Schibsted account Authentication

Schibsted account uses OAuth 2.0 (draft 11) for authentication and authorization. With OAuth 2.0, you obtain an access token for a user via a redirect to Schibsted account, then you use this token to perform authorized requests on behalf of that user by including it with API requests in either

  • the HTTP Authorization Header (recommended):

    GET /api/{version}/user/{userId} HTTP/1.1
    Authorization: Bearer <token>
  • the oauth_token request parameter:

    GET /api/{version}/user/{userId}?oauth_token=<token> HTTP/1.1

Token types

Schibsted account clients will typically use two kinds of tokens: user and server (see OAuth client credentials). A user token can only be used with requests for a certain set of API endpoints, and will only be able to retrieve data related to a specific user. A server token can be used with requests to most endpoints, and will be able to access data for all users who have granted the client access to its data.

Client authentication

Schibsted account allows clients to authenticate in two ways:

  • Using HTTP basic authentication in the authorization request header field, base64(<CLIENT_ID>:<CLIENT_SECRET>) (recommended):

    POST /oauth/token HTTP/1.1
    Authorization: Basic czZCaGRSa3F0MzpnWDFmQmF0M2JW
    Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
  • Including the credentials in the request body parameters:

    POST /oauth/token HTTP/1.1
    Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

Obtaining a user token

Obtaining user tokens by redirecting the user to Schibsted account to log in is covered in depth in the Implementing SSO guide.

While it is not recommended, or even feasible, to manually handle user passwords, it is possible to programatically obtain a user token given your client id, client secret and a user's credentials. You may want to do this for testing purposes (e.g. programatically testing an endpoint like /me that only works with a user token).

A user token is obtained by using the password grant type at the token endpoint /oauth/token:

curl -X POST -H "Authorization: Basic <client credentials>"\
             -d grant_type=password&\

You may have to quote the entire data string, depending on the username and password.

When successful, this request will return a JSON object:

  "access_token": "322c4c33a0bb327ea6a06d05fa37bf3613190499",
  "expires_in": 604800,
  "scope": "profile email",
  "user_id": "938029",
  "is_admin": false,
  "refresh_token": "818518449498eb3e5d228e016461f1f148e91002",
  "server_time": 1399628771

The access_token may be used to make API requests on behalf of this user.

Obtaining a server token

POST your client credentials and a grant type of client_credentials to obtain a server access token:

curl -X POST -H "Authorization: Basic <client credentials>"\
             -d grant_type=client_credentials

The returned access token can be used to make requests on behalf of your client:

curl -H "Authorization: Bearer <token>"

For further details refer to OAuth 2.0 client credentials.

Specifying a resource indicator

To use a token with a resource server when doing server-to-server authentication it might be necessary to explicitly indicate the resource server as the intended audience of the token. This allows the resource server to properly introspect the token.

To indicate which resource server a token is intended to be used at, include a "resource indicator" via the resource request parameter:

curl -X POST -H "Authorization: Basic <client credentials>"\
             -d grant_type=client_credentials&\
                resource=<resource indicator>

The value of the resource indicator must be the domain registered with Schibsted account for the resource server to make sure the token can be introspected by that resource server. Support for this parameter is limited to server tokens issued to JWT enabled clients.

For further details refer to Resource Indicators for OAuth 2.0, draft 2.

OAuth failures

In accordance with the OAuth specification, Schibsted account redirects the user back to the client. When an authentication error occurs, Schibsted account redirect the user to a specific, client-provided, OAuth failure redirect url. This is an optional feature, which means that if no special failure redirect URI is provided, we will redirect failures to the same redirect URI used in the Oauth flow, unless the failure is due to an invalid redirect uri provided. If an invalid redirect is URI provided, we will default to the client's default redirect URI.

Schibsted account's redirect scheme ensures that the user always has a way to return to the client. Upon the user's return it is up to the client to decide what the error is and how to handle it. The redirect will contain an error code:


Other errors, not from the authorization endpoint, are returned as a JSON object in the response. The format is described in the OAuth2.0 spec. The spec describes a list of errors that can occur and that the client may take into account.

Official OAuth 2.0 errors

Refer to the spec for details on what these error codes mean.

  • redirect_uri_mismatch: The redirection URI provided does not match a pre-registered redirection URI stored in Schibsted account.
  • unauthorized_client: The client is not authorized to request an authorization code using this method or authorization grant type.
  • access_denied: The resource owner or authorization server denied the request.
  • invalid_request: The request is missing a required parameter, includes an invalid parameter value, includes a parameter more than once, or is otherwise malformed.
  • invalid_client_id: Client authentication failed (e.g. unknown client, no client authentication included, or unsupported authentication method).
  • unsupported_response_type: The authorization server does not support obtaining an authorization code using this method.
  • invalid_scope: The requested scope is invalid, unknown, malformed, or exceeds the scope granted by the resource owner.
  • invalid_grant: The provided authorization grant (e.g. authorization code, resource owner credentials) or refresh token is invalid, expired, revoked, does not match the redirection URI used in the authorization request, or was issued to another client.

Protected resource errors

  • invalid_token: The access token provided is expired, revoked, malformed, or invalid for other reasons. The client MAY request a new access token and retry the protected resource request.
  • expired_token: The access token provided has expired. The client is expected to be able to handle the response and request a new access token using the refresh token issued with the expired access token
  • insufficient_scope: The request requires higher privileges than provided by the access token.

Error when using a grant type that is not implemented:

  • unsupported_grant_type

Error response example

When a request is unsuccessful, the platform will return an error JSON object. Below is an example of what is returned when your application is using an invalid access token:

  "error": "invalid_token",
  "error_code": 401,
  "type": "OAuthException",
  "error_description": "401 Unauthorized access! Reason: \"invalid_token\" (OAuth realm: \"Service\", Scope: \"\")"

Recommended reading on OAuth protocol endpoints.

API access control flow explained

This is a complete overview of how Schibsted account processes an API request and when your client application may expect to receive error responses and the reasons it happened: API access control flow

SDK support for easier implementation

Schibsted account provides API clients/SDKs for a number of languages that mostly abstract away the OAuth details. See how to get started server-side or for mobile devices.

Best practices and security guidelines

This section contains a list of best practices and requirements that will be performed on integration and security reviews by Schibsted account.

Client credentials handling

  • Client credentials and redirect URIs must NOT be hardcoded anywhere, but made configurable so the same code can be used for both STAGE/PRE and PROD environments.
  • Verify that the client configuration for the production environment doesn't use stage credentials or redirect URIs and vice versa. This is especially important before you perform a new release of your application.
  • Client secrets are confidential and must be treated as such. They should NOT be committed to version control systems or publicly transmitted in the client’s organization or between unsecured systems and communication channels such as instant messages or emails.

Your application's Redirect URI must be valid and follow these security guidelines

  • Previously defined and stored as a valid redirect uri for your client application
  • We don't recommend using IP addresses as these change all the time (unless they are static)
  • Doesn't contain other internal or third party based redirect uris encoded in it
  • Doesn't contain invalid characters (\s`!()[]{};',<>«»“”‘’@")
  • Redirect endpoint is required to be behind SSL (https, not http)
  • No external JavaScript running on redirect URIs that will receive the OAuth code parameter

The client SHOULD NOT include any third-party scripts (e.g. third- party analytics, social plug-ins, ad networks) in the redirection endpoint response. Instead, it SHOULD extract the credentials from the URI and redirect the user-agent again to another endpoint without exposing the credentials (in the URI or elsewhere). If third-party scripts are included, the client MUST ensure that its own scripts (used to extract and remove the credentials from the URI) will execute first.

Protect your local session, Schibsted account code and token

  • Schibsted account code AND user token must NEVER be embedded in your application urls, passed beyond your application's redirect uri or stored in cookies.
  • Your session ID should never be visible in an URL.

Mobile development

Table of Contents


In order to make use of this information, you need to know your:

  • client ID
  • client secret

You may also want to look into the Getting Started guide.

See also

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