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Customer Data Platform (CDP)

The Benefits of Advanced Authentications for Webhooks: OAuth 2.0

By Valentina Benaglio

07/06/2023


In today's fast-paced digital world, businesses need to be efficient and effective to stay ahead of the game. One of the critical factors in achieving this is being able to integrate frictionlessly with various third-party platforms and applications — this will help you further boost marketing personalization power while eliminating the need to switch platforms.

Bloomreach understands this need and is excited to announce the support of advanced OAuth (Open Authorization) 2.0 authentication for webhooks, which makes it possible to securely integrate with popular external platforms. This new Bloomreach Engagement capability will allow e-commerce businesses to integrate with third-party apps and platforms that require OAuth authentication while connecting real-time data in and out safely and compliantly. 

Unlocking the Power of Webhooks and OAuth 2.0 for Data-Driven Personalization

Thanks to Bloomreach now supporting OAuth 2.0 authentication for webhooks, brands can further gather and send data to their preferred third-party platforms to increase their personalization power within their marketing strategy. 

This also facilitates integrating Bloomreach Engagement seamlessly into a brand’s tech stack to pull from various data sources and better personalize omnichannel experiences. As a result, you’ll be able to take full advantage of Bloomreach’s benefits and more effectively consolidate and leverage your data to engage, convert, and retain customers. 

So how does the feature work? Webhooks are used in Bloomreach Engagement within scenarios — where omnichannel workflows and journeys are built — to retrieve and/or send real-time data to external applications or services. Webhooks can be used for various use cases such as triggering an action in a third-party platform, sending leads to call centers, retrieving third-party data to enrich your campaigns or single customer view, and more. 

Generally speaking, there are different ways brands can authenticate, and the most popular are basic HTTP authentication, custom headers, and OAuth 2.0. HTTP authentication schemes are primarily focused on authenticating users or clients directly for accessing a specific resource, while OAuth 2.0 is an authorization framework that enables delegated access to protected resources without directly sharing credentials. 

OAuth 2.0 is an industry-standard protocol for authentication that enables third-party applications to access a user's data without sharing their credentials. 

In particular, it provides a flexible framework with different grant types (i.e., authentication code, implicit, client credentials, and more) that cater to various application scenarios. It offers a scalable and secure way to enable third-party application access to protected resources while maintaining control and privacy for the resource owner. Essentially, OAuth 2.0 offers more flexibility, delegation capabilities, and a seamless user experience by leveraging tokens instead of sending credentials with each request.

In the first iteration of this feature, Bloomreach enables platforms that use OAuth 2.0 flow grant_type=client_credentials (known as two-legged OAuth flow). The other flows like grant_type=authorization_code (known as three-legged OAuth flow) will be supported in the next iteration of the feature.

By utilizing OAuth 2.0 authentication for webhooks, both the sending and receiving applications can ensure the security and integrity of the data being exchanged. It provides a standardized way to authenticate webhook requests, reducing the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches, and also offers a scalable and secure way to enable third-party application access to protected resources (while still giving the resource owner control and privacy). For Bloomreach, security and data privacy are crucial, which is why we’ll keep supporting the top secured authentication flows for our customers.

The Benefits of OAuth 2.0

Once your OAuth 2.0 authentication is successfully saved, you can use it to retrieve and send data to a myriad of different platforms, including: 

  • Microsoft Azure
  • Commercetools
  • Criteo Marketing
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud
  • Listrak 
  • Talkdesk
  • And more!

This feature is designed for every customer or prospect who wants to connect to third-party integrations using the OAuth API authentication method via a webhook. The benefits of OAuth 2.0 for e-commerce companies are clear: 

  • Enhanced security: OAuth 2.0 improves security by allowing applications to access protected resources without sharing sensitive credentials, such as usernames and passwords, with third-party clients. Instead, access is granted through the exchange of tokens, reducing the risk of credential theft or exposure.
  • Delegated access: OAuth 2.0 enables resource owners (users) to delegate access to their protected resources to third-party applications without revealing their credentials. Users can grant selective permissions and control the level of access granted to each client.
  • User experience: OAuth 2.0 simplifies the user experience by eliminating the need for users to create separate credentials for each application. Users can use their existing accounts (e.g., social media, email) to authenticate and authorize third-party applications, reducing friction and improving adoption.
  • Scalability and interoperability: OAuth 2.0 is a widely adopted industry standard, which means that it enjoys broad support across different platforms, frameworks, and programming languages. This interoperability facilitates the integration of various applications and services in a scalable manner.
  • Access token expiration and revocation: OAuth 2.0 access tokens have an expiration time associated with them. This helps mitigate the risk of long-lived tokens by ensuring they are only valid for a limited time. Additionally, access tokens can be revoked if needed, providing a way to invalidate access and manage authorization dynamically.
  • Flexible authorization flows: OAuth 2.0 supports various authorization flows, including authorization code, implicit, client credentials, and refresh token flows. This flexibility allows applications to choose the most appropriate flow based on their requirements, security considerations, and use cases.

But that’s not all. By utilizing OAuth 2.0, you can ensure that sensitive data is protected from unauthorized access or breaches. This is crucial for applications that deal with personal or financial data, as well as any other type of confidential information.

Additionally, by enabling third-party access to protected resources through a secure authentication mechanism, you can scale your application or service more easily. This can be especially valuable for businesses that need to share real-time data across multiple applications or enable external developers to build on top of their platforms.

Connect Your Data to Third Parties That Require OAuth 2.0 With Bloomreach Engagement

OAuth 2.0 offers a scalable and secure way to open up third-party access without sacrificing control and privacy. This powerful capability means businesses can confidently integrate Bloomreach with their preferred platforms, maximizing the value of their data and driving growth.

OAuth 2.0 is a game-changer for brands looking to connect with a wide range of third-party platforms securely and efficiently. This latest release from Bloomreach demonstrates our commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions that empower businesses to stay ahead in an ever-evolving digital landscape. Stay tuned for more security features and improvements Bloomreach has planned, such as mTLS (Mutual Transport Layer Security) for webhooks, which is a security mechanism that enhances the authentication and integrity of webhook communication by using TLS (Transport Layer Security) with mutual authentication.

Seamlessly integrate Bloomreach Engagement into your tech stack and unlock the full potential of your data by leveraging OAuth 2.0 authentication today. Check out our documentation to learn more.

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Valentina Benaglio

Product Marketing Manager, Bloomreach

Valentina brings 5+ years of CRM, marketing, omnichannel, and e-commerce expertise to her Product Marketing Manager role at Bloomreach. By leveraging her passion for helping e-commerce brands succeed with the latest tech, Valentina helps Bloomreach to differentiate in a saturated market and find the ideal customers who will benefit from the platform by understanding their pain points and objectives.

 

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