The OAuth specification is a protocol for allowing client applications to behave on your site as representatives of the users who have access to resources on your site. If your site is an “OAuth provider,” it means that it will follow this protocol to grant (usually, temporary) access to automated clients to perform certain actions that users usually perform via browsers after going through a login (aka, authentication) process.
There are numerous tutorials on the web that discuss what it means to be an OAuth provider, and how OAuth clients can request access to a website, and use the OAuth credentials made available to them. This tutorial attempts to distil this knowledge further into the basics you need to understand to get going with using a particular implementation of OAuth, to wit, the Ruby and Rails libraries (gems) for OAuth. Continue reading “OAuth: A Quick Breakdown”