Contentstack OAuth

Contentstack OAuth uses the OAuth 2.0 protocol that allows external applications and services to access Contentstack APIs on behalf of a user. You can implement an OAuth connection to Contentstack by creating apps in the Developer Hub console.

When to use Contentstack OAuth?

Contentstack OAuth allows the resource owner (user) to share the protected data from the Contentstack resource server (API) without sharing their credentials. For that matter, the Contentstack OAuth server issues access tokens (App & User tokens) that the client applications can utilize to access restricted data on behalf of the resource owner.
Some scenarios in which you can use Contentstack OAuth are as follows:

  1. When you want an external application to authenticate a user or an application without sharing user credentials.
  2. When you want an external application to authenticate a user or an application without sharing the management token.
  3. When you want an external application to only gain access to a subset of APIs and not the entire collection of APIs.
  4. When you want an application to be transparent about the permissions, it requests.

Multiple Region Support

Since Contentstack is hosted at multiple data centers, the API domain URL varies for each data center. Learn more about Contentstack Regions.

Private apps only authorize specific organization members in which the app is developed. Suppose you want your application to execute OAuth capabilities across all regions/data centers. In that case, you need to publish your app either as a Public App or a Public Unlisted App.

Additional Resource: Learn more about app visibility status.

Here, the developers need to identify which data center the client has authorized the app from and the region the organization is hosted. After authorization, developers can identify the region using the location parameter in the redirected URL.

The regional parameters are as follows:

RegionParameter

North American

NA

Europe

EU
Azure North American

AZURE_NA

This is required as all Contentstack API’s are scoped to the region.

Types of Contentstack OAuth Tokens

There are two types of OAuth tokens that you can generate with your applications:

  • App Tokens
  • User Tokens

App Token

The App Token is associated with installed applications. The scope of an app token differs from that of a user token. Here are a few properties of the app token:

  • Actions performed using an app token are tagged to the app installation, not the user who authorized and installed it.
  • Deprovisioning the user who installed the app does not revoke the app token.
  • Uninstalling an application revokes its app token.
  • Server-to-server and long-lived communications should use the app tokens.

User Token

The User Token is associated with the users who authorized it. The scope of a user token differs from that of an app token. Here are a few properties of the user token:

  • Actions performed by user token are tagged to the user who authorized it.
  • Deprovisioning the user revokes all the user tokens authorized by them.
  • Users can manually revoke any authorized tokens from the marketplace's Manage > Authorized apps section.
  • Organization Admins can revoke all tokens by any organization member from the Manage > Authorized apps section of the marketplace.

Token expiry

Currently, user tokens and app tokens are valid for 60 minutes only. You can generate new tokens by following the Refresh Token flow.

Integrate your Apps with Contentstack OAuth

You can create custom applications in Developer Hub. It provides the necessary tools to develop an app. While developing apps, you can integrate your application with the Contentstack OAuth. 

To integrate your app with Contentstack OAuth, log in to your Contentstack account and follow the steps below:

  1. On the left navigation panel, you will find a new icon for Developer Hub (as shown below). Click the icon to go to the Developer Hub.
    2_Click_Developer_Hub.png
  2. Click the + New App button.
  3. In the resulting New App modal, enter the following details:
    • Name: Enter the app's name (for example, Sample App).
    • Description (optional): Enter a description for your app.
  4. Click the Create button.
  5. On the Basic Information screen, you can view general details about your app, such as name, description, and app UID.
  6. You can add an icon for your app by clicking on the Upload a new file button.
  7. Click the Save button.

Configuring Contentstack OAuth

Configuring OAuth and its scopes allows your app to perform tasks in your development workspace. You can configure and select scopes through the OAuth option available in your app.
To configure OAuth, log in to your Contentstack account and follow the steps below:

  1. Create a new App or click the app you want to configure.
    3_Click_Developer.png
  2. On the left navigation panel, click the OAuth tab.
    4_Click_OAuth_tab.png
  3. In the OAuth Details page, the following options are displayed for your app:
    • Client ID: The Client ID identifies your application and frequently appears in the OAuth negotiation URLs. You can freely share client IDs in code and emails, but you cannot use them alone to perform actions on behalf of your app.
    • Client Secret: The Client Secret acts as a secret credential when exchanging tokens with Contentstack. You should not share the client secret keys via emails, distributed native applications, client-side javascript, or public code repositories.
    • Redirect URL (optional): Contentstack will redirect users to the callback URL configured in your app's settings if the redirect URL is not present.
  4. Add the relevant app or user token scopes.
  5. Click Save to save your OAuth configurations.

    Note: User permission scopes can be passed dynamically in the Authorization URL while authorizing a user.

  6. Next, you can check out how to add the App and User Token Scopes.

Add App Token Scopes

In the OAuth page, you will find the App Token section that lets you add app-related permission scopes.
To do so, perform the following steps:

  1. Click + App Scopes.
  2. From the resulting Select App Token Scopes pop-up window, select the permission you want to set up for your application.
    5_Select_App_Token_Scopes.png
  3. Once done, click Choose Scope(s).

Add User Token Scopes

In the OAuth page, you will find the User Token section that lets you add user-related permission scopes.
To do so, perform the following steps:

  1. Click the + User Scopes button.
  2. From the resulting Select User Token Scopes pop-up window, select the permissions you want to set up for your users.
    6_Select_User_Token_Scopes.png
  3. Once done, click Choose Scope(s).

    Additional Resource: Learn more about the app and user token scopes from the OAuth Scopes document.

Authorizing OAuth Apps

OAuthFlow_2.0.png

  1. Construct your authorization URL

    The following parameters describe the Authorization URL:
    • BaseURL: The base URL of Contentstack where your app is installed. This will be different for each Region. Please use the relevant one where the user organization is located.

      BaseURL for different regions supported by Contentstack are:

              North America: https://app.contentstack.com
              Europe: https://eu-app.contentstack.com
              Azure NA: https://azure-na-app.contentstack.com

    • client_id: The app’s client ID.
    • redirect_uri: The redirect URL where Contentstack will send the user.
    • scope: The permission scopes set for your application.
      The scopes configured in the app are used directly for the App token. Whereas, for the User token, the scopes in the authorization URL should be a subset of the scopes configured in the app. Refer to the OAuth Scopes document for a list of all the permission scopes for Contentstack OAuth.
    • state: The URL where your app is hosted.

      Note: You can find the App UID in the basic information section of the app. All query parameters should be URL-encoded.

    App Token:

    {BASE_URL}/#!/apps/{app_uid}/install
    For instance, for North America (NA) region, the Authorization URL will look something like this:
    https://app.contentstack.com/#!/apps/627e126bbe975e0*********/install

    User Token:

    {BASE_URL}/#!/apps/{app_uid}/authorize?response_type=code&client_id={client_id}&redirect_uri={redirect_uri}&scope={scope}&state={state}
    For instance, for North America (NA) region, the Authorization URL will look something like this:
    https://app.contentstack.com/#!/apps/627e126bbe975e0*********/authorize?response_type=code&client_id=428ub0q0w*******&redirect_uri=https://example.com/oauth/callback&scope=user:read
  2. Request for an Authorization Code

    Implement the flow described below to obtain an authorization code using App and User token. Once you get the authorization code > exchange it for an access token.

    Authorize OAuth Apps using App Token

    1. Log in to your Contentstack account.
    2. Navigate to the application you want to generate an app token for and click Install.
    3. Once you install your app, the authorization page appears that contains the authorization URL. Through this page, you request access and permission scopes.
      Alternatively, you can visit the URL formed in the previous section. For instance:
      https://app.contentstack.com/#!/apps/627e126bbe975e0*********/install
    4. Install or cancel installation based on scopes requested on the OAuth authorization page.
    5. Accepting the authorization leads the user to the configured redirect URI along with the authorization code. An example of the redirect URI with authorization code and location:
      https://example.com/oauth/callback?code={authorization_code}&location=NA
    6. Note: This code is only valid for 60 seconds.

    Authorize OAuth Apps using User Token

    1. Log in to your Contentstack account.
    2. Request for auth code against a client ID having a redirect URI and for a list of scopes.
    3. Visit the Authorization URL formed in the previous step. For instance:
      https://app.contentstack.com/#!/apps/627e126bbe975e0*********/authorize?response_type=code&client_id=428ub0q0w*******&redirect_uri=https://example.com/oauth/callback&scope=user:read
      
    4. Accept or deny permissions (scopes) requested on the OAuth authorization page.
    5. Accepting the authorization leads the user to the configured redirect URI along with the authorization code. An example of the redirect URI with authorization code and location:
      https://example.com/oauth/callback?code={authorization_code}&location=NA
    6. Note: This code is only valid for 60 seconds.

  3. Exchange Auth Code for Access Token

    Exchange the authorization code for the access token by calling the token endpoint having the grant type of authorization_code and the parameter code containing the newly generated code from the previous step. For instance:

    POST {BASE_URL}/apps-api/apps/token
    Headers: 
      Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
    Request Body:
      grant_type:authorization_code
      client_id:{client_id}
      client_secret:{client_secret}
      redirect_uri:{redirect_uri}
      code:{authorization_code}
    

    The request in curl takes the following form:

    curl --location --request POST 'https://app.contentstack.com/apps-api/apps/token' \
    --header 'Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded' \
    --data-urlencode 'grant_type=authorization_code' \
    --data-urlencode 'client_id=your_client_id' \
    --data-urlencode 'client_secret=your_client_secret' \
    --data-urlencode 'redirect_uri=your_redirect_uri' \
    --data-urlencode 'code=your_auth_code'

    On the success of the token call, an access token is provided along with the refresh token.
    The response will look something like this:

    {
      "access_token": "c89977e8de8bafcac88d************",
      "refresh_token": "e5998ca04d0b2f72b72c************",
      "token_type": "Bearer",
      "expires_in": 3600,
      "location": "NA",
      "organization_uid": "bltbab185**********",
      "authorization_type": "app",
    }

    Note:: This token is only valid for 60 minutes.

  4. Use access token with Contentstack APIs

    Your access token allows you to call the methods described by the permission scopes you set during authorization. For instance:

    Scope: cm.stacks.management:read
    API Call:

    API_BASE_URL for different regions supported by Contentstack are:

            US (North America, or NA): https://api.contentstack.io
            Europe (EU): https://eu-api.contentstack.com
            Azure NA: https://azure-na-api.contentstack.com

    You can use the endpoint as per the designated region.

    GET {API_BASE_URL}/v3/stacks
    Headers: 
      authorization: Bearer your_access_token
      organization_uid: your_organization_uid
    

    The request in curl takes the following form:

    curl --location --request GET 'https://api.contentstack.io/v3/stacks' \
    --header 'authorization: Bearer your_access_token' \
    --header 'organization_uid: your_organization_uid'
  5. Refresh Token

    The OAuth flow begins with a user interacting with your app and ends with your app authorized to access Contentstack resources in a way dictated by the user.

    The access token allows you to access the app's data. With a regular expiration for your access token, the danger of the token falling into the wrong hands is reduced. But to maintain control over app data, your app needs a way to request a new access token regularly.

    A refresh token allows your app to rotate its access tokens seamlessly, using the same token endpoint to acquire a new access token with the help of previously generated refresh token.

    On the access token expiry, pass the refresh token obtained from the previous access token call in the code parameter. For instance:

    POST {BASE_URL}/apps-api/apps/token
    Headers: 
      Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
    Request Body:
      grant_type:refresh_token
      client_id:{client_id}
      client_secret:{client_secret}
      redirect_uri:{redirect_uri}
      refresh_token:{refresh_token}
    

    The request in curl takes the following form:

    curl --location --request POST 'https://app.contentstack.com/apps-api/apps/token' \
    --header 'Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded' \
    --data-urlencode 'grant_type=refresh_token' \
    --data-urlencode 'client_id=your_client_id' \
    --data-urlencode 'client_secret=your_client_secret' \
    --data-urlencode 'redirect_uri=your_redirect_uri' \
    --data-urlencode 'refresh_token=your_refresh_token'
    

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