ServiceContext holds information that is necessary for a OAUth2 client or an OpenID Connect (OIDC) RP to work properly. When an RP/Client receives information from an OP/AS it will store all or parts of it in the ServiceContext. When it constructs requests it will use the ServiceContext to find values for parameters in the request.

Content of the ServiceContext

There are a number of distinct parts of information in the ServiceContext. One can group them into a couple of groups:

  • Information about the client
  • Information about the OP/AS

Information about the client and the OP/AS can be gotten in two different ways. Either by static configuration or by dynamic discovery/registration.

Client Information

These are the ServiceContext parameters that deals with information about the client.

Note: Even though I talk about RPs below most of the things I describe is equally valid for OAUth2 Clients.

The information can broadly be grouped into two groups. The first being information about the client that is unconnected to which OP/AS the RP/Client interacts with, those are:

  • This is the part of URLs that the client presents to the outside that doesn’t vary between the URLs.
  • If the request_uri parameter is used then signed JWTs will be stored in this directory.

The second group of parameters then is OP/AS dependent

  • This is used to make the client allow divergence from the standards. The only present use if for non-matching issuer values. According to the OIDC standard the value of iss in an ID Token must be the same as the Issuer ID of the OP. The value of allow is a dictionary
  • example: allow={“issuer_missmatch”: True}
A container for all the keys that the RP needs. To begin with the key jar will only contain keys that is owned by the RP. Over time it will also be populated with keys used by the OP
  • The identifier of the client. This value is not globally unique but only unique for a special RP-OP combination.
  • The client ID can either be returned by a out-of-band registration service connected to the OP or during OIDC dynamic client registration.
  • There must be a client ID
  • There may be a client secret.
  • The client secret can be used as a symmetric key in symmetric key cryptography or as a password while doing client authentication.
  • As with client_id the client secret can either be returned by some out-of-band registration service together with the client_id or obtained during OIDC dynamic client registration
  • A list or URLs to where the OP should redirect the user agent after the authorization/authentication process has completed.
  • Depending on the response_type and response_mode used you may want to pick one specific redirect_uri out of a given set.

  • The keys presently understood by the system are the ones listed in the example.

  • Example:

        “code”: “”,
        “implicit”: “”,
        “form_post”: “”
  • Set when a positive client registration has been received and the OP has added client_secret_expires_at to the response
  • Set when a positive client registration has been received and the OP has added registration_access_token to the response
  • If OIDC dynamic client registration is not supported by the OP or if dynamic registration is not used then this is where necessary information about how the RP should behave against the OP must be stored.

  • If dynamic client registration is used then the result after matching the registration response against the client_preferences are store here.

  • Example:

       "response_types": ["code"],
       "scope": ["openid", "profile", "email"],
       "token_endpoint_auth_method": ["client_secret_basic",
  • When dynamic client registration is used this is where it’s specified what should be sent in the registration request. This information will be added to before sending it to the OP, more about that below. The format is the same as for behaviour.

  • The possible content is described in

  • Example:

       "application_type": "web",
       "application_name": "rphandler",
       "contacts": [""],
       "response_types": ["code", "id_token", "id_token token",
                          "code id_token", "code id_token token",
                          "code token"],
       "scope": ["openid", "profile", "email", "address", "phone"],
       "token_endpoint_auth_method": ["client_secret_basic",

NOTE: If you do static client configuration you MUST define behaviour in configuration.

If you do dynamic client registration you MAY use behaviour and you should use client_preferences. The result of matching the client_preferences with registration response will be used to update behaviour.

OP information

Basically only 2 pieces of information:

  • The issuer ID of the OP. This must be an URL.
  • This is found by using WebFinger, by some other issuer discovery service
    or by static configuration.

Session information

Stored in the state_db database. The database should be some kind of persistent data storage. For testing an in-memory database is OK but not for production.

The database must be of the key-value type. The key into the session state information is the value of the state parameter in the authorization request.

The following data is stored per session:

Client ID
Issuer ID
When the entry in the state_db was created
The response_type specified in the authorization request
The scope specified in the authorization request
The redirect_uri used in the authorization request
  • Information about the access token received

  • Example:

    {‘access_token’: ‘Z0FBQUFBQmFkdFF’, ‘token_type’: ‘Bearer’,
     ‘scope’: [‘openid’]}
The received ID Token as a signed JWT

Using the ServiceContext

The objects that use the ServiceContext are the oidcservice.service.Service instances. These object read and write to the ServiceContext while a session is active.

Below I’ll go through the interaction between a certain type of service and the ServiceContext. There interaction takes place when the service is constructing a request and when after having parsed the response it wants to update the ServiceContext.


Constructing request

If Webfinger is used then nothing but an identifier for a user is in place so the ServiceContext doesn’t contain any useful information.

Updating the ServiceContext

If the WebFinger request got a positive response then the URL which is the OP issuer ID is now know and will be stored in ServiceContext.issuer .


There are 2 paths here, either the information is provided in the configuration setup or the information is expected to be fetch using OIDC dynamic provider info discovery.

If it’s in the configuration updating the Service Context consists of initiating a oidcmsg.oidc.ProviderConfigurationResponse class with the provided information. Setting ServiceContext.issuer to the issuer value provided in the configuration and adding the oidcmsg.oidc.ProviderConfigurationResponse instance as value to ServiceContext.provider_info.

If discovery is done then the following happens:

Constructing request

The URL that is the Issuer ID is picked from ServiceContext.issuer and the “.well-known/openid-configuration” path is added to the the URL. The resulting URL is then used for the discovery request

Updating the ServiceContext

The parsed response, if it is an oidcmsg.oidc.ProviderConfigurationResponse instance is added to ServiceContext.provider_info. Also if dynamic client registration is to be used and therefor ServiceContext.client_preferences has been define this is where the preferences together with the provider info response are converted into a ServiceContext.behaviour value.


As for ProviderInfoDiscovery there are 2 possible path. The first using static client registration in which case all the necessary information must be included in the configuration. As a similar process to what happens in ProviderInfoDiscovery a oidcmsg.oidc.RegistrationResponse instance is created with the information in the configuration.

If dynamic client registration is to happen, then the following happens.

Constructing request

Apart from the information given in client_preferences some more information are gathered from the ServiceContext. From ServiceContext.provider_info we get:

This just so we know where to send the user-agent
If this is set to True we need to construct request_uris and add them to the registration request

From ServiceContext you can get redirect_uris and/or callback. Depending on what is configured a set of redirect_uris are added to the request

Same goes for post_logout_redirect_uris

Updating the ServiceContext

The parsed registration response if it was positive is stored in ServiceContext.registration_response. Sets the following parameters in ServiceContext if present in the registration response:

  • client_id
  • client_secret
  • client_secret_expires_at
  • registration_access_token

Also if token_endpoint_auth_method