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Zendesk, JWT, SSO, Hash Dictionaries

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    Zendesk, JWT, SSO, Hash Dictionaries

    Anyone ever set up a single-sign-on with JSON Web Token (SSO w/ JWT) for Zendesk?

    The API is over my head, despite examples in Ruby on Rails, PHP, Python and more.

    Right now I'm stuck on understanding "you need to send several required user attributes to Zendesk as a hash (hash table, dictionary)." Heck, if I can get through this piece I might find my way.

    Or, if some can help me translate one of the examples into an A5W page.

    More information here for the adventurous:

    Warning: Don't try this at home.

    Re: Zendesk, JWT, SSO, Hash Dictionaries

    I had a look Steve. Have you asked Zendesk for any Javascript implementation examples?

    Looking at their example data it looks like it's just a JSON Object. A Key/Value pair. In searching for information on a 'hash table dictionary' I find that there are (apparently) lots of ways to implement a dictionary and a hash table is just one way. The hash table seems to be an javascript associative array. Have a look here...

    Does this flow make sense...

    Unauthorized user to your Zendesk.
    Zendesk sends them to your site to login. Your a5w page.
    User logs in. If successfull your a5w page builds the hash table (JSON object).
    When the user got to your page a return page was included as a request variable.
    You get that return page,include your hash table info, and send the user back out.


      Re: Zendesk, JWT, SSO, Hash Dictionaries

      The hash table has me stumped David. I think I've constructed the JSON object just fine. But are you saying "hash table" and "JSON object" are the same things?

      Another developer here replied privately, suggesting encryption, and I can't even be sure if encryption is needed.

      I'm going to test my code this evening, which involved setting our account up for the SSO and such, and see what happens.

      Based on that, I'll probably have some questions for Zendesk support which seems quite good but of course my context and theirs differ quite a bit.


        Re: Zendesk, JWT, SSO, Hash Dictionaries

        The hash table contains the JSON Object. I think the hash table is the encoded and signed JSON Object.

        As for the encryped stuff... Zendesk warns you that it's not so don't put anything sensitive in the string...

        One thing to be aware of is that the JWT payload is merely encoded and signed, not encrypted, so don't put any sensitive data in the hash table. JWT works by serializing the JSON that is being transmitted to a string. It then base 64 encodes that string and then makes an HMAC of the base 64 string which depends on the shared secret. This produces a signature that the recipient side can use to validate the user.
        Is it encoded however.

        This looks like it's one of those things where there's tons of information... and none of it helps... at all.

        Here's a github repo for a javascript implementation of JWT.

        It seems that the hash table is an encoded and hashed JSON object...

        JWT works by simply encoding a string made up of a small JSON object and hashing it using a secret shared between the two parties.
        That's from this site...

        All the examples I've seen seem to be in ruby, php etc... not javascript.

        Generally... you put together a JSON Object containing the data you want to pass. Then you encode it... and sign it... and send it.

        Of course... knowing all this doesn't help one bit. I think you need a Javascript example from Zendesk.


          Re: Zendesk, JWT, SSO, Hash Dictionaries

          Here's something that may be a great resource. Not only a JWT Javascript Library... but also on Online Tool for generating JWTs & JWSs


            Re: Zendesk, JWT, SSO, Hash Dictionaries

            I want to follow up here and publicly thank Jim Coltz for offering up a the correct code, with a bit of feedback from Zendesk tech support. Jim did a great job translating their ASP and C# code examples into Xbasic's and .NET functions. While, like any API, it takes a while to accomplish, looks like we're well on our way to a nice integration here.