Windows Authentication for ASP.NET MVC 4 – how it works, how to test it

I have never used Windows Authentication for ASP.NET MVC web applications before, but Forms Authentication. Recently, I have had an ASP.NET MVC 4 web application that requires a Windows Authentication implementation for users who are granted to log in my company web server. So, I have some questions regarding Windows Authentication. I am using Visual Studio 2012.

  • How does Windows Authentication work?
  • How do I implement Windows Authentication correctly in the web.config file?
  • How do I test if the Windows Authentication really works for my ASP.NET MVC 4 web site? In other words, how do I test it on my local development PC with local IIS (version 8), and on my company real web server with IIS version 7?

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

For IIS 8.5 and MVC 4:

How does Windows Authentication work?

In this mode, User.Identity (as in HttpContext.Current.User.Identity) is populated by the underlying web server. This might be IIS Express in the link from @R Kumar demonstrated, or full blown IIS as in the video by @Thomas Benz.

Specifically, User.Identity is a WindowsIdentity object. E.g. the following cast will work:

WindowsIdentity clientId = (WindowsIdentity)HttpContext.Current.User.Identity;

How do I implement Windows Authentication correctly in the web.config file?
  <system.web>
    <authentication mode="Windows" />
  ...

How do I test if the Windows Authentication really works for my ASP.NET MVC 4 web site? In other words, how do I test it on my local development PC with local IIS (version 8), and on my company real web server with IIS version 7?

First, change the ASP.NET authorization to exclude the current user. E.g.

  <system.web>
    <authentication mode="Windows" />
    <authorization>
      <allow users="yourdomainsomeotheruser" />
      <deny users="*" />
    </authorization>

Second, enable Windows Authentication for your site using IIS Manager. It’s under the ‘Authentication’ feature. And disable anonymous authentication.

Note that older explanation will suggest you make changes under element of your site’s web.config. However, recent IIS implementations prevent this for security reasons.

Three, point your browser at the webpage. The browser should ask you to provide credentials, because the current user is not allowed access to the website. Provide the ones that are authorized for the site, and your MVC code should run.

Four, check the user identity. E.g.

WindowsIdentity clientId = (WindowsIdentity)HttpContext.Current.User.Identity;

Method 2

I have done this with ASP.NET MVC 1.0. That was a relatively long time ago. I remember the IIS settings being confusing. I just did some checking, and it does not look like things have changed much to ASP.NET MVC 4.0 as far as attributes on the controllers.

For your questions:

  1. How does it work? The following references pretty much sum things up pretty well. Authenticating Users with Windows Authentication (C#)
    is NOT exactly right for ASP.NET MVC 4.0, but it has some background.

    How to Create an Intranet Site Using ASP.NET MVC is for ASP.NET MVC 3.0.

    I am too new to post more than two links, so you will have to search MSDN for “AuthorizeAttribute Class” for .NET Framework 4.

  2. What settings for web.config? – I just remember changing one element, “authentication mode”.
  3. As far as testing, my Windows OS versions matched better, and my development machine was on the same Windows domain. But if I remember correctly, this just worked. YMMV, but one thing I do remember considering was implementing my own authorization. Maybe that is an avenue for your case, to roll your own, and then switch to Windows authentication in production. But I would suggest a couple of test iterations with a test server if you can set one up on the company domain.

Method 3

I found out a helpful video that was very useful to me by showing step by step to implement and test Windows authentication for an ASP.NET MVC web site. So, I close this question.

Video from a very kind poster:

How to implement windows authentication in ASP.NET MVC 3 ( Model view controller) application?


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

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x