Edward Jackson

Edward Jackson


Build Secure Microservices with AWS Lambda and ASP.NET Core

Microservices are fun to build and offer us a scalable path to overcoming problems with tightly coupled dependencies that plague monolithic applications.

This post will walk you through building an AWS Lambda microservice written in C# with .NET Core 2.1, and communicating in JSON. We’re bringing together multiple exciting technologies here - microservices, serverless API via AWS Lambda, and authentication using Okta’s easy and convenient identity provider. Each of these technologies is deserving of their own deep-dive article, so there is a lot to cover on these subjects. This post is meant to provide a starting point implementing all three. It will be simple so that anyone can follow along. It will also be kept to a clean, basic implementation that you can expand easily if needed.

Let’s jump right in and build our first microservice - an authentication service.

There are a few things you will need to follow this tutorial.

Visual Studio 2017 If you don’t have it, you can download Visual Studio Community for free. An AWS Account. If you don’t already have one, you can create one here.

Create Your ASP.NET Core Microservice

Create a new AWS Serverless Application (.NET Core) project as shown below. If you do not have this option you need to install the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio.

You’ll also want to install the Newtonsoft.Json package as shown in the image below.

A microservice architecture is particularly empowering when it comes to scalability. Each component is isolated in its own executable or web service. This means components can run on dedicated hardware, and specific pieces of functionality can be scaled up and down with more granular precision than in an ESB (Enterprise Service Bus). This makes AWS Lambda a complementary medium to host your new microservice. Lambda is a serverless hosting solution that’s highly scalable.

Configure Authentication for Your ASP.NET Microservice

For this example, you’ll need an Okta developer account. If you don’t already have one you can sign up for a free developer account.

You’ll also need an Okta ApiToken. For security reasons, ApiTokens are only displayed once, so make sure you keep it safe once it’s generated. Login to your Okta Developer account, and click API in the main menu, then go to Tokens. On the Tokens screen click Create Token in the top left-hand corner of the page. Give your token a name then click Create Token.

At this point, Okta will generate your ApiToken and display it on the screen. This value will eventually be placed in appSettings.json, but for now, copy it somewhere to keep for later.

Determine the Scope of Your ASP.NET Core Microservice

The utility microservices provide is the loose coupling of dependencies. Everything inside your service is tightly coupled. Everything outside is loosely coupled. Keep this in mind while trying to determine how big your microservice should be. You don’t want your service to grow to the point where your writing class libraries that are tightly-coupled dependencies of more than one “micro-service”.

Following this rule, a microservice could offer a very deep pool of functionality, that can always be made deeper but should very rarely (if ever) be made wider.

Create the Objects for Your ASP.NET Core Microservice

In your project’s root folder, create a folder called Model. Inside that file, you’ll need to create the following model objects. It’s easiest to create all these first so that the objects for transferring data will already be in place when we start writing our logic.


The OktaSettings object will be used to store your Okta domain and the API token that enables programmatic access to your Okta account. Notice that these members - Domain and ApiToken - match the attributes in our appSettings.json file under the Okta heading. When the program is initiated, the config file will be read and the values will be stored in memory, where they will then be accessible via IOptions<OktaSettings>.

namespace AuthenticationService.Model
    public class OktaSettings
        public string Domain { get; set; }
        public string ApiToken { get; set; }


This class is used to send data to the Okta Authentication API at <span


class="okta-preview-domain">[https://{yourOktaDomain}</span></span>/api/v1/authn](https://{yourOktaDomain}/api/v1/authn "https://{yourOktaDomain}</span></span>/api/v1/authn"). An instance of this class will be passed to Okta with the username and password supplied to our authentication service. This is the call that tells us whether the login was successful.

For more information on Okta’s authentication API, including postman examples of HTTP requests, click here.

namespace AuthenticationService.Model
    public class OktaAuthenticationRequest
        public string username { get; set; }
        public string password { get; set; }


Our AuthenticationController will expose a single action - Authenticate. That method accepts a single input - Credentials. Credentials is used to pass the username and password in need of authentication to our microservice.

namespace AuthenticationService.Model
    public class Credentials
        public string PublicKey { get; set; }
        public string PrivateKey { get; set; }

Keeping your microservice small, with only a single controller and a single action, has beneficial consequences downstream on systems dependent upon your new microservice. On a microservice driven platform, disasters are isolated. If one service goes down, the rest of the services and the unrelated features of the application will still be operational. The impacted portion of the app can display a friendly message informing the user of the outage while your team sets to work fixing the production issue. If the service logic and app logic were tightly coupled, the entire app would be brought down with the service.


Just like Credentials is used to pass data to the Authenticate action, AuthenticationResponse is used to return data from the Authenticate action. It will tell the client calling your microservice if the call was successful or it will return an error message.

In the event of success, you will also define the User and Session members.

using System;

namespace AuthenticationService.Model
    public class AuthenticationResponse
        public bool WasSuccessful { get; set; }
        public string Message { get; set; }

        public AuthenticatedSession Session { get; set; }
        public AuthenticatedUser User { get; set; }


The AuthenticatedSession class is made to encapsulate details about the user’s session if they are successfully authenticated. This will be used to return that data to the client calling your microservice.

using System;

namespace AuthenticationService.Model
    public class AuthenticatedSession
        public string Token { get; set; }
        public string ExpiresAt { get; set; }


Much like AuthenticatedSession, AuthenticatedUser is made to encapsulate details about the user, if they are successfully authenticated. This will be used to return that data to the client calling our microservice.

using System;

namespace AuthenticationService.Model
    public class AuthenticatedUser
        public string Id { get; set; }
        public DateTime PasswordChanged { get; set; }
        public string Login { get; set; }
        public string FirstName { get; set; }
        public string LastName { get; set; }
        public string Locale { get; set; }
        public string TimeZone { get; set; }

Load the Configuration for the ASP.NET Core Microservice

At startup, we’ll want to process the config file so that we can get access to the configured Okta Domain, and ApiToken. To do this add the following lines to the bottom of the ConfigureServices method of your Startup.cs file. This tells dot net core where the config details are, and gives it our OktaSettings class, to be used for accessing the configuration settings.

// Okta configuration

Add the Authentication Steps to Your ASP.NET Core Microservice

The next step is to implement authentication by calling Okta’s Authentication API. Add a file called AuthenticationController.cs to your Controllers folder. Then paste the following code:

using System;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using System.Net.Http;
using Newtonsoft.Json;
using System.Net.Http.Headers;
using System.Text;

using Microsoft.Extensions.Options;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc;

using AuthenticationService.Model;

namespace AuthenticationService.Controllers
    public class AuthenticationController : Controller
        private IOptions<OktaSettings> settings;
        public AuthenticationController(IOptions<OktaSettings> settings)
            this.settings = settings;

        public async Task<AuthenticationResponse> Authenticate(Credentials input)
            var ret = new AuthenticationResponse();

            AuthenticatedSession session = null;
            AuthenticatedUser user = null;

            //generate URL for service call using your configured Okta Domain
            string url = string.Format("{0}/api/v1/authn", this.settings.Value.Domain);

            //build the package we're going to send to Okta
            var data = new OktaAuthenticationRequest() { username = input.PublicKey, password = input.PrivateKey };

            //serialize input as json
            var json = new StringContent(JsonConvert.SerializeObject(data), Encoding.UTF8, "application/json");

            //create HttpClient to communicate with Okta's web service
            using (HttpClient client = new HttpClient())
                //Set the API key
                client.DefaultRequestHeaders.Authorization = new AuthenticationHeaderValue("SSWS", this.settings.Value.ApiToken);

                //Post the json data to Okta's web service
                using (HttpResponseMessage res = await client.PostAsync(url, json))

                //Get the response from the server
                using (HttpContent content = res.Content)
                    //get json string from the response
                    var responseJson = await content.ReadAsStringAsync();

                    //deserialize json into complex object
                    dynamic responseObj = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject(responseJson);

                    //determine if the returned status is success
                    if (responseObj.status == "SUCCESS")
                        //get session data
                        session = new AuthenticatedSession()
                            Token = responseObj.sessionToken,
                            ExpiresAt = responseObj.expiresAt

                        //get user data
                        user = new AuthenticatedUser()
                            Id = responseObj._embedded.user.id,
                            Login = responseObj._embedded.user.login,
                            Locale = responseObj._embedded.user.locale,
                            TimeZone = responseObj._embedded.user.timeZone,
                            FirstName = responseObj._embedded.user.firstName,
                            LastName = responseObj._embedded.user.lastName

            //return results of the operation packaged in a AuthenticationResponse object
            var wasSuccess = session != null && user != null;
            return new AuthenticationResponse()
                WasSuccessful = wasSuccess,
                Message = wasSuccess ? "Success" : "Invalid username and password",

                Session = session,
                User = user

You may notice that the constructor of the class accepts an instance of IOptions<OktaSettings>. OktaSettings is the same class you defined above in your Model folder to store your Okta configuration settings.

The configuration code you added to Startup.cs enables IOptions<OktaSettings> to be recognized by .Net Core and the framework will automatically supply the input when the class is initialized. This gives you access to the Okta configuration settings in appSettings.json.

The Authenticate action has been well commented to help you understand what each line is doing. Here are the high-level steps that the action goes through:

Creates an instance of OktaAuthenticationRequest to pass the supplied username and password to Okta’s authentication service JSON encodes the data Creates an instance of HttpClient to communicate with Okta, and sets the authentication header value using the ApiToken Posts the JSON encoded data to Okta and awaits a response Deserialized JSON response stream, and evaluates if "SUCCESS" was the returned status If the login was unsuccessful it returns false for WasSuccess and "Invalid username and password" for Message. If it was a success it returns true for WasSuccess, and returns the session and user data provided by Okta

Add Configuration Management to Your Microservice

All your configuration for the service can be found in the appSettings.json file. Following best practice, you’ll want to configure each environment to point at a different instance of Okta. This isolates each environment so tests in one environment don’t interfere with tests in another. It helps you become familiar with your Okta settings so that you can be deliberate when configuring Okta and your software. It presents an opportunity to rehearse deployment and configuration. All of these things are useful steps you don’t want to skip when working your solution to production.

You’ll have to populate the below settings from your Okta account.

  "Okta": {
    "Domain": "https://{yourOktaDomain}",
    "ApiToken": "{yourApiToken}"

Deploy Your Lambda Microservice

Deploying your new microservice as a Lambda function is easy. The AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio will create the cloud components for you. To deploy your microservice, in the Solution Explorer, right click on your web service project, and select Publish to AWS Lambda.

Click on the little person icon next to Account Profile to Use. In the resulting pop-up window, you can use “default” as the profile name. You’ll need to enter Access Key information. To create an Access Key in AWS, click on your account name in the top right of your AWS dashboard and choose My Security Credentials. Expand the Access Keys section and click Create New Access Key. In the pop-up window, there will be a link to show the Access Key ID and Secret Access Key. You can enter them in the deployment window in Visual Studio, or download the keyfile and click Import from csv file… to import it.

Then, you’ll need to get Provide a Stack Name. This can be whatever you want to name it and will be used by the wizard when creating your AWS resource to prefix automatically generated component names. You can also provide the S3 Bucket you’d like the code deployed to. You can click the New… button to create an S3 Bucket to use. Click Publish to start the deployment.

If your cloud resources have not already been created, publish will create them for you. During publish, the modal window will disappear and a deployment tab will appear in your IDE. Once the status shown in the tab displays UPDATE_COMPLETE, your deployment has finished.

Copy the AWS Serverless URL and use it to test your microservice. Your URL may look something like mine shown below: [https://25ayfn7ecl.execute-api.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/Prod](https://25ayfn7ecl.execute-api.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/Prod "https://25ayfn7ecl.execute-api.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/Prod")

This means the URL to our authenticate action looks like: [https://25ayfn7ecl.execute-api.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/Prod/api/authentication/authenticate](https://25ayfn7ecl.execute-api.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/Prod/api/authentication/authenticate "https://25ayfn7ecl.execute-api.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/Prod/api/authentication/authenticate")

Open Postman and POST to the above URL, while sending the following form data:

  • PublicKey = {YOURUSERNAME}
  • PrivateKey = {YOURPASSWORD}

If you get a response back like the following, you’re good to go!

    "wasSuccessful": true,
    "message": "Success",
    "session": {
        "token": "2011129scHesxiG6Psr1ZCtdADBEJ1iBMr_KtTnaeSV4ZJvpP03BOP_",
        "expiresAt": "03/19/2019 18:32:20"
    "user": {
        "id": "00uitftb3egstVhnQ0h7",
        "passwordChanged": "0001-01-01T00:00:00",
        "login": null,
        "firstName": null,
        "lastName": null,
        "locale": null,
        "timeZone": null

ASP.NET Core Microservice Next Steps and Considerations for Production

If you’re going to take this to production you’re definitely going to want to have an SSL certificate. Select a certificate authority like AWS or GoDaddy, and check out their SSL offerings. Purchase your SSL and install it on your web server or AWS account.

Authentication is about verifying the identity of the client. Authorization, on the other hand, is what you sometimes do after you know who you’re dealing with and you want to know what they have permission to access. If your authorization logic is simple, it may be appropriate to add another controller and action to this existing microservice. If your logic is more complex, then it should be put into a new microservice. That new microservice could then be passed the session token (returned from the authentication microservice we built today), and the identity of a digital resource, and it will return the level of access to that resource.

#asp.net #aws #microservices

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Build Secure Microservices with AWS Lambda and ASP.NET Core
Einar  Hintz

Einar Hintz


jQuery Ajax CRUD in ASP.NET Core MVC with Modal Popup

In this article, we’ll discuss how to use jQuery Ajax for ASP.NET Core MVC CRUD Operations using Bootstrap Modal. With jQuery Ajax, we can make HTTP request to controller action methods without reloading the entire page, like a single page application.

To demonstrate CRUD operations – insert, update, delete and retrieve, the project will be dealing with details of a normal bank transaction. GitHub repository for this demo project : https://bit.ly/33KTJAu.

Sub-topics discussed :

  • Form design for insert and update operation.
  • Display forms in modal popup dialog.
  • Form post using jQuery Ajax.
  • Implement MVC CRUD operations with jQuery Ajax.
  • Loading spinner in .NET Core MVC.
  • Prevent direct access to MVC action method.

Create ASP.NET Core MVC Project

In Visual Studio 2019, Go to File > New > Project (Ctrl + Shift + N).

From new project window, Select Asp.Net Core Web Application_._

Image showing how to create ASP.NET Core Web API project in Visual Studio.

Once you provide the project name and location. Select Web Application(Model-View-Controller) and uncheck HTTPS Configuration. Above steps will create a brand new ASP.NET Core MVC project.

Showing project template selection for .NET Core MVC.

Setup a Database

Let’s create a database for this application using Entity Framework Core. For that we’ve to install corresponding NuGet Packages. Right click on project from solution explorer, select Manage NuGet Packages_,_ From browse tab, install following 3 packages.

Showing list of NuGet Packages for Entity Framework Core

Now let’s define DB model class file – /Models/TransactionModel.cs.

public class TransactionModel
    public int TransactionId { get; set; }

    [Column(TypeName ="nvarchar(12)")]
    [DisplayName("Account Number")]
    [Required(ErrorMessage ="This Field is required.")]
    [MaxLength(12,ErrorMessage ="Maximum 12 characters only")]
    public string AccountNumber { get; set; }

    [Column(TypeName ="nvarchar(100)")]
    [DisplayName("Beneficiary Name")]
    [Required(ErrorMessage = "This Field is required.")]
    public string BeneficiaryName { get; set; }

    [Column(TypeName ="nvarchar(100)")]
    [DisplayName("Bank Name")]
    [Required(ErrorMessage = "This Field is required.")]
    public string BankName { get; set; }

    [Column(TypeName ="nvarchar(11)")]
    [DisplayName("SWIFT Code")]
    [Required(ErrorMessage = "This Field is required.")]
    public string SWIFTCode { get; set; }

    [Required(ErrorMessage = "This Field is required.")]
    public int Amount { get; set; }

    [DisplayFormat(DataFormatString = "{0:MM/dd/yyyy}")]
    public DateTime Date { get; set; }


Here we’ve defined model properties for the transaction with proper validation. Now let’s define  DbContextclass for EF Core.

#asp.net core article #asp.net core #add loading spinner in asp.net core #asp.net core crud without reloading #asp.net core jquery ajax form #asp.net core modal dialog #asp.net core mvc crud using jquery ajax #asp.net core mvc with jquery and ajax #asp.net core popup window #bootstrap modal popup in asp.net core mvc. bootstrap modal popup in asp.net core #delete and viewall in asp.net core #jquery ajax - insert #jquery ajax form post #modal popup dialog in asp.net core #no direct access action method #update #validation in modal popup

Einar  Hintz

Einar Hintz


MVC User Registration & Login with ASP.NET Core Identity

User registration and authentication are mandatory in any application when you have little concern about privacy. Hence all most all application development starts with an authentication module. In this article, we will discuss the quickest way to use **ASP.NET Core Identity for User Login and Registration **in a new or existing MVC application.

Sub-topics discussed :

  • How to add ASP.NET Core Identity to MVC application.
  • Customize ASP.NET Core Identity.
  • Identity.UI Design Customization.
  • Next step.


ASP.NET Core Identity is an API, which provides both user interface(UI) and functions for user authentication, registration, authorization, etc. Modules/ APIs like this will really be helpful and fasten the development process. It comes with ASP.NET Core Framework and used in many applications before. Which makes the API more dependable and trustworthy.

ASP.NET Core MVC with user authentication can easily be accomplished using Identity.UI. While creating the MVC project, you just need to select Authentication as Individual User Accounts.

Showing how to create an MVC application with ASP.NET Core Identity API

The rest will be handled by ASP.NET Core Identity UI. It already contains razor view pages and backend codes for an authentication system. But that’s not what we want in most of the cases. we want to customize ASP.NET Core Identity as per our requirement. That’s what we do here.

Create an ASP.NET Core MVC Project

First of all, I will create a brand new ASP.NET Core MVC application without any authentication selected. We could add ASP.NET Core Identity later into the project.

In Visual Studio 2019, Go to File > New > Project (Ctrl + Shift + N). From new project window, select ASP.NET Core Web Application.

Create an ASP.NET Core Web application

Once you provide the project name and location. A new window will be opened as follows, Select _Web Application(Model-View-Controller), _uncheck _HTTPS Configuration _and DO NOT select any authentication method. Above steps will create a brand new ASP.NET Core MVC project.

Select Model View Controller templet under .NET Core

#asp.net core article #asp.net core #add asp.net core identity to existing project #asp.net core identity in mvc #asp.net core mvc login and registration #login and logout in asp.net core

AllowAnonymous in asp.net core

#Asp.net core #Asp.net core mvc #Core #Asp.net core tutorials #Asp.net core with entity framework

Authorization in asp.net core

#Asp.net core #Asp.net core mvc #Core #Asp.net core tutorials #Asp.net core with entity framework

Einar  Hintz

Einar Hintz


Running WordPress on ASP.NET Core with Peachpie

In this article, you will learn how to use or integrate WordPress in ASP.NET and Running WordPress on ASP.NET Core, without PHP, or any source files on the server. The following demonstration will show you how to add WordPress as a frontend to an existing ASP.NET Core application step by step.

Running WordPress on NET Core

WordPress is a free, simplest, and most popular open-source content management system to create your own website or blog which is written in PHP and paired up with MySQL. WordPress on .Net Core is possible with peachpie, which is a compiler built on top of the Roslyn platform, it’s a set of runtime and base class libraries and everything that allows compiling a PHP project, a group of PHP files into a regular .net project.

Peachpie allows for seamless both-way interoperability between PHP and .NET applications. In simpler terms, this means that one can have some parts of an application written in PHP, while other modules are written in .NET and everything will work together as one application. Here is the original Repository of the WordPress SDK by PeachPie.

Here are the following steps to run WordPress with ASP.Net Core:-

Step1: Open your Visual Studio IDE and Create a new project – > ASP.NET Core Web Application

create new project | wordpress on asp.net core

Step 2: Select Web Application: A project template for creating an ASP.Net Core application with example ASP.Net Razor Pages Content.

#.net core #asp.net #wordpress asp.net core #wordpress on asp.net core #wordpress with asp.net core