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Unleashing Creator Productivity with Open Cloud

November 4, 2021

by Eric Sun, Senior Product Manager, Developer Services

Product & Tech

One of the key priorities for Roblox development is to give our community of creators the freedom to securely access their Roblox resources from anywhere, allowing for greater flexibility and efficiency with the power of Open Cloud. This technology empowers creators to find and build any applications they need on Roblox through standardized web APIs, streamlining tasks like analytics, customer support, testing, and publishing, or even enabling them to develop more interesting features into their experience, such as automatically changing a user’s Roblox Group rank based on their in-experience activities. 

Building Applications with Open Cloud APIs

While building and operating their experiences on Roblox, creators typically generate tons of resources (e.g., 3D models, scripts, and user data) that could only be accessed through Roblox’s first-party applications like Roblox Studio. In many cases, however, creators need to programmatically reach their resources from outside those applications. When handling customer support requests, for example, creators often check and update user profile data, but have to either use Studio or build a special feature in their experience to do so. Neither solution is ideal, and it consumes unnecessary time that could otherwise be spent on building cool content. To work around this, some creators have developed tools to call Roblox public endpoints using cookies for authentication which is not a best practice given the security risks involved.

Open Cloud addresses these challenges by offering secure-by-default authorization and authentication methods, along with standardized web APIs. Our first step is supporting API keys and Place Publishing APIs. Like a passport to enter a foreign country, an API key allows an application to authenticate into Roblox Cloud and take actions on the creators’ behalf. The Place Publishing API enables creators to automate the experience release workflow. For example, it can be hooked into a GitHub action and automatically push a place file to Roblox Cloud after successful integration testing. The standardized APIs will reduce the learning curve and ensure backward compatibility to mitigate the maintenance burden for application developers. 

To start, you can now create an API key on the Creator Dashboard and write a script using the Place Publishing API to push your latest place files to Roblox Cloud. Security is top-of-mind, so when creating an API key, you can set granular permissions by selecting experiences, resources, and specific permissions like read or write. Additionally, you can add a list of IPs that are restricted to use the API key and set an explicit expiration date. 

Looking Ahead

Besides adding more APIs, we also plan to support another industry-standard: OAuth2. This will give developers the opportunity to build third-party apps and share them with the rest of the community. We’re excited to see how our community will leverage these tools to streamline their workflows and take their businesses to the next level.

To learn more about using Open Cloud, check out our documentation for a detailed tutorial.