box_auth_service {boxr}R Documentation

Authenticate to Box (service-app)


How you authenticate to Box depends the Box-app through which you connect. A Box service-app can be useful for unattended jobs that need access to only a limited part of Box, e.g. one folder.

Use this function to access Box using a service-app.

To access a service-app, you will need a JSON web-token (JWT), generated by your Box-admin team. If you have a personal Box account, you are your Box-admin team. You specify the JWT either as token_file, the path to the JWT file, or as token_text, the text of the JWT.

Using JWT-authentication is more convenient than using standard OAuth2 authentication, as you do not have to go through the "OAuth Dance". This convenience brings additional considerations because the JWT file gives its bearer uninhibited access to anything the Box service-app can access. Accordingly, you are recommended to:


box_auth_service(token_file = NULL, token_text = NULL)



character, path to JSON token-file. If not provided, the function will look for an environment variable BOX_TOKEN_FILE. If that is not there, it will try ⁠~/.boxr-auth/token.json⁠.


character, JSON text. If this is provided, token_file is ignored.


The default behavior of a service-app is to act on behalf of the service-account associated with the service-app. This is different from an interactive-app, which acts on behalf of the Box user who authenticates to it.

To use a service-app on a folder belonging to a Box user, either the Box user has to invite the service-account to collaborate on a folder belonging to the user, or the service-account has to invite the Box user to collaborate on a folder belonging to the service-account.

In either case, you can use box_collab_create().

In mid-2020, there appeared intermittent and unexplained failures of box_auth_service(); the theory is that the clocks at either end of the authentication process can be out-of-sync. The workaround is to watch for this failure, then retry the authentication request with a time-offset. If an offset is used, this function generates a message.

For more details on Box service-apps, including how to create them, and service-app-based workflows, please read this boxr service-app article.


Invisible NULL, called for side effects.


This function has some side effects:

See Also


for authenticating to interactive-apps.


for creating a collaboration with a different account on a Box file or folder.

Box Developers: Setup with JWT

documentation for setting up Box (service) apps with JWT.

[Package boxr version 0.3.6 Index]