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Upwork OAuth login for your Django-based project

Project description

Simple Upwork login for your app. Tested with Django 1.8 (see example project).

Before oDesk rebranded as Upwork, this library was called django-odesk-auth. The latest version of django-odesk-auth works with Upwork already. This library is not backwards compatible with django-odesk-auth.

Creating Upwork OAuth API key

Go to

  • Authentication type should be set to “OAuth 1.0”.

  • Callback URL should be left blank.

  • Default authentication backend requires “View the structure of your companies/teams” permission to be checked.

Adding Upwork auth to your Django project

Make sure you have django-upwork-auth and python-upwork==1.0 installed. Make sure you have Django’s sites and session frameworks enabled.

  1. Add 'django_upwork_auth' to INSTALLED_APPS.

  2. Add 'django_upwork_auth.backends.UpworkOAuthBackend' to AUTHENTICATION_BACKENDS.

  3. Specify UPWORK_OAUTH_KEY and UPWORK_OAUTH_SECRET settings with your key information.

  4. Add 'your_upwork_username' to UPWORK_AUTH_ALLOWED_USERS, and set UPWORK_AUTH_AUTO_CREATE_USERS to True.

  5. Include django_upwork_auth.urls in your URL patterns.

  6. In your login page template, put a link (say, “Log in via Upwork”) and point it to {% url "upwork_oauth_login" %}.

  7. Open login page and click “Log in via Upwork” to verify everything works.

IMPORTANT: keep UPWORK_OAUTH_KEY and UPWORK_OAUTH_SECRET settings in a file that is not under version control. One way to do that is to keep all public settings in versioned file named say, from which you import everything in that is not versioned. Django in this setup should be pointed to, as usual.

Example project

Requirements: Vagrant, Ansible, and free 8000 port.

First, fill in the necessary settings in example_project/ (see comments in the file).

From example_project directory, bring up a VM using Vagrantfile provided and manually run Django development server in it:

$ vagrant up
$ vagrant ssh
vm$ cd /vagrant/example_project/
vm$ ./ runserver

On your host machine, navigate to where you should be able to test Upwork login functionality in action.

Authentication backend

Stock authentication backend assumes that you only use Upwork login in your app. When someone logs in, if their Upwork ID matches existing username, it logs them in as that user. If there’s no username matching given Upwork ID, it optionally creates a user with such username.

ATTENTION: Watch out you are using other authentication methods or for some reason have any chance of one end user’s Upwork ID matching existing username of another end user!

Stock authentication backend provides optional basic access control facilities. You can specify who is allowed to log in to your site and who upon login gets staff and/or superuser statuses. This is configured through Django settings.

If whitelisting is on and given user is not on the white list, their User.is_active flag gets set to False upon login.

See below for settings provided by stock authentication backend.

You can subclass stock authentication backend to override user manipulation (see handle_unknown_user() and update_user() methods).

Making authenticated Upwork API calls

After user is successfully authenticated you can call Upwork API on their behalf. For that you’d need the access token obtained during OAuth flow.

By default this app uses Django’s built-in session framework to store access token. The key it uses can be retrieved from django_upwork_auth.settings.ACCESS_TOKEN_SESSION_KEY and customized via UPWORK_OAUTH_ACCESS_TOKEN_SESSION_KEY setting.

Example code you can have in your view:

from django_upwork_auth import utils, settings

upwork_client = utils.get_client(

# Should output list of teamrooms current user belongs to

You can use another storage technique by overriding UPWORK_OAUTH_ACCESS_TOKEN_STORE_FUNC. It’s useful if you need to make Upwork API call but can’t easily read user’s session because there’s no request context. For example, you can store access token with associated username in Redis and query it in your asynchronous tasks.


  • How you make API calls is up to you. Internally django-upwork-auth uses python-upwork library, and so does the above example.

  • utils.get_client() function returns an instance of upwork.Client. Handy if you’re using python-upwork library to make API calls.

Verifying OAuth access token

Sometimes there’s a need to make sure that current user’s authentication is still valid—that they, for example, didn’t revoke access to their account.

This app provides a helper for that: see utils.check_login(). It can be used in a view like this:

from django_upwork_auth import utils

def oauth_check_login(request):
    u"""Verifies OAuth access token and user status on Upwork.
    Returns HTTP 200 (OK) or HTTP 401 (Unauthorized)
    with additional information in response body text.
    access_token = utils.access_token.get(request)

    if access_token is None or len(access_token) != 2:
        return http.HttpResponse(
            u"Bad or missing Upwork OAuth access token", status=401)

    result, details = utils.check_login(access_token)

    if result is True:
        return http.HttpResponse(details, status=200)
        return http.HttpResponse(details, status=401)

Available Django settings


API key information.


Where to redirect the user at the end of OAuth flow. Path or URL pattern name.


Function to be called to store OAuth access token for future access. It’s passed two arguments: a request where user is already authenticated and the access token associated with that user. Default implementation stores token in session under ACCESS_TOKEN_SESSION_KEY.

Specific to stock authentication backend

These are relevant unless you subclass stock backends.UpworkOAuthBackend and override some of its logic.

By default anyone can log in. Whitelist mode can be turned on by assigning non-empty tuple to UPWORK_AUTH_WHITELIST or UPWORK_AUTH_TEAM_WHITELIST setting.


Whether to create a new account in Django if given user uses Upwork login for the first time (i.e., ID returned by Upwork is free in your Django DB).


Upwork IDs of users who are allowed to log in via Upwork.


Upwork IDs of users who are marked as is_staff upon login.


Upwork IDs of users who are marked as is_superuser upon login.


IDs of Upwork teamrooms, members of which are allowed to log in via Upwork.


IDs of Upwork teamrooms, members of which are marked as is_staff upon login.


IDs of Upwork teamrooms, members of which are marked as is_superuser upon login.

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