App Users & Service Accounts
An App User is a virtual type of user that has no login credentials and can only access Box via the API. This user can be used by applications that manage their own user authentication yet want to store the data for these users into separate Box user accounts.
Basic App Users can only be created when developing a Custom App using JWT authentication and the user is very much tied to the application that created it.
A Service Account is a special kind of App User that is similar to an Admin User yet has no login credentials and can only access Box via the API.
Service Accounts are automatically created when a Custom App is created in the developer console with the JWT authentication method. When these applications authenticate the default user it authenticates as is the Service Account for that application.
With the right scopes configured Service Accounts can edit enterprise permissions and manage both Managed Users and App Users.
A Service Account is also automatically tied to an application when a Partner Integration (for Box View) is created in the developer console.
This Service Account has some additional restrictions that a Service Account within a Custom App does not.
- All content used within the Partner Integration must be uploaded and owned by this Service Account
- The Service Account can not access any other user's information or content
- The Service Account can not create or otherwise manage any type of new user
- The Service Account can only access a subset of APIs related to previewing content