A Guide to Authentication and Authorization for Shopify Apps

This material focuses on the processes of keying in and signing in apps with the help of shopify platform.

1. Authentication

The practice of confirming one’s identity as an individual private or corporate entity. First of all it is about checking how people look.

This is usually achieved through information which may include username and password, biometrics, Identity card or equivalent, and other types of personal information.

In Simple Terms: Confirmation of identity at security checkpoints.

In Technical Terms: Using protocols like OpenID Connect.

2. Authorization

The granting or denying specific Permissions to an authenticated user or entity.

It’s about controlling access to resources and determining what an authenticated user is allowed to do, such as accessing certain files or executing specific action.

In Simple Term: Authorization allows you to enter a secure area, such as which doors you can open with your keycard

In Technical Terms: Protocols like Oauth 2.0 manage permissions.

3. Authentication and Authorization Methods

Methods that your app needs to use depends on the Tools That you used to create your

app, and the Components that your app uses.

Authentication

  • Embedded apps must authenticate their incoming requests with a session token.
  • Non-embedded apps must implement their own authentication method for incoming requests.

Authorization

To avoid unnecessary redirects and page flickers during the app installation process, you

  • Configure your app’s required access scopes using Shopify CLI.
  • Manage the installation process for you.
  • Authorization code grant flow.

4. OAuth Process for Public Apps

  1. Initiate OAuth Flow:  Redirect the merchant to the Shopify authorization URL
  2. Merchant Approval: Accepts or rejects merchant permissions.
  3. Exchange Authorization Code for Access Token: Receive a permanent access token

5. Security Considerations

  • Importance: Each step is important to maintain authentication and authorization security.
  • Access Tokens: Sensitive merchant store information must be managed securely.

6. Authentication vs. Authorization 

Authentication verifies user or app identity on Shopify’s platform for secure transactions. After installation, authorization grants app permissions, allowing access to specific data such as orders and products.

7. Shopify App Authentication Tools:

  1. Shopify CLI: Command line tools for app building.
  2. Shopify API: Shopify Ruby gem for Admin API.
  3. Shopify/shopify-api: The official Shopify Node library for handling APIs.

Conclusion

  • AI-powered threat detection: Continuous protection against suspicious access.
  • Smarter authorization: AI can personalize user permissions based on their behavior, reducing security risks.

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