roles_permissions.db'
db = SQLAlchemy(app)
class Role(db.Model):
id = db.Column(db.Integer, primary_key=True)
name = db.Column(db.String(50), unique=True, nullable=False)
permissions = db.relationship('Permission', backref='role', lazy=True)
class Permission(db.Model):
id = db.Column(db.Integer, primary_key=True)
name = db.Column(db.String(50), nullable=False)
role_id = db.Column(db.Integer, db.ForeignKey(''), nullable=False)
if __name__ == '__main__':

Step 3: Defining User Permissions

Create user permissions and associate them with roles. Define what actions or access rights each permission represents. For example:

with app.app_context():
# Create user roles and permissions
admin_role = Role(name='Admin')
user_role = Role(name='User')
db.session.add_all([admin_role, user_role])
# Define permissions
create_post_permission = Permission(name='Create Post', role=admin_role)
edit_post_permission = Permission(name='Edit Post', role=admin_role)
view_post_permission = Permission(name='View Post', role=user_role)
delete_post_permission = Permission(name='Delete Post', role=admin_role)
db.session.add_all([create_post_permission, edit_post_permission, view_post_permission, delete_post_permission])

Step 4: Implementing Role-Based Access Control

In your Flask application, create a mechanism to check user roles and permissions to control access to specific parts of your application. Here's a basic example of a route that checks if a user has the required permission:

from flask import abort
# Function to check if a user has a specific permission
def has_permission(user, permission_name):
if user.role:
for permission in user.role.permissions:
if == permission_name:
return True
return False
def edit_post(post_id):
if not current_user.is_authenticated:
return abort(401) # Unauthorized
if not has_permission(current_user, 'Edit Post'):
return abort(403) # Forbidden
# Edit the post here
return 'Editing post with ID {}'.format(post_id)

Step 5: Running Your Roles and Permissions App

Run your Flask roles and permissions application using the following command:


Access your web application in a browser, and you can test the role-based access control for different users and permissions.


Implementing user roles and permissions in Flask is essential for building secure and controlled access web applications. By following the steps in this guide, you can set up your Flask application, create user roles and permissions, and implement role-based access control. You can further expand your authorization system by adding more roles and fine-grained permissions.