Service Accounts

Service Accounts enable the ability for automatically triggered pipelines to modify resources in protected accounts or applications.

Service Accounts enable the ability for automatically triggered pipelines to modify resources in protected accounts or applications. Practically speaking, this means that a Git commit could trigger a Jenkins build that could then kick off a pipeline to deploy the newly built image in your access-controlled QA environment. The pipeline would run utilizing the permissions of the service account. Service accounts are NOT authenticated accounts but abstractions around permissions for roles.

Creating service accounts

Service accounts are persistent and configuration merely consists of giving it a name and a set of roles. Therefore, Front50 is the most logical place to configure a service account. There is no UI for creating service accounts at the moment.

Users with all the roles defined in the service account can grant a pipeline “Run as ” but only if the service account itself has EXECUTE access to that app. Users with EXECUTE access to the app can then run the pipeline with additional set of roles (e.g. access to a provider account or some other app).

Until Halyard supports creation of service accounts, you’ll need to run the following commands:


curl -X POST \
  -H "Content-type: application/json" \
  -d '{ "name": "", "memberOf": ["myApp-prod","myApp-qa"] }' \

Note: In the above command, myApp-prod and myApp-qa are roles, not application names.

You can see your new service account that just got created:

curl $FRONT50/serviceAccounts

A Fiat sync may be necessary for all affected users to pick up the changes:


curl -X POST $FIAT/roles/sync

Confirm the new service account has permissions to the resources that you think it should by querying Fiat:

$ curl $FIAT/authorize/myApp-svc-account

Service account roles

The roles you give this service account determine who has access to use it. In order to prevent a privilege escalation vulnerability, only users with every role the service account has may use it.

For example, if user “Batman” has roles foo, bar, and baz and service account “Alfred” has roles foo and bar, then “Batman” has access to use “Alfred” in his pipelines. However, user “Joker”, with role foo, does not have all of the roles “Alfred” has, so he cannot use it.

Using service accounts

With Fiat enabled, you should now see a “Run As User” option in your Trigger configuration. This list contains all of the service accounts you currently have access to.

run as user from pipeline config in UI

Upon saving this pipeline, two authorization checks occur:

  1. Does this user have access to this service account? (If using the UI, this should always be the case.)
  2. Does this service account have access to this application?

At pipeline runtime, standard authorization checks against the account and application occur just as if it were a human user.

Deleting service accounts

To delete a service account, use the following DELETE endpoint in Front50:

# Service Account ID is the same as service account name with all lowercase
curl -X DELETE "$FRONT50/serviceAccounts/$SERVICE_ACCOUNT_ID"

Similar to service account creation, a Fiat sync (curl -X POST $FIAT/roles/sync ) might be necessary for the changes to be immediately reflected.

Last modified October 15, 2020: some of the commits (baf02e3)