I thought it would be helpful to share my step-by-step procedures for manually configuring claims-based authentication in SharePoint Server 2010 using an "ASP.NET database" and corresponding membership and role providers.

Note that the following TechNet article provides some of the steps for configuring claims-based authentication in SharePoint Server 2010 (using the LDAP provider instead of the ASP.NET SQL providers):

Configure forms-based authentication for a claims-based Web application (SharePoint Server 2010)

I had originally intended this post to simply serve as a precursor to my next post, but during the process of writing this post, I realized that there are many pieces lacking from the TechNet article. For example, if you use the current PowerShell script provided in the above TechNet article, you end up with a Web application that doesn't support Search (because it does not enable both Windows authentication as well as Forms-Based Authentication).

In this post, I'll share a "real world" process for creating and configuring a Web application in SharePoint Server 2010 using claims-based authentication.

In the following procedures, assume that we are configuring the public Internet site for Fabrikam Technologies (my favorite fictitious manufacturing company) and we want to provide the ability for customers and partners to login and access personalized content. User accounts for customers and partners are stored in a SQL Server database (FabrikamDemo).

 [User accounts for Fabrikam employees are stored in Active Directory. Consequently, Fabrikam employees will not login using forms-based authentication. Rather, in order to author content and manage the site, Fabrikam employees authenticate with the site using Windows authentication (in other words, via the generic login window that varies slightly depending on the Web browser being used).]

The relevant service accounts for claims-based authentication are listed in the following table.

Table 1 - Service Accounts
User Logon NameFull NameDescription
EXTRANET\svc-sharepoint Service account for SharePoint SharePoint farm account used to create and access the SharePoint configuration database. It also acts as the application pool identity account for the Central Administration site, as well as the application pool for the Security Token Service application.
EXTRANET\svc-web-fabrikam Service account for Fabrikam Web site Used for the application pool for the Fabrikam Web application

[Assume that Fabrikam has established an "extranet" Active Directory domain which will be used to host the SharePoint farm. In order to allow Fabrikam employees to authenticate with their internal domain (FABRIKAM) credentials, a one-way trust is established from the EXTRANET domain to the FABRIKAM domain.]

Configuring claims-based authentication using a SQL Server database consists of the following high-level steps:

  1. Create and configure the membership/role database
  2. Create the Web application and initial site collection (or configure an existing Web application to use claims-based authentication)
  3. Configure SSL on the Web site
  4. Enable anonymous access to the site
  5. Modify the Web.config files for the following sites in order to support claims-based authentication:
    • SharePoint Central Administration v4
    • SecurityTokenServiceApplication
    • "Fabrikam" Web application (http://www.fabrikam.com)
  6. Create a user in the database using IIS Manager
  7. Validate the configuration of the Web application

Step 1 - Create and configure the membership/role database

In this step, the database for storing ASP.NET membership and role information is created and the two service accounts specified in Table 1 are added to to the appropriate database roles.

To create the database used for storing ASP.NET membership and role information:

  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, click Accessories, and right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.
  2. At the command prompt, type the following command:
    cd %WinDir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727
  3. Type the following command:
    aspnet_regsql.exe
  4. On the welcome page of the ASP.NET SQL Server Setup Wizard, click Next.
  5. On the Select a Setup Option page, ensure the option to Configure SQL Server for application services is selected and then click Next.
  6. On the Select the Server and Database page:
    1. In the Server box, type the name of the database server.
    2. Ensure the Windows authentication option is selected.
    3. In the Database dropdown list, type FabrikamDemo.
    4. Click Next.
  7. On the Confirm Your Settings page, verify the settings, and then click Next.
  8. Wait for the database to be created and then click Finish.

To add the service accounts to the membership/role database:

  1. On a computer with SQL Server management tools installed, click Start, point to All Programs, click Microsoft SQL Server 2008, and then click SQL Server Management Studio. The Connect to Server dialog box opens.
  2. In the Server type list, click Database Engine.
  3. Type the name of the server which hosts the database, and then click Connect.
  4. In Object Explorer, expand Security, and then expand Logins.
  5. Right-click the login corresponding to the SharePoint farm service account (EXTRANET\svc-sharepoint) and then click Properties.
  6. In the login properties dialog box:
    1. On the User Mapping page, in the Users mapped to the login list, click the checkbox for the ASP.NET membership database (FabrikamDemo), and then in the database role membership list, click the checkboxes for the following roles:
      • aspnet_Membership_BasicAccess
      • aspnet_Membership_ReportingAccess
      • aspnet_Roles_BasicAccess
      • aspnet_Roles_ReportingAccess
    2. Click OK.
  7. Repeat the steps in this section to add the service account for the Fabrikam Web application (EXTRANET\svc-web-fabrikam) to the following roles:
    • aspnet_Membership_FullAccess
    • aspnet_Roles_BasicAccess
    • aspnet_Roles_ReportingAccess
Important
Database access must be granted to both the service account used for the Fabrikam Web application and the SharePoint farm account. If the SharePoint farm account does not have access to the database, the Security Token Service used for claims-based authentication will be unable to validate the credentials.
Note
The reason the database roles are different between the two service accounts is because the SharePoint farm account only needs permissions to validate credentials and determine role membership, whereas the Fabrikam Web application service account needs additional permissions in order to support other scenarios for the Fabrikam site (e.g. "Change Password" and "Reset Password").

Step 2 - Create the Fabrikam Web application and initial site collection

In this step, the Web application and initial site collection are created.

To create the Fabrikam Web application:

  1. On the Start menu, click All Programs, click Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products, right-click SharePoint 2010 Management Shell, and then click Run as administrator. If prompted by User Account Control to allow the program to make changes to the computer, click Yes.
  2. From the Windows PowerShell command prompt, run the following script:
    $ErrorActionPreference = "Stop"
    
    $appPoolUserName = "EXTRANET\svc-web-fabrikam"
    $membershipProviderName = "FabrikamSqlMembershipProvider"
    $roleProviderName = "FabrikamSqlRoleProvider"
    $webAppName = "SharePoint - www.fabrikam.com80"
    $webAppUrl = "http://www.fabrikam.com"
    $contentDatabaseName = "WSS_Content_FabrikamDemo"
    $appPoolName = $webAppName
    
    Write-Debug "Get service account for application pool ($appPoolUserName)..."
    $appPoolAccount = Get-SPManagedAccount -Identity $appPoolUserName -EA 0
    
    if($appPoolAccount -eq $null)
    {
        Write-Host "Registering managed account ($appPoolUserName)..."
    
        Write-Debug "Get credential ($appPoolUserName)..."
        $appPoolCredential = Get-Credential $appPoolUserName
    
        $appPoolAccount = New-SPManagedAccount -Credential $appPoolCredential
    } 
    
    $windowsAuthProvider = New-SPAuthenticationProvider
    $formsAuthProvider = New-SPAuthenticationProvider `
        -ASPNETMembershipProvider $membershipProviderName `
        -ASPNETRoleProviderName $roleProviderName
    
    $authProviders = $windowsAuthProvider, $formsAuthProvider
    
    $webApp = New-SPWebApplication -Name $webAppName -AllowAnonymousAccess `
        -ApplicationPool $appPoolName -AuthenticationMethod "NTLM" `
        -ApplicationPoolAccount $appPoolAccount -Url $webAppUrl -Port 80 `
        -AuthenticationProvider $authProviders -DatabaseName $contentDatabaseName
    

To create the initial site collection for the Web application:

  1. If necessary, start an Administrator instance of the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell.
  2. From the Windows PowerShell command prompt, run the following script:
    $ErrorActionPreference = "Stop"
    
    $webAppUrl = "http://www.fabrikam.com"
    $siteName = "Fabrikam"
    $siteDescription = "Public Internet site for Fabrikam Technologies"
    $siteTemplate = "BLANKINTERNETCONTAINER#0"
    
    $ownerAlias = $env:USERDOMAIN + "\" + $env:USERNAME
    
    $siteUrl = $webAppUrl + "/"
    
    New-SPSite $siteUrl -OwnerAlias $ownerAlias -Name $siteName `
        -Description $siteDescription -Template $siteTemplate
    

Step 3 - Configure SSL on the Web site

When using Forms-Based Authentication, it is important to secure the communication between the clients and the Web servers (in order to avoid sending user credentials in clear text over the network). In this section, the Web application is modified to support both HTTP and HTTPS, and the corresponding SSL certificate is configured for the Web site.

To add a public URL to HTTPS:

  1.  On the Central Administration home page, click Application Management.
  2.  On the Application Management page, in the Web Applications section, click Configure alternate access mappings.
  3.  On the Alternate Access Mappings page, click Edit Public URLs.
  4.  On the Edit Public Zone URLs page:
    1.  In the Alternate Access Mapping Collection section, select the Web application to configure.
    2. In the Public URLs section, copy the URL from the Default box to the Internet box, and change http:// to https://.
    3. Click Save.

To add an HTTPS binding to the site in IIS:

  1. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
  2. In Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager, click the plus sign (+) next to the server name that contains the Web application, and then click the plus sign next to Sites to view the Web applications that have been created.
  3. Click the name of the Web application (SharePoint – www.fabrikam.com80). In the Actions section, under the Edit Site heading, click Bindings....
  4. In the Site Bindings window, click Add.
  5. In the Add Site Binding window:
    1.  In the Type: dropdown, select https.
    2. In the SSL Certificate: dropdown, select the certificate corresponding to the site.
    3.  Click OK.
    4. In the Site Bindings window, click Close.

Step 4 - Enable anonymous access to the site

In addition to enabling anonymous access on the Web application, the root Web of the site collection must also be configured to enable anonymous access.

To enable anonymous access to the site:

  1. If necessary, start an Administrator instance of the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell.
  2. From the Windows PowerShell command prompt, run the following script:
    $ErrorActionPreference = "Stop"
    
    Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell -EA 0
    
    $webUrl = "http://www.fabrikam.com/"
    
    function EnableAnonymousAccess(
        [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPWeb] $web)
    {
        Write-Debug "Enabling anonymous access on site ($($web.Url))..."
    
        $anonymousPermissionMask =
            [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPBasePermissions]::Open `
            -bor [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPBasePermissions]::ViewFormPages `
            -bor [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPBasePermissions]::ViewListItems `
            -bor [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPBasePermissions]::ViewPages `
            -bor [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPBasePermissions]::ViewVersions
    
        if ($web.AnonymousPermMask64 -eq $anonymousPermissionMask)
        {
            Write-Debug `
                "Anonymous access is already enabled on site ($($web.Url))."
                
            return;
        }
    
        if ($web.HasUniqueRoleAssignments -eq $false)
        {
            $web.BreakRoleInheritance($true);
        }
    
        $web.AnonymousPermMask64 = $anonymousPermissionMask;
        $web.Update();
        
        Write-Host -Fore Green `
            "Successfully enabled anonymous access on site ($($web.Url))."
    }
    
    $DebugPreference = "SilentlyContinue"
    $web = Get-SPWeb $webUrl
    
    $DebugPreference = "Continue"
    EnableAnonymousAccess $web

Step 5 - Add Web.config modifications for claims-based authentication

In order to complete the configuration of claims-based authentication, it is necessary to modify the Web.config files for the following sites:

  • SharePoint Central Administration v4
  •  Security Token Service
  •  The “Fabrikam” Web application (http://www.fabrikam.com)

To configure the Central Administration Web.config file:

  1. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
  2. In Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager, in the Connections pane, click the plus sign (+) next to the server name that contains the Web application, and then click the plus sign next to Sites to view the Web applications that have been created.
  3. Right-click SharePoint Central Administration v4, and then click Explore. Windows Explorer opens, with the directories for the selected Web application listed.
    Important
    Before you make changes to the Web.config file, make a copy of it by using a different name (for example, “Web - Copy.config”), so that if a mistake is made in the file, you can delete it and use the original file.
  4. Double-click the Web.config file to open the file.
    Note
    If you see a dialog box that says that Windows cannot open the file, click Select the program from a list, and then click OK. In the Open With dialog box, click Notepad, and then click OK.
  5. In the Web.config editor:
    1. After the end of the /configuration/configSections element (i.e. </configSections>), add the following elements:
        <connectionStrings>
          <add name="FabrikamDemo"
            connectionString="Server={databaseServer};Database=FabrikamDemo;Integrated Security=true" />
        </connectionStrings>
      Important
      Be sure to replace the {databaseServer} placeholder in the connection string with the name of the database server.
    2. Find the /configuration/system.web/roleManager/providers section and add the following elements:
      <add name="FabrikamSqlRoleProvider"
        type="System.Web.Security.SqlRoleProvider, System.Web, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a"
        applicationName="Fabrikam Demo Site"
        connectionStringName="FabrikamDemo" />
    3. Find the /configuration/system.web/membership/providers section and add the following elements:
      <add name="FabrikamSqlMembershipProvider"
        type="System.Web.Security.SqlMembershipProvider, System.Web, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a"
        applicationName="Fabrikam Demo Site"
        connectionStringName="FabrikamDemo"
        passwordFormat="Hashed" />
       
  6.  Save the changes to the Web.config file and close the editor.

To configure the Security Token Service Web.config file:

  1. In Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager, in the Connections pane, expand the SharePoint Web Services site, right-click the SecurityTokenServiceApplication subsite, and then click Explore.
  2. Double-click the Web.config file to open the file.
  3. In the Web.config editor, add the following elements to the <configuration> root element:
    <connectionStrings>
      <add
      name="FabrikamDemo"
      connectionString="Server={databaseServer};Database=FabrikamDemo;Integrated Security=true" />
    </connectionStrings>
    
    <system.web>
      <membership>
        <providers>
          <add
          name="FabrikamSqlMembershipProvider"
          type="System.Web.Security.SqlMembershipProvider, System.Web, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a"
          applicationName="Fabrikam Demo Site"
          connectionStringName="FabrikamDemo"
          passwordFormat="Hashed" />
        </providers>
      </membership>
      <roleManager>
        <providers>
          <add
          name="FabrikamSqlRoleProvider"
          type="System.Web.Security.SqlRoleProvider, System.Web, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a"
          applicationName="Fabrikam Demo Site"
          connectionStringName="FabrikamDemo" />
        </providers>
      </roleManager>
    </system.web>
    Important
    Be sure to replace the {databaseServer} placeholder in the connection string with the name of the database server.
  4. Save the changes to the Web.config file and close the editor.

To configure the Web.config file for the Fabrikam Web application:

  1. In Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager, in the Connections pane, right-click the SharePoint - www.fabrikam.com80 site, and then click Explore.
  2. Double-click the Web.config file to open the file.
  3.  In the Web.config editor:
    1.  After the end of the /configuration/configSections element (i.e. </configSections>), add the following elements:
        <connectionStrings>
          <add name="FabrikamDemo"
            connectionString="Server={databaseServer};Database=FabrikamDemo;Integrated Security=true" />
        </connectionStrings>
      Important
      Be sure to replace the {databaseServer} placeholder in the connection string with the name of the database server.
    2. Find the /configuration/system.web/roleManager/providers section and add the following elements:
      <add name="FabrikamSqlRoleProvider"
        type="System.Web.Security.SqlRoleProvider, System.Web, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a"
        applicationName="Fabrikam Demo Site"
        connectionStringName="FabrikamDemo" />
      Warning
      Do not overwrite any existing entries in this Web.config file.
    3. Find the /configuration/system.web/membership/providers section and add the following elements:
      <add name="FabrikamSqlMembershipProvider"
        type="System.Web.Security.SqlMembershipProvider, System.Web, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a"
        applicationName="Fabrikam Demo Site"
        connectionStringName="FabrikamDemo"
        enablePasswordReset="true"
        enablePasswordRetrieval="false"
        passwordFormat="Hashed"
        requiresQuestionAndAnswer="true"
        requiresUniqueEmail="true" />
  4.  Save the changes to the Web.config file and close the editor.

Step 6 - Create a user in the database using IIS Manager

To create a user for the Fabrikam Web site:

  1. In Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager, click the Fabrikam Web application (e.g. SharePoint – www.fabrikam.com80) and then double-click .NET Users.
  2. When prompted with an error stating the feature cannot be used because the default provider is not a trusted provider, click OK.
  3. In the Actions pane, click Set Default Provider...
  4. In the Edit .NET Users Settings dialog box, note that the default provider configured in SharePoint Server 2010 is "i". In the Default Provider list, click FabrikamSqlMembershipProvider, and then click OK.
  5. In the Actions pane, click Add...
  6. When prompted with an error stating the default .NET Roles provider does not exist, click OK.
  7. In the Add .NET User dialog:
    1. On the .NET User Account Details page, type the appropriate values in the User Name, E-mail, Password, Confirm Password, Question, and Answer boxes, and then click Next.
    2. On the .NET User Roles page, click Finish.
  8. In the Actions pane, click Set Default Provider...
  9. In the Edit .NET Users Settings dialog box, in the Default Provider list, click i, and then click OK.

Step 7 - Validate the configuration of the Web application

The final step is to validate the Web application works as expected when using both Forms-Based Authentication and Windows authentication.

To login to the Fabrikam Web site using Forms-Based Authentication:

  1. Browse to the home page page the Fabrikam Web site (http://www.fabrikam.com) and click Sign In.
  2. On the Sign In page:
    1. In the dropdown list, click Forms Authentication.
    2. When prompted to enter the User name and Password, type the credentials specified in the previous step and then click Sign In.
  3. Verify the home page is displayed and the Sign In link has been replaced with the "Welcome" menu.

To login to the Fabrikam Web site using Windows authentication:

  1. Add the Fabrikam Web site to the Local intranet zone (in order to seamlessly authenticate with the current domain credentials).
    Note
    This is discussed in more detail in the following blog post:
  2. Browse to the home page page the Fabrikam Web site (http://www.fabrikam.com) and click Sign In.
  3. On the Sign In page, in the dropdown list, click Windows Authentication.
  4. Verify the home page is displayed and the Sign In link has been replaced with the "Welcome" menu.

What's next?

In my next post, I explain how to create a custom Web Part that can be used to provide a "branded" login page (instead of the generic "Sign In" page provided out-of-the-box in SharePoint Server 2010).