Working With MVC Using ASP.Net Identity 2.0.0-Beta1


The latest version of ASP.NET Identity: 2.0.0-beta1 has been recently revealed and I've also described it in Identity New Release. The beta1 version is the update of last the alpha1 version of ASP.NET Identity. There are various new features released with it, like two-factor authentication and much more along with a few bug fixes.

In that context, I am using it in my web application for a better understanding of the UserManager class. We'll use the Visual Studio 2013 RTM version for creating the web application using MVC Project Template for the ASP.NET Identity new release. As a default, the MVC application has the 1.0.0 version of Identity in which the UserManager class is instantiated directly that has a few issues defined later in here. These bugs have been fixed in this new version release.

UserManager and UserStore Classes

The ASP.NET Identity has the UserManger and UserStore classes. The UserManger is the prominent class for performing the operations in the identity system like registering a new user. The UserStore is the subordinate class that is used to define entities like users and roles, are persisted. The Stores are the closely coupled with the persistence mechanism, but Managers are decoupled from stores. That means you can replace the persistence mechanism without disrupting the entire application.

In this article, we'll configure the UserManger class in the MVC application. The default version of Identity is 1.0.0, so we need to migrate it to the 2.0.-beta1. We'll also work with the password validation customization. So, let's start with the following procedure:

  • Create the MVC Application
  • Upgrading Identity to Beta1 Release
  • Working with UserManager
  • Customizing Password Validations

Create the MVC Application

In this section we'll create the web application using the MVC project template using the following procedure.

Step 1: Open Visual Studio 2013 and click on "New Project".

Step 2: Select the ASP.NET Web Application and enter the name for the app.

Creating ASP.NET Web Application

Step 3: Select the MVC Project Template from the "One ASP.NET Wizard".

MVC Project Template in VS 2013

Visual Studio automatically creates the application and we can see that the Identity default version is 1.0.0 in the Packages.config file:

Identity Package in MVC App

You can also see the UserManager class in the AccountController.cs file for defining the user account management actions:

  1. public AccountController()  
  2.             : this(new UserManager<ApplicationUser>(new UserStore<ApplicationUser>(new ApplicationDbContext())))  
  3. {  
  4. }  
  5. public AccountController(UserManager<ApplicationUser> userManager)  
  6. {  
  7.     UserManager = userManager;  
  8. }  
  9. public UserManager<ApplicationUser> UserManager { getprivate set; } 

In the code above, the UserManager is the property of UserManager type that is also set in the constructor. The UserManager class takes in an instance of the UserStore class that implements operations on the user that are persistence-specific. In our case, we have aUserStore class that implements these operations specific to the Entity Framework.


Here, if the UserManager has the two instances and in the request that are working on the same user, they would be working with the two different instances of the user object. In here, the changes either they made or made by other, would not reverse. So, to preserve the changes back to database would lead to incorrect changes being made to the user object. The same is applied for using the DbContext clss.


It can be resolved by storing the instance of  UserManager and DbContext per the request and reuse them in the entire solution. So, proceed to the next step.

Working with UserManager

In this section we'll migrate the Identity to Identity 2.0.0-beta1 version and work with the UserManager class. So, start with the following procedure.

Step 1: In the Solution Explorer, right-click on the project and click on "Manage NuGet Packages".

Step 2: Update the Identity packages from the NuGet Gallery as shown below:

Updating Identity Packages

Once the packages are installed, save the application and restart Visual Studio from the wizard as shown below:

Updated Identity Packages

Step 3: In the App_Start folder, create a new class named IdentityConfig and replace the code with the code below:

  1. using Microsoft.AspNet.Identity;  
  2. using Microsoft.AspNet.Identity.EntityFramework;  
  3. using Microsoft.AspNet.Identity.Owin;  
  4. using Microsoft.Owin;  
  5. using MvcUserManagerApp.Models;  
  6. namespace MvcUserManagerApp.App_Start  
  7. {  
  8.     public class ApplicationUserManager : UserManager<ApplicationUser>  
  9.     {  
  10.         public ApplicationUserManager(IUserStore<ApplicationUser> store)  
  11.             : base(store)  
  12.         {  
  13.         }  
  14.         public static ApplicationUserManager Create(IdentityFactoryOptions<ApplicationUserManager> factoryOptions, IOwinContext context)  
  15.         {  
  16.             var UserManager = new ApplicationUserManager(new UserStore<ApplicationUser>(context.Get<ApplicationDbContext>()));  
  17.             return UserManager;  
  18.         }  
  19.     }  
  20. } 

In the code above, we created a ApplicationUserManager class that extends the UserManager<T> instead of working directly with the UserManager<T>. We need to register the UserManager and DbContext class with the OWIN context, therefore we need to add the methods to the ConfigAuth method. We use the CreatePerOwinContext<T> method that registers a static callback method that returns an instance of type <T>. This method is invoked once per request and used to obtain an instance object to be used for the request. That's why the Create method is created as static to return the instance. We need to retrieve the instance of DbContext to configure the UserStore in the UserManager constructor. We can get the instance of OwinContext using the Get<ApplicationDbContext>.

Step 4: We'll create the static callback method to return an instance of DbContext. Open the IdentityModel.cs file and modify the code with the highlighted code below:

  1. namespace MvcUserManagerApp.Models  
  2. {  
  3.     public class ApplicationUser : IdentityUser  
  4.     {  
  5.     }  
  6.     public class ApplicationDbContext : IdentityDbContext<ApplicationUser>  
  7.     {  
  8.         public ApplicationDbContext()  
  9.             : base("DefaultConnection", throwIfV1Schema: false)  
  10.         {  
  11.         }  
  12.         public static ApplicationDbContext Create()  
  13.         {  
  14.             return new ApplicationDbContext();  
  15.         }  
  16.     }  
  17. } 

Step 5: Now, we register the two callback methods in the ConfigAuth method. Open the Startup.Auth file and modify the code:

  1. public void ConfigureAuth(IAppBuilder app)  
  2. {  
  3.     app.CreatePerOwinContext<ApplicationDbContext>(ApplicationDbContext.Create);  
  4.     app.CreatePerOwinContext<ApplicationUserManager>(ApplicationUserManager.Create);  
  5.     // Enable the application to use a cookie to store information for the signed in user  
  6. } 

Step 6: Open the AccountController.cs file and change the constructor and UserManager property with the following code:

Add the following assembly:

  1. using Microsoft.AspNet.Identity.Owin;  


The code:

  1. public class AccountController : Controller  
  2. {  
  3.     public AccountController()  
  4.     {  
  5.     }  
  6.     public AccountController(ApplicationUserManager manager)  
  7.     {  
  8.         UserManager = manager;  
  9.     }  
  10.     private ApplicationUserManager _manager;  
  11.     public ApplicationUserManager UserManager  
  12.     {  
  13.         get  
  14.         {  
  15.             return _manager ?? HttpContext.GetOwinContext().GetUserManager<ApplicationUserManager>();  
  16.         }  
  17.         private set  
  18.         {  
  19.             _manager = value;  
  20.         }  
  21.     }  
  22. } 

Step 7: Now run the application and register a new user in the application

Registering Local User in Mvc

Customizing Password Validations

We also can customize the validations in the password. As in the default Identity there is a minimum length we can set to 6 and here you can find various properties. To apply it to your application, you can simply modify the
ApplicationUserManager class with the following code:

  1. public class ApplicationUserManager : UserManager<ApplicationUser>  
  2. {  
  3.     public ApplicationUserManager(IUserStore<ApplicationUser> store)  
  4.         : base(store)  
  5.     {  
  6.     }  
  7.     public static ApplicationUserManager Create(IdentityFactoryOptions<ApplicationUserManager> factoryOptions, IOwinContext context)  
  8.     {  
  9.         var UserManager = new ApplicationUserManager(new UserStore<ApplicationUser>(context.Get<ApplicationDbContext>()));  
  10.         UserManager.PasswordValidator = new PasswordValidator  
  11.         {  
  12.             RequireDigit = true,  
  13.             RequiredLength = 8,  
  14.             RequireLowercase = false,  
  15.             RequireNonLetterOrDigit = true,  
  16.             RequireUppercase = false  
  17.         };  
  18.         return UserManager;  
  19.     }  
  20. } 

Now, when you register the user with the invalid password as in the following:

Password Validation in Mvc using Identity


This article described how to get a per-request, single instance of the UserManaer and DbContext classes from an OWIN context for use in the entire solution using the ASP.NET Identity 2.0.0-beta1. Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any problem.

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