wai-cors-0.2.6: CORS for WAI

Copyright© 2015 Lars Kuhtz <lkuhtz@gmail.com
© 2014 AlephCloud Systems Inc.
MaintainerLars Kuhtz <lakuhtz@gmail.com>
Safe HaskellNone




An implemenation of Cross-Origin resource sharing (CORS) for WAI that aims to be compliant with http://www.w3.org/TR/cors.

The function simpleCors enables support of simple cross-origin requests. More advanced CORS policies can be enabled by passing a CorsResourcePolicy to the cors middleware.

Note On Security

This implementation doens't include any server side enforcement. By complying with the CORS standard it enables the client (i.e. the web browser) to enforce the CORS policy. For application authors it is strongly recommended to take into account the security considerations in section 6.3 of http://www.w3.org/TR/cors. In particular the application should check that the value of the Origin header matches it's expectations.


Websocket connections don't support CORS and are ignored by this CORS implementation. However Websocket requests usually (at least for some browsers) include the Origin header. Applications are expected to check the value of this header and respond with an error in case that its content doesn't match the expectations.


The following is an example how to enable support for simple cross-origin requests for a scotty application.

{-# LANGUAGE UnicodeSyntax #-}
{-# LANGUAGE OverloadedStrings #-}

module Main
( main
) where

import Network.Wai.Middleware.Cors
import Web.Scotty

main ∷ IO ()
main = scotty 8080 $ do
    middleware simpleCors
    matchAny  "/" $ text "Success"

The result of following curl command will include the HTTP response header Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *.

curl -i -H 'Origin:' -v



type Origin = ByteString Source #

Origins are expected to be formated as described in RFC6454 (section 6.2). In particular the string * is not a valid origin (but the string null is).

data CorsResourcePolicy Source #




  • corsOrigins :: !(Maybe ([Origin], Bool))

    HTTP origins that are allowed in CORS requests.

    A value of Nothing indicates unrestricted cross-origin sharing and results in * as value for the Access-Control-Allow-Origin HTTP response header. Note if you send *, credentials cannot be sent with the request.

    A value other than Nothing is a tuple that consists of a list of origins each with a Boolean flag that indicates if credentials are used to access the resource via CORS.

    Origins must be formated as described in RFC6454 (section 6.2). In particular the string * is not a valid origin (but the string null is).

    Credentials include cookies, authorization headers and TLS client certificates. For credentials to be sent with requests, the withCredentials setting of XmlHttpRequest in the browser must be set to true.

  • corsMethods :: ![Method]

    HTTP methods that are allowed in CORS requests.

  • corsRequestHeaders :: ![HeaderName]

    Field names of HTTP request headers that are allowed in CORS requests. Header names that are included in simpleHeaders, except for content-type, are implicitly included and thus optional in this list.

  • corsExposedHeaders :: !(Maybe [HeaderName])

    Field names of HTTP headers that are exposed to the client in the response.

  • corsMaxAge :: !(Maybe Int)

    Number of seconds that the OPTIONS preflight response may be cached by the client.

    Tip: Set this to Nothing while testing your CORS implementation, then increase it once you deploy to production.

  • corsVaryOrigin :: !Bool

    If the resource is shared by multiple origins but Access-Control-Allow-Origin is not set to * this may be set to True to cause the server to include a Vary: Origin header in the response, thus indicating that the value of the Access-Control-Allow-Origin header may vary between different requests for the same resource. This prevents caching of the responses which may not apply accross different origins.

  • corsRequireOrigin :: !Bool

    If this is True and the request does not include an Origin header the response has HTTP status 400 (bad request) and the body contains a short error message.

    If this is False and the request does not include an Origin header the request is passed on unchanged to the application.

    Since: 0.2

  • corsIgnoreFailures :: !Bool

    In the case that

    • the request contains an Origin header and
    • the client does not conform with the CORS protocol (request is out of scope)


    • the request is passed on unchanged to the application if this field is True or
    • an response with HTTP status 400 (bad request) and short error message is returned if this field is False.

    Note: Your application needs to will receive preflight OPTIONS requests if set to True.

    Since: 0.2

simpleCorsResourcePolicy :: CorsResourcePolicy Source #

A CorsResourcePolicy that supports simple cross-origin requests as defined in http://www.w3.org/TR/cors/.

  • The HTTP header Access-Control-Allow-Origin is set to *.
  • Request methods are constraint to simple methods (GET, HEAD, POST).
  • Request headers are constraint to simple request headers (Accept, Accept-Language, Content-Language, Content-Type).
  • If the request is a POST request the content type is constraint to simple content types (application/x-www-form-urlencoded, multipart/form-data, text/plain),
  • Only simple response headers may be exposed on the client (Cache-Control, Content-Language, Content-Type, Expires, Last-Modified, Pragma)
  • The Vary-Origin header is left unchanged (possibly unset).
  • If the request doesn't include an Origin header the request is passed unchanged to the application.
  • If the request includes an Origin header but does not conform to the CORS protocol (request is out of scope) an response with HTTP status 400 (bad request) and a short error message is returned.

For simple cross-origin requests a preflight request is not required. However, if the client chooses to make a preflight request it is answered in accordance with the policy for simple cross-origin requests.

cors Source #


:: (Request -> Maybe CorsResourcePolicy)

A value of Nothing indicates that the resource is not available for CORS

-> Middleware 

A Cross-Origin resource sharing (CORS) middleware.

The middleware is given a function that serves as a pattern to decide whether a requested resource is available for CORS. If the match fails with Nothing the request is passed unmodified to the inner application.

The current version of this module does only aim at compliance with the CORS protocol as specified in http://www.w3.org/TR/cors/. In accordance with that standard the role of the server side is to support the client to enforce CORS restrictions. This module does not implement any enforcement of authorization policies that are possibly implied by the CorsResourcePolicy. It is up to the inner WAI application to enforce such policy and make sure that it is in accordance with the configuration of the cors middleware.

Matches are done as follows: * matches every origin. For all other cases a match succeeds if and only if the ASCII serializations (as described in RCF6454 section 6.2) are equal.

The OPTIONS method may return options for resources that are not actually available. In particular for preflight requests the implementation returns for the HTTP response headers Access-Control-Allow-Headers and Access-Control-Allow-Methods all values specified in the CorsResourcePolicy together with the respective values for simple requests (except content-type). This does not imply that the application actually supports the respective values are for the requested resource. Thus, depending on the application, an actual request may still fail with 404 even if the preflight request supported the usage of the HTTP method with CORS.

The implementation does not distinguish between simple requests and requests that require preflight. The client is free to omit a preflight request or do a preflight request in cases when it wouldn't be required.

For application authors it is strongly recommended to take into account the security considerations in section 6.3 of http://www.w3.org/TR/cors.


  • We may consider adding optional enforcment aspects to this module: we may check if a request respects our origin restrictions and we may check that a CORS request respects the restrictions that we publish in the preflight responses.
  • Even though slightly out of scope we may (optionally) check if host header matches the actual host of the resource, since clients using CORS may expect this, since this check is recommended in http://www.w3.org/TR/cors.
  • We may consider integrating CORS policy handling more closely with the handling of the source, for instance by integrating with ActionM from scotty.

simpleCors :: Middleware Source #

A CORS middleware that supports simple cross-origin requests for all resources.

This middleware does not check if the resource corresponds to the restrictions for simple requests. This is in accordance with http://www.w3.org/TR/cors/. It is the responsibility of the client (user-agent) to enforce CORS policy. The role of the server is to provide the client with the respective policy constraints.

It is out of the scope of the this module if the server chooses to enforce rules on its resources in relation to CORS policy itself.


isSimple :: Method -> RequestHeaders -> Bool Source #

Whether the given method and headers constitute a simple request, i.e. the method is simple, all headers are simple, and, if a POST request, the content-type is simple.