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Custom Authentication and Authorization in ASP.NET MVC

Posted By : Shailendra Chauhan, 22 Jan 2014
Updated On : 06 Jun 2014
  Version Support : MVC5, MVC4 & MVC3
Keywords : role based security in asp.net mvc,user based authorization in asp.net mvc4, custom authorize attribute for role based authorization

When standard types of authentication do not meet your requirements, you need to modify an authentication mechanism to create a custom solution. A user context has principal which represents the identity and roles for that user. A user is authenticated by its identity and assigned roles to a user determine about authorization or permission to access resources.

ASP.NET provides IPrincipal and IIdentity interfaces to represents the identity and role for a user. You can create a custom solution by evaluating the IPrincipal and IIdentity interfaces which are bound to the HttpContext as well as the current thread.

public class CustomPrincipal : IPrincipal
 {
 public IIdentity Identity { get; private set; }
 public bool IsInRole(string role)
 {
 if (roles.Any(r => role.Contains(r)))
 {
 return true;
 }
 else
 {
 return false;
 }
 }

 public CustomPrincipal(string Username)
 {
 this.Identity = new GenericIdentity(Username);
 }

 public int UserId { get; set; }
 public string FirstName { get; set; }
 public string LastName { get; set; }
 public string[] roles { get; set; }
 } 

Now you can put this CustomPrincipal objects into the thread’s currentPrinciple property and into the HttpContext’s User property to accomplish your custom authentication and authorization process.

ASP.NET Forms Authentication

ASP.NET forms authentication occurs after IIS authentication is completed. You can configure forms authentication by using forms element with in web.config file of your application. The default attribute values for forms authentication are shown below:

<system.web>
<authentication mode="Forms">
 <forms loginUrl="Login.aspx"
 protection="All"
 timeout="30"
 name=".ASPXAUTH" 
 path="/"
 requireSSL="false"
 slidingExpiration="true"
 defaultUrl="default.aspx"
 cookieless="UseDeviceProfile"
 enableCrossAppRedirects="false" />
 </authentication>
</system.web>

The FormsAuthentication class creates the authentication cookie automatically when SetAuthCookie() or RedirectFromLoginPage() methods are called. The value of authentication cookie contains a string representation of the encrypted and signed FormsAuthenticationTicket object.

You can create the FormsAuthenticationTicket object by specifying the cookie name, version of the cookie, directory path, issue date of the cookie, expiration date of the cookie, whether the cookie should be persisted, and optionally user-defined data as shown below:

FormsAuthenticationTicket ticket = new FormsAuthenticationTicket(1,
 "userName",
 DateTime.Now,
 DateTime.Now.AddMinutes(30), // value of time out property
 false, // Value of IsPersistent property
 String.Empty,
 FormsAuthentication.FormsCookiePath);

Now, you can encrypt this ticket by using the Encrypt method FormsAuthentication class as given below:

string encryptedTicket = FormsAuthentication.Encrypt(ticket);

Note

To encrypt FormsAuthenticationTicket ticket set the protection attribute of the forms element to All or Encryption.

Custom Authorization

ASP.NET MVC provides Authorization filter to authorize a user. This filter can be applied to an action, a controller, or even globally. This filter is based on AuthorizeAttribute class. You can customize this filter by overriding OnAuthorization() method as shown below:

 public class CustomAuthorizeAttribute : AuthorizeAttribute
 {
 public string UsersConfigKey { get; set; }
 public string RolesConfigKey { get; set; }

 protected virtual CustomPrincipal CurrentUser
 {
 get { return HttpContext.Current.User as CustomPrincipal; }
 }

 public override void OnAuthorization(AuthorizationContext filterContext)
 {
 if (filterContext.HttpContext.Request.IsAuthenticated)
 {
 var authorizedUsers = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings[UsersConfigKey];
 var authorizedRoles = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings[RolesConfigKey];

 Users = String.IsNullOrEmpty(Users) ? authorizedUsers : Users;
 Roles = String.IsNullOrEmpty(Roles) ? authorizedRoles : Roles;
 
 if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(Roles))
 {
 if (!CurrentUser.IsInRole(Roles))
 {
 filterContext.Result = new RedirectToRouteResult(new
 RouteValueDictionary(new { controller = "Error", action = "AccessDenied" }));

 // base.OnAuthorization(filterContext); //returns to login url
 }
 }

 if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(Users))
 {
 if (!Users.Contains(CurrentUser.UserId.ToString()))
 {
 filterContext.Result = new RedirectToRouteResult(new
 RouteValueDictionary(new { controller = "Error", action = "AccessDenied" }));

 // base.OnAuthorization(filterContext); //returns to login url
 }
 }
 }
 
 }
 }

User Authentication

A user will be authenticated if IsAuthenticated property returns true. For authenticating a user you can use one of the following two ways:

  1. Thread.CurrentPrincipal.Identity.IsAuthenticated

  2. HttpContext.Current.User.Identity.IsAuthenticated

Designing Data Model

Now it’s time to create data access model classes for creating and accessing Users and Roles as shown below:

public class User
 {
 public int UserId { get; set; }

 [Required]
 public String Username { get; set; }

 [Required]
 public String Email { get; set; }

 [Required]
 public String Password { get; set; }

 public String FirstName { get; set; }
 public String LastName { get; set; }

 public Boolean IsActive { get; set; }
 public DateTime CreateDate { get; set; }

 public virtual ICollection<Role> Roles { get; set; }
 }
public class Role
 {
 public int RoleId { get; set; }

 [Required]
 public string RoleName { get; set; }
 public string Description { get; set; }

 public virtual ICollection<User> Users { get; set; }
 }

Defining Database Context with code first mapping between User and Role

Using Entity Framework code first approach, create a DataContext having User and Role entities with its relational mapping details as shown below:

public class DataContext : DbContext
 {
 public DataContext()
 : base("DefaultConnection")
 {

 }
 protected override void OnModelCreating(DbModelBuilder modelBuilder)
 {
 modelBuilder.Entity<User>()
 .HasMany(u => u.Roles)
 .WithMany(r=>r.Users)
 .Map(m =>
 {
 m.ToTable("UserRoles");
 m.MapLeftKey("UserId");
 m.MapRightKey("RoleId");
 });
 }
 public DbSet<User> Users { get; set; }
 public DbSet<Role> Roles { get; set; }
 }

Code First Database Migrations

With the help of entity framework code first database migrations create the database named as Security in the SQL Server. Run the following command through Visual Studio Package Manager Console to migrate your code into SQL Server database.

After running first command i.e. enabling migrations for your project, add seed data to Configuration.cs file of Migrations folder as shown below:

protected override void Seed(Security.DAL.DataContext context)
 {
 Role role1 = new Role { RoleName = "Admin" };
 Role role2 = new Role { RoleName = "User" };

 User user1 = new User { Username = "admin", Email = "admin@ymail.com", FirstName = "Admin", Password = "123456", IsActive = true, CreateDate = DateTime.UtcNow, Roles = new List() };

 User user2 = new User { Username = "user1", Email = "user1@ymail.com", FirstName = "User1", Password = "123456", IsActive = true, CreateDate = DateTime.UtcNow, Roles = new List() };

 user1.Roles.Add(role1);
 user2.Roles.Add(role2);

 context.Users.Add(user1);
 context.Users.Add(user2);
 }

When above three commands will be executed successfully as shown above, the following database will be created in your SQL Server.

Solution Structure

Designing View Model

Create a view model class for handing login process as given below:

public class LoginViewModel
 {
 [Required]
 [Display(Name = "User name")]
 public string Username { get; set; }

 [Required]
 [DataType(DataType.Password)]
 [Display(Name = "Password")]
 public string Password { get; set; }

 [Display(Name = "Remember me?")]
 public bool RememberMe { get; set; }
 }
 
 public class CustomPrincipalSerializeModel
 {
 public int UserId { get; set; }
 public string FirstName { get; set; }
 public string LastName { get; set; }
 public string[] roles { get; set; }
 }

Forms Authentication Initialization

public class AccountController : Controller
 {
 DataContext Context = new DataContext();
 //
 // GET: /Account/
 public ActionResult Index()
 {
 return View();
 }

 [HttpPost]
 public ActionResult Index(LoginViewModel model, string returnUrl = "")
 {
 if (ModelState.IsValid)
 {
 var user = Context.Users.Where(u => u.Username == model.Username && u.Password == model.Password).FirstOrDefault();
 if (user != null)
 {
 var roles=user.Roles.Select(m => m.RoleName).ToArray();

 CustomPrincipalSerializeModel serializeModel = new CustomPrincipalSerializeModel();
 serializeModel.UserId = user.UserId;
 serializeModel.FirstName = user.FirstName;
 serializeModel.LastName = user.LastName;
 serializeModel.roles = roles;

 string userData = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(serializeModel);
 FormsAuthenticationTicket authTicket = new FormsAuthenticationTicket(
 1,
 user.Email,
 DateTime.Now,
 DateTime.Now.AddMinutes(15),
 false, //pass here true, if you want to implement remember me functionality
 userData);

 string encTicket = FormsAuthentication.Encrypt(authTicket);
 HttpCookie faCookie = new HttpCookie(FormsAuthentication.FormsCookieName, encTicket);
 Response.Cookies.Add(faCookie);

 if(roles.Contains("Admin"))
 {
 return RedirectToAction("Index", "Admin");
 }
 else if (roles.Contains("User"))
 {
 return RedirectToAction("Index", "User");
 }
 else
 {
 return RedirectToAction("Index", "Home");
 }
 }

 ModelState.AddModelError("", "Incorrect username and/or password");
 }

 return View(model);
 }

 [AllowAnonymous]
 public ActionResult LogOut()
 {
 FormsAuthentication.SignOut();
 return RedirectToAction("Login", "Account", null);
 }
 }
 
public class MvcApplication : System.Web.HttpApplication
 {
 protected void Application_Start()
 {
 AreaRegistration.RegisterAllAreas();

 WebApiConfig.Register(GlobalConfiguration.Configuration);
 FilterConfig.RegisterGlobalFilters(GlobalFilters.Filters);
 RouteConfig.RegisterRoutes(RouteTable.Routes);
 BundleConfig.RegisterBundles(BundleTable.Bundles);

 Database.SetInitializer<DataContext>(new DataContextInitilizer());
 }
 protected void Application_PostAuthenticateRequest(Object sender, EventArgs e)
 {
 HttpCookie authCookie = Request.Cookies[FormsAuthentication.FormsCookieName];
 if (authCookie != null)
 {

 FormsAuthenticationTicket authTicket = FormsAuthentication.Decrypt(authCookie.Value);

 CustomPrincipalSerializeModel serializeModel = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<CustomPrincipalSerializeModel>(authTicket.UserData);
 CustomPrincipal newUser = new CustomPrincipal(authTicket.Name);
 newUser.UserId = serializeModel.UserId;
 newUser.FirstName = serializeModel.FirstName;
 newUser.LastName = serializeModel.LastName;
 newUser.roles = serializeModel.roles;

 HttpContext.Current.User = newUser;
 }

 }
 }

Base Controller for accessing Current User

Create a base controller for accessing your User data in your all controller. Inherit, your all controller from this base controller to access user information from the UserContext.

public class BaseController : Controller
 {
 protected virtual new CustomPrincipal User
 {
 get { return HttpContext.User as CustomPrincipal; }
 }
 }
public class HomeController : BaseController
 {
 //
 // GET: /Home/
 public ActionResult Index()
 {
 string FullName = User.FirstName + " " + User.LastName;
 return View();
 }
 }

Base View Page for accessing Current User

Create a base class for all your views for accessing your User data in your all views as shown below:

 public abstract class BaseViewPage : WebViewPage
 {
 public virtual new CustomPrincipal User
 {
 get { return base.User as CustomPrincipal; }
 }
 }
 public abstract class BaseViewPage<TModel> : WebViewPage<TModel>
 {
 public virtual new CustomPrincipal User
 {
 get { return base.User as CustomPrincipal; }
 }
 }

Register this class with in the \Views\Web.config as base class for all your views as given below:

<system.web.webPages.razor>
 <!--Other code has been removed for clarity-->
 <pages pageBaseType="Security.DAL.Security.BaseViewPage">
 <namespaces>
 <!--Other code has been removed for clarity-->
 </namespaces>
 </pages>
 </system.web.webPages.razor>

Now you can access the authenticated user information on all your view in easy and simple way as shown below in Admin View:

@{
 ViewBag.Title = "Index";
 Layout = "~/Views/Shared/_AdminLayout.cshtml";
}
<h4>Welcome : @User.FirstName</h4>
<h1>Admin DashBoard</h1>

Login View

@model Security.Models.LoginViewModel

@{
 ViewBag.Title = "Index";
}

@using (Html.BeginForm()) 
{
 @Html.AntiForgeryToken()
 
 <div class="form-horizontal">
 <h4>User Login</h4>
 <hr />
 @Html.ValidationSummary(true)

 <div class="form-group">
 @Html.LabelFor(model => model.Username, new { @class = "control-label col-md-2" })
 <div class="col-md-10">
 @Html.EditorFor(model => model.Username)
 @Html.ValidationMessageFor(model => model.Username)
 </div>
 </div>

 <div class="form-group">
 @Html.LabelFor(model => model.Password, new { @class = "control-label col-md-2" })
 <div class="col-md-10">
 @Html.EditorFor(model => model.Password)
 @Html.ValidationMessageFor(model => model.Password)
 </div>
 </div>

 <div class="form-group">
 @Html.LabelFor(model => model.RememberMe, new { @class = "control-label col-md-2" })
 <div class="col-md-10">
 @Html.EditorFor(model => model.RememberMe)
 @Html.ValidationMessageFor(model => model.RememberMe)
 </div>
 </div>

 <div class="form-group">
 <div class="col-md-offset-2 col-md-10">
 <input type="submit" value="Login" class="btn btn-default" />
 </div>
 </div>
 </div>
}

Applying CustomAuthorize attribute

To make secure your admin or user pages, decorate your Admin and User controllers with CustomAuthorize attribute as defined above and specify the uses or roles to access admin and user pages.

[CustomAuthorize(Roles= "Admin")]
 // [CustomAuthorize(Users = "1")]
 public class AdminController : BaseController
 {
 //
 // GET: /Admin/
 public ActionResult Index()
 {
 return View();
 }
 }
 
[CustomAuthorize(Roles= "User")]
 // [CustomAuthorize(Users = "1,2")]
 public class UserController : BaseController
 {
 //
 // GET: /User/
 public ActionResult Index()
 {
 return View();
 }
 }

You can also specify the Roles and Users with in your web.config as a key to avoid hard code values for Users and Roles at the controller level.

<add key="RolesConfigKey" value="Admin"/>
 <add key="UsersConfigKey" value="2,3"/>

Use one of these keys within the CustomAuthorize attribute as shown below:

//[CustomAuthorize(RolesConfigKey = "RolesConfigKey")]
[CustomAuthorize(UsersConfigKey = "UsersConfigKey")]

 public class AdminController : BaseController
 {
 //
 // GET: /Admin/
 public ActionResult Index()
 {
 return View();
 }
 }
 [CustomAuthorize(RolesConfigKey = "RolesConfigKey")]
// [CustomAuthorize(UsersConfigKey = "UsersConfigKey")]
 public class UserController : BaseController
 {
 //
 // GET: /User/
 public ActionResult Index()
 {
 return View();
 }
 }

Test your application

When you will run your application and will login into the application using user1, you will be redirected to User dashboard as shown below:

When user will try to access unauthorized pages such as Admin dashboard using URL: http://localhost:11681/Admin , he will get the custom error page as shown below:

What do you think?

I hope you will enjoy the tips while implmenting role-based or user-based security in your ASP.NET MVC application. I would like to have feedback from my blog readers. Your valuable feedback, question, or comments about this article are always welcome.


About the Author
Shailendra Chauhan works as Sr. Software Engineer at reputed MNC and has more than 5 years of hand over Microsoft .NET technologies. He is a .NET Consultant and is the founder & chief editor of www.dotnet-tricks.com and www.dotnetinterviewtricks.com blogs. He is an author of books ASP.NET MVC Interview Questions and Answers & LINQ Interview Questions and Answers.
He loves to work with web applications and mobile apps using Microsoft technology including ASP.NET, MVC, C#, SQL Server, WCF, Web API, Entity Framework,Cloud Computing, Windows Azure, jQuery, jQuery Mobile, Knockout.js, Angular.js and many more web technologies. More...
 
 
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