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Dynamic Roles in ASP.NET 2.0

Posted on 2011-03-01
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Greeting Experts,

We have a website written in ASP.NET 2.0 with numerous users. Each user’s access to various pages is controlled through the standard framework Roles. Specifically, the roles are stored in the aspnet_Roles table and the access is specified through the Web.config file using the ‘authorization / allow roles’ tag.

Example of roles include: “StandardUser” and “ManagerUser”

This works great! However, the data in the system has been divided into accounts and we now have a need to grant users different Roles (permissions) depending on which account they are in. For example User1 might be a “ManagerUser” in Account1 but a “StandardUser” in Account2. As the user switch between the two accounts, we need the Roles to switch accordingly, e.g. the management page should not be accessible while user is in Account2.

Note: Requiring the user to login with different names depending on the account is not an option.

What’s the best practice approach for handing this?

Thanks,

Karsten
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Question by:karstenweber
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Expert Comment

by:Kelmen
ID: 35014770
the role is by user
now you need something by is by the data/object/item level, let's call this X

come up a term for the X, maybe like data-access-scheme
everytime items are by default non-accessible, admin need to explicit define what the user/role can do on specific type of data (Account1, Account2)
- CRUD permissions

you would best define a proper term/scheme-level/data-attributes (let's term this as Q) for these Account1, Account2
maybe like "general-data", "finanicial-sensitive-data" etc
you either fix/hardcode the Q pertain to the data in your code, or come up another engine to allow configuration
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Author Comment

by:karstenweber
ID: 35018918
Thanks for the feedback. I understand that Roles are by user. I also understand that i'll need a way to specify the exact permissions for each user for each account.

My Question is what would be a best practice approach for implementing these dynamic roles? I'm hoping for suggestions on how I can leverage as much of the existing framework as possible. Is there a way to derive existing classes to achieve this? I want this to be a non-hack solution.
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Accepted Solution

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karstenweber earned 0 total points
ID: 35028511
I believe I have it figured out.  

One option is to create a custom RoleProvider to replace the default SQLRoleProvider and then implement all the required sub / functions. This approach does not levarage the existing aspnet_Roles and requires significant amounts of code to be written from scratch.

A second option is to switch to just two roles: "BasicUser" and "AdminUser". In addition a new table is created with contains Account specific roles (permissions). This table is independent of the aspnet_Roles table. A new AccountRoles class would have methods similar to the existing Roles class, but would take the extra AccountId as a parameter.

See the Adam York blog describing "Extending functionality of the Membership Role Provider using simple techniques":

http://www.adamyork.com/post/2009/12/31/Extending-functionality-of-the-Membership-Role-Provider-using-some-simple-techniques.aspx
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Author Closing Comment

by:karstenweber
ID: 35067756
I'll update this answer if I find a better appproach while working on this area.
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Author Comment

by:karstenweber
ID: 35099274
FYI: I ended up writing a custom RoleProvider to replace the default SQLRoleProvider. Even thought this required significantly more code to be written it is much more flexible and allows us to do what we want today and in the future.
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