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Using OWIN Security with MultiValue Data - Part 1


Summary

OWIN is the latest framework that .NET developers are using to build ASP.NET applications. OWIN's Identity framework is an evolution of the ASP.NET 2.0 membership system which has been around for several years. It provides better flexibility than the older system, and decouples the Identity framework from IIS.

The intent of OWIN is to create a security framework that can work with ASP.NET applications, even if they aren't running on IIS. This is good news for people developing in Mono for Linux or those creating self-hosting applications.

At its core, OWIN is a middleware model to handle the separation of ASP.NET applications from the actual hosting environment. I will focus mainly on the security and membership side of things but it does much more.

If you are using ASP.NET MVC 6 for your web framework, you will have seen that OWIN is referenced automatically. By default, MVC will assume you are using the traditional ASP.NET identity model, but OWIN's identity model can be extended easily to include access to other identity systems.

When starting a new project, you will see something like the code in Figure 1 the Startup.Auth class. This code is boilerplate, and shows you some of what you can do with the OWIN security. A couple things to point out, the Startup.auth class already includes the built-in providers to handle all the common Social Media logins like Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook and Google. When creating customer-based websites, this is a really nice feature. It also has the code in place to handle Two-Factor logins, so you don't need to build this yourself any more.

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