Authorization Code Grant

An OAuth 2.0 flow that involves a user granting authorization to a client application

The Authorization Code Grant is an OAuth 2.0 flow that regular web apps use in order to access an API, typically as web applications with backend and frontend (browser-based SPA, for example).

In this flow the application receives authorization from the user. Once the user has authorized the application, they get redirected back to it with a temporary access code in the URL. The application exchanges that code for an access token. For more detailed information read OAuth 2.0 specification.

For applications that are able to securely store a secret it is recommended to supply the secret in the token request due to security considerations. Otherwise, if the application is unable to securely store a secret (i.e. a frontend only app), we suggest using PKCE. Both methods are supported by Aidbox.

Easy way

The easiest way to test Authorization Code Grant flow is to run through the Aidbox Sandbox UI (Auth -> Sandbox -> Resource Owner).

Configure Client

The first step is to configure Client for Authorization Grant with secret and redirect_uri, as well as code grant type:

PUT /Client/webapp
Accept: text/yaml
Content-Type: text/yaml

secret: verysecret
first_party: true
  - code
    redirect_uri: ''
    access_token_expiration: 360 # 6 minutes
    token_format: jwt
    secret_required: true
    refresh_token: true
    refresh_token_expiration: 86400 # 24 hours

Client will act on behalf of the user, which means Access Policies should be configured for User, not for Client.

You can configure Client for JWT tokens, set token expiration and enable a refresh token:

If you want to use Authorization Code Grant for Single Page Application you do not need to set the secret attribute, use PKCE instead!

If your application is a major consumer of Aidbox API, you can set first_party attribute as true. This means that the same User Session will be shared between Aidbox and client, so if you close the client session, Aidbox User Session will be closed too.

Get Code

The next step is to query an authorize endpoint with client_id and response_type with value code.

For PKCE you will need to additionally supply code_challenge and code_challenge_method. First create a high-entropy string value with a minimum length of 43 characters and a maximum length of 128 characters, then produce a code_challenge using the S256 hashing method.

GET /auth/authorize?\

To keep your client stateless, you can send a state parameter with arbitrary content, which will be sent back in the redirect response.

If users are not logged in, they will see the default login screen.

If a client is not first_party or the user has not yet granted permissions to the client, the user will see the grant page:

If the client was granted permission, the user agent will be redirected to the url configured in Client.auth.authorization_code.redirect_uri with the authorization code parameter.


Get Access Token

With this code and client secret, you can request an Access Token withgrant_type: authorization_code. If you're using PKCE, you will need to supply code_verifier used to produce the code_challenge.

POST /auth/token
Content-Type: application/json

 "client_id": "webapp",
 "client_secret": "verysecret",
 "code": <code>,
 "grant_type": "authorization_code"

If the provided code is accurate, you will get access token, user information and refresh token (if enabled):

status: 200

 "token_type": "Bearer",
 "expires_in": 3600,
 "access_token": "eyJhbGciOiJSUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpc3MiOiJodHRwOi8vbG9jYWxob3N0OjgwODEiLCJzdWIiOiJ1c2VyIiwiaWF0IjoxNTU0NDczOTk3LCJqdGkiOiI0ZWUwZDY2MS0wZjEyLTRlZmItOTBiOS1jY2RmMzhlMDhkM2QiLCJhdWQiOiJodHRwOi8vcmVzb3VyY2Uuc2VydmVyLmNvbSIsImV4cCI6MTU1NDQ3NzU5N30.lCdwkqzFWOe4IcXPC1dIB8v7aoZdJ0fBoIKlzCRFBgv4YndSJxGoJOvIPq2rGMQl7KG8uxGU0jkUVlKxOtD8YA",
 "refresh_token": "eyJhbGciOiJSUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpc3MiOiJodHRwOi8vbG9jYWxob3N0OjgwODEiLCJzdWIiOiJwYXNzd29yZC1jbGllbnQiLCJqdGkiOiI0ZWUwZDY2MS0wZjEyLTRlZmItOTBiOS1jY2RmMzhlMDhkM2QiLCJ0eXAiOiJyZWZyZXNoIn0.XWHYpw0DysrqQqMNhqTPSdNamBM4ZDUAgh_VupSa7rkzdJ3uZXqesoAo_5y1naJZ31S92-DjPKtPEAyD_8PloA",
 "userinfo": {
  "email": "",
  "id": "user",
  "resourceType": "User",

Use Access Token

You can use access token in the Authorization header for Aidbox API calls:

GET /Patient
Authorization: Bearer ZjQyNGFhY2EtNTY2MS00NjVjLWEzYmEtMjIwYjFkNDI5Yjhi
curl -H 'Authorization: Bearer ZjQyNGFhY2EtNTY2MS00NjVjLWEzYmEtMjIwYjFkNDI5Yjhi' /Patient

Refresh Access Token

To get new access token using refresh token

POST /auth/token
Content-Type: application/json

  "grant_type": "refresh_token",
  "client_id": "webapp",
  "refresh_token": "eyJhb..PloA"

Revoke Access Token (Close Session)

Aidbox creates a Session resource for each Access Token which can be closed with a special endpoint DELETE /Session with the token in Authorization header:

DELETE /Session
Authorization: Bearer ZjQyNGFhY2EtNTY2MS00NjVjLWEzYmEtMjIwYjFkNDI5Yjhi

Session is just a resource and you can inspect and manipulate sessions with standard Search & CRUD API. For example, use GET /Session to get all sessions.

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