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Curity Identity Server is used in this example, but other OAuth servers can also be used.
The role of the OAuth Agent in the below diagram is to handle the OpenID Connect flow for Single Page Applications (SPA). This includes issuing of secure cookies for the browser and managing follow-on operations for token refresh, retrieving user info and signing out:
This implementation is coded in Kotlin and Spring, and is the preferred choice of OAuth agent for companies who use Java or Kotlin code to implement cloud native microservices. If you need to make minor changes, for whatever reason, you can fork the repo and adapt the code.
The SPA security then uses the Code Flow in the most mainstream way, with
response_type=code, PKCE, and a client secret. Only the strongest
HTTP Only, SameSite=strict cookies are used in the browser. In addition, microservices only need to work with JWT access tokens, and do not need to deal with any web security concerns.
OAuth Agent Operations
The following operations represent the OAuth Agent's API interface, and all of these are designed to serve SPAs via Ajax requests from the browser. This enables the SPA to fully control behavior such as when redirects occur:
|POST /login/start||Start a login by providing the request URL to the SPA and setting temporary cookies.|
|POST /login/end||Validate the request, complete the login and return HTTP only encrypted cookies to the browser.|
|GET /userInfo||Return Personally Identifiable Information (PII), such as the user name, to the SPA.|
|GET /claims||Return claims from the ID token to the SPA, containing authentication related information.|
|POST /refresh||Refresh the current access token and rewrite secure cookies.|
|POST /logout||Clear secure cookies and return an end session request URL.|
An OAuth Agent is a tricky API to develop, since its main focus is on browser and OAuth infrastructure:
|Authorization Codes||The API needs to receive real authorization codes in order to get tokens.|
|HTTP Redirects||The SPA client therefore needs to perform real HTTP redirects and user logins.|
|Cross Origin Requests||The API and its SPA client may need to deal with Cross Origin Request Sharing (CORS).|
|Cookies||The API operations need to frequently read, write and update encrypted cookies containing tokens.|
Get the Code
First get the code, which is a standard Spring API, and the repository contains both code and test resources. Ensure that an up to date version of the Java SDK is installed, according to the GitHub repository's README instructions.
The logic for the OAuth Agent can be studied and adapted if needed. The controller source files provide an outline of processing, including cookie issuing. To understand the main interaction with the Authorization Server, see the
Configure Development URLs
When running on a development computer, the OAuth Agent is configured to use the following base URLs. The default setup uses plain HTTP URLs in order to simplify infrastructure on a development computer, though of course the OAuth Agent should be updated to use SSL for deployed environments:
|Curity Identity Server Endpoints|
|Curity Identity Server Admin UI|
For URLs to work you will need to add the following entries to the local computer's hosts file:
127.0.0.1 api.example.local login.example.local:1 localhost
Run the OAuth Agent
Use gradle or your preferred IDE to run the API, after which the API's HTTP endpoints are available for a client to call:
You can then simulate a request from the SPA via the following test command, to ensure that connectivity is working:
curl -X POST http://api.example.local:8080/oauth-agent/login/start \-H "origin: http://www.example.local" | jq
Run Integration Tests
When working on the OAuth Agent as an API it is useful to initially avoid a browser and use a test driven approach. The OAuth Agent comes with a suite of Spock integration tests which act as an SPA that calls the OAuth Agent. Integration tests use Wiremock to mock the endpoints of the Curity Identity Server. Run all integration tests with this command, to start the API, spin up wiremock, then make HTTP requests to the OAuth Agent:
./gradlew test --rerun-tasks
The OAuth Agent's endpoints are then called, and a number of success and failure scenarios are verified. This includes running an entire OAuth lifecycle, from login through to session expiry and logout:
Run End-to-End Tests
In order to run tests that use an instance of the Curity Identity Server, first ensure that the following components are also installed:
You will also need a license file for the Curity Identity Server. If you do not have one you can get a free community license from the Curity Developer Portal by signing in with your GitHub account. Copy the license file into the
Next, ensure that the OAuth Agent is running, then execute the deployment script, to spin up a Docker based instance of the Curity Identity Server:
You can then log in to the Admin UI with credentials
admin / Password1 to view client configuration details. OAuth requests on behalf of the SPA are initiated from the OAuth Agent, which uses a client secret when it calls the Authorization Server:
Then run the following script based client, which sends the same HTTP requests as an SPA, but avoids the need to continually switch to a browser and extract values such as authorization codes. This scripted client uses the popular curl and jq tools:
The script runs a complete SPA workflow, using a preconfigured user account shipped with the Docker deployment. This begins with a login, then continues with refresh, user info and claims requests, finishing with a logout. This fast feedback will enable any coding bugs in your own OAuth Agent to be quickly found and ironed out:
OpenID Connect Messages
The OAuth Agent returns front channel request URLs to the SPA, which then updates the browser location to this URL, to begin the user authentication process. At this point, the OAuth Agent has also written a temporary secure cookie containing
When authentication completes, the SPA sends the OAuth Agent the response URL containing the authorization code. The OAuth Agent then validates the response using the temporary cookie, then sends a back channel request to the Authorization Server, along with a client secret:
The Example SPA can use a deployed instance of the Kotlin OAuth Agent, by running the SPA deployment with the following commands. For further details on how deployment works, see the Deployment Example.
./build.sh KOTLIN NGINX./deploy.sh KOTLIN NGINX
An OAuth Agent is a tricky component to develop, so Curity have provided reference implementations that can be simply plugged in. If required, you can adapt Curity's implementation and make small code changes, using the API development steps from this tutorial. When dealing with high-worth data, this enables you to ramp up security even further, as demonstrated in the Financial-grade OAuth Agent example.
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