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Silverlight: Article

Accessing the ASP.NET Authentication, Profile and Role Service in Silverlight

How to access the WCF application services from a directly from the Silverlight client

In ASP.NET 2.0, we introduced a very powerful set of application services in ASP.NET (Membership, Roles and profile).  In 3.5 we created a client library for accessing them from Ajax and .NET Clients and exposed them via WCF web services.    For more information on the base level ASP.NET appservices that this walk through is based on, please see Stefan Schackow's excellent book Professional ASP.NET 2.0 Security, Membership, and Role Management.

In this tutorial I will walk you through how to access the WCF application services from a directly from the Silverlight client.  This works super well if you have a site that is already using the ASP.NET application services and you just need to access them from a Silverlight client.   (Special thanks to Helen for a good chunk of this implantation)

Here is what I plan to show:

1. Login\Logout
2. Save personalization settings
3. Enable custom UI based on a user's role (for example, manager or employee)
4. A custom log-in control to make the UI a bit cleaner



You can download the completed sample solution

Part I: Login\Logout
In VS, do File\New select the Silverlight solution.  Let's call it "ApplicationServicesDemo".



We will need both the client side Silverlight project and the ASP.NET serverside project.



Let's configure our system with the test users.  To do this we will use the ASP.NET Configuration Manager.  In VS, under the Website menu, select "ASP.NET Configuration". Use this application to add a couple of users.  I created two employees:




To expose the ASP.NET Authentication system, let's add a new WCF service.  Because we are just going to point this at the default one that ships with ASP.NET, we don't need any code behind, so the easiest thing to do is to add a new Text File.  In the ASP.NET website, Add New Item, select Text File  and call it "AuthenticationService.svc"



Add this one line as the contents of the file.  This wires it up to the implementation that ships as part of ASP.NET.

<%@ ServiceHost Language="C#" 

Now in Web.config, we need to add the WCF magic to turn the service on.

      <!-- this enables the 
WCF AuthenticationService endpoint
--> <service name=
" behaviorConfiguration=
"> <endpoint contract=
" binding="basicHttpBinding"
="userHttp" bindingNamespace=
""/> </service> </services> <bindings> <basicHttpBinding> <binding name="userHttp"> <!-- this is for demo only.
Https/Transport security is recommended
--> <security mode="None"/> </binding> </basicHttpBinding> </bindings> <behaviors> <serviceBehaviors> <behavior name=
"AuthenticationServiceTypeBehaviors"> <serviceMetadata httpGetEnabled="true"/> </behavior> </serviceBehaviors> </behaviors> <!-- this is needed since this service is
only supported with HTTP protocol
--> <serviceHostingEnvironment
="true"/> </system.serviceModel>

Now, still in Web.config, we need to enable forms authentication.  Under the <system.web> change the authentication mode from "Windows" to "Forms".

<authentication mode="Forms" />

One last change to web.config, we need to enable authentication to be exposed via the web service.This is done by adding a System.Web.Extensions section.

        <authenticationService enabled=
"true" requireSSL="false"/> </webServices> </scripting> </system.web.extensions>


Now, to consume this authentication service in Silverlight, let's open the page.xaml file and add some initial UI. Just buttons to log "employee" and "manager"  in and a textblock to show some status.

    <Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot" 
="White"> <StackPanel> <Button x:Name="employeeLogIn" Width="100" Height="50" Content="Log In Employee" Click="employeeLogIn_Click"></Button> <Button x:Name="managerLogIn" Width="100" Height="50" Content="Log In Manager" Click="managerLogIn_Click"></Button> <TextBlock x:Name="statusText"></TextBlock> </StackPanel> </Grid>

Now, let's add a reference to the service we just created

Right click on the Silverlight project and select Add Service Reference



Click Discover and set the namespace to "AuthenticationService"



If you get an error at this point, it is likely something wrong with your AuthenticationService.svc or the web config, go back and double check those.

Now, let's write a little code to call that service to log us in.  First add the right using statement

using ApplicationServicesDemo.AuthenticationServices;

Then, in employeeLogIn_Click method write the code to call the service to log the employee in.  For now, we will hard code the name in password, but by the end we will be prompting the user to get this data.

First we create a the web services client class, then we call the login method asynchronously.  Remember all network calls in Silverlight are async, otherwise we'd lock up the whole browser.  Finally we sign up for the callback.

private void employeeLogIn_Click
(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e) { AuthenticationServiceClient client =
AuthenticationServiceClient(); client.LoginAsync("employee", "employee!", "
, true, "employee"); client.LoginCompleted +=
new EventHandler
<LoginCompletedEventArgs>(client_LoginCompleted); }

In the callback, for now, let's just set our status.

void client_LoginCompleted
(object sender, LoginCompletedEventArgs e) { if (e.Error != null) statusText.Text =
e.Error.ToString(); else statusText.Text = e.UserState +
" logged In result:" + e.Result;


Run it!  You should see a good status.  Try changing the password and ID, and see the status change to false.  It is working.



Now do the same thing for manager and you are set!

private void managerLogIn_Click
(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e) { AuthenticationServiceClient client =
AuthenticationServiceClient(); client.LoginCompleted +=
(client_LoginCompleted); client.LoginAsync("manager",
"manager!", "", true, "manager"); }
Next Page - Part 2: Save Personalization Settings

More Stories By Brad Abrams

Brad Abrams is currently the Group Program Manager for the UI Framework and Services team at Microsoft which is responsible for delivering the developer platform that spans both client and web based applications, as well as the common services that are available to all applications. Specific technologies owned by this team include ASP.NET, Atlas and Windows Forms. He was a founding member of both the Common Language Runtime, and .NET Framework teams.

Brad has been designing parts of the .NET Framework since 1998 when he started his framework design career building the BCL (Base Class Library) that ships as a core part of the .NET Framework. He was also the lead editor on the Common Language Specification (CLS), the .NET Framework Design Guidelines, the libraries in the ECMA\ISO CLI Standard, and has been deeply involved with the WinFX and Windows Vista efforts from their beginning.

He co-authored Programming in the .NET Environment, and was editor on .NET Framework Standard Library Annotated Reference Vol 1 and Vol 2 and the Framework Design Guidelines.

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Most Recent Comments
radixweb 08/21/08 01:44:07 AM EDT

Hey Brad,

Great Post.....


Nico 06/04/08 06:15:34 PM EDT

This is great! Been looking forward to seeing more AJAX with Silverlight and this is right up my alley. Now that I know how it works... do you think there's a version out there with advanced escaping or is this security sound across the board?
Nico del Castillo
Microsoft Security Outreach Team

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