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Professional ASP.NET 3.5 SP1 Edition: In C# and VB by Devin Rader, Scott Hanselman, Bill Evjen

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Chapter 16. Membership and Role Management

The authentication and authorization of users are important functions in many Web sites and browser-based applications. Traditionally, when working with Microsoft's Windows Forms applications (thick-client), you depended on Windows Integrated Authentication; when working with browser-based applications (thin-client), you used forms authentication.

Forms authentication enabled you to take requests that were not yet authenticated and redirect them to an HTML form using HTTP client-side redirection. The user provided his login information and submitted the form. After the application authenticated the request, the user received an HTTP cookie, which was then used on any subsequent requests. This kind of authentication was fine in many ways, but it required developers to build every element and even manage the back-end mechanics of the overall system. This was a daunting task for many developers and, in most cases, it was rather time-consuming.

ASP.NET 3.5 includes an authentication and authorization management service that takes care of the login, authentication, authorization, and management of users who require access to your Web pages or applications. This outstanding membership and role management service is an easy-to-implement framework that works out of the box using Microsoft SQL Server as the back-end data store. This framework also includes an API that allows for programmatic access to the capabilities of both the membership and role ...

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