Introducing Asana Connect

Isaac Wolkerstorfer and Greg Slovacek

Just under a year ago, we launched an API to allow developers to build new tools on top of Asana. Since then, we’ve seen companies and independent developers use the Asana API to integrate Asana and their internal tools, add features like time-tracking and reporting dashboards, and even build separate products.

But until today, the only way to grant another application access to your Asana account was to use your API key.

Today, we’re introducing a better way to authorize other applications to use your Asana account: Asana Connect.

What is Asana Connect?

Asana Connect is a way you can connect your Asana account with any partner website or app using a trusted authentication method, OAuth. Now, whether you’re signing into the partner app or granting the partner app access to your tasks, you can use Asana Connect to securely authenticate and connect to your Asana account.

Asana Connect Button

Asana Connect is based on OAuth, which is an authentication standard supported by companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn and many, many others. When you “Connect with Facebook”, for instance, you’re using OAuth to let another app access some information about your Facebook account to identify you and make requests of the Facebook API on your behalf.

Likewise, if you signed up for Asana with your Google account, you were using OAuth.

Starting today, developers can begin to write apps that will let you securely give them permissions to access data in your Asana account. You can either accept or reject this request with the click of a single button.

Authentication

Revoking these apps’ permissions will be just as easy. You can click on your name in the lower left corner > Account Settings > Apps to see the Apps you’ve authorized with Asana Connect.

Apps Tab

Why Asana Connect is better

Using an API key to give third-party applications access to your Asana account was functional, but it suffered some drawbacks.

  • Applications would need to prompt you for the key, which you’d then have to go to the Asana app to locate, copy, return to the application, and paste in. This is not the smoothest experience.
  • Worse, to enter the key on a mobile device you’d often have to actually type it out. The API key is long and full of different characters and numbers, which enhances its security but makes it tedious to enter on mobile keyboards.
  • One API key was shared by all applications, meaning if you wanted to deauthorize just one application, you would have to reset your API key and enter the new one into all the apps you wanted to keep using.

Asana Connect makes those drawbacks go away.

The future soon

Of course, it will take developers some time to implement this new authentication method, but we hope that in the weeks and months ahead, you’ll see a lot fewer “enter an API key here” text fields and a lot more “Sign in with Asana” buttons. In fact, our friends over at Flowbs and Cloudwork already have Asana Connect up and running!

Developers can read up on all the technical details in the Developer Documentation, as well as check out some example code showing how to implement OAuth for Asana on Github.

  1. avatarKamran Mackey

    Amazing update to your API, guys! I love it. I can’t wait to see all the other things you guys will be launching this year. Keep up the fantastic work! :)

  2. avatarMostafa Hajizadeh

    Great improvement.

    I second Brandon’s idea. Having a list of useful apps that work with Asana would be awesome.

  3. avatarJohn Karian

    Our app marqueed.com just integrated with Asana because our users were screaming for it.  http://blog.marqueed.com/
    Great job on the API guys! it took just a couple of days to set it up and provide a lot more value to our users. +1 on an app gallery.

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  5. avatarDaniel Guajardo

    Great news!

    I was designing a strategy to deal with expired tokens (they only last 3600 seconds) when I noticed that it’s impossible to know if a request is denied due to expired token or an invalid token. If a user revoke the application access, or the token expire, i’ll get the same message.

    Usually response headers come with this information in Oauth2, but in this case there is nothing else than a {“errors”:[{"message":"Not Authorized"}]} message.

    Do you have any recommendation to deal with this situation? Other way I will have to keep using API key. Is there any plan to deprecate API keys?

    Thanks!

  6. avatarAndrew Mark

    Hi, question from previous blog that didn’t get answered:

    How can one delete a search view from the left hand pane?

    1. avatarKenny Van Zant Asana Team Member

      If you favorited it by clicking the star next to the name, just click the star again to “un-favorite” the search, and it will delete it from the left pane. If it’s saved to your “recents” list at the bottom, it will go away on its own as you select different projects, and visit more recent views.

  7. avatarDean

    Sweet, Hopefully this opens up some great integration between other Apps. Two I would love to see is Google Docs & Calendar ( more than just a calendar feed but a two way edit ability with times and not just dates) and Adobe Cloud. Also I bet there could be some interesting Integrations with things like Freshbooks.

  8. avatarLinda

    I don’t know if this fits here, but I find it helpful, for full focus in working with a group when we actually get together, to print the tasks-list, so that you have it on paper and do not need a wifi connection and have everyone fidgeting on their gadgets. But the print is very substandard compared to the web-interface. Also it lacks the tags. It would also be helpfull to have a print, that you can transfer into other documents, not just pdf.
    Are you planing on developing the print-mode any further?

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  10. avatarRolf Milas

    There are some attention-grabbing points in time on this article however I don�t know if I see all of them heart to heart. There may be some validity however I’ll take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we wish extra! Added to FeedBurner as effectively

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