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JWT-JWKS Authentication and Organization Management


JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) are an open, industry standard RFC 7519 method for representing proof of secure communication between two parties.

JWT authentication allows a user to use JWTs that are validated against a JWKS (JSON Web Key Set) URL in order to execute operations on the platform. If configured, permission tags can be extracted from the JWT and used to facilitate external management of organization membership and user security roles.

This feature is available to Algorithmia Enterprise users who have configured JWT/JWKS and organization management functionality only.

Use cases

  • Allowing user authentication through JWT
  • Using an external management platform for user permission (admin/sudo)
  • Using an external management platform for granting/revoking organization membership/administration privileges
  • Creating local users that represent validated users verified through JWT

Making a call with JWT

JWTs are submitted using standard bearer tokens and will work for any /v1 endpoint in the Algorithmia API. An example cURL command for executing an algorithm using a JWT is as follows. In this code, CLUSTER_DOMAIN would be replaced by the unique domain name of the Algorithmia cluster, ALGO_OWNER would be the name of the account or organization that owns the algorithm, ALGO_NAME would be the name of the algorithm, and ALGO_VERSION would be an optional version hash or semantic version (e.g., 0.1.1).



-H 'Authorization: Bearer eyJhbGciOiJSizI1NiIsImtpZCI6ImltVWduWnZLS0h2MWUyNHkyZldCOXpTNjhIMkdMMzhSbjgzc1ZwQnh5WjAifQ.
Q9nOA' \

-H 'Content-Type: application/json' \

-d '{"first_name":"Test", "last_name":"User"}'

JWT payload specifics

  • Only RSA256 Encryption is supported.
  • JWKS should be verified by KID, legacy x5t is supported as well but not preferred.
  • Is no username claim is configured the subject claim will resolve to a user’s external_id.
  • Issuer iss and audience aud claims must match configurations for your installation.
  • The expiration exp claim is honored by our system.
  • Email and group claims can be configured; any other claim is ignored.
  • If permission tags are configured on a system under a given claim for JWT and that claim is not contained in your JWT payload then an error will be thrown. Please note the claim will accept a single string or an array of strings for a single or multiple permission tags, respectively. An empty array will remove all permissions.

Example payload of a JWT

Creating a non-existing user

If a valid JWT token is used and properly verified, the configured username field will be matched to an existing user’s external_id. If no user with such an external_id exists, one will be created, and the external_id and username of the created user will match the values found in the token. If an email field is supplied under the configured key this will be filled in for the new user as well.

Example payload of a JWT

Changing a user’s platform permissions

If the permission tags found in a user’s token match those that have been configured for cluster admin access, the user will be automatically promoted to the given role. For instance if the below token is supplied, and the cluster is configured to create cluster admins based off of the “superAdmin” tag, then a user will be made a cluster admin.

Example payload of a JWT

Changing a user’s organization roles/membership

Adding organization management tags to organization objects

When creating or updating an organization, you can provide a list of “tags” which are used in the configured JWT claim field to signify which organizations the user is a member or admin of. Upon usage of the JWT, the system will automatically synchronize the user with the groups that share these tags. They can be comma delimited as shown below.

Example of creating organization with permission tags

If a user shares a tag that is held in External Admin Group, they will become an admin of this group. If they share a tag that is held in External Member Group, they will become a member of this group. If they share both tags, they will be marked as an admin of this group.

JWT payload

If the permission tags found in a user’s token match those that have been configured for a given organization, then the user will be automatically added to the organization with the given role. For instance if the below token is supplied and the organization is configured to add members based off of the “memberTag1” tag, then the user will be made a member.

Example payload of a JWT