Overview

Every smart home Action must include a mechanism for authenticating users.

Authentication allows you to link your users' Google accounts with user accounts in your authentication system. This allows you to identify your users when your fulfillment receives a smart home intent. Google smart home only supports OAuth with an authorization code flow.

Implement OAuth account linking

To implement OAuth account linking in your smart home Action, you must do the following:

  1. Implement your OAuth 2.0 server.
  2. Configure account linking in the Actions console.

Implement your OAuth 2.0 server

This section describes how to set up your OAuth 2.0 server so that it works with your smart home Action.

An OAuth 2.0 server implementation of the authorization code flow consists of two endpoints, which your service makes available by HTTPS. The first endpoint is the authorization endpoint, which is responsible for finding or obtaining consent from users for data access. The authorization endpoint presents a sign-in UI to your users that aren't already signed in and records consent to the requested access. The second endpoint is the token exchange endpoint, which is used to obtain encrypted strings, called tokens, that authorize a user to access your service.

When a Google application needs to call one of your service's APIs, Google uses these endpoints together to get permission from your users to call these APIs on their behalf.

An OAuth 2.0 authorization code flow session initiated by Google has the following flow:

  1. Google opens your authorization endpoint in the user's browser. If the flow started on a voice-only device for an Action, Google transfers the execution to a phone.
  2. The user signs in, if not signed in already, and grants Google permission to access their data with your API, if they haven't already granted permission.
  3. Your service creates an authorization code and returns it to Google. To do so, redirect the user's browser back to Google with the authorization code attached to the request.
  4. Google sends the authorization code to your token exchange endpoint, which verifies the authenticity of the code and returns an access token and a refresh token. The access token is a short-lived token that your service accepts as credentials to access APIs. The refresh token is a long-lived token that Google can store and use to acquire new access tokens when they expire.
  5. After the user has completed the account linking flow, every subsequent request sent from Google contains an access token.

Handle authorization requests

When you need to perform account linking using the OAuth 2.0 authorization code flow, Google sends the user to your authorization endpoint with a request that includes the following parameters:

Authorization endpoint parameters
client_id The Google client ID you registered with Google.
redirect_uri The URL to which you send the response to this request.
state A bookkeeping value that is passed back to Google unchanged in the redirect URI.
scope Optional: A space-delimited set of scope strings that specify the data Google is requesting authorization for.
response_type The type of value to return in the response. For the OAuth 2.0 authorization code flow, the response type is always code.
user_locale The Google Account language setting in RFC5646 format, used to localize your content in the user's preferred language.

For example, if your authorization endpoint is available at https://myservice.example.com/auth, a request might look like the following:

GET https://myservice.example.com/auth?client_id=GOOGLE_CLIENT_ID&redirect_uri=REDIRECT_URI&state=STATE_STRING&scope=REQUESTED_SCOPES&response_type=code&user_locale=LOCALE

For your authorization endpoint to handle sign-in requests, do the following steps:

  1. Verify that the client_id matches the Google client ID you registered with Google, and that the redirect_uri matches the redirect URL provided by Google for your service. These checks are important to prevent granting access to unintended or misconfigured client apps. If you support multiple OAuth 2.0 flows, also confirm that the response_type is code.
  2. Check if the user is signed in to your service. If the user isn't signed in, complete your service's sign-in or sign-up flow.
  3. Generate an authorization code for Google to use to access your API. The authorization code can be any string value, but it must uniquely represent the user, the client the token is for, and the code's expiration time, and it must not be guessable. You typically issue authorization codes that expire after approximately 10 minutes.
  4. Confirm that the URL specified by the redirect_uri parameter has the following form:
      https://oauth-redirect.googleusercontent.com/r/YOUR_PROJECT_ID
      https://oauth-redirect-sandbox.googleusercontent.com/r/YOUR_PROJECT_ID
      
  5. Redirect the user's browser to the URL specified by the redirect_uri parameter. Include the authorization code you just generated and the original, unmodified state value when you redirect by appending the code and state parameters. The following is an example of the resulting URL:
    https://oauth-redirect.googleusercontent.com/r/YOUR_PROJECT_ID?code=AUTHORIZATION_CODE&state=STATE_STRING

Handle token exchange requests

Your service's token exchange endpoint is responsible for two kinds of token exchanges:

  • Exchange authorization codes for access tokens and refresh tokens
  • Exchange refresh tokens for access tokens

Token exchange requests include the following parameters:

Token exchange endpoint parameters
client_id A string that identifies the request origin as Google. This string must be registered within your system as Google's unique identifier.
client_secret A secret string that you registered with Google for your service.
grant_type The type of token being exchanged. It's either authorization_code or refresh_token.
code When grant_type=authorization_code, this parameter is the code Google received from either your sign-in or token exchange endpoint.
redirect_uri When grant_type=authorization_code, this parameter is the URL used in the initial authorization request.
refresh_token When grant_type=refresh_token, this parameter is the refresh token Google received from your token exchange endpoint.
Exchange authorization codes for access tokens and refresh tokens

After the user signs in and your authorization endpoint returns a short-lived authorization code to Google, Google sends a request to your token exchange endpoint to exchange the authorization code for an access token and a refresh token.

For these requests, the value of grant_type is authorization_code, and the value of code is the value of the authorization code you previously granted to Google. The following is an example of a request to exchange an authorization code for an access token and a refresh token:

POST /token HTTP/1.1
Host: oauth2.example.com
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

client_id=GOOGLE_CLIENT_ID&client_secret=GOOGLE_CLIENT_SECRET&grant_type=authorization_code&code=AUTHORIZATION_CODE&redirect_uri=REDIRECT_URI

To exchange authorization codes for an access token and a refresh token, your token exchange endpoint responds to POST requests by executing the following steps:

  1. Verify that the client_id identifies the request origin as an authorized origin, and that the client_secret matches the expected value.
  2. Verify that the authorization code is valid and not expired, and that the client ID specified in the request matches the client ID associated with the authorization code.
  3. Confirm that the URL specified by the redirect_uri parameter is identical to the value used in the initial authorization request.
  4. If you can't verify all of the above criteria, return an HTTP 400 Bad Request error with {"error": "invalid_grant"} as the body.
  5. Otherwise, use the user ID from the authorization code to generate a refresh token and an access token. These tokens can be any string value, but they must uniquely represent the user and the client the token is for, and they must not be guessable. For access tokens, also record the expiration time of the token, which is typically an hour after you issue the token. Refresh tokens don't expire.
  6. Return the following JSON object in the body of the HTTPS response:
    {
    "token_type": "Bearer",
    "access_token": "ACCESS_TOKEN",
    "refresh_token": "REFRESH_TOKEN",
    "expires_in": SECONDS_TO_EXPIRATION
    }
    

Google stores the access token and the refresh token for the user and records the expiration of the access token. When the access token expires, Google uses the refresh token to get a new access token from your token exchange endpoint.

Exchange refresh tokens for access tokens

When an access token expires, Google sends a request to your token exchange endpoint to exchange a refresh token for a new access token.

For these requests, the value of grant_type is refresh_token, and the value of refresh_token is the value of the refresh token you previously granted to Google. The following is an example of a request to exchange a refresh token for an access token:

POST /token HTTP/1.1
Host: oauth2.example.com
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

client_id=GOOGLE_CLIENT_ID&client_secret=GOOGLE_CLIENT_SECRET&grant_type=refresh_token&refresh_token=REFRESH_TOKEN

To exchange a refresh token for an access token, your token exchange endpoint responds to POST requests by executing the following steps:

  1. Verify that the client_id identifies the request origin as Google, and that the client_secret matches the expected value.
  2. Verify that the refresh token is valid, and that the client ID specified in the request matches the client ID associated with the refresh token.
  3. If you can't verify all of the above criteria, return an HTTP 400 Bad Request error with {"error": "invalid_grant"} as the body.
  4. Otherwise, use the user ID from the refresh token to generate an access token. These tokens can be any string value, but they must uniquely represent the user and the client the token is for, and they must not be guessable. For access tokens, also record the expiration time of the token, typically an hour after you issue the token.
  5. Return the following JSON object in the body of the HTTPS response:
    {
    "token_type": "Bearer",
    "access_token": "ACCESS_TOKEN",
    "expires_in": SECONDS_TO_EXPIRATION
    }

Configure account linking in the console

To set up account linking in the Actions console, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Actions console.
  2. Select your smart home Action project.
  3. Click the Develop tab. Then, click Account linking in the left navigation.
  4. Fill out all the fields under OAuth Client information. Click Next.
  5. Click Save.

Next steps (optional)

Once you have an OAuth 2.0 implementation, you can optionally configure OAuth-based App Flip, which allows your users to more quickly link their accounts in your authentication system to their Google accounts. For App Flip implementation instructions, see OAuth-based App Flip.