Client Application Services - Part 1
page 2 of 7
by Bilal Haidar
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ASP.NET 2.0 Application Services

ASP.NET 2.0 shipped with Membership, Role, and Profile providers that make a developer's life easier when it comes to working with user management including authenticating and authorizing users, creating new accounts, retrieving a user's password, storing and loading a user’s profile. All of these functionalities have been added to facilitate the most common tasks a developer faces in every application that requires such a kind of user and security management.

These services are always configured for a web application since they are defined in the Machine.config configuration file. By default, these providers are set to work with a SQL Server 2005 Express edition and can be easily configured through the Web.config configuration file of a specific web application. Here is the default configuration in the Machine.config file.

Listing 1

<add name="AspNetSqlMembershipProvider" 
type="System.Web.Security.SqlMembershipProvider, System.Web, Version=, 
Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a" 
connectionStringName="LocalSqlServer" enablePasswordRetrieval="false" 
enablePasswordReset="true" requiresQuestionAndAnswer="true" applicationName="/" 
requiresUniqueEmail="false" passwordFormat="Hashed" maxInvalidPasswordAttempts="5" 
minRequiredPasswordLength="7" minRequiredNonalphanumericCharacters="1" 
passwordAttemptWindow="10" passwordStrengthRegularExpression=""/>
<add name="AspNetSqlProfileProvider" connectionStringName="LocalSqlServer" 
applicationName="/" type="System.Web.Profile.SqlProfileProvider, System.Web, 
Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a"/>
<add name="AspNetSqlRoleProvider" connectionStringName="LocalSqlServer" 
applicationName="/" type="System.Web.Security.SqlRoleProvider, System.Web, 
Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a"/>
<add name="AspNetWindowsTokenRoleProvider" applicationName="/" 
type="System.Web.Security.WindowsTokenRoleProvider, System.Web, Version=, 
Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a"/>

Off course, you can use your own providers for any of the above services and this requires you to add those custom providers through the Web.config configuration file. As you can see, there are mainly three types of services. The first is Membership service which allows you to authenticate users, create new users, retrieve users, change user’s passwords and many more functionalities. The second is the Profile service which allows you to store user-specific information just like session variables in ASP.NET, but is much more powerful because it automatically saves the data into the database at the end of every request and loads back the data at the beginning of every request. For a full discussion on Profile service, check the following series.

An Extended Look at the Profile Object - Part 1

An Extended Look at the Profile Object - Part 2

An Extended Look at the Profile Object - Part 3

The third and final service is the Role management service. This service allows you to manage user’s roles by creating new roles, adding users to roles, retrieving user’s roles and other functionalities.

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User Comments

Title: Mgr Appplication Development   
Name: Jothi
Date: 2008-12-30 11:28:42 AM
Hi Bilal,
I would like to know if the same service can be used for multiple applications
Title: Client Application Services - Part 1   
Name: Safiyullah-India
Date: 2008-04-29 2:49:06 AM
hi bilal... its good

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