Authenticating with the SoftLayer API using IBM Cloud IAM

Traditionally you authenticate with the IBM Cloud SoftLayer “classic infrastructure” API using a SoftLayer or “classic infrastructure” API key. However, IBM Cloud has introduced support to authenticate with these APIs using the standardized IAM API keys and identities. At one point IBM implemented a method to exchange IAM credentials for an IMS token, but IBM’s Martin Smolny writes more recently that the classic APIs now “support IAM tokens directly.”

I’ve written a brief script to demonstrate this approach. The script first calls the IAM token API to exchange an API key for an IAM token. Then it constructs a SoftLayer API client object that leverages this token for authentication. Note that for the Python SDK, some paths which create an API client will use the XMLRPC API endpoint by default instead of using the REST API endpoint. The XMLRPC API does not fully support IAM-based authentication. The method used in this script leverages the REST API endpoint and transport, which does support IAM-based authentication.

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