Creating User Accounts (VB)
In this tutorial we will explore using the Membership framework (via the SqlMembershipProvider) to create new user accounts. We will see how to create new users programmatically and through ASP.NET's built-in CreateUserWizard control.
In the preceding tutorial
we installed the application services schema in a database, which added the tables,
views, and stored procedures needed by the
SqlRoleProvider. This created the infrastructure we will need for the
remainder of the tutorials in this series. In this tutorial we will explore using
the Membership framework (via the
SqlMembershipProvider) to create
new user accounts. We will see how to create new users programmatically and through
ASP.NET's built-in CreateUserWizard control.
In addition to learning how to create new user accounts, we will also need to update
the demo website we first created in the An Overview of Forms Authentication tutorial and then enhanced
in the Forms Authentication Configuration and Advanced Topics tutorial. Our demo web application has a login
page that validates users' credentials against hard-coded username/password pairs.
Global.asax includes code that creates custom
IIdentity objects for authenticated users. We will update the login
page to validate users' credentials against the Membership framework and remove
the custom principal and identity logic.
Let's get started!
The Forms Authentication and Membership Checklist
Before we begin working with the Membership framework, let's take a moment to review
the important steps we have taken to reach this point. When using the Membership
framework with the
SqlMembershipProvider in a forms-based authentication
scenario, the following steps need to be performed prior to implementing Membership
functionality in your web application:
Enable forms-based authentication. As we discussed in An Overview of
, forms authentication is enabled by editing
Web.configand setting the
Forms. With forms authentication enabled, each incoming request is examined for a forms authentication ticket, which, if present, identifies the requestor.
Add the application services schema to the appropriate database.
When using the
SqlMembershipProviderwe need to install the application services schema to a database. Usually this schema is added to the same database that holds the application's data model. The Creating the Membership Schema in SQL Server tutorial looked at using the
aspnet_regsql.exetool to accomplish this.
Customize the Web Application's Settings to reference the database from
step 2. The Creating the Membership Schema in SQL Server tutorial
showed two ways to configure the web application so that the
SqlMembershipProviderwould use the database selected in step 2: by modifying the
LocalSqlServerconnection string name; or by adding a new registered provider to the list of Membership framework providers and customizing that new provider to use the database from step 2.
When building a web application that uses the
and forms-based authentication, you will need to perform these three steps before
Membership class or the ASP.NET Login Web controls. Since
we already performed these steps in previous tutorials, we are ready to start using
the Membership framework!
Step 1: Adding New ASP.NET Pages
In this tutorial and the next three we will be examining various Membership-related
functions and capabilities. We will need a series of ASP.NET pages to implement
the topics examined throughout these tutorials. Let's create those pages and then
a site map file
Start by creating a new folder in the project named
add five new ASP.NET pages to the
Membership folder, linking each page
Site.master master page. Name the pages:
At this point your project's Solution Explorer should look similar to the screen shot shown in Figure 1.
Each page should, at this point, have the two Content controls, one for each of
the master page's ContentPlaceHolders:
<asp:Content ID="Content1" ContentPlaceHolderID="MainContent" Runat="Server"> </asp:Content> <asp:Content ID="Content2" ContentPlaceHolderID="LoginContent" Runat="Server"> </asp:Content>
Recall that the
LoginContent ContentPlaceHolder's default markup displays
a link to log on or log off the site, depending on whether the user is authenticated.
The presence of the
Content2 Content control, however, overrides the
master page's default markup. As we discussed in An Overview of Forms Authentication tutorial, this is useful in
pages where we do not want to display login-related options in the left column.
For these five pages, however, we want to show the master page's default markup
LoginContent ContentPlaceHolder. Therefore, remove the declarative
markup for the
Content2 Content control. After doing so, each of the
five page's markup should contain just one Content control.
Step 2: Creating the Site Map
All but the most trivial websites need to implement some form of a navigational user interface. The navigation user interface may be a simple list of links to the various sections of the site. Alternatively, these links may be arranged into menus or tree views. As page developers, creating the navigational user interface is only half of the story. We also need some means to define the site's logical structure in a maintainable and updateable fashion. As new pages are added or existing pages removed, we want to be able to update a single source - the site map - and have those modifications reflected across the site's navigational user interface.
These two tasks - defining the site map and implementing a navigational user interface
based on the site map - are easy to accomplish thanks to the Site Map framework
and the Navigation Web controls added in ASP.NET version 2.0. The Site Map framework
allows for a developer to define a site map and then to access it through a programmatic
SiteMap class). The built-in Navigation Web controls include a
Menu control, the
TreeView control, and the
Like the Membership and Roles frameworks, the Site Map framework is built atop the
The job of the Site Map provider class is to generate the in-memory structure used
SiteMap class from a persistent data store, such as an XML file
or a database table. The .NET Framework ships with a default Site Map provider that
reads the site map data from an XML file (
and this is the provider we will be using in this tutorial. For some alternate Site
Map provider implementations, refer to the Further Readings section at the end of
The default Site Map provider expects a properly-formatted XML file named
to exist the root directory. Since we are using this default provider, we need to
add such a file and define the site map's structure in the appropriate XML format.
To add the file, right-click on the project name in Solution Explorer and choose
Add New Item. From the dialog box, opt to add a file of type Site Map named
The XML site map file defines the website's structure as a hierarchy. This hierarchical
relationship is modeled in the XML file via the ancestry of the
Web.sitemap must start with a
parent node that has precisely one
<siteMapNode> child. This
<siteMapNode> element represents the root of the hierarchy,
and may have an arbitrary number of descendent nodes. Each
element must include a
title attribute and may optionally include
description attributes, among others; each non-empty
url attribute must be unique.
Enter the following XML into the
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> <siteMap xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/AspNet/SiteMap-File-1.0"> <siteMapNode url="~/Default.aspx" title="Home"> <siteMapNode title="Membership"> <siteMapNode url="~/Membership/CreatingUserAccounts.aspx" title="Creating User Accounts" /> <siteMapNode url="~/Membership/UserBasedAuthorization.aspx" title="User-Based Authorization" /> <siteMapNode url="~/Membership/Guestbook.aspx" title="Storing Additional User Information" /> </siteMapNode> </siteMapNode> </siteMap>
The above site map markup defines the hierarchy shown in Figure 3.
Step 3: Updating the Master Page to Include a Navigational User Interface
ASP.NET includes a number of navigation-related Web controls for designing a user
interface. These include the Menu, TreeView, and the SiteMapPath controls. The Menu
and TreeView controls render the site map structure in a menu or a tree, respectively,
whereas the SiteMapPath displays a breadcrumb that shows the current node being
visited as well as its ancestors. The site map data can be bound to other data Web
controls using the SiteMapDataSource and can be accessed programmatically via the
Since a thorough discussion of the Site Map framework and the Navigation controls is beyond the scope of this tutorial series, rather than spend time crafting our own navigational user interface let's instead borrow the one used in my Working with Data in ASP.NET 2.0 tutorial series, which uses a Repeater control to display a two-deep bulleted list of navigation links, as shown in Figure 4.
Adding a Two-Level List of Links in the Left Column
To create this interface, add the following declarative markup to the
master page's left column where the text TODO: Menu will go here... currently
<ul> <li> <asp:HyperLink runat="server" ID="lnkHome" NavigateUrl="~/Default.aspx">Home</asp:HyperLink> </li> <asp:Repeater runat="server" ID="menu" DataSourceID="SiteMapDataSource1"> <ItemTemplate> <li> <asp:HyperLink ID="lnkMenuItem" runat="server" NavigateUrl='<%# Eval("Url") %>'><%# Eval("Title") %></asp:HyperLink> <asp:Repeater ID="submenu" runat="server" DataSource="<%# CType(Container.DataItem, SiteMapNode).ChildNodes %>"> <HeaderTemplate> <ul> </HeaderTemplate> <ItemTemplate> <li> <asp:HyperLink ID="lnkMenuItem" runat="server" NavigateUrl='<%# Eval("Url") %>'><%# Eval("Title") %></asp:HyperLink> </li> </ItemTemplate> <FooterTemplate> </ul> </FooterTemplate> </asp:Repeater> </li> </ItemTemplate> </asp:Repeater> </ul> <asp:SiteMapDataSource ID="SiteMapDataSource1" runat="server" ShowStartingNode="false"/>
The above markup binds a Repeater control named
menu to a SiteMapDataSource,
which returns the site map hierarchy defined in
the SiteMapDataSource control's
ShowStartingNode property is set to False it starts returning the site map's
hierarchy starting with the descendents of the Home node. The Repeater displays
each of these nodes (currently just Membership ) in an
element. Another, inner Repeater then displays the current node's children in a
nested unordered list.
Figure 4 shows the above markup's rendered output with the site map structure we
created in Step 2. The Repeater renders vanilla unordered list markup; the cascading
style sheet rules defined in
Styles.css are responsible for the aesthetically-pleasing
layout. For a more detailed description of how the above markup works, refer to
the Master Pages and
Site Navigation tutorial.
Adding Breadcrumb Navigation
In addition to the list of links in the left column, let's also have each page display a breadcrumb. A breadcrumb is a navigational user interface element that quickly shows users their current position within the site hierarchy. The SiteMapPath control uses the Site Map framework to determine the current page's location in the site map and then displays a breadcrumb based on this information.
Specifically, add a
<span> element to the master page's header
<div> element, and set the new
class attribute to breadcrumb . (The
Styles.css class contains a rule
for a breadcrumb class.) Next, add a SiteMapPath to this new
<div id="header"> <span class="title">User Account Tutorials</span><br /> <span class="breadcrumb"> <asp:SiteMapPath ID="SiteMapPath1" runat="server"> </asp:SiteMapPath> </span> </div>
Figure 5 shows the output of the SiteMapPath when visiting
Step 4: Removing the Custom Principal and Identity Logic
In the Forms Authentication Configuration and Advanced Topics tutorial we saw how to associate custom principal
and identity objects to the authenticated user. We accomplished this by creating
an event handler in
Global.asax for the application's
event, which fires after the
FormsAuthenticationModule has authenticated
the user. In this event handler we replaced the
FormsIdentity objects added by the
CustomIdentity objects we
created in that tutorial.
While custom principal and identity objects are useful in certain scenarios, in
most cases the
are sufficient. Consequently, I think it would be worthwhile to return to the default
behavior. Make this change by either removing or commenting out the
event handler or by deleting the
Global.asax file entirely.
Once you've commented or removed the code in
Global.asax, you will
need to comment out the code in
Default.aspx's code-behind class that
User.Identity property to a
Step 5: Programmatically Creating a New User
To create a new user account through the Membership framework use the
CreateUser method. This method has input parameters for the username, password,
and other user-related fields. On invocation, it delegates the creation of the new
user account to the configured Membership provider and then returns a
MembershipUser object representing the just-created user account.
CreateUser method has four overloads, each accepting a different
number of input parameters:
CreateUser(username, password, email)
CreateUser(username, password, email, passwordQuestion, passwordAnswer, isApproved, MembershipCreateStatus)
CreateUser(username, password, email, passwordQuestion, passwordAnswer, isApproved, providerUserKey, MembershipCreateStatus)
These four overloads differ on the amount of information that is collected. The first overload, for example, requires just the username and password for the new user account, whereas the second one also requires the user's email address.
These overloads exist because the information needed to create a new user account
depends on the Membership provider's configuration settings. In the Creating the
Membership Schema in SQL Server
tutorial we examined specifying Membership provider configuration settings in
Web.config. Table 2 included a complete list of the configuration settings.
One such Membership provider configuration setting that impacts what
overloads may be used is the
requiresQuestionAndAnswer setting. If
requiresQuestionAndAnswer is set to
true (the default),
then when creating a new user account we must specify a security question and answer.
This information is later used if the user needs to reset or change their password.
Specifically, at that time they are shown the security question and they must enter
the correct answer in order to reset or change their password. Consequently, if
requiresQuestionAndAnswer is set to
true then calling
either of the first two
CreateUser overloads results in an exception
because the security question and answer are missing. Since our application is currently
configured to require a security question and answer, we will need to use one of
the latter two overloads when creating user's programmatically.
To illustrate using the
CreateUser method, let's create a user interface
where we prompt the user for their name, password, email, and an answer to a pre-defined
security question. Open the
CreatingUserAccounts.aspx page in the
Membership folder and add the following Web controls to the Content control:
- A TextBox named
- A TextBox named
TextModeproperty is set to
- A TextBox named
- A Label named
Textproperty cleared out
- A TextBox named
- A Button named
Textproperty is set to Create the User Account
- A Label control named
Textproperty cleared out
At this point your screen should look similar to the screen shot shown in Figure 6.
SecurityQuestion Label and
are intended to display a pre-defined security question and collect the user's answer.
Note that both the security question and answer are stored on a user-by-user basis,
so it is possible to allow each user to define their own security question. However,
for this example I have decided to use a universal security question, namely: What
is your favorite color?
To implement this pre-defined security question, add a constant to the page's code-behind
passwordQuestion, assigning it the security question. Then,
Page_Load event handler, assign this constant to the
Const passwordQuestion As String = "What is your favorite color" Protected Sub Page_Load(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Me.Load If Not Page.IsPostBack Then SecurityQuestion.Text = passwordQuestion End If End Sub
Next, create an event handler for the
event and add the following code:
Protected Sub CreateAccountButton_Click(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles CreateAccountButton.Click Dim createStatus As MembershipCreateStatus Dim newUser As MembershipUser = _ Membership.CreateUser(Username.Text, Password.Text, _ Email.Text, passwordQuestion, _ SecurityAnswer.Text, True, _ createStatus) Select Case createStatus Case MembershipCreateStatus.Success CreateAccountResults.Text = "The user account was successfully created!" Case MembershipCreateStatus.DuplicateUserName CreateAccountResults.Text = "There already exists a user with this username." Case MembershipCreateStatus.DuplicateEmail CreateAccountResults.Text = "There already exists a user with this email address." Case MembershipCreateStatus.InvalidEmail CreateAccountResults.Text = "There email address you provided in invalid." Case MembershipCreateStatus.InvalidAnswer CreateAccountResults.Text = "There security answer was invalid." Case MembershipCreateStatus.InvalidPassword CreateAccountResults.Text = "The password you provided is invalid. It must be seven characters long and have at least one non-alphanumeric character." Case Else CreateAccountResults.Text = "There was an unknown error; the user account was NOT created." End Select End Sub
Click event handler starts by defining a variable named
MembershipCreateStatus is an enumeration
that indicates the status of the
CreateUser operation. For example,
if the user account is created successfully, the resulting
instance will be set to a value of
Success; on the other hand, if the
operation fails because there already exists a user with the same username, it will
be set to a value of
DuplicateUserName. In the
overload we use, we need to pass a
into the method. This parameter is set to the appropriate value within the
method, and we can examine its value after the method call to determine whether
the user account was successfully created.
CreateUser, passing in
Select Case statement is used to output an appropriate message depending
on the value assigned to
createStatus. Figures 7 shows the output when
a new user has successfully been created. Figures 8 and 9 show the output when the
user account is not created. In Figure 8, the visitor entered a five-letter password,
which does not meet the password strength requirements spelled out in the Membership
provider's configuration settings. In Figure 9, the visitor is attempting to create
a user account with an existing username (the one created in Figure 7).
You may be wondering how to determine success or failure when using one of the first
CreateUser method overloads, neither of which has a parameter of
MembershipCreateStatus. These first two overloads throw a
MembershipCreateUserException exception in the face of a failure, which
StatusCode property of type
After creating a few user accounts, verify that the accounts have been created by
listing the contents of the
tables in the
SecurityTutorials.mdf database. As Figure 10 shows, I
have added two users via the
CreatingUserAccounts.aspx page: Tito and
While the Membership user store now includes Bruce and Tito's account information,
we have yet to implement functionality that allows for Bruce or Tito to log on to
the site. Currently,
Login.aspx validates the user's credentials against
a hard-coded set of username/password pairs - it does not validate the supplied
credentials against the Membership framework. For now seeing the new user accounts
aspnet_Membership tables will
have to suffice. In the next tutorial, Validating User Credentials Against the
Membership User Store
, we will update the login page to validate against the Membership store.
If you do not see any users in your
it may be because your web application is using the default Membership provider,
AspNetSqlMembershipProvider, which uses the
database as its user store. To determine if this is the problem, click the Refresh
button in the Solution Explorer. If a database named
been added to the
App_Data folder, this is the problem. Return to Step
4 of the Creating the Membership Schema in SQL Server tutorial for instructions on how to properly
configure the Membership provider.
In most create user account scenarios, the visitor is presented with some interface
to enter their username, password, email, and other essential information, at which
point a new account is created. In this step we looked at building such an interface
by hand and then saw how to use the
Membership.CreateUser method to
programmatically add the new user account based on the user's inputs. Our code,
however, just created the new user account. It did not perform any follow up actions,
like logging in the user to the site under the just-created user account, or sending
a confirmation email to the user. These additional steps would require additional
code in the Button's
Click event handler.
ASP.NET ships with the CreateUserWizard control, which is designed to handle the user account creation process, from rendering a user interface for creating new user accounts, to creating the account in the Membership framework and performing post-account creation tasks, such as sending a confirmation email and logging the just-created user into the site. Using the CreateUserWizard control is as simple as dragging the CreateUserWizard control from the Toolbox onto a page, and then setting a few properties. In most cases, you won't need to write a single line of code. We will explore this nifty control in detail in Step 6.
If new user accounts are only created through a typical Create Account web page,
it is unlikely that you will ever need to write code that uses the
method, as the CreateUserWizard control will likely meet your needs. However, the
CreateUser method is handy in scenarios where you need a highly customized
Create Account user experience or when you need to programmatically create new user
accounts through an alternative interface. For example, you might have a page that
allows a user to upload an XML file that contains user information from some other
application. The page might parses the contents of the uploaded XML file and create
a new account for each user represented in the XML by calling the
Step 6: Creating a New User with the CreateUserWizard Control
ASP.NET ships with a number of Login Web controls. These controls aid in many common user account- and login-related scenarios. The CreateUserWizard control is one such control that is designed to present a user interface for adding a new user account to the Membership framework.
Like many of the other Login-related Web controls, the CreateUserWizard can be used
without writing a single line of code. It intuitively provides a user interface
based on the Membership provider's configuration settings and internally calls the
CreateUser method after the user enters
the necessary information and clicks the Create User button. The CreateUserWizard
control is extremely customizable. There are a host of events that fire during various
stages of the account creation process. We can create event handlers, as needed,
to inject custom logic into the account creation workflow. Furthermore, the CreateUserWizard's
appearance is very flexible. There are a number of properties that define the appearance
of the default interface; if necessary, the control can be converted into a template
or additional user registration steps may be added.
Let's start with a look at using the CreateUserWizard control's default interface and behavior. We'll then explore how to customize the appearance via the control's properties and events.
Examining the CreateUserWizard's Default Interface and Behavior
Return to the
CreatingUserAccounts.aspx page in the
folder, switch to the Design or Split mode, and then add a CreateUserWizard control
to the top of the page. The CreateUserWizard control is filed under the Toolbox's
Login controls section. After adding the control, set its
RegisterUser. As the screen shot in Figure 11 shows, the CreateUserWizard
renders an interface with textboxes for the new user's username, password, email
address, and security question and answer.
Let's take a moment to compare the default user interface generated by the CreateUserWizard control with the interface we created in Step 5. For starters, the CreateUserWizard control allows the visitor to specify both the security question and answer, whereas our manually-created interface used a pre-defined security question. The CreateUserWizard control's interface also includes validation controls, whereas we had yet to implement validation on our interface's form fields. And the CreateUserWizard control interface includes a Confirm Password textbox (along with a CompareValidator to ensure that the text entered the Password and Compare Password textboxes are equal).
What's interesting is that the CreateUserWizard control consults the Membership
provider's configuration settings when rendering its user interface. For example,
the security question and answer textboxes are only displayed if
is set to True. Likewise, CreateUserWizard automatically adds a RegularExpressionValidator
control to ensure that the password strength requirements are met, and sets its
ValidationExpression properties based
passwordStrengthRegularExpression configuration settings.
The CreateUserWizard control, as its name implies, is derived from the
Wizard control. Wizard controls are designed to provide an interface for
completing multi-step tasks. A Wizard control may have an arbitrary number of
WizardSteps, each of which is a template that defines the HTML and Web
controls for that step. The Wizard control initially displays the first
along with navigation controls that permit the user to proceed from one step to
the next, or to return to previous steps.
As the declarative markup in Figure 11 shows, the CreateUserWizard control's default
interface includes two
CreateUserWizardStep? renders the interface to collect information for creating the new user account. This is the step shown in Figure 11.
CompleteWizardStep? renders a message indicating that the account has successfully been created.
The CreateUserWizard's appearance and behavior can be modified by converting either
of these steps to templates, or by adding your own
will look at adding a
WizardStep to the registration interface in the
Storing Additional User Information tutorial.
Let's see the CreateUserWizard control in action. Visit the
page through a browser. Start by entering some invalid values into the CreateUserWizard's
interface. Try entering a password that doesn't conform to the password strength
requirements, or leaving the User Name textbox empty. The CreateUserWizard will
display an appropriate error message. Figure 12 shows the output when attempting
to create a user with an insufficiently strong password.
Next, enter appropriate values into the CreateUserWizard and click the Create User
button. Assuming the required fields have been entered and the password's strength
is sufficient, the CreateUserWizard will create a new user account through the Membership
framework and then display the
CompleteWizardStep's interface (see
Figure 13). Behind the scenes, the CreateUserWizard calls the
method, just like we did in Step 5.
As Figure 13 shows, the
CompleteWizardStep's interface includes a Continue
button. However, at this point clicking it just performs a postback, leaving the
visitor on the same page. In the Customizing the CreateUserWizard's Appearance
and Behavior Through Its Properties section we will look at how you can have this
button send the visitor to
Default.aspx (or some other page).
After creating a new user account, return to Visual Studio and examine the
aspnet_Membership tables like we did in Figure 10 to verify that
the account was successfully created.
Customizing the CreateUserWizard's Behavior and Appearance Through Its Properties
The CreateUserWizard can be customized in a variety of ways, through properties,
WizardSteps, and event handlers. In this section we will look at how
to customize the control's appearance through its properties; the next section looks
at extending the control's behavior through event handlers.
Virtually all of the text displayed in the CreateUserWizard control's default user
interface can be customized through its plethora of properties. For example, the
User Name , Password , Confirm Password , E-mail , Security Question , and
Security Answer labels displayed to the left of the textboxes can be customized
AnswerLabelText properties, respectively. Likewise,
there are properties for specifying the text for the Create User and Continue
buttons in the
as well as if these buttons are rendered as Buttons, LinkButtons, or ImageButtons.
The colors, borders, fonts, and other visual elements are configurable through a
host of style properties. The CreateUserWizard control itself has the common Web
control style properties -
Font, and so on - and there are a number of style properties for defining
the appearance for particular sections of the CreateUserWizard's interface. The
TextBoxStyle property, for instance, defines the styles for the textboxes
CreateUserWizardStep, while the
TitleTextStyle property defines the style for the title ( Sign Up for Your
New Account ).
In addition to the appearance-related properties, there are a number of properties
that affect the CreateUserWizard control's behavior. The
DisplayCancelButton property, if set to True, displays a Cancel button next
to the Create User button (the default value is False). If you display the Cancel
button, be sure to also set the
CancelDestinationPageUrl property, which specifies the page the user is
sent to after clicking Cancel. As noted in the previous section, the Continue button
CompleteWizardStep's interface causes a postback, but leaves
the visitor on the same page. To send the visitor to some other page after clicking
the Continue button, simply specify the URL in the
Let's update the
RegisterUser CreateUserWizard control to show a Cancel
button and to send the visitor to
Default.aspx when the Cancel or Continue
buttons are clicked. To accomplish this, set the
property to True and both the
properties to ~/Default.aspx . Figure 14 shows the updated CreateUserWizard when
viewed through a browser.
When a visitor enters a username, password, email address, and security question
and answer and clicks Create User, a new user account is created and the visitor
is logged in as that newly created user. Assuming that the person visiting the page
is creating a new account for themselves, this is likely the desired behavior. However,
you may want to allow Administrators to add new user accounts. In doing so, the
user account would be created, but the Administrator would remain logged in as an
Administrator (and not as the newly created account). This behavior can be modified
through the Boolean
User accounts in the Membership framework contain an approved flag; users who are
not approved are unable to log into the site. By default, a newly created account
is marked as approved, allowing the user to log into the site immediately. It is
possible, however, to have new user accounts marked as unapproved. Perhaps you want
an Administrator to manually approve new users before they can log in; or maybe
you want to verify that the email address entered at signup is valid before permitting
a user to log on. Whatever the case may be, you can have the newly created user
account marked as unapproved by setting the CreateUserWizard control's
DisableCreatedUser property to True (the default is False).
Other behavior-related properties of note include
MailDefinition. If the
AutoGeneratePassword property is set to True, the
does not display the Password and Confirm Password textboxes; instead, the newly-created
user's password is automatically generated using the
GeneratePassword method. The
GeneratePassword method constructs
a password of a specified length and with a sufficient number of non-alphanumeric
characters to satisfy the configured password strength requirements.
MailDefinition property is useful if you want to send an email to the email
address specified during the account creation process. The
property includes a series of subproperties for defining information about the constructed
email message. These subproperties include options like
BodyFileName property points to a text or HTML file that contains the body
for the email message. The body supports two pre-defined placeholders:
<%Password%>. These placeholders, if present in the
file, will be replaced with the just-created user's name and password.
just specifies details about the email message that is sent when a new account is
created. It does not include any details on how the email message is actually sent
(that is, whether an SMTP server or mail drop directory is used, any authentication
information, and so on). These low-level details need to be defined in the
Web.config. For more information on these configuration
settings and on sending email from ASP.NET 2.0 in general, refer to the
FAQs at SystemNetMail.com and my article,
Sending Email in ASP.NET 2.0.
Extending the CreateUserWizard's Behavior Using Event Handlers
The CreateUserWizard control raises a number of events during its workflow. For
example, after a visitor enters their username, password, and other pertinent information
and clicks the Create User button, the CreateUserWizard control raises its
CreatingUser event. If there is a problem during the create process, the
CreateUserError event is fired; however, if the user is successfully created,
CreatedUser event is raised. There are additional CreateUserWizard control
events that get raised, but these are the three most germane ones.
In certain scenarios we may want to tap into the CreateUserWizard workflow, which
we can do by creating an event handler for the appropriate event. To illustrate
this, let's enhance the
RegisterUser CreateUserWizard control to include
some custom validation on the username and password. In particular, let's enhance
our CreateUserWizard so that usernames cannot contain leading or trailing spaces
and the username cannot appear anywhere in the password. In short, we want to prevent
someone from creating a username like "Scott ", or having a username/password combination
like Scott and Scott.1234 .
To accomplish this we will create an event handler for the
event to perform our extra validation checks. If the supplied data is not valid
we need to cancel the creation process. We also need to add a Label Web control
to the page to display a message explaining that the username or password is invalid.
Start by adding a Label control beneath the CreateUserWizard control, setting its
ID property to
InvalidUserNameOrPasswordMessage and its
ForeColor property to
Red. Clear out its
property and set its
<asp:Label runat="server"" id="InvalidUserNameOrPasswordMessage" Visible="false" ForeColor="Red" EnableViewState="false"> </asp:Label>
Next, create an event handler for the CreateUserWizard control's
event. To create an event handler, select the control in the Designer and then go
to the Properties window. From there, click on the lightning bolt icon and then
double-click the appropriate event to create the event handler.
Add the following code to the
CreatingUser event handler:
Protected Sub RegisterUser_CreatingUser(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.Web.UI.WebControls.LoginCancelEventArgs) Handles RegisterUser.CreatingUser Dim trimmedUserName As String = RegisterUser.UserName.Trim() If RegisterUser.UserName.Length <> trimmedUserName.Length Then ' Show the error message InvalidUserNameOrPasswordMessage.Text = "The username cannot contain leading or trailing spaces." InvalidUserNameOrPasswordMessage.Visible = True ' Cancel the create user workflow e.Cancel = True Else ' Username is valid, make sure that the password does not contain the username If RegisterUser.Password.IndexOf(RegisterUser.UserName, StringComparison.OrdinalIgnoreCase) >= 0 Then ' Show the error message InvalidUserNameOrPasswordMessage.Text = "The username may not appear anywhere in the password." InvalidUserNameOrPasswordMessage.Visible = True ' Cancel the create user workflow e.Cancel = True End If End If End Sub
Note that the username and password entered into the CreateUserWizard control are
available through its
Password properties, respectively. We use these properties in the above
event handler to determine whether the supplied username contains leading or trailing
spaces and whether the username is found within the password. If either of these
conditions is met, an error message is displayed in the
Label and the event handler's
e.Cancel property is set to
e.Cancel is set to
True, the CreateUserWizard short-circuits
its workflow, effectively cancelling the user account creation process.
Figure 15 shows a screen shot of
CreatingUserAccounts.aspx when the
user enters a username with leading spaces.
We will see an example of using the CreateUserWizard control's
event in the Storing Additional User Information tutorial.
CreateUser method creates a new
user account in the Membership framework. It does so by delegating the call to the
configured Membership provider. In the case of the
CreateUser method adds a record to the
aspnet_Membership database tables.
While new user accounts can be created programmatically (as we saw in Step 5), a
faster and easier approach is to use the CreateUserWizard control. This control
renders a multi-step user interface for collecting user information and creating
a new user in the Membership framework. Underneath the covers, this control uses
Membership.CreateUser method as examined in Step 5, but the
control creates the user interface, validation controls, and responds to user account
creation errors without having to write a lick of code.
At this point we have the functionality in place to create new user accounts. However,
the login page still is validating against those hard-coded credentials we specified
back in the second tutorial. In the next tutorial
we will update
Login.aspx to validate the user's supplied credentials
against the Membership framework.
For more information on the topics discussed in this tutorial, refer to the following resources:
- CreateUserWizard Control Overview
- Creating a File System-Based Site Map Provider
- Creating a Step-by-Step User Interface with the ASP.NET 2.0 Wizard Control
- Examining ASP.NET 2.0's Site Navigation
- Master Pages and Site Navigation
- The SQL Site Map Provider You've Been Waiting For
About the Author
Scott Mitchell, author of multiple ASP/ASP.NET books and founder of 4GuysFromRolla.com, has been working with Microsoft Web technologies since 1998. Scott works as an independent consultant, trainer, and writer. His latest book is Sams Teach Yourself ASP.NET 2.0 in 24 Hours. Scott can be reached at email@example.com or via his blog at http://ScottOnWriting.NET.
Special Thanks To
This tutorial series was reviewed by many helpful reviewers. Lead reviewer for this tutorial was Teresa Murphy. Interested in reviewing my upcoming MSDN articles? If so, drop me a line at mitchell@4GuysFromRolla.com.
This article was originally created on January 18, 2008