Scopes

Scopes

When an application is created in the Developer Console, the user must configure application scopes. Similar to how users have permissions to access files and folders within Box, applications have their own set of permissions to perform certain actions on behalf of a Box user or a Box enterprise. The name for a set of permissions for an application is a "scope". In short, an application's scopes determine which endpoints an application can successfully call and are reflected in the access provided by Access Tokens of the application.

User permissions and scopes

It is important to understand that even if an application has the right scopes to perform an action, the user associated with the Access Token making the call needs to have permission to perform the action as well and vice versa.

For example, if your application is set up to read files, the authenticated user does need to have permission to read the file you are trying to access.

To learn more about how scopes, token permissions, and user permissions work together, see our blog post on understanding security.

Scopes & OAuth 2 authorization

When sending a user through a client-side OAuth 2 flow to authorize your application it is possible to append a set of scopes to the authorization URL to further restrict the user's access token.

For example, if you application has the root_readonly and root_readwrite scopes enabled, it is possible to restrict a user's access token to root_readonly by specifying this scope when redirecting the user.

GET https://account.box.com/api/oauth2/authorize?scope=root_readonly&client_id=....

When the scope parameter is omitted the application will use the scopes that were set when the application was created.

Self-service scopes

These scopes are available through the Developer Console when configuring an application. Navigate to the Application Scopes section of the Configuration tab and select one or more of the following scope.

Read all files and folders

OAuth Scoperoot_readonly
Application ScopeRead all files and folders stored in Box

Gives an application the ability to read all the files/folders for the authenticated user.

Although this gives an application the permission to read files and folders, the user making the API call does need to have access to the items being accessed.

In the case of a JWT application accessing a Managed User's items, the Service Account's Token will need to either use the as-user header or create a User Access Token to directly authenticate as the user who has access to the content.

Read and write all files and folders

OAuth Scoperoot_readwrite
Application ScopeRead and write all files and folders stored in Box

Gives an application write access for the authenticated user. This allows the application to upload files or new file versions, download content, create new folders, update or delete collaborations, create comments or tasks, and more.

Although this gives an application read/write access to items, the user making the API call needs to have access to the content.

Manage users

The manage users scope in the Developer Console maps to two OAuth scopes.

OAuth Scopemanage_managed_users
Application ScopeManage users

Gives an application permission to manage Managed Users. It allows the app to change the user's primary login, reset their password, and change roles for managed users.

Although this allows an application manage users, for client-side applications, the Access Token used must be associated with an Admin or Co-Admin with the correct permissions.

Additionally, for JWT applications, the application must be configured with App Access + Enterprise Access application access.

OAuth Scopemanage_app_users
Application ScopeManage users

Gives an application permission to manage App Users, which means this scope only applies to server-side authenticated (JWT) applications.

Manage groups

OAuth Scopemanage_groups
Application ScopeManage groups

Gives an application permission to manage an enterprise's groups. It allows the app to create, update, and delete groups, as well as manage group membership.

Although this allows an application manage groups, for client-side applications, the Access Token used must be associated with an Admin Co-Admin with the correct permissions.

Additionally, for JWT applications, the application must be configured with App Access + Enterprise Access application access.

Manage webhooks

OAuth Scopemanage_webhook
Application ScopeManage webhooks

Gives an application permission to create webhooks for a user. Please review webhook limitations. Most notably, there is a limit of 1000 webhooks per application, per user.

Manage enterprise properties

OAuth Scopemanage_enterprise_properties
Application ScopeManage enterprise properties

Gives an application permission to view the enterprise event stream, as well as view and edit the enterprise's attributes and reports. It also allows the application to edit and delete device pins.

Although this allows an application to enterprise properties, for client-side applications, the Access Token used must must be associated with an Admin Co-Admin with the correct permissions.

Manage retention policies

OAuth Scopemanage_data_retention
Application ScopeManage retention policies
Depends onenterprise_content-scope

Gives an application permission to view and create retention policies with Box Governance. This requires the enterprise to have purchased Box Governance.

This scope also requires the enterprise_content scope to function properly. These scopes can be requested by opening a ticket via our support channels.

Manage signature requests

OAuth Scopesign_requests.readwrite
Application ScopeManage signature requests

Gives an application permission to get, create, cancel, and resend sign requests.

This scope requires the application to also have read/write scopes, which are automatically selected when enabled. In addition, an enterprise must have Sign enabled

Available on request

There are some additional scopes that are only available upon request. To do so, please submit a ticket to our support team. They will review these requests on an individual basis and only provide approval if the use case requires the scope.

It is not possible to request extra scopes if your account is a free trial account. Before filing a support request for activation of the following scopes, log in to your paid enterprise account or upgrade your free developer account to an enterprise account tier.

OAuth Scopemanage_legal_holds
Application ScopeManage retention policies
Depends onenterprise_content-scope

Gives an application permission to view and create retention policies with Box Governance. This requires the enterprise to have purchased Box Governance.

This scope depends on the enterprise_content scope to function properly. This scope can be requested by opening a ticket via our support channels.

Suppress email notifications

Application ScopeCan suppress email notifications from API calls

Allows some types of email notifications to be suppressed when API calls are made.

Global Content Manager (GCM)

OAuth Scopeenterprise_content
Application ScopeGlobal Content Manager

Allows Admins and Service Accounts to retrieve any content within their enterprise without having explicit ownership or collaboration permission. This scope is also required to manage retention policies and legal holds.

Side effects

Enabling this scope on an application changes the behavior of some API calls, and most notably, makes it impossible to write content without explicitly authenticating as a user using the as-user header. Additionally, enabling this scope disables accessing content that is owned by users in another enterprise.

For this reason, this scope will not be provisioned unless absolutely necessary.

Scopes for downscoping

In some cases an Access Token needs to be downscoped to a more strict permission level, especially when a token needs to be exposed to a client-side, public environment like a browser. The primary example for this is when using Box UI Elements, which require an Access Token in the user's browser.

The following is a list of additional scopes that can be used with the POST /oauth2/token endpoint to downscope an existing access token.

OAuth ScopeUI Element affectedDescription
annotation_editPreviewAllow user to edit & delete annotations
annotation_view_allPreviewAllows user to view annotations by all users
annotation_view_selfPreviewAllows user to view their own annotations only
base_explorerExplorerAllows access to content in the folder tree based on user/file/token permissions
base_pickerPickerAllows access to content in the folder tree based on user/file/token permissions
base_previewPreviewAllows the user to preview the file, nothing else
base_sidebarSidebarAllows the user to get basic file info needed for the sidebar UI element
base_uploadUploaderAllows upload into the folder specified under resource when downscoping the token
item_deleteExplorerAllows files and folders to be deleted
item_downloadExplorer, PreviewAllows files or a folder's content to be downloaded
item_previewExplorerEnables preview of a file
item_renameExplorerAllows files and folders to be renamed
item_shareExplorer, PickerAllows the item specified under resource of the token exchange to be shared
item_uploadPickerAllows upload in the content picker

The standard OAuth scopes are also supported when downscoping.

OAuth ScopeDescription
root_readonlyRead all files and folders stored in Box
root_readwriteRead and write all files and folders stored in Box
manage_managed_usersManage managed users
manage_app_usersManage app users
manage_groupsManage groups
manage_webhookManage webhooks
manage_enterprise_propertiesManage enterprise properties
manage_data_retentionManage retention policies
sign_requests.readwriteManage sign requests