Re: [OAUTH-WG] Concerning OAuth introspection

Mike Jones <> Wed, 30 January 2013 16:43 UTC

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From: Mike Jones <>
To: Justin Richer <>, John Bradley <>
Thread-Topic: [OAUTH-WG] Concerning OAuth introspection
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2013 16:42:34 +0000
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Subject: Re: [OAUTH-WG] Concerning OAuth introspection
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I believe that what we have now - a single endpoint with an "operation" parameter, is more natural than having a different endpoint per operation.  In all likelihood, the implementation of all the operations (client_register, client_update, and rotate_secret) would end up going through the same code path anyway, using an operation parameter.  So let's just keep expressing it that way on the wire too.

Having to maintain and register many endpoints for one logical set of functionality would just make things harder in a practical sense.  Let's leave things the way they are.

				-- Mike

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Justin Richer
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 8:18 AM
To: John Bradley
Subject: Re: [OAUTH-WG] Concerning OAuth introspection

On 01/30/2013 10:55 AM, John Bradley wrote:
> My feeling was that letting the registration endpoint be a single URL (any url) and using query paramaters was easer for servers and clients.
> Saying take the base URI for the registration endpoint and append these paths to it to do different operations seems more likely to go wrong fro developers.
Right, and to clarify, this isn't what I was saying. The spec wouldn't specify the path at all, just say that they're three different endpoint URLs. The same way that we specify that the auth endpoint and token endpoint are different URLs.

I think my example might have been misleading. The URLs could just as easily be:

client_register -> /register_a_new_client rotate_secret -> /client/go_get_a_secret_or_something
client_update-> /maintenance/update_client_information

> Allowing both bath and query parameters is the worst option.
> I am sympathetic with using POST and PUT and perhaps GET but I worry about OAuth developers not getting it.
> I also don't get Tony's point about multi tenancy.  If each tenant can have there own registration endpoint I don't see a problem beyond finding the endpoint and that is what we have WF for.
Exactly. And to Bill's point in another thread, we could also register a link type for each endpoint to help facilitate discovery:

  -- Justin

> John B.
> On 2013-01-24, at 11:26 AM, Justin Richer <> wrote:
>> On 01/24/2013 05:56 AM, Sergey Beryozkin wrote:
>>> I like this most, would rename it to say
>>> /oauth/client/registration
>>> or
>>> /oauth/client-registration
>>> etc
>>> and reword the spec such that it will let those who implement do it 
>>> with one endpoint or many, whatever is preferred
>> That's the whole point of this discussion -- I don't believe you can have it both ways.
>> In one way, you say there are three endpoints and, if you're keeping with the rest of OAuth, you don't give them official URL patterns that they must follow. How the client gets those endpoints is up to discovery or configuration, but the client has an internal map from each bit of functionality to a particular URL that's specific to the service, much in the same way that the client today has to map the authorization and token endpoints. In the other method, you've got one endpoint that the client sends a well-defined parameter to in order to accomplish the same goal.
>> So if you allow both at once, does a client send the "operation" parameter or not? Is it looking for one url or three to store in its configuration? I don't think this level of flexibility buys you anything useful, and I strongly believe that it will deeply hurt the functionality of dynamic registration if it's allowed.
>> As it stands today, you can still make the URL whatever you want. If we went with three endpoints you could also make those URLs whatever you wanted. Nobody has yet pointed out to me what the actual benefit is of making both valid.
>> I personally prefer the method of three endpoint URLs because it's cleaner and semantically equivalent, but I am hesitant to change that behavior unless there's strong working group support for it. I haven't seen real support for it yet -- it's not a good call to make it fully RESTful, and it's not a good call to leave it undefined. A client MUST have a very clear recipe of what to do on startup for this to work in the wild.
>> -- Justin
>>>> help multitenancy? How does it even affect that use case? Consider 
>>>> that the base URL for all of these is completely up to the host 
>>>> environment (nothing is bound to the root URL). Consider that 
>>>> clients still have to know what the URL (or URLs) are, in either 
>>>> case. Consider that clients still need to know how to manage all the parameters and responses.
>>>> If anything, keeping it the way that it is with a single URL could 
>>>> be argued to help multitenancy because setting up routing to 
>>>> multiple URL endpoints can sometimes be problematic in hosted 
>>>> environments. However, OAuth already defines a bunch of endpoints, 
>>>> and we have to define at least one more with this extension, so I'm 
>>>> not convinced that having three with specific functions is really 
>>>> any different from having one with three functions from a 
>>>> development, deployment, and implementation perspective. I can tell 
>>>> you from experience that in our own server code, the difference is 
>>>> trivial. (And from OAuth1 experience, you can always have a query 
>>>> parameter as part of your endpoint URL if you need to. You might 
>>>> hate yourself for doing it that way, but nothing says your base URL 
>>>> can't already have parameters on it. A client just needs to know 
>>>> how to appropriately tack its parameters onto an existing URL, and 
>>>> any HTTP client worth its salt will know how to augment a query 
>>>> parameter set with new items.)
>>>> The *real* difference between the two approaches is a philosophical 
>>>> design one. The former overloads one URL with multiple functions 
>>>> switched by a flag, the latter uses the URL itself as an implicit flag.
>>>> Under the hood, these could (and in many cases will) be all served 
>>>> by the same chunks of code. The only difference is how this switch 
>>>> in functionality is presented.
>>>> With that said, can somebody please explain to me how allowing 
>>>> *both* of these as options simultaneously (what I understand Tony 
>>>> to be
>>>> suggesting) is a good idea, or how multitenancy even comes into play?
>>>> Because I am completely not seeing how these are related.
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> -- Justin
>>>> On 01/23/2013 12:46 PM, Anthony Nadalin wrote:
>>>>> It will not work the way you have it, as people do multi-tendency different and they are already stuck with the method that they have chosen, so they need the flexability, to restrict this is nuts as people won't use it.
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: Justin Richer []
>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 9:27 AM
>>>>> To: Anthony Nadalin
>>>>> Cc: Nat Sakimura; Shiu Fun Poon;
>>>>> Subject: Re: [OAUTH-WG] Concerning OAuth introspection
>>>>> I completely disagree with this assessment. Multi-tenancy will work just fine (or even better) if everyone uses the same pattern. Telling someone "it might be three different urls or it might be all one url with a parameter" is just asking for a complete disaster. What does the flexibility of allowing two approaches actually accomplish?
>>>>> You can argue about the merits of either approach, but having both as unspecified options for registration, which is meant to help things get going in a cold-boot environment, is just plain nuts.
>>>>> -- Justin
>>>>> On 01/23/2013 12:21 PM, Anthony Nadalin wrote:
>>>>>> Registration has to work in a multi-tenant environment  so 
>>>>>> flexibility is needed
>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>> From: Justin Richer []
>>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 9:18 AM
>>>>>> To: Anthony Nadalin
>>>>>> Cc: Nat Sakimura; Shiu Fun Poon;
>>>>>> Subject: Re: [OAUTH-WG] Concerning OAuth introspection
>>>>>> Because then nobody would know how to actually use the thing.
>>>>>> In my opinion, this is a key place where this kind of flexibility is a very bad thing. Registration needs to work one fairly predictable way.
>>>>>> -- Justin
>>>>>> On 01/23/2013 12:14 PM, Anthony Nadalin wrote:
>>>>>>> Why not just have a physical and logical endpoint options
>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>> [] On 
>>>>>>> Behalf Of Justin Richer
>>>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 7:47 AM
>>>>>>> To: Nat Sakimura
>>>>>>> Cc: Shiu Fun Poon;
>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [OAUTH-WG] Concerning OAuth introspection
>>>>>>> Which brings up an interesting question for the Registration doc: right now, it's set up as a single endpoint with three operations. We could instead define three endpoints for the different operations.
>>>>>>> I've not been keen to make that deep of a cutting change to it, but it would certainly be cleaner and more RESTful API design. What do others think?
>>>>>>> -- Justin
>>>>>>> On 01/22/2013 08:05 PM, Nat Sakimura wrote:
>>>>>>>> "Action" goes against REST principle.
>>>>>>>> I do not think it is a good idea.
>>>>>>>> =nat via iPhone
>>>>>>>> Jan 23, 2013 4:00、Justin Richer<>  のメッセージ:
>>>>>>>>> (CC'ing the working group)
>>>>>>>>> I'm not sure what the "action/operation" flag would accomplish. The idea behind having different endpoints in OAuth is that they each do different kinds of things. The only "action/operation" that I had envisioned for the introspection endpoint is introspection itself: "I have a token, what does it mean?"
>>>>>>>>> Note that client_id and client_secret *can* already be used at this endpoint if the server supports that as part of their client credentials setup. The examples use HTTP Basic with client id and secret right now. Basically, the client can authenticate however it wants, including any of the methods that OAuth2 allows on the token endpoint. It could also authenticate with an access token. At least, that's the intent of the introspection draft -- if that's unclear, I'd be happy to accept suggested changes to clarify this text.
>>>>>>>>>   -- Justin
>>>>>>>>> On 01/22/2013 01:00 PM, Shiu Fun Poon wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> Justin,
>>>>>>>>>> This spec is looking good..
>>>>>>>>>> One thing I would like to recommend is to add "action"/"operation"
>>>>>>>>>> to the request.  (and potentially add client_id and 
>>>>>>>>>> client_secret)
>>>>>>>>>> So the request will be like :
>>>>>>>>>> token REQUIRED
>>>>>>>>>> operation (wording to be determine)  OPTIONAL inquire (default) | revoke ...
>>>>>>>>>> resource_id OPTIONAL
>>>>>>>>>> client_id OPTIONAL
>>>>>>>>>> client_secret OPTIONAL
>>>>>>>>>> And for the OAuth client information, it should be an optional parameter (in case it is a public client or client is authenticated with SSL mutual authentication).
>>>>>>>>>> Please consider.
>>>>>>>>>> ShiuFun
>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>> OAuth mailing list
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