External Apps

Apps in Makaira are fairly simple. You can create a website which is then loaded inside of an iFrame in the Makaira Backend. By sending a message with the postMessage method you can request the JWT-Token of the currently logged-in user to send Makaira API requests from your application afterwards.

Create your app

As mentioned above, Makaira apps are nothing more than websites. Therefore, you can use any technology you like, to write your application. To get you started, we provide a boilerplate that is written in PHP and Symfony 6.1.2. You can find the public repository here.

Your app has to have at least one main entry route. You'll need this entry point URL when registering the application at Makaira. In the Makaira backend, this URL will be loaded inside the iFrame.

Register your app at Makaira

At the moment, you can register your Application only via an HTTP-Call to the Makaira API. This will register your app for the given instance and will show your application afterwards on the dashboard.

The slug is the identifier of your app and has to be unique on the given instance. It can only contain lower-case letters, numbers and - as a separator, in other words: it has to match this Regex ^[a-z0-9\-]*$

The externalURL field has to contain the in the previous step mentioned URL to the entry point route. The URL has to include the protocol which has to be HTTPS. Otherwise, the app can not be requested in the Backend. The URL can also contain any path and any query parameters.


Receiving the secrets is only possible at creation

The API-Response will contain the field clientSecret. This 20 character long random string is generated by the API and can only be obtained by the response of the creation request. Keep this secret save, otherwise it will be lost.

curl --location --request POST 'https://{subdomain}.makaira.io/app' \
--header 'X-Makaira-Instance: {instance}' \
--header 'Content-Type: application/json' \
--data-raw '{
    "slug": "example-app",
    "icon": {
        "type": "font-awesome",
        "content": "alicorn"
    "externalURL": "https://example.com/app",
    "title": {
        "de": "german title",
        "en": "english title"
const myHeaders = new Headers();
myHeaders.append("X-Makaira-Instance", "instance");
myHeaders.append("Content-Type", "application/json");

const raw = JSON.stringify({"slug":"example-app","icon":{"type":"font-awesome","content":"alicorn"},"externalURL":"https://example.com.de/app","title":{"de":"german title","en":"english title"}});

const requestOptions = {
  method: 'POST',
  headers: myHeaders,
  body: raw,
  redirect: 'follow'

fetch("https://{subdomain}.makaira.io/app", requestOptions)
  .then(response => response.text())
  .then(result => console.log(result))
  .catch(error => console.log('error', error));

The externalURL will later be extended on our end with the query parameters domain, instance, nonce and hmac

Validating requests to the app

Your app is now registered and is displayed on the Dashboard in the Makaira Backend. To ensure that your application is only requested through the Makaira Backend we will load the app with the additional query parameters domain, instance, nonce and hmac. The HMAC is calculated with the schema nonce:domain:instance and the clientSecret that you received during the app creation as a secret. The used hashing algorithm is sha256.

To validate that the request was sent from Makaira, you should calculate inside your app the expected HMAC and compare it to the HMAC of the query parameters. If both hashes match, you can render your application. Otherwise, you should display an error page.

$nonce    = $request->query->get("nonce");
$domain   = $request->query->get("domain");
$instance = $request->query->get("instance");
$hmac     = $request->query->get("hmac");

$expected = hash_hmac(
  sprintf('%s:%s:%s', $nonce, $domain, $instance),

return $hmac === $expected

Requesting the current JWT-Token

To receive the JWT-Token of the currently logged-in user you have to communicate with the postMessage method to the window.parent object, which is the Makaira Backend. If you send the correct values, which the Backend validates, it will answer with the JWT-Token as the payload.

Before sending the postMessage you have to generate a new HMAC which will be validated by the Backend. The body of the HMAC consists of nonce:domain:instance:makairaHmac. You received the variables domain, instance and makairaHmac in the query parameters, we loaded your application inside the iFrame with. makairaHmac equals here the received parameter hmac. nonce should be a by your application generated random string. The hash algorithm is again sha256 and use the received clientSecret as secret.


Don't generate the HMAC with javascript in the frontend. This would lead to exposing the clientSecret. Instead generate it in the backend and only expose the generated hmac + nonce.

After you generated the new hmac, send it together with the random generated nonce, the makairaHmac (which is the hmac from the query parameters), the action requestUser and the source makaira-app-slug (where slug is the slug that you used for creating the app) through the postMessage method to the Makaira Backend.
The method call in JavaScript would then look like:

function requestUserFromMakairaBackend(hmac, nonce, makairaHmac) {
    const message = {
        "source": "makaira-app-boilerplate", // replace with makaira-app-{YOU_APP_SLUG}
        "action": "requestUser",
        "hmac": hmac,
        "nonce": nonce,
        "makairaHmac": makairaHmac

    window.parent.postMessage(message, document.referrer)

To receive the answer from the Makaira Backend with the token, you have to register an event listener for the message event. If the token is valid the message will contain the action responseUserRequest . If it is invalid the message will contain the action responseUserRequestError .

Listening to the event in JavaScript would look similar to this:

window.addEventListener("message", (event) => {
        const { source, action, data, message } = event.data

    // Check that the message came from the makaira backend
    if (source !== "makaira-app-bridge") return
    // Check that the response came from a makaira domain. https://*.makaira.io
    if (event.origin.match("https:\\/\\/([a-zA-Z])+\\.makaira\\.io")?.index !== 0) return

    if (action === "responseUserRequest") {
        const { token } = data
        // from here on you can send authorized API requests

    if (action === "responseUserRequestError") {
        // handle the error

To get an overview over the complete token flow you can find here a flow diagram of the process:


flow diagram of the request token process

Tryout your local app without deploying to a server

To check if your application works as expected in the Makaiara Backend without deploying it, you can use a tunneling service like ngrok or Cloudflare Tunnels to expose your local deveploment server. To Makaira, it looks then like if it was deployed to a server.

At first, you have to start a local deveploment server. If you use our provided boilerplate, you can simply start a development server with the Symfony CLI. Run the following command to start the server on port 8000.

symfony server:start --port=8000

If you have correctly installed ngrok and added connected the agent with your ngrok account you can now expose the port 8000 to the public.

ngrok http 8000

Ngrok will return you an URL under which your app can now be reached. You can now use this URL to create an app via an API-Call to Makaira.


Remember to set the correct values

Keep in mind that you have to replace the CLIENT_SECRET variable in the .env.local file with the secret from the API response. Also you have to replace the sourcevariable in the Auth flow with makaira-app-{YOU_APP_SLUG}

Delete a your app

You can delete a registered app by sending a DELETE request to the /app/{slug} endpoint.
After that, your App will no longer be reachable through Makaira Backend.

curl --location --request DELETE 'https://{subdomain}.makaira.io/app/example-app' \
--header 'X-Makaira-Instance: {instance}' \
--header 'Content-Type: application/json' \
--data-raw '{}'
var myHeaders = new Headers();
myHeaders.append("X-Makaira-Instance", "{instance}");
myHeaders.append("Content-Type", "application/json");

var raw = JSON.stringify({});

var requestOptions = {
  method: 'DELETE',
  headers: myHeaders,
  body: raw,
  redirect: 'follow'

fetch("https://{subdomain}.makaira.io/app/example-app", requestOptions)
  .then(response => response.text())
  .then(result => console.log(result))
  .catch(error => console.log('error', error));