I. Overview of Authentication and Authorization

Authentication and authorization are essential components of any secure application. They ensure that users can access the resources they need while protecting sensitive data and functionality from unauthorized access.

A. Definition of Authentication

Authentication is the process of verifying the identity of a user, system, or application. In the context of a web application, this typically involves validating a user’s credentials (e.g., username and password) to confirm their identity. Once authenticated, the user can access specific resources or perform actions within the system based on their permissions.

User A provides a username and password to log into an AspNetCore web application. The application verifies the provided credentials against a database of registered users. User A is granted access to the system if the credentials are correct.

B. Definition of Authorization

Authorization determines whether an authenticated user has permission to access a particular resource or perform a specific action. Authorization is typically based on the user’s role, group membership, or specific permissions.

User A, an authenticated user, attempts to access a restricted administration page. The application checks User A’s role or permissions to determine if they have the required privileges. If they do, access is granted; otherwise, access is denied.

C. Relationship between Authentication and Authorization

Authentication and authorization work together to maintain a secure environment within an application. Authentication establishes the user’s identity, while authorization ensures that they can only access the resources and perform actions they are allowed to.

II. Differences between Authentication and Authorization

A. Focus and goals of each concept

Authentication is focused on verifying a user’s identity, while authorization is concerned with determining what actions or resources an authenticated user can access. Authentication is the first step in the process, followed by authorization.

B. Real-world examples

  1. Authentication:
  • Logging into a web application with a username and password
  • Using a biometric scanner to access a secure facility
  • Providing an API key to access a restricted API
  1. Authorization:
  • Accessing a restricted administration page within a web application
  • Viewing a private document based on group membership
  • Performing an action within an application based on the user’s role

C. Importance of distinguishing the two

Understanding the difference between authentication and authorization is essential for implementing a robust and secure system. Proper authentication ensures that users are who they claim to be, while authorization prevents unauthorized access to resources and actions.

III. AspNetCore built-in support for Authentication and Authorization

AspNetCore provides built-in support for authentication and authorization through middleware, claims-based identity models, and role-based access control. These features make it easier to implement secure applications with minimal effort.

A. Authentication Middleware

The Authentication middleware in AspNetCore manages the authentication process for incoming requests. It is responsible for processing authentication headers, validating credentials, and managing user identities. AspNetCore supports various authentication schemes, such as cookie-based authentication and JWT tokens.

Example: Adding Authentication middleware to the Startup.cs file:

public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
    services.AddAuthentication(options =>
        options.DefaultAuthenticateScheme = "CustomScheme";
        options.DefaultChallengeScheme = "CustomScheme";
    .AddCustomAuthentication("CustomScheme", options => { });

B. Authorization Middleware

The Authorization middleware in AspNetCore manages the authorization process for authenticated users. It is responsible for determining whether a user has the necessary permissions to access a specific resource or perform a particular action. Authorization in AspNetCore is based on policies, which define specific requirements that must be met for access to be granted.

Example: Adding Authorization middleware to the Startup.cs file:

public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
      services.AddAuthorization(options =>
          options.AddPolicy("AdminPolicy", policy =>

C. Claims-based identity model

AspNetCore uses a claims-based identity model, representing the user’s identity as a collection of claims. Claims are information about the user, such as their username, email address, or role. This model simplifies managing user data and makes it easier to implement custom authorization logic based on the user’s claims.

Example: Creating a ClaimsIdentity with custom claims:

var claims = new List
    new Claim(ClaimTypes.Name, "John Doe"),
    new Claim(ClaimTypes.Email, "moc.elpmaxenull@eod.nhoj"),
    new Claim(ClaimTypes.Role, "Admin")
var identity = new ClaimsIdentity(claims, "CustomScheme");
var principal = new ClaimsPrincipal(identity);

D. Role-based access control

Role-based access control (RBAC) is a common approach to authorization that assigns users to roles, each with a specific set of permissions. AspNetCore provides built-in support for RBAC through the `Authorize` attribute, which can be applied to controllers or actions to restrict access based on the user’s role.

Example: Restricting access to an action based on the user’s role:

[Authorize(Roles = "Admin")]
public IActionResult RestrictedAction()
    return View();

E. Built-in support for external authentication providers

AspNetCore offers built-in support for integrating with external authentication providers, such as social media logins (Facebook, Google, etc.) or identity providers, like IdentityServer4 and Auth0. This support simplifies implementing single sign-on (SSO) and other advanced authentication scenarios.

IV. Setting up a new AspNetCore project for the series

A. Installing required packages

You’ll first need to install the necessary NuGet packages to set up a new AspNetCore project for this series. For example, you might need to install the following packages:

– Microsoft.AspNetCore.Authentication.Cookies
– Microsoft.AspNetCore.Authentication.JwtBearer
– Microsoft.AspNetCore.Authentication.OpenIdConnect

You can install these packages using the Package Manager Console or editing the .csproj file.

B. Configuring the Startup.cs file

In the Startup.cs file, you’ll need to configure the authentication and authorization middleware in the `ConfigureServices` and `Configure` methods.

Example: Adding authentication and authorization to the Startup.cs file:

public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
    services.AddAuthentication(/* ... */);
    services.AddAuthorization(/* ... */);


public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app, IWebHostEnvironment env)
    if (env.IsDevelopment())



    app.UseEndpoints(endpoints =>
            name: "default",
            pattern: "{controller=Home}/{action=Index}/{id?}");

C. Creating the necessary project structure

Organize your project into folders, such as Controllers, Views, Models, and Services. This structure will help you manage your code as you work through the various authentication and authorization scenarios this series covers.

D. Basic setup for authentication and authorization in the project

With the necessary packages installed and the project structure in place, you can implement the authentication and authorization features covered in this series. Begin by adding the necessary code to your controllers, views, models, and any services or middleware you may require.

Example: Adding a login form to the project:

  1. Create a LoginViewModel in the Models folder:
public class LoginViewModel
    [Display(Name = "Username")]
    public string Username { get; set; }

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

    [Display(Name = "Remember me?")]
    public bool RememberMe { get; set; }
  1. Create a UserController in the Controllers folder:
public class UserController : Controller
    public IActionResult Login()
        return View();

    public async Task<IActionResult> Login(LoginViewModel model, string returnUrl = null)
        if (ModelState.IsValid)
            // Perform authentication and sign-in logic here

        return View(model);
  1. Create a Login.cshtml view in the Views/User folder:
@model LoginViewModel


<form asp-controller="User" asp-action="Login" method="post">
    <div class="form-group">
        <label asp-for="Username"></label>
        <input asp-for="Username" class="form-control" />
        <span asp-validation-for="Username" class="text-danger"></span>
    <div class="form-group">
        <label asp-for="Password"></label>
        <input asp-for="Password" class="form-control" />
        <span asp-validation-for="Password" class="text-danger"></span>
    <div class="form-check">
        <input asp-for="RememberMe" class="form-check-input" />
        <label asp-for="RememberMe" class="form-check-label"></label>
    <button type="submit" class="btn btn-primary">Log in</button>

This completes the basic setup for implementing authentication and authorization in your AspNetCore project. In the subsequent parts of this series, you will explore various techniques and integrations to enhance and customize your application’s security.

A Geek by nature, I love to work on challenging development projects. I have been in Programming for last 13 years and still too young to learn anything new. I have exceptional command using AngularJS and Python/.Net/NodeJS.

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