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Official Box Python SDK

Project description Documentation Status


pip install boxsdk

The current version of the SDK is v2.x — if you’re looking for the code or documentation for v1.5.x, please see the 1.5 branch. Note that all new features and fixes will be made on the 2.x branch; you should consider upgrading from 1.5.x at your earliest convenience. See the changelog for a list of breaking changes and added features between the major versions.

Getting Started

To get started with the SDK, get a Developer Token from the Configuration page of your app in the Box Developer Console. You can use this token to make test calls for your own Box account.

The SDK provides an interactive DevelopmentClient that makes it easy to test out the SDK in a REPL. This client will automatically prompt for a new Developer Token when it requires one, and will log HTTP requests and responses to aid in debugging and understanding how the SDK makes API calls.

>>> from boxsdk import DevelopmentClient
>>> client = DevelopmentClient()
Enter developer token: <ENTER DEVELOPER TOKEN HERE>
>>> user = client.user().get()
GET {'headers': {'Authorization': '---wXyZ',
            'User-Agent': 'box-python-sdk-2.0.0',
            'X-Box-UA': 'agent=box-python-sdk/2.0.0; env=python/3.6.5'},
'params': None}
"GET" 200 454
{'Date': 'Thu, 01 Nov 2018 23:32:11 GMT', 'Content-Type': 'application/json', 'Transfer-Encoding': 'chunked', 'Connection': 'keep-alive', 'Strict-Transport-Security': 'max-age=31536000', 'Cache-Control': 'no-cache, no-store', 'Content-Encoding': 'gzip', 'Vary': 'Accept-Encoding', 'BOX-REQUEST-ID': '0b50luc09ahp56m2jmkla8mgmh2', 'Age': '0'}
{'address': '',
'avatar_url': '',
'created_at': '2012-06-07T11:14:50-07:00',
'id': '123456789',
'job_title': '',
'language': 'en',
'login': '',
'max_upload_size': 16106127360,
'modified_at': '2018-10-30T17:01:27-07:00',
'name': 'Example User',
'phone': '',
'space_amount': 1000000000000000.0,
'space_used': 14330018065,
'status': 'active',
'timezone': 'America/Los_Angeles',
'type': 'user'}

>>> print('The current user ID is {0}'.format(
The current user ID is 123456789

Outside of a REPL, you can initialize a new Client with just the Developer Token to get started.

from boxsdk import OAuth2, Client

auth = OAuth2(
client = Client(auth)

user = client.user().get()
print('The current user ID is {0}'.format(


The Box API uses OAuth2 for auth. The SDK makes it relatively painless to work with OAuth2 tokens.

Server-to-Server Auth with JWT

The Python SDK supports your JWT Authentication applications.

Authenticating with a JWT requires some extra dependencies. To get them, simply

pip install "boxsdk[jwt]"

Instead of instantiating your Client with an instance of OAuth2, instead use an instance of JWTAuth.

from boxsdk import JWTAuth

auth = JWTAuth(

access_token = auth.authenticate_instance()

from boxsdk import Client

client = Client(auth)

This client is able to create application users:

ned_stark_user = client.create_user('Ned Stark')

These users can then be authenticated:

ned_auth = JWTAuth(
ned_client = Client(ned_auth)

Requests made with ned_client (or objects returned from ned_client’s methods) will be performed on behalf of the newly created app user.

Traditional 3-legged OAuth2

Get the Authorization URL

from boxsdk import OAuth2

oauth = OAuth2(

auth_url, csrf_token = oauth.get_authorization_url('http://YOUR_REDIRECT_URL')

store_tokens is a callback used to store the access token and refresh token. You might want to define something like this:

def store_tokens(access_token, refresh_token):
    # store the tokens at secure storage (e.g. Keychain)

The SDK will keep the tokens in memory for the duration of the Python script run, so you don’t always need to pass store_tokens.

Authenticate (Get Access/Refresh Tokens)

If you navigate the user to the auth_url, the user will eventually get redirected to http://YOUR_REDIRECT_URL?code=YOUR_AUTH_CODE. After getting the code, you will be able to use the code to exchange for an access token and refresh token.

The SDK handles all the work for you; all you need to do is run:

# Make sure that the csrf token you get from the `state` parameter
# in the final redirect URI is the same token you get from the
# get_authorization_url method.
assert 'THE_CSRF_TOKEN_YOU_GOT' == csrf_token
access_token, refresh_token = oauth.authenticate('YOUR_AUTH_CODE')

Create an Authenticated Client

from boxsdk import Client

client = Client(oauth)

And that’s it! You can start using the client to do all kinds of cool stuff and the SDK will handle the token refresh for you automatically.

Instantiate a Client Given an Access and a Refresh Token

Alternatively, you can instantiate an OAuth2 object with the access token and refresh token. Once you have an oauth object you can pass that into the Client object to instantiate a client and begin making calls.

from boxsdk import Client, OAuth2

oauth = OAuth2(

client = Client(oauth)
user = client.user().get()

This will retrieve the current user! From here you can use the client you created to start making calls.

Other Auth Options

For advanced uses of the SDK, three additional auth classes are provided:

  • CooperativelyManagedOAuth2: Allows multiple auth instances to share tokens.

  • RemoteOAuth2: Allows use of the SDK on clients without access to your application’s client secret. Instead, you provide a retrieve_access_token callback. That callback should perform the token refresh, perhaps on your server that does have access to the client secret.

  • RedisManagedOAuth2: Stores access and refresh tokens in Redis. This allows multiple processes (possibly spanning multiple machines) to share access tokens while synchronizing token refresh. This could be useful for a multiprocess web server, for example.

Usage Documentation

Full documentation of the available functionality with example code is available in the SDK documentation pages, and there is also method-level documentation available on ReadTheDocs.

Making API Calls Manually

The Box API is continually evolving. As such, there are API endpoints available that are not specifically supported by the SDK. You can still use these endpoints by using the make_request method of the Client.

# Returns a Python dictionary containing the result of the API request
json_response = client.make_request(
    client.get_url('metadata_templates', 'enterprise', 'customer', 'schema'),

make_request() takes two parameters:

  • method -an HTTP verb like GET or POST

  • url - the URL of the requested API endpoint

The Client class and Box objects have a get_url method. Pass it an endpoint to get the correct URL for use with that object and endpoint.

For API calls which require a body, make_request() accepts **kwargs after method and url.

# Updates a user's ToS status

# JSONify the body
body = json.dumps({"is_accepted":true})

# Pass body as "data" argument
client.make_request(method, url, data = body)

Other Client Options

Logging Client

For more insight into the network calls the SDK is making, you can use the LoggingClient class. This class logs information about network requests and responses made to the Box API.

>>> from boxsdk import LoggingClient
>>> client = LoggingClient()
>>> client.user().get()
GET {'headers': {u'Authorization': u'Bearer ---------------------------kBjp',
             u'User-Agent': u'box-python-sdk-1.5.0'},
 'params': None}
{"type":"user","id":"..","name":"Jeffrey Meadows","login":"..",..}
<boxsdk.object.user.User at 0x10615b8d0>

For more control over how the information is logged, use the LoggingNetwork class directly.

from boxsdk import Client
from import LoggingNetwork

# Use a custom logger
client = Client(oauth, network_layer=LoggingNetwork(logger))

Developer Token Client

The Box Developer Console allows for the creation of short-lived developer tokens. The SDK makes it easy to use these tokens. Use the get_new_token_callback parameter to control how the client will get new developer tokens as needed. The default is to prompt standard input for a token.

Development Client

For exploring the Box API, or to quickly get going using the SDK, the DevelopmentClient class combines the LoggingClient with the DeveloperTokenClient.


Custom Subclasses

Custom object subclasses can be defined:

from boxsdk import Client
from boxsdk import Folder

class MyFolderSubclass(Folder):

client = Client(oauth)
client.translator.register('folder', MyFolderSubclass)
folder = client.folder('0')

>>> print folder
>>> <Box MyFolderSubclass - 0>

If an object subclass is registered in this way, instances of this subclass will be returned from all SDK methods that previously returned an instance of the parent. See BaseAPIJSONObjectMeta and Translator to see how the SDK performs dynamic lookups to determine return types.



Developer Setup

Create a virtual environment and install packages -

mkvirtualenv boxsdk
pip install -r requirements-dev.txt


Run all tests using -


The tox tests include code style checks via pep8 and pylint.

The tox tests are configured to run on Python 2.7, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, and PyPy (our CI is configured to run PyPy tests on PyPy 4.0).

Questions, Bugs, and Feature Requests?

Need to contact us directly? Browse the issues tickets! Or, if that doesn’t work, file a new one and we will get back to you. If you have general questions about the Box API, you can post to the Box Developer Forum.

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