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OAuth Protocol

Simple Definition for Beginners: OAuth (Open Authorization) is a protocol that allows secure access to resources without sharing passwords. It enables users to grant third-party applications limited access to their protected resources. Common Use Example: Users can use OAuth to sign in to websites or mobile apps using their Google or Facebook accounts without sharing their passwords directly with those services. Technical Definition for Professionals: OAuth is an open standard protocol that enables secure authorization and authentication for web applications and APIs. Key aspects of the OAuth protocol include: · Authorization Grants: o OAuth defines several authorization grant types, including Authorization Code, Implicit, Resource Owner Password Credentials, and Client Credentials grants. o Each grant type is suitable for different use cases and provides a way for applications to obtain access tokens to access protected resources on behalf of the resource owner. · Access Tokens: o OAuth uses access tokens to grant third-party applications limited access to resources on behalf of the resource owner. o Access tokens are short-lived and scoped to specific resources or actions, reducing the risk of unauthorized access if tokens are compromised. · Authorization Server: o An OAuth authorization server authenticates users and issues access tokens to authorized clients. o It verifies client credentials, user permissions, and scopes before issuing access tokens. · Scopes: o OAuth uses scopes to define the permissions and access rights granted to an access token. o Clients request specific scopes during the authorization process to access particular resources or perform specific actions. · Redirect URLs: o OAuth relies on redirect URLs to redirect users back to the client application after they authenticate and authorize access. o Redirect URLs ensure a seamless user experience and facilitate the exchange of authorization codes or access tokens. OAuth is widely used in modern web and mobile applications to enable secure and delegated access to user resources while maintaining user privacy and security.

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