ASP.NET web app sign-in and sign-out with Azure AD


This article is part of the Azure Active Directory developer's guide.

By providing a single sign-in and sign-out with only a few lines of code, Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) makes it simple for you to outsource web-app identity management. You can sign users in and out of ASP.NET web apps by using the Microsoft implementation of Open Web Interface for .NET (OWIN) middleware. Community-driven OWIN middleware is included in .NET Framework 4.5. This article shows how to use OWIN to:

  • Sign users in to web apps by using Azure AD as the identity provider.
  • Display some user information.
  • Sign users out of the apps.

Before you get started

When you are ready, follow the procedures in the next four sections.

Step 1: Register the new app with Azure AD

To set up the app to authenticate users, first register it in your tenant by doing the following:

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. On the top bar, click your account name. Under the Directory list, select the Active Directory tenant where you want to register the app.
  3. Click More Services in the left pane, and then select Azure Active Directory.
  4. Click App registrations, and then select Add.
  5. Follow the prompts to create a new Web Application and/or WebAPI.
    • Name describes the app to users.
    • Sign-On URL is the base URL of the app. The skeleton's default URL is https://localhost:44320/.
  6. After you've completed the registration, Azure AD assigns the app a unique application ID. Copy the value from the app page to use in the next sections.
  7. From the Settings -> Properties page for your application, update the App ID URI. The App ID URI is a unique identifier for the app. The naming convention is https://<tenant-domain>/<app-name> (for example,

Step 2: Set up the app to use the OWIN authentication pipeline

In this step, you configure the OWIN middleware to use the OpenID Connect authentication protocol. You use OWIN to issue sign-in and sign-out requests, manage user sessions, get user information, and so forth.

  1. To begin, add the OWIN middleware NuGet packages to the project by using the Package Manager Console.

    PM> Install-Package Microsoft.Owin.Security.OpenIdConnect
    PM> Install-Package Microsoft.Owin.Security.Cookies
    PM> Install-Package Microsoft.Owin.Host.SystemWeb
  2. To add an OWIN Startup class to the project called Startup.cs, right-click the project, select Add, select New Item, and then search for OWIN. The OWIN middleware invokes the Configuration(...) method when the app starts.

  3. Change the class declaration to public partial class Startup. We've already implemented part of this class for you in another file. In the Configuration(...) method, make a call to ConfgureAuth(...) to set up authentication for the app.

    public partial class Startup
        public void Configuration(IAppBuilder app)
  4. Open the App_Start\Startup.Auth.cs file, and then implement the ConfigureAuth(...) method. The parameters you provide in OpenIDConnectAuthenticationOptions serve as coordinates for the app to communicate with Azure AD. You also need to set up cookie authentication, because the OpenID Connect middleware uses cookies in the background.

    public void ConfigureAuth(IAppBuilder app)
        app.UseCookieAuthentication(new CookieAuthenticationOptions());
            new OpenIdConnectAuthenticationOptions
                ClientId = clientId,
                Authority = authority,
                PostLogoutRedirectUri = postLogoutRedirectUri,
                Notifications = new OpenIdConnectAuthenticationNotifications
                       AuthenticationFailed = context =>
                           context.Response.Redirect("/Error?message=" + context.Exception.Message);
                           return Task.FromResult(0);
  5. Open the web.config file in the root of the project, and then enter the configuration values in the <appSettings> section.

    • ida:ClientId: The GUID you copied from the Azure portal in "Step 1: Register the new app with Azure AD."
    • ida:Tenant: The name of your Azure AD tenant (for example,
    • ida:PostLogoutRedirectUri: The indicator that tells Azure AD where a user should be redirected after a sign-out request is successfully completed.

Step 3: Use OWIN to issue sign-in and sign-out requests to Azure AD

The app is now properly configured to communicate with Azure AD by using the OpenID Connect authentication protocol. OWIN has handled all of the details of crafting authentication messages, validating tokens from Azure AD, and maintaining user sessions. All that remains is to give your users a way to sign in and sign out.

  1. You can use authorize tags in your controllers to require users to sign in before they access certain pages. To do so, open Controllers\HomeController.cs, and then add the [Authorize] tag to the About action.

    public ActionResult About()
  2. You can also use OWIN to directly issue authentication requests from within your code. To do so, open Controllers\AccountController.cs. Then, in the SignIn() and SignOut() actions, issue OpenID Connect challenge and sign-out requests.

    public void SignIn()
        // Send an OpenID Connect sign-in request.
        if (!Request.IsAuthenticated)
            HttpContext.GetOwinContext().Authentication.Challenge(new AuthenticationProperties { RedirectUri = "/" }, OpenIdConnectAuthenticationDefaults.AuthenticationType);
    public void SignOut()
        // Send an OpenID Connect sign-out request.
             OpenIdConnectAuthenticationDefaults.AuthenticationType, CookieAuthenticationDefaults.AuthenticationType);
  3. Open Views\Shared_LoginPartial.cshtml to show the user the app sign-in and sign-out links, and to print out the user's name in a view.

    @if (Request.IsAuthenticated)
         <ul class="nav navbar-nav navbar-right">
             <li class="navbar-text">
                 Hello, @User.Identity.Name!
                 @Html.ActionLink("Sign out", "SignOut", "Account")
     <ul class="nav navbar-nav navbar-right">
         <li>@Html.ActionLink("Sign in", "SignIn", "Account", routeValues: null, htmlAttributes: new { id = "loginLink" })</li>

Step 4: Display user information

When it authenticates users with OpenID Connect, Azure AD returns an id_token to the app that contains "claims," or assertions about the user. You can use these claims to personalize the app by doing the following:

  1. Open the Controllers\HomeController.cs file. You can access the user's claims in your controllers via the ClaimsPrincipal.Current security principal object.

    public ActionResult About()
      ViewBag.Name = ClaimsPrincipal.Current.FindFirst(ClaimTypes.Name).Value;
      ViewBag.ObjectId = ClaimsPrincipal.Current.FindFirst("").Value;
      ViewBag.GivenName = ClaimsPrincipal.Current.FindFirst(ClaimTypes.GivenName).Value;
      ViewBag.Surname = ClaimsPrincipal.Current.FindFirst(ClaimTypes.Surname).Value;
      ViewBag.UPN = ClaimsPrincipal.Current.FindFirst(ClaimTypes.Upn).Value;
      return View();
  2. Build and run the app. If you haven't already created a new user in your tenant with an domain, now is the time to do so. Here's how:

    a. Sign in with that user, and note how the user's identity is reflected on the top bar.

    b. Sign out, and then sign back in as another user in your tenant.

    c. If you're feeling particularly ambitious, register and run another instance of this app (with its own clientId), and watch single sign-in in action.

Next steps

For reference, see the completed sample (without your configuration values).

You can now move on to more advanced topics. For example, try Secure a Web API with Azure AD.

Additional resources

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