Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Authentication using External Providers(Hotmail)

In my previous article, I wrote about how to authenticate by creating new user accounts. Now what if, anyone doesn’t want to add another pair of user id password to his memory and want to use the existing ones which he/she is using very frequently in his/her day-to-day life. Well, here comes the external providers in the picture.
In this article, I won’t be covering the basics on how to create a website from scratch as it is already covered in an earlier article. So, let’s quickly jump on to the login screen and on right hand side, you will see the text as ‘Use another service to log in.’ as shown in below image:

Above screenshot also provides a hyperlink, which will guide us on how to setup the authentication using external providers.
What are external providers?
There is a huge list of authentication providers. The most common one’s are Twitter, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. This list is not restricted till here as it can be any other custom provider. Throughout this article, I’ll be driving you to setup the authentication with Hotmail account.
Steps to setup authentication with Hotmail account
Navigate to https://apps.dev.microsoft.com and do login using existing Hotmail Id as shown below:

On successful login, you will land upon below page:

Next is to click on ‘Add an app’ button, which is shown on top right corner. This will take you to:

In the above dialog, provide the application name and click on ‘Create’ button. Here you can also take a path of guidance by clicking on checkbox ‘Let us help you get started’. Once you click on Create button, an Application Id will be generated for you as shown below: 

Next, we have to work on adding application secrets.
Adding Application Secrets
Now click on ‘Generate New Password’ button. On click of this button, a password will be generated by you like shown below:

Copy this newly generated password and temporarily save it somewhere as you will need this password during the application configuration along with Application Id.
Adding Platform
Click on App platform on Registration screen. Here, for demo purpose I'm choosing Web. You can choose others too.
Next is to construct an URL, which is a combination of our application URL and signin host. This is what how it looks:

Click on the Save button and you are done with the configuration. Next, we have to associate this configuration with our application. So, let’s go ahead and quickly update our application using User Secrets as shown below: 

and place the following code in secrets.json:

  "Authentication:Microsoft:ApplicationId": "654e030a-a10b-40ee-82db-1bf0185aebc0",
  "Authentication:Microsoft:Password": "XXXXXXXXXXX"
Same lines of code you can write in Startup.cs also but we are maintaining the secrets in different file so that it can be changed easily while moving to production.
Next is to configure the identity in Startup.cs:

public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
       services.AddDbContext<ApplicationDbContext>(options =>

       services.AddIdentity<ApplicationUser, IdentityRole>()

       services.AddAuthentication().AddMicrosoftAccount(options => 
                options.ClientId = Configuration["Authentication:Microsoft:ApplicationId"];
                options.ClientSecret = Configuration["Authentication:Microsoft:Password"];

                .AddRazorPagesOptions(options =>
         services.AddSingleton<IEmailSender, EmailSender>();
If you want to know more about setting up authentication, the official Microsoft article can also be referred.  
We are almost there. Save your application and click on Login button. You will notice that the Microsoft button is appearing on the right side. Click on that, provide your Hotmail credentials and on successful login you will land upon below screen:

On click of yes, below screen will be shown:

Quickly click on register and see the magic. You will notice that you are now logged in with your Hotmail id as shown below:

Whatever we did can also be done through a guided process which we came across during our configuration process in the form of a hyperlink. Additionally, you can also follow this link.
Hope you enjoyed learning.

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