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OAuth2 Authentication

New in version 3.0.

Review Board supports the OAuth2 authorization code grant mechanism for connecting third-party services. Supporting OAuth2 allows your application to use Review Board’s APIs without storing any user credentials.

Registering an OAuth2 Application

In order to use OAuth2, you’ll need to register an application. To do this, from the Review Board UI, go to the Account Settings page. From here, select OAuth2 Applications, and then Add application.

There are several fields to fill out in the application creation form:

The name of the application. This can be anything, and is only used to help keep track of your various registered applications.
Whether the application should be enabled or not.
Redirect URIs
After a user authenticates, Review Board will redirect back to your application. The specific location of the redirect will be specified as part of the Authorization Flow. This field defines a whitelist of which URIs will be accepted therein.
Client Type
The client type, as defined in RFC 6749 Section 2.1.
Authorization Grant Type
The type of authorization flow desired by the client. We recommend using the Authorization code grant type.
Restrict To
If your server uses local sites, you can optionally restrict your OAuth2 application to authenticate to only a specific local site. If the drop-down field is empty, this field can safely be ignored.

Once you save your application, you will see two new settings. These will be used by your application code when requesting authorization:

Client ID
An ID for your client which will be sent along with requests for authorization.
Client Secret
A shared secret, used for verification of requests.

Authorization Flow

Authenticating via OAuth2 happens in several steps:

  1. Your application redirects users to Review Board to log in.
  2. Review Board redirects the user back to your site and provides an authorization code.
  3. Your application uses the authorization code to request an access token.
  4. Your application uses the new access token to connect to Review Board’s API.
  5. Refresh your access token when necessary.

1. Redirecting users to the authorization URL

To start, create a “Log In” link which redirects the user to the following URL on your Review Board server:


There are several values to fill in in the query string for this URL:

  • client_id is the Client ID from your registered application.
  • redirect_uri is the URI you want the user to be redirected to after a successful authentication. This must be listed in the Redirect URIs field of your registered application.
  • scope is an optional, space-delimited list of scopes that your application is requesting access to. If omitted, the application will request access to the entire Review Board API.
  • state is an optional value which your application can use to verify consistency between the request and the callback at the redirect URI.

When this URL is loaded by the client’s browser, the user will be asked to log in (if needed), and then asked if they want to authorize the application. Upon doing so, they’ll be redirect back to your specified redirect URI.

2. Getting the authorization callback

Once the user authorizes your application, they will be redirected back to your application’s redirect URI. For example, if you had set the redirect URI as https://myapp.example.com/oauth2/cb, the user would be redirected to:

https://myapp.example.com/oauth2/cb?code={authorization code}

The authorization code is a 30-character string which will be used to get an access token.

3. Getting an access token

The access token is what is actually used to authenticate to Review Board. Once you have an authorization code, it can be used to request an access token. This is done via a POST operation to the token URL:

POST https://reviewboard.example.com/oauth2/token/

This POST should include the authorization code returned in step 2 and the grant type in the body:

code={authorization code}&grant_type=authorization_code&

This will return a JSON blob containing the access token, the expiration of that access token, and a refresh token:

    "access_token": "sometoken",
    "refresh_token": "new authorization code for refreshing",
    "expires_in": 3600,
    "scope": "...",
    "token_type": "Bearer"

4. Making use of the Review Board API

Once you have an access token, you can use it to authenticate to the Web API by passing it in the HTTP Authorization header.

5. Refresh the access token

Access tokens have an expiration date. When your access token was first returned, the payload also included a refresh_token field. This can be used with the token endpoint originally used in step 3 to get a new access token.

OAuth2 Scopes

When your application requests authorization, you can optionally include a list of scopes. These scopes are defined via the API resource names and a method type (read, write, or delete). For example, to request read access to the review request resource, the scope ID would be review-request:read.


These scopes do not automatically grant access to the parent resources, so granting read or write access to review also requires granting read access to its parent, review-request.