Implementation of Google OAuth 2.0 for server-to-server interactions, allowing secure use of Google APIs without interaction from an end-user.
Google OAuth 2.0 authentication for server-to-server applications with Node.js.
This library generates JWT tokens to establish identity for an API, without an end-user being involved. This is the preferred scenario for server-side communications. It can be used to interact with Google APIs requiring access to user data (such as Google Drive, Calendar, etc.) for which URL-based callbacks and user authorization prompts are not appropriate.
Tokens are generated for a service account, which is created from the Google API console. Service accounts must also be granted access to resources, using traditional assignation of permissions using the unique service account email address.
The authentication process is implemented following the specifications found here.
This package also integrates with request to seamlessly query Google RESTful APIs, which is optional. Integration with request provides automatic requesting of tokens, as well as built-in token caching.
npm install google-oauth-jwt
When using Google APIs from the server (or any non-browser based application), authentication is performed through a Service Account, which is a special account representing your application. This account has a unique email address that can be used to grant permissions to. If a user wants to give access to his Google Drive to your application, he must share the files or folders with the Service Account using the supplied email address.
Now that the Service Account has permission to some user resources, the application can query the API with OAuth2. When using OAuth2, authentication is performed using a token that has been obtained first by submitting a JSON Web Token (JWT). The JWT identifies the user as well as the scope of the data he wants access to. The JWT is also signed with a cryptographic key to prevent tampering. Google generates the key and keeps only the public key for validation. You must keep the private key secure with your application so that you can sign the JWT in order to guarantee its authenticity.
The application requests a token that can be used for authentication in exchange with a valid JWT. The resulting token can then be used for multiple API calls, until it expires and a new token must be obtained by submitting another JWT.
From the Google Developers Console, select your project or create a new one.
Under "APIs & auth", click "Credentials".
Under "OAuth", click the "Create new client ID" button.
Select "Service account" as the application type and click "Create Client ID".
The key for your new service account should prompt for download automatically. Note that your key is protected with a password. IMPORTANT: keep a secure copy of the key, as Google keeps only the public key.
Convert the downloaded key to PEM, so we can use it from the Node crypto module.
To do this, run the following in Terminal:
openssl pkcs12 -in downloaded-key-file.p12 -out your-key-file.pem -nodes
You will be asked for the password you received during step 5.
That's it! You now have a service account with an email address and a key that you can use from your Node application.
In order to query resources using the API, access must be granted to the Service Account. Each Google application that has security settings must be configured individually. Access is granted by assigning permissions to the service account, using its email address found in the API console.
For example, in order to list files in Google Drive, folders and files must be shared with the service account email address. Likewise, to access a calendar, the calendar must be shared with the service account.
In this example, we use a modified instance of request to query the
Google Drive API. request is a full-featured HTTP client which can be extended with Google OAuth2 capabilities by using the
requestWithJWT method. The modified module will request and cache tokens automatically when supplied with a
jwt setting in the options.
// obtain a JWT-enabled version of requestvar request = ;;
Note that the
options object includes a
jwt object we use to configure the JWT generation. The token will then
automatically be requested and inserted in the authorization header. It will also be cached and reused for subsequent calls using the same service account and scopes.
If you want to use a specific version of
request, simply pass it to the the
requestWithJWT method as such:
// my version of requestvar request = ;// my modified version of requestrequest = ;
If you wish to simply request the token for use with a Google API, use the
var googleAuth = ;googleAuth;
If you want to use the built-in token cache, use the
TokenCache class. Tokens are cached using the email address and
the scopes as the key.
var TokenCache = TokenCachetokens = ;tokens;
TokenCache will request only one token for multiple concurrent requests to
get. A new token request will
automatically be issued if the token is expired.
It is also possible to encode the JWT manually using the
var googleAuth = ;googleAuth;
The following options can be specified in order to generate the JWT used for authentication:
var options =// the email address of the service account (required)// this information is obtained via the API consoleemail: 'email@example.com'// an array of scopes uris to request access to (required)// different scopes are available for each application, refer to the app documentation// scopes are limitations applied to the API accessscopes: ...// the cryptographic key as a string, can be the contents of the PEM file// the key will be used to sign the JWT and validated by Google OAuthkey: 'KEY_CONTENTS'// the path to the PEM file to use for the cryptographic key (ignored if 'key' is also defined)// the key will be used to sign the JWT and validated by Google OAuthkeyFile: 'path/to/key.pem'// the duration of the requested token in milliseconds (optional)// default is 1 hour (60 * 60 * 1000), which is the maximum allowed by Googleexpiration: 3600000// if access is being granted on behalf of someone else, specifies who is impersonating the service accountdelegationEmail: 'firstname.lastname@example.org';
For more information: https://developers.google.com/accounts/docs/OAuth2ServiceAccount#formingclaimset
Options are used to encode the JWT that will be sent to Google OAuth servers in order to issue a token that can then be
used for authentification to Google APIs. The same options are used for
TokenCache.get or the
setting passed to
Running the unit tests for
google-oauth-jwt requires a valid Service Account, its encryption key and a URL to test.
To launch the tests, first configure your account in "test/jwt-settings.json" using the sample file. Make sure your test URL also matches with the requested scopes. The tests do not make any assumption on the results from the API, so you can use any OAuth2 enabled API.
For example, to run the tests by listing Google Drive files, you can use the following configuration:
"email": "email@example.com""scopes": """keyFile": "./test/key.pem""test_url": ""
To run the tests:
mocha -t 5000
The 5 seconds timeout is required since some tests make multiple calls to the API. If you get timeout exceeded errors, you can bump this value since not all Google APIs may respond with the same timings.
To turn on debugging, add "google-oauth-jwt" to your
DEBUG variable. Debugging events include JWT generation, token
requests to the OAuth server and token expirations through
For example, to turn on debugging while running the unit tests, use this:
DEBUG=google-oauth-jwt mocha -t 5000
The MIT License (MIT)
Copyright (c) 2013, Nicolas Mercier
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