What is OAuth2? A Real World Example.


What is OAuth2? It can seem quite complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Before OAuth2, when you needed to give software services access to your account, you had to give that service your username and password. This meant there was no way to tell whether it was you or the agent accessing your data as a third party doing so on your behalf. That agent had access to everything in that account and you’d have to change the account password when you decided to cancel that service. Just like when you give somebody the physical key to your apartment, that person then has complete access to everything on the inside. You’d have to change the locks if you decided you no longer wanted to allow that access.

How does it work?

With OAuth2, things are different. For instance, rather than giving away your usernames and passwords, they are replaced with “access tokens.” This changes the way third parties access your account. Read about that and more in this forum blog post by ForgeRock's Jake Feasel, in which he explains the need OAuth2 was created to fill, the basic way it works, and what that has to do with the person you hire to walk your dog.

Check out more about the ForgeRock Identity Platform here.