This is the third article of a multipart series that will walk you through setting up a typical merchant storefront website. It is intended to give a very quick walkthrough using Visual Studio.Net and demonstrate how quickly a three tiered web application can be created. The third installment walks through the user login system and some very simple ASP.NET security.
ASP.NET security comes in three flavors: Windows authentication, Microsoft Passport, and Forms authentication. Windows authentication uses existing Windows user accounts and is often a good choice for intranets with a fixed number of users. Passport is centralized authentication service provided by Microsoft and is already implemented with Hotmail and MSN. Unfortunately, at this time, there is no native code for Passport in .NET for the backend implementation. Until Microsoft releases a native .NET package, implementing Passport requires using a wrapper for a COM object in order use. (Please correct me if I am wrong.) This leaves Forms authentication as our best option at the moment for a public user registration system.
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