Claims Authorization in WIF Beta 2 – ASP.NET and WCF Integration

In the previous post I illustrated how the basic claims authorization infrastructure in WIF (formerly Geneva) works. In this post I want to focus more on how claims authorization behaves when integrated in WCF and ASP.NET.

In addition to using the claims authorization manager manually like I showed you in the last post, you can also opt-in to per-request claims authorization (think of it as a replacement for the “classic” URL authorization module in ASP.NET / IIS). For this purpose you’ll find an HTTP module called ClaimsAuthorizationModule in the Microsoft.IdentityModel.Web namespace.

This module simply subscribes to the AuthorizeRequest processing stage and calls the configured claims authorization manager for every request. The AuthorizationContext that gets passed in the manager consists of the current IClaimsPrincipal, the request URL and the HTTP method.

If you want to do tricks like custom IClaimsPrincipal implementations, you’d either exchange the principal before you hit the claims authorization manager (in PostAuthenticateRequest) or after it (in PostAuthorizeRequest).

As usual things are a little more complex in WCF. Authorization (amongst other things) is driven by a ServiceAuthorizationManager in WCF. When you call ConfigureServiceHost, WIF puts a special version of that class, the IdentityModelServiceAuthorizationManager, in place. This class in turn calls out to the configured ClaimsAuthorizationManager. In that case the WS-Addressing To and the Action header are passed in for every request.


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