Understanding Secrets


Secrets is a feature which independently keeps access tokens up-to-date so any integration step would get a valid and working access credential to the third party resource. Secrets updates these tokens behind the scene using the token expiration information.

The real power of Secrets becomes evident in case of OAuth2 credentials when token expiration becomes a real problem while more than one integration steps try to refresh the tokens of the same credential. This can create a race-condition and other contention-on-shared-data problems due to concurrent and asynchronous work of steps in different integration flow steps.

Secrets takes over all the functionalities of the Credentials and provides a unified service to manage the credentials and tokens independently. This removes the need to refresh credentials by the components.

Please Note: Secrets runs as a micro-service in the platform cluster, constantly checking the expiration information for all credentials and updating them at last 1 minutes before the expiration.

How works

There are two entities involved in the work of Secrets feature as a service: the Authentication Client (auth-client) and the Authentication Secret (auth-secret).

The auth-client takes the responsibility of communication between the Application (the platform) and the Service (3rd party service), while the auth-secret takes the role of the User (user of the platform) and communicates with the Client in the normal 3-leg OAuth2 authorisation process.

Let us consider the case of Google OAuth2 authentication:

  • The auth-client would hold the client_id, client_secret, auth_uri, token_uri and refresh_token_uri values. These values would guarantee connection between the platform and third party service.
  • The auth-secret would hold the actual access_token, refresh_token, expires_in, expires_at and scope of this connection.
  • There can be more than one auth-secret for each auth-client.
  • Using auth-client and auth-secret, the Secrets feature as a service updates all credentials when necessary, without waiting for the components to initiate the process.

Auth Client Creation

Before you can create your auth-client you must know that:

  • The auth-client can have workspace, contract and tenant visibility levels. For each level you need to have a matching permission. For example only tenant administrator can create a Client with tenant visibility level.

  • They divide into two distinct groups: oauth2 and others:

    • For oauth2 type you must supply client_id, client_secret, auth_uri, token_uri and refresh_token_uri values to create the Client. Since some services have their own flavour of OAuth2, this is the right place to give them as well. Check the Creating OAuth2 Clients section for more explanation.
    • For other types you have relative freedom. However, our system already knows about noauth (use no authentication), basic (use username/password pair) and api_key (use header and API Key) types. Contact us if you need something more.

Creating OAuth2 Clients

You can create OAuth2 auth-client using the UI. After creating a auth-client, its visibility level will be workspace. To create a client for the entire contract or tenant, use the API call.

To create via UI you can use the REST API component as an example to create an OAuth2 auth-client when selecting to add a credentials:

Choose OAuth2 type credential in REST-API component.

After clicking on +Add New Client a form will show-up to fill-in the details for OAuth2 client:

Fill in the form to create the OAuth client.

After this step you can create the auth-secret the same way as one would create a credential.

For more advanced cases we recommend using an API call to create auth-client. We also recommend you to read our API documentation on this topic.

Creating other clients

Please Note: At the moment you can create other client types only via an API call.

To create other auth-client types using the Create Auth Client API documentation. However, our platform knows already about the following types:

  • noauth - to use for no authentication.
  • basic - to use for regular username/password pair.
  • api_key - to use for the header/API Key pair.

Auth Secret Creation

Before we can proceed with auth-secret creation, couple points needs to be considered:

  • Before you can create a secret for any component you must create a client first.
  • Your component might have only one defined auth-client in the system. It will be auto-selected by default.
  • In case you have more than one auth-client defined in the system, a drop-down window to select a clients will appear.
  • In case of OAuth2 type authorisation a drop-down with defined OAuth clients will be available. If you have only one OAuth2 client defined, it will be selected by default. Here you have also chance to create a new OAuth client.
  • You can create auth-secret on UI identically as you would create a credential for any component.

OAuth2 secret creation has more options since the real power of Secrets feature becomes evident here. For example when we create a OAuth2 credential we can add scopes and Additional parameters here:

Create OAuth2 Secret.

Here is an example when you have only one OAuth2 client. It will be selected as a default client, unless you add a new client:

Create OAuth2 Secret.

Auth Secret Creation vie API calls

Of course, you can also create an Auth secret using the appropriate API endpoint. We recommend you to familiarize yourself with this feature, which is described in detail in our API documentation. Please note that there are cases where creating secrets will be much easier and more convenient using API calls.

Components and Secrets feature

At the moment of writing this, not many components on our platform use the Secrets feature. We are migrating them gradually and only if it would improve the component usability for the complex integration cases. The Secrets is introduced mainly for OAuth2 authorisation improvements, therefore, mainly the component using OAuth2 authorisation will be converted at first.

We will release a detailed guidelines on how to use Secrets feature in your custom components in due course.

Right now new version of the following components use the Secrets feature:

Please Note: These components are not strictly backwards compatible due to architectural changes done while migrating them to the Secrets feature. Old component will still be available, but they will get deprecated at some stage.

Creating OAuth2 Clients using API call

As already mentioned in advance, you can create a auth-client for a contract only using a API call. This resource allows you to create an auth-client:

Click to expand
     "name":"Auth client",

Of course, you can create a auth-client for the workspace using a API call. You can select a visibility level for a auth-client in a relationship: workspace, contract or tenant. No relationship means that auth-client visibility level will be global.

  • CLIENT_ID - this is a unique identification of Application.
  • CLIENT_SECRET - this is also provided by the Application.
  • TOKEN_URI - this is the URL which the Application is going to use to get the User authenticated.
  • AUTH_URI - the is the URL which is going to be used by Application to request the access_token and refresh_token.

As an example, you can see how these parameters are defined in the Salesforce component.

Below you can see where to find CONTRACT_ID(1) and COMPONENT_ID(2):

Contact and Clients ID

Please consult the Create Auth Client section for more. Also note that in addition to the creation itself, you can use API calls for a variety of other tasks. For example, you can lists all auth secrets of the specified workspace or return the specified auth secret from the defined workspace. You can also update or remove the specified auth secret.