Written by Nishikant WaghBusiness Analyst
With most of the users accessing systems via mobile phones (applications) and web applications these days, developers need a secure way to authenticate what is appropriate for the platforms. To solve this challenge, we choose JSON Web Token (JWT) when working on commercetools applications.
JWT is an open standard (RFC 7519) for securely transmitting information between parties as JSON objects. It is compact, readable, and digitally signed using a private/public key pair by the Identity Provider (IdP). So, the integrity and authenticity of the token can be verified by other parties involved.
At Royal Cyber, as an alternative to OAuth2 authentication, commercetools supports user authentication using JWT. We recommend this approach when a system outside of commercetools handles user authentication, and there is a trusted relationship between that system and commercetools.
The JWT contains details about the users who are making an API request. The token is signed using a private key that only the Authorization server has and will be verified upon the subsequent reception of requests.
The JWT can be passed to the API in the authentication header, just like the QAuth access token.
|Using JWT Accelerator||Traditional Development|
|Integration Time||1 to 2 Days||8 to 10 Days|
|Resources/Expertise||Developer with the knowledge to call APIs||Need a programming expert to code and implement the feature|
|Customization||Features can be added or removed on client request||Fully customizable but needs extra efforts|
|Security||Highly secured as it comes with data encryption, no extra security is needed||More layers can be added as per requirement|
|Testing Efforts||Only integration testing is needed, and so, it saves more than 70% time and efforts||More time and effort are needed as unit testing and integration testing are being done|
|Reusability of Code||Can be reused as needed||It works only for the scenario for which it is programmed|
|Token-based authentication is more scalable and efficient|
|As we know that tokens must be stored at the user’s end, they offer a scalable solution. Moreover, the server just needs to create and verify the tokens along with the information, which means that maintaining more users on a website or application at once is possible without any hassle.|
|Flexibility and performance|
|Flexibility and enhanced overall performance are other important aspects of token-based authentication as they can be used across multiple servers and can offer authentication for diverse websites and applications at once. This helps in encouraging more collaboration opportunities between enterprises and platforms, ensuring a flawless experience.|
|Tokens offer robust security|
|Since tokens like JWT are stateless, only a secret key can validate it when received at a server-side application, which was used to create the token.|
Enterprises can leverage tokens depending on the nature of the requirement and their individual business needs. JWT can be the right option in most scenarios if implemented correctly and securely by following the proper security measures. Contact us to know how JWT can benefit your business.