How to use Identity to secure a Web API backend for SPAs

Note

This isn't the latest version of this article. For the current release, see the ASP.NET Core 8.0 version of this article.

ASP.NET Core Identity provides APIs that handle authentication, authorization, and identity management. The APIs make it possible to secure endpoints of a Web API backend with cookie-based authentication. There's a token-based option for clients that can't use cookies.

This article shows how to use Identity to secure a Web API backend for SPAs such as Angular, React, and Vue apps. The same backend APIs can be used to secure Blazor WebAssembly apps.

Prerequisites

The steps shown in this article add authentication and authorization to an ASP.NET Core Web API app that:

  • Isn't already configured for authentication.
  • Targets net8.0 or later.
  • Includes OpenAPI support.
  • Can be either minimal API or controller-based API.

Some of the testing instructions in this article use the Swagger UI that's included with the project template. The Swagger UI isn't required to use Identity with a Web API backend.

Install NuGet packages

Install the following NuGet packages:

For the quickest way to get started, use the in-memory database.

Change the database later to SQLite or SQL Server to save user data between sessions when testing or for production use. That introduces some complexity compared to in-memory, as it requires the database to be created through migrations, as shown in the EF Core getting started tutorial.

Install these packages by using the NuGet package manager in Visual Studio or the dotnet add package CLI command.

Create an IdentityDbContext

Add a class named ApplicationDbContext that inherits from IdentityDbContext<TUser>:

public class ApplicationDbContext : IdentityDbContext<IdentityUser>
{
    public ApplicationDbContext(DbContextOptions<ApplicationDbContext> options) :
        base(options) { }
}

The code shown provides a special constructor that makes it possible to configure the database for different environments.

Add one or more of the following using directives as needed when adding the code shown in these steps.

using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Identity;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Identity.EntityFrameworkCore;
using Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore;

Configure the EF Core context

As noted earlier, the simplest way to get started is to use the in-memory database. With in-memory each run starts with a fresh database, and there's no need to use migrations. After the call to WebApplication.CreateBuilder(args), add the following code to configure Identity to use an in-memory database:

builder.Services.AddDbContext<ApplicationDbContext>(
    options => options.UseInMemoryDatabase("AppDb"));

To save user data between sessions when testing or for production use, change the database later to SQLite or SQL Server.

Add Identity services to the container

After the call to WebApplication.CreateBuilder(args), call AddAuthorization to add services to the dependency injection (DI) container:

builder.Services.AddAuthorization();

Activate Identity APIs

After the call to WebApplication.CreateBuilder(args), call AddIdentityApiEndpoints<TUser>(IServiceCollection) and AddEntityFrameworkStores<TContext>(IdentityBuilder).

builder.Services.AddIdentityApiEndpoints<IdentityUser>()
    .AddEntityFrameworkStores<ApplicationDbContext>();

By default, both cookies and proprietary tokens are activated. Cookies and tokens are issued at login if the useCookies query string parameter in the login endpoint is true.

Map Identity routes

After the call to builder.Build(), call MapIdentityApi<TUser>(IEndpointRouteBuilder) to map the Identity endpoints:

app.MapIdentityApi<IdentityUser>();

Secure selected endpoints

To secure an endpoint, use the RequireAuthorization extension method on the Map{Method} call that defines the route. For example:

app.MapGet("/weatherforecast", (HttpContext httpContext) =>
{
    var forecast = Enumerable.Range(1, 5).Select(index =>
        new WeatherForecast
        {
            Date = DateOnly.FromDateTime(DateTime.Now.AddDays(index)),
            TemperatureC = Random.Shared.Next(-20, 55),
            Summary = summaries[Random.Shared.Next(summaries.Length)]
        })
        .ToArray();
    return forecast;
})
.WithName("GetWeatherForecast")
.WithOpenApi()
.RequireAuthorization();

The RequireAuthorization method can also be used to:

  • Secure Swagger UI endpoints, as shown in the following example:

    app.MapSwagger().RequireAuthorization();
    
  • Secure with a specific claim or permission, as shown in the following example:

RequiresAuthorization("Admin")

In a controller-based web API project, secure endpoints by applying the [Authorize] attribute to a controller or action.

Test the API

A quick way to test authentication is to use the in-memory database and the Swagger UI that's included with the project template. The following steps show how to test the API with the Swagger UI. Make sure that the Swagger UI endpoints aren't secured.

Attempt to access a secured endpoint

  • Run the app and navigate to the Swagger UI.
  • Expand a secured endpoint, such as /weatherforecast in a project created by the web API template.
  • Select Try it out.
  • Select Execute. The response is 401 - not authorized.

Test registration

  • Expand /register and select Try it out.

  • In the Parameters section of the UI, a sample request body is shown:

    {
      "email": "string",
      "password": "string"
    }
    
  • Replace "string" with a valid email address and password, and then select Execute.

    To comply with the default password validation rules, the password must be at least six characters long and contain at least one of each of the following characters:

    • Uppercase letter
    • Lowercase letter
    • Numeric digit
    • Nonalphanumeric character

    If you enter an invalid email address or a bad password, the result includes the validation errors. Here's an example of a response body with validation errors:

    {
      "type": "https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc9110#section-15.5.1",
      "title": "One or more validation errors occurred.",
      "status": 400,
      "errors": {
        "PasswordTooShort": [
          "Passwords must be at least 6 characters."
        ],
        "PasswordRequiresNonAlphanumeric": [
          "Passwords must have at least one non alphanumeric character."
        ],
        "PasswordRequiresDigit": [
          "Passwords must have at least one digit ('0'-'9')."
        ],
        "PasswordRequiresLower": [
          "Passwords must have at least one lowercase ('a'-'z')."
        ]
      }
    }
    

    The errors are returned in the ProblemDetails format so the client can parse them and display validation errors as needed.

    A successful registration results in a 200 - OK response.

Test login

  • Expand /login and select Try it out. The example request body shows two additional parameters:

    {
      "email": "string",
      "password": "string",
      "twoFactorCode": "string",
      "twoFactorRecoveryCode": "string"
    }
    

    The extra JSON properties aren't needed for this example and can be deleted. Set useCookies to true.

  • Replace "string" with the email address and password that you used to register, and then select Execute.

    A successful login results in a 200 - OK response with a cookie in the response header.

Retest the secured endpoint

After a successful login, rerun the secured endpoint. The authentication cookie is automatically sent with the request, and the endpoint is authorized. Cookie-based authentication is securely built-in to the browser and "just works."

Testing with nonbrowser clients

Some web clients might not include cookies in the header by default:

  • If you're using a tool for testing APIs, you might need to enable cookies in the settings.
  • The JavaScript fetch API doesn't include cookies by default. Enable them by setting credentials to the value include in the options.
  • An HttpClient running in a Blazor WebAssembly app needs the HttpRequestMessage to include credentials, like the following example:
request.SetBrowserRequestCredential(BrowserRequestCredentials.Include);

Use token-based authentication

For clients that don't support cookies, the login API provides a parameter to request tokens. A custom token (one that is proprietary to the ASP.NET Core identity platform) is issued that can be used to authenticate subsequent requests. The token is passed in the Authorization header as a bearer token. A refresh token is also provided. This token allows the application to request a new token when the old one expires without forcing the user to log in again.

The tokens aren't standard JSON Web Tokens (JWTs). The use of custom tokens is intentional, as the built-in Identity API is meant primarily for simple scenarios. The token option isn't intended to be a full-featured identity service provider or token server, but instead an alternative to the cookie option for clients that can't use cookies.

To use token-based authentication, set the useCookies query string parameter to false when calling the /login endpoint. Tokens use the bearer authentication scheme. Using the token returned from the call to /login, subsequent calls to protected endpoints should add the header Authorization: Bearer <token> where <token> is the access token. For more information, see Use the POST /login endpoint later in this article.

Log out

To provide a way for the user to log out, define a /logout endpoint like the following example:

app.MapPost("/logout", async (SignInManager<IdentityUser> signInManager,
    [FromBody]object empty) =>
{
    if (empty != null)
    {
        await signInManager.SignOutAsync();
        return Results.Ok();
    }
    return Results.Unauthorized();
})
.WithOpenApi()
.RequireAuthorization();

Provide an empty JSON object ({}) in the request body when calling this endpoint. The following code is an example of a call to the logout endpoint:

public signOut() {
  return this.http.post('/logout', {}, {
    withCredentials: true,
    observe: 'response',
    responseType: 'text'

The MapIdentityApi<TUser> endpoints

The call to MapIdentityApi<TUser> adds the following endpoints to the app:

Use the POST /register endpoint

The request body must have Email and Password properties:

{
  "email": "string",
  "password": "string",
}

For more information, see:

Use the POST /login endpoint

In the request body, Email and Password are required. If two-factor authentication (2FA) is enabled, either TwoFactorCode or TwoFactorRecoveryCode is required. If 2FA isn't enabled, omit both twoFactorCode and twoFactorRecoveryCode. For more information, see Use the POST /manage/2fa endpoint later in this article.

Here's a request body example with 2FA not enabled:

{
  "email": "string",
  "password": "string"
}

Here are request body examples with 2FA enabled:

  • {
      "email": "string",
      "password": "string",
      "twoFactorCode": "string",
    }
    
  • {
      "email": "string",
      "password": "string",
      "twoFactorRecoveryCode": "string"
    }
    

The endpoint expects a query string parameter:

  • useCookies - Set to true for cookie-based authentication. Set to false or omit for token-based authentication.

For more information about cookie-based authentication, see Test login earlier in this article.

Token-based authentication

If useCookies is false or omitted, token-based authentication is enabled. The response body includes the following properties:

{
  "tokenType": "string",
  "accessToken": "string",
  "expiresIn": 0,
  "refreshToken": "string"
}

For more information about these properties, see AccessTokenResponse.

Put the access token in a header to make authenticated requests, as shown in the following example

Authorization: Bearer {access token}

When the access token is about to expire, call the /refresh endpoint.

Use the POST /refresh endpoint

For use only with token-based authentication. Gets a new access token without forcing the user to log in again. Call this endpoint when the access token is about to expire.

The request body contains only the RefreshToken. Here's a request body example:

{
  "refreshToken": "string"
}

If the call is successful, the response body is a new AccessTokenResponse, as shown in the following example:

{
  "tokenType": "string",
  "accessToken": "string",
  "expiresIn": 0,
  "refreshToken": "string"
}

Use the GET /confirmEmail endpoint

If Identity is set up for email confirmation, a successful call to the /register endpoint sends an email that contains a link to the /confirmEmail endpoint. The link contains the following query string parameters:

  • userId
  • code
  • changedEmail - Included only if the user changed the email address during registration.

By default, the email subject is "Confirm your email" and the email body looks like the following example:

 Please confirm your account by <a href='https://contoso.com/confirmEmail?userId={user ID}&code={generated code}&changedEmail={new email address}'>clicking here</a>.

If the RequireConfirmedEmail property is set to true, the user can't log in until the email address is confirmed by clicking the link in the email. The /confirmEmail endpoint:

  • Confirms the email address and enables the user to log in.
  • Returns the text "Thank you for confirming your email." in the response body.

To set up Identity for email confirmation, add code in Program.cs to set RequireConfirmedEmail to true and add a class that implements IEmailSender to the DI container. For example:

builder.Services.Configure<IdentityOptions>(options =>
{
    options.SignIn.RequireConfirmedEmail = true;
});

builder.Services.AddTransient<IEmailSender, EmailSender>();

In the preceding example, EmailSender is a class that implements IEmailSender. For more information, including an example of a class that implements IEmailSender, see Account confirmation and password recovery in ASP.NET Core.

Use the POST /resendConfirmationEmail endpoint

Sends an email only if the address is valid for a registered user.

The request body contains only the Email. Here's a request body example:

{
  "email": "string"
}

For more information, see Use the GET /confirmEmail endpoint earlier in this article.

Use the POST /forgotPassword endpoint

Generates an email that contains a password reset code. Send that code to /resetPassword with a new password.

The request body contains only the Email. Here's an example:

{
  "email": "string"
}

For information about how to enable Identity to send emails, see Use the GET /confirmEmail endpoint.

Use the POST /resetPassword endpoint

Call this endpoint after getting a reset code by calling the /forgotPassword endpoint.

The request body requires Email, ResetCode, and NewPassword. Here's an example:

{
  "email": "string",
  "resetCode": "string",
  "newPassword": "string"
}

Use the POST /manage/2fa endpoint

Configures two-factor authentication (2FA) for the user. When 2FA is enabled, successful login requires a code produced by an authenticator app in addition to the email address and password.

Enable 2FA

To enable 2FA for the currently authenticated user:

  • Call the /manage/2fa endpoint, sending an empty JSON object ({}) in the request body.

  • The response body provides the SharedKey along with some other properties that aren't needed at this point. The shared key is used to set up the authenticator app. Response body example:

    {
      "sharedKey": "string",
      "recoveryCodesLeft": 0,
      "recoveryCodes": null,
      "isTwoFactorEnabled": false,
      "isMachineRemembered": false
    }
    
  • Use the shared key to get a Time-based one-time password (TOTP). For more information, see Enable QR code generation for TOTP authenticator apps in ASP.NET Core.

  • Call the /manage/2fa endpoint, sending the TOTP and "enable": true in the request body. For example:

    {
      "enable": true,
      "twoFactorCode": "string"
    }
    
  • The response body confirms that IsTwoFactorEnabled is true and provides the RecoveryCodes. The recovery codes are used to log in when the authenticator app isn't available. Response body example after successfully enabling 2FA:

    {
      "sharedKey": "string",
      "recoveryCodesLeft": 10,
      "recoveryCodes": [
        "string",
        "string",
        "string",
        "string",
        "string",
        "string",
        "string",
        "string",
        "string",
        "string"
      ],
      "isTwoFactorEnabled": true,
      "isMachineRemembered": false
    }
    

Log in with 2FA

Call the /login endpoint, sending the email address, password, and TOTP in the request body. For example:

{
  "email": "string",
  "password": "string",
  "twoFactorCode": "string"
}

If the user doesn't have access to the authenticator app, log in by calling the /login endpoint with one of the recovery codes that was provided when 2FA was enabled. The request body looks like the following example:

{
  "email": "string",
  "password": "string",
  "twoFactorRecoveryCode": "string"
}

Reset the recovery codes

To get a new collection of recovery codes, call this endpoint with ResetRecoveryCodes set to true. Here's a request body example:

{
  "resetRecoveryCodes": true
}

Reset the shared key

To get a new random shared key, call this endpoint with ResetSharedKey set to true. Here's a request body example:

{
  "resetSharedKey": true
}

Resetting the key automatically disables the two-factor login requirement for the authenticated user until it's re-enabled by a later request.

Forget the machine

To clear the cookie "remember me flag" if present, call this endpoint with ForgetMachine set to true. Here's a request body example:

{
  "forgetMachine": true
}

This endpoint has no impact on token-based authentication.

Use the GET /manage/info endpoint

Gets email address and email confirmation status of the logged-in user. Claims were omitted from this endpoint for security reasons. If claims are needed, use the server-side APIs to set up an endpoint for claims. Or instead of sharing all of the users' claims, provide a validation endpoint that accepts a claim and responds whether the user has it.

The request doesn't require any parameters. The response body includes the Email and IsEmailConfirmed properties, as in the following example:

{
  "email": "string",
  "isEmailConfirmed": true
}

Use the POST /manage/info endpoint

Updates the email address and password of the logged-in user. Send NewEmail, NewPassword, and OldPassword in the request body, as shown in the following example:

{
  "newEmail": "string",
  "newPassword": "string",
  "oldPassword": "string"
}

Here's an example of the response body:

{
  "email": "string",
  "isEmailConfirmed": false
}

See also

For more information, see the following resources:

The ASP.NET Core templates offer authentication in Single Page Apps (SPAs) using the support for API authorization. ASP.NET Core Identity for authenticating and storing users is combined with Duende Identity Server for implementing OpenID Connect.

Important

Duende Software might require you to pay a license fee for production use of Duende Identity Server. For more information, see Migrate from ASP.NET Core 5.0 to 6.0.

An authentication parameter was added to the Angular and React project templates that is similar to the authentication parameter in the Web Application (Model-View-Controller) (MVC) and Web Application (Razor Pages) project templates. The allowed parameter values are None and Individual. The React.js and Redux project template doesn't support the authentication parameter at this time.

Create an app with API authorization support

User authentication and authorization can be used with both Angular and React SPAs. Open a command shell, and run the following command:

Angular:

dotnet new angular -au Individual

React:

dotnet new react -au Individual

The preceding command creates an ASP.NET Core app with a ClientApp directory containing the SPA.

General description of the ASP.NET Core components of the app

The following sections describe additions to the project when authentication support is included:

Program.cs

The following code examples rely on the Microsoft.AspNetCore.ApiAuthorization.IdentityServer NuGet package. The examples configure API authentication and authorization using the AddApiAuthorization and AddIdentityServerJwt extension methods. Projects using the React or Angular SPA project templates with authentication include a reference to this package.

dotnet new angular -au Individual generates the following Program.cs file:

using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Authentication;
using Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore;
using output_directory_name.Data;
using output_directory_name.Models;

var builder = WebApplication.CreateBuilder(args);

var connectionString = builder.Configuration.GetConnectionString("DefaultConnection") ?? throw new InvalidOperationException("Connection string 'DefaultConnection' not found.");
builder.Services.AddDbContext<ApplicationDbContext>(options =>
    options.UseSqlite(connectionString));
builder.Services.AddDatabaseDeveloperPageExceptionFilter();

builder.Services.AddDefaultIdentity<ApplicationUser>(options => options.SignIn.RequireConfirmedAccount = true)
    .AddEntityFrameworkStores<ApplicationDbContext>();

builder.Services.AddIdentityServer()
    .AddApiAuthorization<ApplicationUser, ApplicationDbContext>();

builder.Services.AddAuthentication()
    .AddIdentityServerJwt();

builder.Services.AddControllersWithViews();
builder.Services.AddRazorPages();

var app = builder.Build();

if (app.Environment.IsDevelopment())
{
    app.UseMigrationsEndPoint();
}
else
{
    app.UseHsts();
}

app.UseHttpsRedirection();
app.UseStaticFiles();
app.UseRouting();

app.UseAuthentication();
app.UseIdentityServer();
app.UseAuthorization();

app.MapControllerRoute(
    name: "default",
    pattern: "{controller}/{action=Index}/{id?}");
app.MapRazorPages();

app.MapFallbackToFile("index.html");

app.Run();

The preceding code configures:

  • Identity with the default UI:

    builder.Services.AddDbContext<ApplicationDbContext>(options =>
        options.UseSqlite(connectionString));
    builder.Services.AddDatabaseDeveloperPageExceptionFilter();
    
    builder.Services.AddDefaultIdentity<ApplicationUser>(options => options.SignIn.RequireConfirmedAccount = true)
        .AddEntityFrameworkStores<ApplicationDbContext>();
    
  • IdentityServer with an additional AddApiAuthorization helper method that sets up some default ASP.NET Core conventions on top of IdentityServer:

    builder.Services.AddIdentityServer()
        .AddApiAuthorization<ApplicationUser, ApplicationDbContext>();
    
  • Authentication with an additional AddIdentityServerJwt helper method that configures the app to validate JWT tokens produced by IdentityServer:

    builder.Services.AddAuthentication()
    .AddIdentityServerJwt();
    
  • The authentication middleware that is responsible for validating the request credentials and setting the user on the request context:

    app.UseAuthentication();
    
  • The IdentityServer middleware that exposes the OpenID Connect endpoints:

    app.UseIdentityServer();
    

Azure App Service on Linux

For Azure App Service deployments on Linux, specify the issuer explicitly:

builder.Services.Configure<JwtBearerOptions>(
    IdentityServerJwtConstants.IdentityServerJwtBearerScheme, 
    options =>
    {
        options.Authority = "{AUTHORITY}";
    });

In the preceding code, the {AUTHORITY} placeholder is the Authority to use when making OpenID Connect calls.

Example:

options.Authority = "https://contoso-service.azurewebsites.net";

AddApiAuthorization

This helper method configures IdentityServer to use our supported configuration. IdentityServer is a powerful and extensible framework for handling app security concerns. At the same time, that exposes unnecessary complexity for the most common scenarios. Consequently, a set of conventions and configuration options is provided to you that are considered a good starting point. Once your authentication needs change, the full power of IdentityServer is still available to customize authentication to suit your needs.

AddIdentityServerJwt

This helper method configures a policy scheme for the app as the default authentication handler. The policy is configured to let Identity handle all requests routed to any subpath in the Identity URL space "/Identity". The JwtBearerHandler handles all other requests. Additionally, this method registers an <<ApplicationName>>API API resource with IdentityServer with a default scope of <<ApplicationName>>API and configures the JWT Bearer token middleware to validate tokens issued by IdentityServer for the app.

WeatherForecastController

In the file, notice the [Authorize] attribute applied to the class that indicates that the user needs to be authorized based on the default policy to access the resource. The default authorization policy happens to be configured to use the default authentication scheme, which is set up by AddIdentityServerJwt to the policy scheme that was mentioned above, making the JwtBearerHandler configured by such helper method the default handler for requests to the app.

ApplicationDbContext

In the file, notice the same DbContext is used in Identity with the exception that it extends ApiAuthorizationDbContext (a more derived class from IdentityDbContext) to include the schema for IdentityServer.

To gain full control of the database schema, inherit from one of the available Identity DbContext classes and configure the context to include the Identity schema by calling builder.ConfigurePersistedGrantContext(_operationalStoreOptions.Value) on the OnModelCreating method.

OidcConfigurationController

In the file, notice the endpoint that's provisioned to serve the OIDC parameters that the client needs to use.

appsettings.json

In the appsettings.json file of the project root, there's a new IdentityServer section that describes the list of configured clients. In the following example, there's a single client. The client name corresponds to the app name and is mapped by convention to the OAuth ClientId parameter. The profile indicates the app type being configured. It's used internally to drive conventions that simplify the configuration process for the server. There are several profiles available, as explained in the Application profiles section.

"IdentityServer": {
  "Clients": {
    "angularindividualpreview3final": {
      "Profile": "IdentityServerSPA"
    }
  }
}

appsettings.Development.json

In the appsettings.Development.json file of the project root, there's an IdentityServer section that describes the key used to sign tokens. When deploying to production, a key needs to be provisioned and deployed alongside the app, as explained in the Deploy to production section.

"IdentityServer": {
  "Key": {
    "Type": "Development"
  }
}

General description of the Angular app

The authentication and API authorization support in the Angular template resides in its own Angular module in the ClientApp/src/api-authorization directory. The module is composed of the following elements:

  • 3 components:
    • login.component.ts: Handles the app's login flow.
    • logout.component.ts: Handles the app's logout flow.
    • login-menu.component.ts: A widget that displays one of the following sets of links:
      • User profile management and log out links when the user is authenticated.
      • Registration and log in links when the user isn't authenticated.
  • A route guard AuthorizeGuard that can be added to routes and requires a user to be authenticated before visiting the route.
  • An HTTP interceptor AuthorizeInterceptor that attaches the access token to outgoing HTTP requests targeting the API when the user is authenticated.
  • A service AuthorizeService that handles the lower-level details of the authentication process and exposes information about the authenticated user to the rest of the app for consumption.
  • An Angular module that defines routes associated with the authentication parts of the app. It exposes the login menu component, the interceptor, the guard, and the service for consumption from the rest of the app.

General description of the React app

The support for authentication and API authorization in the React template resides in the ClientApp/src/components/api-authorization directory. It's composed of the following elements:

  • 4 components:
    • Login.js: Handles the app's login flow.
    • Logout.js: Handles the app's logout flow.
    • LoginMenu.js: A widget that displays one of the following sets of links:
      • User profile management and log out links when the user is authenticated.
      • Registration and log in links when the user isn't authenticated.
    • AuthorizeRoute.js: A route component that requires a user to be authenticated before rendering the component indicated in the Component parameter.
  • An exported authService instance of class AuthorizeService that handles the lower-level details of the authentication process and exposes information about the authenticated user to the rest of the app for consumption.

Now that you've seen the main components of the solution, you can take a deeper look at individual scenarios for the app.

Require authorization on a new API

By default, the system is configured to easily require authorization for new APIs. To do so, create a new controller and add the [Authorize] attribute to the controller class or to any action within the controller.

Customize the API authentication handler

To customize the configuration of the API's JWT handler, configure its JwtBearerOptions instance:

builder.Services.AddAuthentication()
    .AddIdentityServerJwt();

builder.Services.Configure<JwtBearerOptions>(
    IdentityServerJwtConstants.IdentityServerJwtBearerScheme,
    options =>
    {
        ...
    });

The API's JWT handler raises events that enable control over the authentication process using JwtBearerEvents. To provide support for API authorization, AddIdentityServerJwt registers its own event handlers.

To customize the handling of an event, wrap the existing event handler with additional logic as required. For example:

builder.Services.Configure<JwtBearerOptions>(
    IdentityServerJwtConstants.IdentityServerJwtBearerScheme,
    options =>
    {
        var onTokenValidated = options.Events.OnTokenValidated;       

        options.Events.OnTokenValidated = async context =>
        {
            await onTokenValidated(context);
            ...
        }
    });

In the preceding code, the OnTokenValidated event handler is replaced with a custom implementation. This implementation:

  1. Calls the original implementation provided by the API authorization support.
  2. Run its own custom logic.

Protect a client-side route (Angular)

Protecting a client-side route is done by adding the authorize guard to the list of guards to run when configuring a route. As an example, you can see how the fetch-data route is configured within the main app Angular module:

RouterModule.forRoot([
  // ...
  { path: 'fetch-data', component: FetchDataComponent, canActivate: [AuthorizeGuard] },
])

It's important to mention that protecting a route doesn't protect the actual endpoint (which still requires an [Authorize] attribute applied to it) but that it only prevents the user from navigating to the given client-side route when it isn't authenticated.

Authenticate API requests (Angular)

Authenticating requests to APIs hosted alongside the app is done automatically through the use of the HTTP client interceptor defined by the app.

Protect a client-side route (React)

Protect a client-side route by using the AuthorizeRoute component instead of the plain Route component. For example, notice how the fetch-data route is configured within the App component:

<AuthorizeRoute path='/fetch-data' component={FetchData} />

Protecting a route:

  • Doesn't protect the actual endpoint (which still requires an [Authorize] attribute applied to it).
  • Only prevents the user from navigating to the given client-side route when it isn't authenticated.

Authenticate API requests (React)

Authenticating requests with React is done by first importing the authService instance from the AuthorizeService. The access token is retrieved from the authService and is attached to the request as shown below. In React components, this work is typically done in the componentDidMount lifecycle method or as the result from some user interaction.

Import the authService into a component

import authService from './api-authorization/AuthorizeService'

Retrieve and attach the access token to the response

async populateWeatherData() {
  const token = await authService.getAccessToken();
  const response = await fetch('api/SampleData/WeatherForecasts', {
    headers: !token ? {} : { 'Authorization': `Bearer ${token}` }
  });
  const data = await response.json();
  this.setState({ forecasts: data, loading: false });
}

Deploy to production

To deploy the app to production, the following resources need to be provisioned:

  • A database to store the Identity user accounts and the IdentityServer grants.
  • A production certificate to use for signing tokens.
    • There are no specific requirements for this certificate; it can be a self-signed certificate or a certificate provisioned through a CA authority.
    • It can be generated through standard tools like PowerShell or OpenSSL.
    • It can be installed into the certificate store on the target machines or deployed as a .pfx file with a strong password.

Example: Deploy to a non-Azure web hosting provider

In your web hosting panel, create or load your certificate. Then in the app's appsettings.json file, modify the IdentityServer section to include the key details. For example:

"IdentityServer": {
  "Key": {
    "Type": "Store",
    "StoreName": "WebHosting",
    "StoreLocation": "CurrentUser",
    "Name": "CN=MyApplication"
  }
}

In the preceding example:

  • StoreName represents the name of the certificate store where the certificate is stored. In this case, it points to the web hosting store.
  • StoreLocation represents where to load the certificate from (CurrentUser in this case).
  • Name corresponds with the distinguished subject for the certificate.

Example: Deploy to Azure App Service

This section describes deploying the app to Azure App Service using a certificate stored in the certificate store. To modify the app to load a certificate from the certificate store, a Standard tier service plan or better is required when you configure the app in the Azure portal in a later step.

In the app's appsettings.json file, modify the IdentityServer section to include the key details:

"IdentityServer": {
  "Key": {
    "Type": "Store",
    "StoreName": "My",
    "StoreLocation": "CurrentUser",
    "Name": "CN=MyApplication"
  }
}
  • The store name represents the name of the certificate store where the certificate is stored. In this case, it points to the personal user store.
  • The store location represents where to load the certificate from (CurrentUser or LocalMachine).
  • The name property on certificate corresponds with the distinguished subject for the certificate.

To deploy to Azure App Service, follow the steps in Deploy the app to Azure, which explains how to create the necessary Azure resources and deploy the app to production.

After following the preceding instructions, the app is deployed to Azure but isn't yet functional. The certificate used by the app must be configured in the Azure portal. Locate the thumbprint for the certificate and follow the steps described in Load your certificates.

While these steps mention SSL, there's a Private certificates section in the Azure portal where you can upload the provisioned certificate to use with the app.

After configuring the app and the app's settings in the Azure portal, restart the app in the portal.

Other configuration options

The support for API authorization builds on top of IdentityServer with a set of conventions, default values, and enhancements to simplify the experience for SPAs. Needless to say, the full power of IdentityServer is available behind the scenes if the ASP.NET Core integrations don't cover your scenario. The ASP.NET Core support is focused on "first-party" apps, where all the apps are created and deployed by our organization. As such, support isn't offered for things like consent or federation. For those scenarios, use IdentityServer and follow their documentation.

Application profiles

Application profiles are predefined configurations for apps that further define their parameters. At this time, the following profiles are supported:

  • IdentityServerSPA: Represents a SPA hosted alongside IdentityServer as a single unit.
    • The redirect_uri defaults to /authentication/login-callback.
    • The post_logout_redirect_uri defaults to /authentication/logout-callback.
    • The set of scopes includes the openid, profile, and every scope defined for the APIs in the app.
    • The set of allowed OIDC response types is id_token token or each of them individually (id_token, token).
    • The allowed response mode is fragment.
  • SPA: Represents a SPA that isn't hosted with IdentityServer.
    • The set of scopes includes the openid, profile, and every scope defined for the APIs in the app.
    • The set of allowed OIDC response types is id_token token or each of them individually (id_token, token).
    • The allowed response mode is fragment.
  • IdentityServerJwt: Represents an API that is hosted alongside with IdentityServer.
    • The app is configured to have a single scope that defaults to the app name.
  • API: Represents an API that isn't hosted with IdentityServer.
    • The app is configured to have a single scope that defaults to the app name.

Configuration through AppSettings

Configure the apps through the configuration system by adding them to the list of Clients or Resources.

Configure each client's redirect_uri and post_logout_redirect_uri property, as shown in the following example:

"IdentityServer": {
  "Clients": {
    "MySPA": {
      "Profile": "SPA",
      "RedirectUri": "https://www.example.com/authentication/login-callback",
      "LogoutUri": "https://www.example.com/authentication/logout-callback"
    }
  }
}

When configuring resources, you can configure the scopes for the resource as shown below:

"IdentityServer": {
  "Resources": {
    "MyExternalApi": {
      "Profile": "API",
      "Scopes": "a b c"
    }
  }
}

Configuration through code

You can also configure the clients and resources through code using an overload of AddApiAuthorization that takes an action to configure options.

AddApiAuthorization<ApplicationUser, ApplicationDbContext>(options =>
{
    options.Clients.AddSPA(
        "My SPA", spa =>
        spa.WithRedirectUri("http://www.example.com/authentication/login-callback")
           .WithLogoutRedirectUri(
               "http://www.example.com/authentication/logout-callback"));

    options.ApiResources.AddApiResource("MyExternalApi", resource =>
        resource.WithScopes("a", "b", "c"));
});

Additional resources

The ASP.NET Core 3.1 and later templates offer authentication in Single Page Apps (SPAs) using the support for API authorization. ASP.NET Core Identity for authenticating and storing users is combined with IdentityServer for implementing OpenID Connect.

An authentication parameter was added to the Angular and React project templates that is similar to the authentication parameter in the Web Application (Model-View-Controller) (MVC) and Web Application (Razor Pages) project templates. The allowed parameter values are None and Individual. The React.js and Redux project template doesn't support the authentication parameter at this time.

Create an app with API authorization support

User authentication and authorization can be used with both Angular and React SPAs. Open a command shell, and run the following command:

Angular:

dotnet new angular -o <output_directory_name> 

React:

dotnet new react -o <output_directory_name> -au Individual

The preceding command creates an ASP.NET Core app with a ClientApp directory containing the SPA.

General description of the ASP.NET Core components of the app

The following sections describe additions to the project when authentication support is included:

Startup class

The following code examples rely on the Microsoft.AspNetCore.ApiAuthorization.IdentityServer NuGet package. The examples configure API authentication and authorization using the AddApiAuthorization and AddIdentityServerJwt extension methods. Projects using the React or Angular SPA project templates with authentication include a reference to this package.

The Startup class has the following additions:

  • Inside the Startup.ConfigureServices method:

    • Identity with the default UI:

      services.AddDbContext<ApplicationDbContext>(options =>
          options.UseSqlite(Configuration.GetConnectionString("DefaultConnection")));
      
      services.AddDefaultIdentity<ApplicationUser>()
          .AddEntityFrameworkStores<ApplicationDbContext>();
      
    • IdentityServer with an additional AddApiAuthorization helper method that sets up some default ASP.NET Core conventions on top of IdentityServer:

      services.AddIdentityServer()
          .AddApiAuthorization<ApplicationUser, ApplicationDbContext>();
      
    • Authentication with an additional AddIdentityServerJwt helper method that configures the app to validate JWT tokens produced by IdentityServer:

      services.AddAuthentication()
          .AddIdentityServerJwt();
      
  • Inside the Startup.Configure method:

    • The authentication middleware that is responsible for validating the request credentials and setting the user on the request context:

      app.UseAuthentication();
      
    • The IdentityServer middleware that exposes the OpenID Connect endpoints:

      app.UseIdentityServer();
      

Azure App Service on Linux

For Azure App Service deployments on Linux, specify the issuer explicitly in Startup.ConfigureServices:

services.Configure<JwtBearerOptions>(
    IdentityServerJwtConstants.IdentityServerJwtBearerScheme, 
    options =>
    {
        options.Authority = "{AUTHORITY}";
    });

In the preceding code, the {AUTHORITY} placeholder is the Authority to use when making OpenID Connect calls.

Example:

options.Authority = "https://contoso-service.azurewebsites.net";

AddApiAuthorization

This helper method configures IdentityServer to use our supported configuration. IdentityServer is a powerful and extensible framework for handling app security concerns. At the same time, that exposes unnecessary complexity for the most common scenarios. Consequently, a set of conventions and configuration options is provided to you that are considered a good starting point. Once your authentication needs change, the full power of IdentityServer is still available to customize authentication to suit your needs.

AddIdentityServerJwt

This helper method configures a policy scheme for the app as the default authentication handler. The policy is configured to let Identity handle all requests routed to any subpath in the Identity URL space "/Identity". The JwtBearerHandler handles all other requests. Additionally, this method registers an <<ApplicationName>>API API resource with IdentityServer with a default scope of <<ApplicationName>>API and configures the JWT Bearer token middleware to validate tokens issued by IdentityServer for the app.

WeatherForecastController

In the file, notice the [Authorize] attribute applied to the class that indicates that the user needs to be authorized based on the default policy to access the resource. The default authorization policy happens to be configured to use the default authentication scheme, which is set up by AddIdentityServerJwt to the policy scheme that was mentioned above, making the JwtBearerHandler configured by such helper method the default handler for requests to the app.

ApplicationDbContext

In the file, notice the same DbContext is used in Identity with the exception that it extends ApiAuthorizationDbContext (a more derived class from IdentityDbContext) to include the schema for IdentityServer.

To gain full control of the database schema, inherit from one of the available Identity DbContext classes and configure the context to include the Identity schema by calling builder.ConfigurePersistedGrantContext(_operationalStoreOptions.Value) on the OnModelCreating method.

OidcConfigurationController

In the file, notice the endpoint that's provisioned to serve the OIDC parameters that the client needs to use.

appsettings.json

In the appsettings.json file of the project root, there's a new IdentityServer section that describes the list of configured clients. In the following example, there's a single client. The client name corresponds to the app name and is mapped by convention to the OAuth ClientId parameter. The profile indicates the app type being configured. It's used internally to drive conventions that simplify the configuration process for the server. There are several profiles available, as explained in the Application profiles section.

"IdentityServer": {
  "Clients": {
    "angularindividualpreview3final": {
      "Profile": "IdentityServerSPA"
    }
  }
}

appsettings.Development.json

In the appsettings.Development.json file of the project root, there's an IdentityServer section that describes the key used to sign tokens. When deploying to production, a key needs to be provisioned and deployed alongside the app, as explained in the Deploy to production section.

"IdentityServer": {
  "Key": {
    "Type": "Development"
  }
}

General description of the Angular app

The authentication and API authorization support in the Angular template resides in its own Angular module in the ClientApp/src/api-authorization directory. The module is composed of the following elements:

  • 3 components:
    • login.component.ts: Handles the app's login flow.
    • logout.component.ts: Handles the app's logout flow.
    • login-menu.component.ts: A widget that displays one of the following sets of links:
      • User profile management and log out links when the user is authenticated.
      • Registration and log in links when the user isn't authenticated.
  • A route guard AuthorizeGuard that can be added to routes and requires a user to be authenticated before visiting the route.
  • An HTTP interceptor AuthorizeInterceptor that attaches the access token to outgoing HTTP requests targeting the API when the user is authenticated.
  • A service AuthorizeService that handles the lower-level details of the authentication process and exposes information about the authenticated user to the rest of the app for consumption.
  • An Angular module that defines routes associated with the authentication parts of the app. It exposes the login menu component, the interceptor, the guard, and the service for consumption from the rest of the app.

General description of the React app

The support for authentication and API authorization in the React template resides in the ClientApp/src/components/api-authorization directory. It's composed of the following elements:

  • 4 components:
    • Login.js: Handles the app's login flow.
    • Logout.js: Handles the app's logout flow.
    • LoginMenu.js: A widget that displays one of the following sets of links:
      • User profile management and log out links when the user is authenticated.
      • Registration and log in links when the user isn't authenticated.
    • AuthorizeRoute.js: A route component that requires a user to be authenticated before rendering the component indicated in the Component parameter.
  • An exported authService instance of class AuthorizeService that handles the lower-level details of the authentication process and exposes information about the authenticated user to the rest of the app for consumption.

Now that you've seen the main components of the solution, you can take a deeper look at individual scenarios for the app.

Require authorization on a new API

By default, the system is configured to easily require authorization for new APIs. To do so, create a new controller and add the [Authorize] attribute to the controller class or to any action within the controller.

Customize the API authentication handler

To customize the configuration of the API's JWT handler, configure its JwtBearerOptions instance:

services.AddAuthentication()
    .AddIdentityServerJwt();

services.Configure<JwtBearerOptions>(
    IdentityServerJwtConstants.IdentityServerJwtBearerScheme,
    options =>
    {
        ...
    });

The API's JWT handler raises events that enable control over the authentication process using JwtBearerEvents. To provide support for API authorization, AddIdentityServerJwt registers its own event handlers.

To customize the handling of an event, wrap the existing event handler with additional logic as required. For example:

services.Configure<JwtBearerOptions>(
    IdentityServerJwtConstants.IdentityServerJwtBearerScheme,
    options =>
    {
        var onTokenValidated = options.Events.OnTokenValidated;       

        options.Events.OnTokenValidated = async context =>
        {
            await onTokenValidated(context);
            ...
        }
    });

In the preceding code, the OnTokenValidated event handler is replaced with a custom implementation. This implementation:

  1. Calls the original implementation provided by the API authorization support.
  2. Run its own custom logic.

Protect a client-side route (Angular)

Protecting a client-side route is done by adding the authorize guard to the list of guards to run when configuring a route. As an example, you can see how the fetch-data route is configured within the main app Angular module:

RouterModule.forRoot([
  // ...
  { path: 'fetch-data', component: FetchDataComponent, canActivate: [AuthorizeGuard] },
])

It's important to mention that protecting a route doesn't protect the actual endpoint (which still requires an [Authorize] attribute applied to it) but that it only prevents the user from navigating to the given client-side route when it isn't authenticated.

Authenticate API requests (Angular)

Authenticating requests to APIs hosted alongside the app is done automatically through the use of the HTTP client interceptor defined by the app.

Protect a client-side route (React)

Protect a client-side route by using the AuthorizeRoute component instead of the plain Route component. For example, notice how the fetch-data route is configured within the App component:

<AuthorizeRoute path='/fetch-data' component={FetchData} />

Protecting a route:

  • Doesn't protect the actual endpoint (which still requires an [Authorize] attribute applied to it).
  • Only prevents the user from navigating to the given client-side route when it isn't authenticated.

Authenticate API requests (React)

Authenticating requests with React is done by first importing the authService instance from the AuthorizeService. The access token is retrieved from the authService and is attached to the request as shown below. In React components, this work is typically done in the componentDidMount lifecycle method or as the result from some user interaction.

Import the authService into a component

import authService from './api-authorization/AuthorizeService'

Retrieve and attach the access token to the response

async populateWeatherData() {
  const token = await authService.getAccessToken();
  const response = await fetch('api/SampleData/WeatherForecasts', {
    headers: !token ? {} : { 'Authorization': `Bearer ${token}` }
  });
  const data = await response.json();
  this.setState({ forecasts: data, loading: false });
}

Deploy to production

To deploy the app to production, the following resources need to be provisioned:

  • A database to store the Identity user accounts and the IdentityServer grants.
  • A production certificate to use for signing tokens.
    • There are no specific requirements for this certificate; it can be a self-signed certificate or a certificate provisioned through a CA authority.
    • It can be generated through standard tools like PowerShell or OpenSSL.
    • It can be installed into the certificate store on the target machines or deployed as a .pfx file with a strong password.

Example: Deploy to a non-Azure web hosting provider

In your web hosting panel, create or load your certificate. Then in the app's appsettings.json file, modify the IdentityServer section to include the key details. For example:

"IdentityServer": {
  "Key": {
    "Type": "Store",
    "StoreName": "WebHosting",
    "StoreLocation": "CurrentUser",
    "Name": "CN=MyApplication"
  }
}

In the preceding example:

  • StoreName represents the name of the certificate store where the certificate is stored. In this case, it points to the web hosting store.
  • StoreLocation represents where to load the certificate from (CurrentUser in this case).
  • Name corresponds with the distinguished subject for the certificate.

Example: Deploy to Azure App Service

This section describes deploying the app to Azure App Service using a certificate stored in the certificate store. To modify the app to load a certificate from the certificate store, a Standard tier service plan or better is required when you configure the app in the Azure portal in a later step.

In the app's appsettings.json file, modify the IdentityServer section to include the key details:

"IdentityServer": {
  "Key": {
    "Type": "Store",
    "StoreName": "My",
    "StoreLocation": "CurrentUser",
    "Name": "CN=MyApplication"
  }
}
  • The store name represents the name of the certificate store where the certificate is stored. In this case, it points to the personal user store.
  • The store location represents where to load the certificate from (CurrentUser or LocalMachine).
  • The name property on certificate corresponds with the distinguished subject for the certificate.

To deploy to Azure App Service, follow the steps in Deploy the app to Azure, which explains how to create the necessary Azure resources and deploy the app to production.

After following the preceding instructions, the app is deployed to Azure but isn't yet functional. The certificate used by the app must be configured in the Azure portal. Locate the thumbprint for the certificate and follow the steps described in Load your certificates.

While these steps mention SSL, there's a Private certificates section in the Azure portal where you can upload the provisioned certificate to use with the app.

After configuring the app and the app's settings in the Azure portal, restart the app in the portal.

Other configuration options

The support for API authorization builds on top of IdentityServer with a set of conventions, default values, and enhancements to simplify the experience for SPAs. Needless to say, the full power of IdentityServer is available behind the scenes if the ASP.NET Core integrations don't cover your scenario. The ASP.NET Core support is focused on "first-party" apps, where all the apps are created and deployed by our organization. As such, support isn't offered for things like consent or federation. For those scenarios, use IdentityServer and follow their documentation.

Application profiles

Application profiles are predefined configurations for apps that further define their parameters. At this time, the following profiles are supported:

  • IdentityServerSPA: Represents a SPA hosted alongside IdentityServer as a single unit.
    • The redirect_uri defaults to /authentication/login-callback.
    • The post_logout_redirect_uri defaults to /authentication/logout-callback.
    • The set of scopes includes the openid, profile, and every scope defined for the APIs in the app.
    • The set of allowed OIDC response types is id_token token or each of them individually (id_token, token).
    • The allowed response mode is fragment.
  • SPA: Represents a SPA that isn't hosted with IdentityServer.
    • The set of scopes includes the openid, profile, and every scope defined for the APIs in the app.
    • The set of allowed OIDC response types is id_token token or each of them individually (id_token, token).
    • The allowed response mode is fragment.
  • IdentityServerJwt: Represents an API that is hosted alongside with IdentityServer.
    • The app is configured to have a single scope that defaults to the app name.
  • API: Represents an API that isn't hosted with IdentityServer.
    • The app is configured to have a single scope that defaults to the app name.

Configuration through AppSettings

Configure the apps through the configuration system by adding them to the list of Clients or Resources.

Configure each client's redirect_uri and post_logout_redirect_uri property, as shown in the following example:

"IdentityServer": {
  "Clients": {
    "MySPA": {
      "Profile": "SPA",
      "RedirectUri": "https://www.example.com/authentication/login-callback",
      "LogoutUri": "https://www.example.com/authentication/logout-callback"
    }
  }
}

When configuring resources, you can configure the scopes for the resource as shown below:

"IdentityServer": {
  "Resources": {
    "MyExternalApi": {
      "Profile": "API",
      "Scopes": "a b c"
    }
  }
}

Configuration through code

You can also configure the clients and resources through code using an overload of AddApiAuthorization that takes an action to configure options.

AddApiAuthorization<ApplicationUser, ApplicationDbContext>(options =>
{
    options.Clients.AddSPA(
        "My SPA", spa =>
        spa.WithRedirectUri("http://www.example.com/authentication/login-callback")
           .WithLogoutRedirectUri(
               "http://www.example.com/authentication/logout-callback"));

    options.ApiResources.AddApiResource("MyExternalApi", resource =>
        resource.WithScopes("a", "b", "c"));
});

Additional resources