What's the use of the Name parameter in RouteAttribute?

Looking at this:

Looking at this:

[Route("", Name = "GetChanges")]

What's the use of the Name parameter? The only useful usage of this is I am able to refer to the action when calling CreatedAtRoute such that:

return CreatedAtRoute("GetChanges", new { id = model.ChangeId }, model);

So why and what's the use case for the "Name" in RouteAttribute?

Create Login and Registration in Your ASP.NET Core MVC App

Create Login and Registration in Your ASP.NET Core MVC App

This tutorial walks you through setting up login and registration with ASP.NET Core MVC. In this tutorial, you learned how to add authentication to your ASP.NET Core MVC app and allow users to register for a new account.

This tutorial walks you through setting up login and registration with ASP.NET Core MVC. In this tutorial, you learned how to add authentication to your ASP.NET Core MVC app and allow users to register for a new account.

User authentication and authorization are common features in web applications, but building these mechanics has the potential to take a lot of time. Doing so requires setting up persistent storage for user information (in some type of database) and paying keen attention to potential security issues around sensitive operations like hashing passwords, password reset workflows, etc. - weeks of development time begin to add up before we ever get to the functionality that delivers value to your users.

In this post, we’ll walk through how Okta simplifies this process for us and set up a simple integration for an ASP.NET Core MVC app using the Okta NuGet package. We’ll build functionality for users to register for new accounts and login with their Okta credentials.

Scaffold Your ASP.NET Project

To follow along with this tutorial start by creating a new app in the console:

mkdir MyOktaProject
cd MyOktaProject
dotnet new mvc


Configure User Registration

If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to create an Okta developer account. Doing so will give you a URL for your organization called an “Okta domain”. It will also allow you to create your login credentials for accessing the Okta dashboard.

Upon submission of this form, you will receive an email Okta with instructions to obtain your credentials and complete your registration.

Execute the following steps to configure Okta so that users can register themselves for an account.

  1. From the Administrative Dashboard, hover over Users and click Registration
  2. Click Enable Registration
  3. Save the changes

Configure Basic User Authentication

Once you have access to your account you can proceed to the Dashboard using a link like the one below:

<span

class="okta-preview-domain">https://{yourOktaDomain}/admin/dashboard

On the Dashboard, click Applications in the main menu and on the Application screen, click Add Application.

Select Web then click Next.

On the Create New Application screen, set the following values:

Click Done, then click Edit next to General Settings on your newly created Okta app. Edit the following values:

Logout redirect URIs: https://localhost:5001/signout-callback-oidc

Initiate login URI: https://localhost:5001/authorization-code/callback

Add .NET Authentication Dependencies

Once your account is set up you need to add the Okta.Sdk library to your project. This post will take the approach of using the NuGet package, but the Github repository for Okta.AspNetCore can be found here.

To proceed simply search for the latest version of the Okta.Sdk NuGet package in your IDE of choice (version 1.2.0 at the time of this publication) and install it. If you’re using Visual Studio you can do this by right-clicking on the project in the solution explorer and selecting Manage NuGet Packages. For those of you not using Visual Studio, add the package via console window using the following command:

dotnet add package Okta.Sdk --version 1.2.0


Configure Your ASP.NET App for Login

Authentication works by redirecting users to the Okta website, where they will log in with their credentials, and then be returned to your site via the URL you configured above.

Add the following code to your appsettings.json file:

  "Okta": {
    "Issuer": "https://{yourOktaDomain}/oauth2/default",
    "ClientId": "{yourClientId}",
    "ClientSecret": "{yourClientSecret}"
  }


You can find each of the actual values needed to replace the settings in the config above in the following places:

ClientId refers to the client ID of the Okta application ClientSecret refers to the client secret of the Okta application Issuer will need the text {yourOktaDomain} replaced with your Okta domain, found at the top-right of the Dashboard page

Add some using statements to your Startup.cs file:

using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Authentication.Cookies;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Authentication.OpenIdConnect;
using Microsoft.IdentityModel.Tokens;


Add the following code to the top of the ConfigureServices method in your Startup.cs file:

services.AddAuthentication(sharedOptions =>
{
    sharedOptions.DefaultAuthenticateScheme = CookieAuthenticationDefaults.AuthenticationScheme;
    sharedOptions.DefaultSignInScheme = CookieAuthenticationDefaults.AuthenticationScheme;
    sharedOptions.DefaultChallengeScheme = OpenIdConnectDefaults.AuthenticationScheme;
})
    .AddCookie()
    .AddOpenIdConnect(options =>
    {
        options.ClientId = Configuration["okta:ClientId"];
        options.ClientSecret = Configuration["okta:ClientSecret"];
        options.Authority = Configuration["okta:Issuer"];
        options.CallbackPath = "/authorization-code/callback";
        options.ResponseType = "code";
        options.SaveTokens = true;
        options.UseTokenLifetime = false;
        options.GetClaimsFromUserInfoEndpoint = true;
        options.Scope.Add("openid");
        options.Scope.Add("profile");
        options.TokenValidationParameters = new TokenValidationParameters
        {
            NameClaimType = "name"
        };
    });


In the Configure() method of your Startup.cs file add this line just before the app.UseMvc() method:

app.UseAuthentication();


Add the following MeViewModel to the Models directory:

using System.Collections.Generic;

namespace OktaAspNetCoreMvc.Models
{
    public class MeViewModel
    {
        public string Username { get; set; }

        public bool SdkAvailable { get; set; }

        public dynamic UserInfo { get; set; }

        public IEnumerable<string> Groups { get; set; }
    }
}


Add Login to Your ASP.NET App

Now that all the configuration and plumbing is done, you’re ready to add the code that will actually log users into your application.

Add the following AccountController to the Controller directory.

The controller exposes the Login() action. If the user has already been authenticated, the Login() action will redirect them to the home page. Otherwise, it will redirect them to the Okta login screen.

using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Authentication.OpenIdConnect;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc;
using Okta.Sdk;

namespace OktaAspNetCoreMvc.Controllers
{
    public class AccountController : Controller
    {
        private readonly IOktaClient _oktaClient;

        public AccountController(IOktaClient oktaClient = null)
        {
            _oktaClient = oktaClient;
        }

        public IActionResult Login()
        {
            if (!HttpContext.User.Identity.IsAuthenticated)
            {
                return Challenge(OpenIdConnectDefaults.AuthenticationScheme);
            }

            return RedirectToAction("Index", "Home");
        }
    }
}


Add the following code to your _Layout.cshtml file, just below the main menu to add the login button, or a welcome message, based on the current user’s status.:

   @if (User.Identity.IsAuthenticated)
    {
        <ul class="nav navbar-nav navbar-right">
            <li><p class="navbar-text">Hello, @User.Identity.Name</p></li>
        </ul>
    }
    else
    {
        <ul class="nav navbar-nav navbar-right">
            <li><a asp-controller="Account" asp-action="Login">Log in</a></li>
        </ul>
    }


For information on user authorization using Okta groups check out Lee Brandt’s article on user authorization in ASP.NET Core with Okta.

Register Users

If you following the instructions above to enable self-service registration the “Don’t have an account? Sign Up” message will appear at the bottom of the login form. In the next step, you’ll run the application.

Log In Using ASP.NET

That’s it! To run your solution open up a terminal and enter the following command:

dotnet run


Then navigate to http://localhost:5001 in your browser and enjoy!

The source code for this tutorial is available on GitHub.

Now you have a website with a working login and user registration form. Your website also allows users to recover lost passwords. By repeating these steps you can create a network of tools that your users can access all with the same login.

Learn More

The Complete ASP.NET MVC 5 Course

Build a Real-world App with ASP.NET Core and Angular 2 (4+)

ASP NET Core (ASP.NET 5),MVC 6,C#,Angular2 & EF Crash Course

Rest Api’s in Asp.Net and C#

Hands on ASP .Net Core 2

DevOps For ASP.NET Developers

DevOps is the union of people, process, and products to enable continuous delivery of value to our end users. Azure DevOps is everything you need to turn an idea into a working piece of software.


Abel and Jeremy introduce us the benefits of DevOps. They give us a high level overview of how to implement some DevOps best practices using Azure DevOps.

Abel and Jeremy explain the difference between these two options and show how we can get started with Azure Repos. They will walk us through creating branches, adding policies, and also integrating with GitHub.

Thanks for reading ❤

If you liked this post, share it with all of your programming buddies!

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Learn More

The Complete ASP.NET MVC 5 Course

Build a Real-world App with ASP.NET Core and Angular 2 (4+)

Build an app with ASPNET Core and Angular from scratch

Introduction to ASP.NET Core 2.2

Build a REST API with ASP.NET Core 2.2

Build amazing web apps with ASP.NET Core 3.0

Angular and .NET Core

Building Web App using ASP.NET Web API Angular 7 and SQL Server

Using Parcel.js in an ASP.NET Core Application

Using Parcel.js in an ASP.NET Core Application

In this post, we’re going to take an ASP.NET website template that uses Bootstrap 4 and set it up to use Parcel-generated bundles instead.

In this post, we’re going to take an ASP.NET website template that uses Bootstrap 4 and set it up to use Parcel-generated bundles instead.

Parcel.js is a “Blazing fast, zero configuration web application bundler.” In this post, we’re going to take an ASP.NET Core website template that uses Bootstrap 4 and set it up to use Parcel-generated bundles instead.

ASP.NET Core supports bundling and minifying static assets at design-time using the community supported BuildBundlerMinifier package that can be configured in a bundleconfig.json file. However it’s not well suited for scenarios that would benefit from a deploy-time bundling strategy, i.e. assets are built during deployment and output files are not checked in.

This is where Parcel.js comes in. Parcel is a “Blazing fast, zero configuration web application bundler.” The zero-configuration bit is its major selling point because it allows you to get started with minimal effort.

In this post, we’re going to take an ASP.NET website template that uses Bootstrap 4 and set it up to use Parcel-generated bundles instead.

Create & Set Up a New ASP.NET Project

  1. Create a web project that uses Razor Pages. To do this on the command line, run:
  2. dotnet new webapp --name AspNetParcelExp cd AspNetParcelExp
  3. Delete the folders under wwwroot. (You may delete this later on, if you want it for reference — our goal is to generate these files using Parcel and use those instead.)
  4. Install npm Dependencies
  5. Add a package.json file to the project root like the following:
 	{
  "name": "aspnet-parcel-exp",
  "private": true,
  "version": "0.1.0"
}


  1. Create a web project that uses Razor Pages. To do this on the command line, run:
  2. dotnet new webapp --name AspNetParcelExp cd AspNetParcelExp
  3. Delete the folders under wwwroot. (You may delete this later on, if you want it for reference — our goal is to generate these files using Parcel and use those instead.)
  4. Install npm Dependencies
  5. Add a package.json file to the project root like the following:
javascriptnpm install --save-dev [email protected]

  1. Create a web project that uses Razor Pages. To do this on the command line, run:
  2. dotnet new webapp --name AspNetParcelExp cd AspNetParcelExp
  3. Delete the folders under wwwroot. (You may delete this later on, if you want it for reference — our goal is to generate these files using Parcel and use those instead.)
  4. Install npm Dependencies
  5. Add a package.json file to the project root like the following:
npm install [email protected]
npm install [email protected]
npm install [email protected]
npm install [email protected]
npm install [email protected]

If everything went right, your package.json should look something like this:

{
  "name": "aspnet-parcel-exp",
  "private": true,
  "version": "0.1.0",
  "devDependencies": {
    "parcel-bundler": "^1.11.0"
  },
  "dependencies": {
    "bootstrap": "^4.2.1",
    "jquery": "^3.3.1",
    "jquery-validation": "^1.19.0",
    "jquery-validation-unobtrusive": "^3.2.11",
    "popper.js": "^1.14.7"
  }
}


Set Up an Asset Bundle Using Parcel.js

  1. Create a web project that uses Razor Pages. To do this on the command line, run:
  2. dotnet new webapp --name AspNetParcelExp cd AspNetParcelExp
  3. Delete the folders under wwwroot. (You may delete this later on, if you want it for reference — our goal is to generate these files using Parcel and use those instead.)
  4. Install npm Dependencies
  5. Add a package.json file to the project root like the following:
 	/AspNetParcelExp/ # project root
  - .sassrc       # sass configuration
  - assets/       # front end assets root
    - scss/       # Place for all styles
      - site.scss
    - js/         # Place for all scripts
      - site.js
    - bundle.js   # Entry point for our output bundle


  1. Create a web project that uses Razor Pages. To do this on the command line, run:
  2. dotnet new webapp --name AspNetParcelExp cd AspNetParcelExp
  3. Delete the folders under wwwroot. (You may delete this later on, if you want it for reference — our goal is to generate these files using Parcel and use those instead.)
  4. Install npm Dependencies
  5. Add a package.json file to the project root like the following:
// Import styles  
import './scss/site.scss'  

// Setup jquery
import $ from 'jquery'
window.$ = window.jQuery = $

// Import other scripts
import 'bootstrap'  
import 'jquery-validation'  
import 'jquery-validation-unobtrusive'  

import './js/site'


We import everything we depend on. ‘bootstrap’ for example refers to the …/node_modules/bootstrap/ folder. If you want to import a specific file from a package only, you may do that too. The above code should be straightforward, except for maybe jQuery, which I’ll explain in a bit.

  1. Create a web project that uses Razor Pages. To do this on the command line, run:
  2. dotnet new webapp --name AspNetParcelExp cd AspNetParcelExp
  3. Delete the folders under wwwroot. (You may delete this later on, if you want it for reference — our goal is to generate these files using Parcel and use those instead.)
  4. Install npm Dependencies
  5. Add a package.json file to the project root like the following:
 	{
  "includePaths": [
    "./node_modules/"
  ]
}


This will allow referencing package folders without a full path to it. See parcel-bundler/parcel#39 for more information.

  1. Create a web project that uses Razor Pages. To do this on the command line, run:
  2. dotnet new webapp --name AspNetParcelExp cd AspNetParcelExp
  3. Delete the folders under wwwroot. (You may delete this later on, if you want it for reference — our goal is to generate these files using Parcel and use those instead.)
  4. Install npm Dependencies
  5. Add a package.json file to the project root like the following:
 	@import "~bootstrap/scss/bootstrap";


You may also just include the bootstrap SCSS files that you actually need to keep the output size down. Since we’re trying to replicate the template, we could also paste the code in the original template’s site.css here after the line.

  1. Create a web project that uses Razor Pages. To do this on the command line, run:
  2. dotnet new webapp --name AspNetParcelExp cd AspNetParcelExp
  3. Delete the folders under wwwroot. (You may delete this later on, if you want it for reference — our goal is to generate these files using Parcel and use those instead.)
  4. Install npm Dependencies
  5. Add a package.json file to the project root like the following:
 	"scripts": {
  "build": "parcel build assets/bundle.js --out-dir wwwroot/dist/",
  "watch": "parcel watch assets/bundle.js --out-dir wwwroot/dist/"
},

This adds scripts that can be invoked as npm run build to build, for example. It passes the bundle.js entry point to Parcel, and instructs it to generate output files in the wwwroot/dist/ using the --out-dir option.

  1. Create a web project that uses Razor Pages. To do this on the command line, run:
  2. dotnet new webapp --name AspNetParcelExp cd AspNetParcelExp
  3. Delete the folders under wwwroot. (You may delete this later on, if you want it for reference — our goal is to generate these files using Parcel and use those instead.)
  4. Install npm Dependencies
  5. Add a package.json file to the project root like the following:
npm run build

You should now see a bundle.css, bundle.js and a bundle.map file in the wwwroot/dist directory (the directory we specified for the build script above). It’s a good idea to ignore the wwwroot/dist from version control.

  1. Create a web project that uses Razor Pages. To do this on the command line, run:
  2. dotnet new webapp --name AspNetParcelExp cd AspNetParcelExp
  3. Delete the folders under wwwroot. (You may delete this later on, if you want it for reference — our goal is to generate these files using Parcel and use those instead.)
  4. Install npm Dependencies
  5. Add a package.json file to the project root like the following:
 	<script src="~/dist/bundle.js" 
        asp-append-version="true"></script>
 	And replace the stylesheet <link> tags with:
 	<link rel="stylesheet" 
      href="~/dist/bundle.css" 
      asp-append-version="true" />


That’s it. If you did everything right, running the program should display the same output as with the old files.

If it feels like a lot of work, it’s probably because you aren’t familiar with the npm, SCSS, etc., so take your time.

Watching Changes

Rather than running npm run build each time you make changes, you can use HMR (Hot Module Replacement), which will detect pages and reload for you, so that you don’t have to do it.

Open a new terminal instance and run npm run watch. Keep this running while performing any dev changes — it’ll speed you up.

Add a Pre-Publish Task

Add the following to the AspNetParcelExp.csproj file right before the closing

</Project> tag:
<Target Name="ParcelBeforePublish" 
        BeforeTargets="PrepareForPublish">
  <Exec Command="npm run build" />
</Target>


Now, every time you create a publish package, it will run the npm build script. This is particularly important in Continuous Delivery scenarios, because the wwwroot/dist is (usually) not under version control, and the build environment needs to build the files before deploying. You may test this step using dotnet publish: you’ll see output from parcel-bundler.

If you want the task to be run every time is the project is built, change PrepareForPublish to BeforeBuild.

A Note on CommonJS Modules

The parcel-bundler generates a CommonJS module, which means it doesn’t pollute the global window object. Now this can be a problem sometimes, because some libraries — particularly the old ones — have always been polluting window.

Take jQuery for instance. Libraries that require jQuery perform a test on the window object to check if it’s got a jQuery or a $ property. Since CommonJS libraries don’t pollute window, these checks will fail. So we’ll need to manually pollute the window object ourselves. We did that for jquery in bundle.js using:

import $ from 'jquery'
window.$ = window.jQuery = $

This is one thing you need to remember when using Parcel.js or other similar bundlers.

A few pointers and ideas

  • You do not have to use SCSS. LESS or even plain CSS is completely fine.
  • Parcel.js doesn’t have a config file of its own, unlike Grunt or webpack. You may, however, have config files for each tool, and parcel-bundler will honor them. E.g. tsconfig.json for typescript, .sassrc for SCSS, etc.
  • Parce.js has built-in support for PostCSS. For example, to automatically add CSS prefixes to the generated output using the autoprefixer-postcss plugin, add the following to .postcssrc at the project root:
 	{ 
  "plugins": { 
    "autoprefixer": true 
  } 
}


  • You do not have to use SCSS. LESS or even plain CSS is completely fine.
  • Parcel.js doesn’t have a config file of its own, unlike Grunt or webpack. You may, however, have config files for each tool, and parcel-bundler will honor them. E.g. tsconfig.json for typescript, .sassrc for SCSS, etc.
  • Parce.js has built-in support for PostCSS. For example, to automatically add CSS prefixes to the generated output using the autoprefixer-postcss plugin, add the following to .postcssrc at the project root: