A primer on external login providers (social logins) with OWIN/Katana authentication middleware


Like MVC 4, in MVC 5 and Visual Studio 2013 we have the ability to use external login providers (aka social logins) in our ASP.NET applications. The big change related to this from the prior version is that we no longer are using DotNetOpenAuth and instead are now using OWIN authentication middleware to handle the the various protocols to these external providers. Unfortunately the templates in Visual Studio 2013 related to these external providers are quite complex and can be overwhelming (I know, because it took many *days* of debugging and using reflector to really understand how it all worked). Anyway, that’s the point of this post – an attempt to explain in the least amount of code how this external authentication middleware works in Katana. I already made a couple of other posts related to this (cookie middleware and active vs. passive middleware), so those are assumed…

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2 Responses to A primer on external login providers (social logins) with OWIN/Katana authentication middleware

  1. Hi Dominick, I have a question specifically regarding Facebook Authentication. Facebook supports several authentication workflows depending on where you place your token and secret. For web based clients the process outlined in most of the examples on the asp.net website make sense where a user authenticates on fb and is issued a code (rather than an access token), he then hands this over to the server-side where the magic happens and he gets a bearer token to use for authentication.
    However for mobile clients that require deep integration with facebook on the device and connect using facebook APIs, the client is directly issued an access token from facebook. How then does one go about exchanging that facebook access token for a bearer token for my own WebApi service while taking as much advantage of the already existing external provider infrastructure?

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