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OAuth2 Tutorial: Google as Authentication Service for Web Applications

Help needed?

Do you need any help for this tutorial. Then contact us using the Membrane Google Group or send an email to membrane@predic8.com.

In this tutorial we will see how to communicate with Googles authorization server using Membrane Service Proxy to authorize HTTP requests based on the RFC 6749 OAuth 2.0 Authorization Framework, OpenID Connect Core and OpenID Connect Discovery .


Figure: The OAuth2 flow

This tutorial explains:

  1. Setup Google as Authorization Server
  2. Setup Membrane as Client
  3. Perform a sample OAuth2 request authorization.

You will need about 10 minutes to complete. A Google account, internet connection and Membrane Service Proxy 4.2.1 or higher is required.

1. Setup Google as Authorization Server

Step 1: Open the Google API Console

Go to https://console.developers.google.com/start.

Step 2: Creating a Project

Click on Select a project and then on Create a project... in the top right corner.

A new window for project creation will open. Fill in a project name for example My Secret Resource.

Now wait for projection creation, this can take a bit.

Following the project creation a menu will appear on the left side. Here click on Credentials and then on OAuth consent screen.

Choose a product name, for example My Secret Resource.

The product name will be shown to users together with the question "Do you want to share your email address and identifying information with this app?"

It should inspire trust for the user to answer "Yes".

Enter the Membrane's public URL as the Home Page URL.

The public URL is the URL your users will use to access Membrane (or, to be more specific, the secret resource via Membrane). In our case, we use http://localhost:8080/. For production use, one might use a publicly registered domain name.

Click on Save.

Creating an OAuth 2.0 Client ID

Click on Credentials in the top navigation bar. Then click on New credentials in the new window followed by a click on OAuth client ID.

Choose Web application as the application type. Type My Secret Resource as the name for this client, then http://localhost:8080 as the public URL of membrane in Authorized JavaScript origins and then the callback URL in Authorized redirect URIs. The callback URL is the public URL with a callback path: http://localhost:8080/oauth2callback.

Click on Create. Another window with your client id and client secret will open

Leave this browser tab open, as we later need the first part of the Client ID (without .apps.googleusercontent.com) and the Client secret for Membrane's configuration.

Step 3: Configure Membrane Service Proxy

Install and download Membrane Service Proxy version 4.2.1 or above.

Go to the $MEMBRANE_HOME/examples/oauth2/google directory.

Open the proxies.xml for editing.

The <router>...</router> element has the following configuration:

    	<serviceProxy port="8080">

			<headerFilter>
				<exclude>X-Authenticated-Email</exclude>
			</headerFilter>

			<oauth2Resource publicURL="http://localhost:8080/">
				<google
					clientId="Enter client ID from Google here"
					clientSecret="Enter client Secret from Google here" />
			</oauth2Resource>

			<!-- this will act as the secret resource to make the example simple. See below in the comments for an alternative -->
			<groovy>
				def email = exc.request.header.getFirstValue("X-Authenticated-Email")
				exc.response = Response.ok("Hello " + email + ".").build()
				RETURN
			</groovy>

			<!--
			Use the <target> instead of the <groovy> interceptor to forward requests to another host:
			<target host="membrane-soa.org" port="80" />
			-->
		</serviceProxy>
			
Listing 1: Sample oauth2 Configuration

Replace the clientId and clientSecret by the ones from your Google API Project.

Step 4: Start Membrane Service Proxy

Go back to the $MEMBRANE_HOME/examples/authorization/oauth2/google directory.

Start Membrane by running service-proxy.bat/.sh.

As configured, Membrane is now listening on port 8080 for incoming HTTP connections. In the next section, we will connect to it using a browser and follow the OAuth2 steps to access our simulated "secret resource".

2. Perform a sample OAuth2 Request Authorization

As the full OAuth2 workflow is quite complex, we only describe a relevant subset in this tutorial.

Step 5: Try to access the "secret resource"

Open a browser and go to http://localhost:8080/.

Click on Accept to allow Membrane to retrieve your email address.

Congratulations, you have successfully completed an OAuth2 authorization setup.

Enjoy the simulated "secret resource", a personalized "hello" message from Membrane. ;)

Summary

You have seen how quickly OAuth2 authorization can be set up using Membrane Service Proxy.

As the communication between the OAuth2 authorization server (Google) and the resource server (Membrane and the secret resource) is not covered by the OAuth2 specification, this is Google-specific.

But as Membrane's oauth2 feature is modular in its source code design, it is easy to implement additional adapters connecting to other authorization services: For example, Amazon, Dropbox, Facebook, GitHub, Microsoft and Twitter all support OAuth 2.

Please let us know, if you run into any problems.

Notes

In our setup, we used a simple, dynamically generated "Hello <your-gmail-address>." page as the secret resource. The secret resource does not have to be hosted within Membrane, but can reside on any other HTTP server Membrane has access to, including localhost.

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