Why do the ASP.NET Identity interfaces use strings for primary and foreign keys?

I’m looking at the interfaces on the new ASP.NET Identity classes and the database it creates using Entity Framework Code First. I’m using the Visual Studio 2013 RC.

At first glance the database schema looks reasonably normal:

enter image description here

But all the keys are NVARCHAR(128)

And for some crazy reason AspNetUserSecrets.Id is a PK that looks like it could point to more than one record in the AspNetUsers table. Does this mean multiple AspNetUsers will have to share the same password?

When I look at the Looking at the interfaces you’re forced to implement, these are all strings…

public class User : IUser
{
    public string Id { get; set; }
    public string UserName { get; set; }
}

public class UserSecret : IUserSecret
{
    public string UserName { get; set; }
    public string Secret { get; set; }
}

public class UserRole : IUserRole
{
    public string UserId { get; set; }
    public string RoleId { get; set; }
}

public class UserClaim : IUserClaim
{
    public string UserId { get; set; }
    public string ClaimType { get; set; }
    public string ClaimValue { get; set; }
}

public class UserManagement : IUserManagement
{
    public string UserId { get; set; }
    public bool DisableSignIn { get; set; }
    public DateTime LastSignInTimeUtc { get; set; }
}

public class Tokens : IToken
{
    public string Id { get; set; }
    public string Value { get; set; }
    public DateTime ValidUntilUtc { get; set; }
}

public class UserLogin : IUserLogin
{
    public string UserId { get; set; }
    public string LoginProvider { get; set; }
    public string ProviderKey { get; set; }
}

public class Role : IRole
{
    public string Id { get; set; }
    public string Name { get; set; }
}

So I’m coming to terms with the fact that I may have to implement this using strings for PK and FK relationships.

But I’d really love to know WHY it’s built like this…?

EDIT: Time has passed and there are now articles on how to extend the asp.net identity to use int (or guid) fields:

http://www.asp.net/identity/overview/extensibility/change-primary-key-for-users-in-aspnet-identity

Answers:

Thank you for visiting the Q&A section on Magenaut. Please note that all the answers may not help you solve the issue immediately. So please treat them as advisements. If you found the post helpful (or not), leave a comment & I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Method 1

The intent was to allow both arbitrary id types (i.e. int, guid, string), but also avoid having serialization/casting issues for the id property.

So you can define your keys however you like and just implement the interface method

public class MyUser : IUser {
  public int Id { get; set; }
  string IUser.Id { get { return Id.ToString(); } }
}

Method 2

Adding to what Hao said:

  1. The Identity runtime prefers strings for the user ID because we don’t want to be in the business of figuring out proper serialization of the user IDs (we use strings for claims as well for the same reason), e.g. all (or most) of the Identity interfaces refer to user ID as a string.
  2. People that customize the persistence layer, e.g. the entity types, can choose whatever type they want for keys, but then they own providing us with a string representation of the keys.
  3. By default we use the string representation of GUIDs for each new user, but that is just because it provides a very easy way for us to automatically generate unique IDs.

Method 3

With ASP.NET Core, you have a very simple way to specify the data type you want for Identity’s models.

First step, override identity classes from < string> to < data type you want> :

public class ApplicationUser : IdentityUser<Guid>
{
}

public class ApplicationRole : IdentityRole<Guid>
{
}

Declare your database context, using your classes and the data type you want :
public class ApplicationDbContext : IdentityDbContext<ApplicationUser, ApplicationRole, Guid>
    {
        public ApplicationDbContext(DbContextOptions<ApplicationDbContext> options)
            : base(options)
        {
        }

        protected override void OnModelCreating(ModelBuilder builder)
        {
            base.OnModelCreating(builder);
            // Customize the ASP.NET Identity model and override the defaults if needed.
            // For example, you can rename the ASP.NET Identity table names and more.
            // Add your customizations after calling base.OnModelCreating(builder);
        }
    }

And in your startup class, declare the identity service using your models and declare the data type you want for the primary keys :
services.AddIdentity<ApplicationUser, ApplicationRole>()
            .AddEntityFrameworkStores<ApplicationDbContext, Guid>()
            .AddDefaultTokenProviders();

In ASP.NET identity tables, primary keys will still be in NVARCHAR but in your application it’s will be the data type you want.
You can check this in a controller :
    [HttpGet]
    public async Task<IActionResult> Test()
    {
        ApplicationUser user = await _userManager.GetUserAsync(HttpContext.User);
        Guid userId = user.Id; // No cast from string, it's a Guid data type
        throw new NotImplementedException();
    }


All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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