Oauth2.0 - Resource Owner Password Credentials grant workflow

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OAUTH2.0 - Resource Owner Password Credentials Grant Workflow

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In this read, we will take a look at OAUTH2.0 and under the resource owner password credentials grant in the simplest manner (i.e. via a workflow)

What is OAuth2.0

It is an open authorization protocol that allows accessing the resource owner resources by enabling the client applications (like Facebook, GitHub, etc.) on HTTP services. This protocol was made famous by HTTP Basic authentication wherein the user is required to enter the username and password and was created as a response to the direct authentication pattern. It allows the exchange of resources stored on one site with another site by using the credentials token. It used -

  • To read the user data from another application
  • Supplies the authorization workflow for web and desktop applications along with mobile devices
  • It uses the authorization code and does not interact with the user credentials

OAuth2.0 Roles

  1. Resource Owner - It is the person who authorizes an application to access their account. The application’s access to the user’s account is limited to the “scope” of the authorization granted (e.g. read or write access)
  2. Authorization Server - Hosts the protected user accounts, and the authorization server verifies the user identity and then issues the access token to the application
  3. Client - It is the application that wants to access the user’s account

OAuth2.0 Advantages

  • It is a flexible protocol that relies on SSL to save the user access token
  • It relies on SSL to ensure cryptography protocol is used to ensure the data integrity
  • Allows limited access to the user’s data
  • Allows the ability to share user’s data without releasing the PI information for the users
  • It is easier to implement and provides stronger authentication

OAuth2.0 Disadvantages

  • Adding more extensions to the application will require a separate piece of code for each extension

Resource Owner Password Credentials Grant

  • In this grant the user provides their username and password details directly to the application’s login page which in turn uses these credentials to create the access token for the application from the authorization server. This grant is only enabled on the authorization server if the other flows not viable. The important point to remember is that this grant is only used if the application is trusted by the user. A sample HTTP POST request for this grant type will look this -


Let us understand this via a workflow diagram.

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