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MVC5: Minimal Provider for ASP.NET Identity

ASP.NET once came with Membership and Role Providers, that we used and abused in past, then came Simple Membership Provider with Razor and Webmatrix that exposed a simpler API but still used the same providers behind the scene. Finally with Visual Studio 2013 and ASP.NET 4.5.1 they introduced ASP.NET Identity that offers a modern replacement of these old providers. ASP.NET Identity has modern API and exposes plug-ability and different levels. It uses Entity Framework; and if you want to store your users in database of your choice, you just need to replace SQL Entity Framework provider that gets configured out of the box with the provider of your database. You can also go deeper and implement the required interfaces and use your custom classes that don't use Entity Framework and in this post we will do exactly this; we will explore what minimal classes we need to get things going. We have a pet MVC project that always becomes the test bed for anything MVC related. It already has gone through MVC3 and MVC4 upgrades, and it was time that we replace its Membership and Role providers with ASP.NET Identity and upgrade it to MVC5

For the MVC5 upgrade; I would recommend that you create a new separate project as the new template comes with Bootstrap goodness, and then simply copy over your models, views and controllers. We availed this opportunity replacing old ASPX views to newer Razor based CSHTML views cleaning up some old mess.

If you have created a new MVC5 project; then you will need to delete ApplicationUser and ApplicationDbContext (if you intend not to use Code First Entity Framework that gets configured by default out of the box) from Models namespace. You also need to delete ApplicationUserManager class from App_Start\IdentityConfig.cs. For our implementation; we need to implement IUser<T> and IUserStore<T> and need to setup UserManager and SigninManager classes. This is very well documented at Overview of Custom Storage Providers for ASP.NET Identity. The minimal required code will look something like this

Once these files are in place; we will need to use their Create() methods in App_Start\Startup.Auth.cs for app.CreatePerOwinContext methods instead of original User and Signin Managers. We will also need to rename the Manager classes in Controllers\AccountController and Controllers\ManageControler

Email Confirmation

If you want to have Email Confirmation option; you should read Account Confirmation and Password Recovery with ASP.NET Identity (C#) where its documented. For this to work; your store needs to implement IUserEmailStore<T> and IUserTokenProvider<T, U>. You will also need a helper class implementing IIdentityMessageService for Email and SMS and add this code into UserManager’s static Create() method

manager.RegisterTwoFactorProvider("Phone Code", new PhoneNumberTokenProvider<YourAppUser> { MessageFormat = "Your security code is {0}" });
manager.RegisterTwoFactorProvider("Email Code", new EmailTokenProvider<YourAppUser> { Subject = "Security Code", BodyFormat = "Your security code is {0}" });
manager.EmailService = new YourEmailService();
manager.SmsService = new YourSmsService();
var dataProtectionProvider = options.DataProtectionProvider;
if (dataProtectionProvider != null)
  manager.UserTokenProvider = userStore; //userStore instance thats implementing the IUserTokenProvider

You will also need to change code in AccountController accordingly for Register and Login scenario and add required new views and change existing Register, Profile views for Email / SMS

  • The ASP.NET Identity was open sourced and the code is available at https://aspnetidentity.codeplex.com; being open source, you can always at the code and fix your provider accordingly
  • Having your own UserManager and UserStore, you have a choice to either override UserManager’s methods that are virtual and hook them directly to your additional code in UserStore; for instance when creating user through UserManager base class it demands that Store also implement IUserPasswordStore<T>; if you want to avoid this; you can simply override Create() methods of base UserManager and call your UserStore methods directly. Similarly you can avoid Token Providers and override Email/Sms methods; point is; you have choice either override required UserManager methods or implement required interfaces. Having code from codeplex helps to peek into whats happening in the base classes
  • Don't confuse it with ASP.NET Identity Core for ASP.NET Core thats available at https://github.com/aspnet/identity
Published Friday, October 20, 2017 4:51 PM by khurram
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