Learning Center - What is OAuth? | SAML vs. OAuth

OAuth is a protocol for extending user authorization across multiple applications without sharing the user’s identity authentication data with those applications. OAuth is a technical standard for authorizing users. It is a protocol for passing authorization from one service to another without sharing the actual user credentials, such as a username and password. With OAuth, a user can sign in on one platform and then be authorized to perform actions and view data on another platform.

OAuth makes it possible to pass authorization from one application to another regardless of what the two applications are. OAuth is one of the most common methods used to pass authorization from a single sign-on (SSO) service to another cloud application, but it can be used between any two applications. Other protocols can perform this function as well, although OAuth is one of the most widely used ones.

Imagine a visitor comes to a house when the homeowner is not there, and instead of sending the visitor an actual house key, the owner sends them a temporary code to get into a lockbox that contains the key. OAuth works in a similar manner. In OAuth, one application sends another application an authorization token to give a user access, instead of sending the user’s credentials. Learn.more in the Cloudflare Learning Center.

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