Configuring basic authentication


This page walks through the steps required to configure basic authentication for a connector.

Here, we're using WooCommerce as an example. General principles will be the same for any system that supports this authentication method but please refer to your own API documentation for specific setup requirements.


  • For this task, we'll be using techniques described in previous connector variables and authentication method options sections - we advise getting familiar with these before attempting steps detailed here.

  • Ensure that you have API documentation to hand, for your third-party application.

  • Ensure that you have all required credentials for testing.

  • We recommend using Postman to test any authentication methods that you're adding for a connector.

The Steps

Step 1 Check the API documentation for the third-party application that you're using - confirm that basic authentication is supported, and for any special requirements.

For our example, we can see that basic authentication is permitted and that we need to pass consumer_key as the username and consumer_secret as the password:

Step 2 Log in to the Patchworks dashboard and navigate to process flows > connectors & instances, where all of your installed connectors are shown. From here, access settings for the connector that you need to update with a new authentication method - for example:

If you're building a new connector, you can pick up these steps when you reach the authentication section of the connector builder.

Step 3 Access authentication details:

Step 4 Click the add new authentication method button:

Step 5 Complete basic details for this authentication method - ensure that you set the authentication type to basic and enter the required URL from your API documentation. Click the create button when you've finished, for more configuration options - for example:

Step 6 By default, the basic authentication type includes two required auth variables - username and password:

These are known variables that a user must provide to authenticate an instance of this connector using basic authentication. You can also add more auth variables if required.

If your API documentation requires users to provide an actual username and password to authenticate this connector, these can be left as they are. However, many APIs expect alternative information to be passed as these fields.

Taking our example, the WooCommerce API documentation states that a consumer key should be provided as the username and a consumer secret should be provided as the password:

As such, we need to rename the default username and password fields. To do this, click the field name and update the display name as appropriate - we do this for both username and password:

If required, you can add more auth variables here.

Some APIs are case sensitive when it comes to adding variables - be sure to enter key names exactly as they are specified in API documentation.

Step 7 With username and password fields renamed (or not) as required, we now need to define where any information that users provide for these fields should be injected into the API request. For basic authentication, these details are always passed in request headers.

To set this up, click the header tab, followed by the add new header button.

Step 8 You can now enter your authentication options as key pairs:

Here, the key is the name of the parameter that you're passing in as the username / password, as defined in the API documentation for your third-party application. Taking our example, we know that the consumer_key is required for username and consumer_secret is required for password:

So, our key pair for username would be defined as follows (injecting consumer_key information into the {{username}} variable:

And our key pair for password would be defined as follows (injecting consumer_secret information into the {{password}} variable:

Step 9 This completes our setup for basic authentication. Now, when someone chooses to add an instance for this connector, basic authentication will be an option that they can choose. If selected, the user will then be prompted to enter a username and password - or in the case of our example - a consumer key and a consumer secret:

Next steps

When you configure a process flow connection shape to use a given instance, you can then choose from a list of available endpoints. For example:

This list will only include endpoints for which the same authentication method is enabled, as was used to add/authenticate the selected instance.

So, having added a new authentication method, you must enable it for any connector endpoints that you might want to use with instances that are added using this authentication method.

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