Authenticating to Azure AD non-interactively using a username & password

Last updated: 20/06/2017
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This sample demonstrates a .Net console application calling a web API that is secured using Azure AD. The .Net application uses the Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL) to obtain a JWT access token through the OAuth 2.0 protocol. The access token is sent to the web API to authenticate the user. This sample shows you how to use ADAL to authenticate users via raw credentials (username and password, or Windows integrated authentication) via a text-only interface.

For more information about how the protocols work in this scenario and other scenarios, see Authentication Scenarios for Azure AD.

Looking for previous versions of this code sample? Check out the tags on the releases GitHub page.

How To Run This Sample

To run this sample you will need: - Visual Studio 2013 - An Internet connection - An Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) tenant. For more information on how to get an Azure AD tenant, please see How to get an Azure AD tenant - A user account in your Azure AD tenant. This sample will not work with a Microsoft account, so if you signed in to the Azure portal with a Microsoft account and have never created a user account in your directory before, you need to do that now.

Step 1: Clone or download this repository

From your shell or command line:

git clone https://github.com/Azure-Samples/active-directory-dotnet-native-headless.git

Step 2: Register the sample with your Azure Active Directory tenant

There are two projects in this sample. Each needs to be separately registered in your Azure AD tenant.

Register the TodoListService web API

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. On the top bar, click on your account and under the Directory list, choose the Active Directory tenant where you wish to register your application.
  3. Click on More Services in the left hand nav, and choose Azure Active Directory.
  4. Click on App registrations and choose Add.
  5. Enter a friendly name for the application, for example 'TodoListService' and select 'Web Application and/or Web API' as the Application Type. For the sign-on URL, enter the base URL for the sample, which is by default https://localhost:44321. Click on Create to create the application.
  6. While still in the Azure portal, choose your application, click on Settings and choose Properties.
  7. Find the Application ID value and copy it to the clipboard.
  8. For the App ID URI, enter https://<your_tenant_name>/TodoListService, replacing <your_tenant_name> with the name of your Azure AD tenant.

Register the TodoListClient app

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. On the top bar, click on your account and under the Directory list, choose the Active Directory tenant where you wish to register your application.
  3. Click on More Services in the left hand nav, and choose Azure Active Directory.
  4. Click on App registrations and choose Add.
  5. Enter a friendly name for the application, for example 'TodoListClient-Headless-DotNet' and select 'Native' as the Application Type. For the redirect URI, enter https://TodoListClient. Please note that the Redirect URI will not be used in this sample, but it needs to be defined nonetheless. Click on Create to create the application.
  6. While still in the Azure portal, choose your application, click on Settings and choose Properties.
  7. Find the Application ID value and copy it to the clipboard.
  8. Configure Permissions for your application - in the Settings menu, choose the 'Required permissions' section, click on Add, then Select an API, and type 'TodoListService' in the textbox. Then, click on Select Permissions and select 'Access TodoListService'.

Step 3: Configure the sample to use your Azure AD tenant

Configure the TodoListService project

  1. Open the solution in Visual Studio 2013.
  2. Open the web.config file.
  3. Find the app key ida:Tenant and replace the value with your AAD tenant name.
  4. Find the app key ida:Audience and replace the value with the App ID URI you registered earlier, for example https://<your_tenant_name>/TodoListService.

Configure the TodoListClient project

  1. Open app.config.
  2. Find the app key ida:Tenant and replace the value with your AAD tenant name.
  3. Find the app key ida:ClientId and replace the value with the Client ID for the TodoListClient from the Azure portal.
  4. Find the app key todo:TodoListResourceId and replace the value with the App ID URI of the TodoListService, for example https://<your_tenant_name>/TodoListService
  5. Find the app key todo:TodoListBaseAddress and replace the value with the base address of the TodoListService project.

Step 4: Trust the IIS Express SSL certificate

Since the web API is SSL protected, the client of the API (the web app) will refuse the SSL connection to the web API unless it trusts the API's SSL certificate. Use the following steps in Windows Powershell to trust the IIS Express SSL certificate. You only need to do this once. If you fail to do this step, calls to the TodoListService will always throw an unhandled exception where the inner exception message is:

"The underlying connection was closed: Could not establish trust relationship for the SSL/TLS secure channel."

To configure your computer to trust the IIS Express SSL certificate, begin by opening a Windows Powershell command window as Administrator.

Query your personal certificate store to find the thumbprint of the certificate for CN=localhost:

PS C:\windows\system32> dir Cert:\LocalMachine\My


    Directory: Microsoft.PowerShell.Security\Certificate::LocalMachine\My


Thumbprint                                Subject
----------                                -------
C24798908DA71693C1053F42A462327543B38042  CN=localhost

Next, add the certificate to the Trusted Root store:

PS C:\windows\system32> $cert = (get-item cert:\LocalMachine\My\C24798908DA71693C1053F42A462327543B38042)
PS C:\windows\system32> $store = (get-item cert:\Localmachine\Root)
PS C:\windows\system32> $store.Open("ReadWrite")
PS C:\windows\system32> $store.Add($cert)
PS C:\windows\system32> $store.Close()

You can verify the certificate is in the Trusted Root store by running this command:

PS C:\windows\system32> dir Cert:\LocalMachine\Root

Step 5: Run the sample

Clean the solution, rebuild the solution, and run it. You might want to go into the solution properties and set both projects as startup projects, with the service project starting first.

Type the command add. You will be prompted for your username and password. Enter them, then enter the description a new todo. That done, type the command list. You will see that the command executes without prompting you again. You can clear the token cache by typing clear, and leave the client by typing exit. Notice that if you stop the application without clearing the cache, the next time you run the application you won't be prompted to sign-in again - that is the sample implements a persistent cache for ADAL, and remembers the tokens from the previous run.

How To Deploy This Sample to Azure

To deploy the TodoListService to Azure Web Sites, you will create a web site, publish the TodoListService to the web site, and update the TodoListClient to call the web site instead of IIS Express.

Create and Publish the TodoListService to an Azure Web Site

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. Click New in the top left hand corner, select Web + Mobile --> Web App, select the hosting plan and region, and give your web site a name, e.g. todolistservice-contoso.azurewebsites.net. Click Create Web Site.
  3. Once the web site is created, click on it to manage it. For this set of steps, download the publish profile and save it. Other deployment mechanisms, such as from source control, can also be used.
  4. Switch to Visual Studio and go to the TodoListService project. Right click on the project in the Solution Explorer and select Publish. Click Import, and import the publish profile that you just downloaded.
  5. On the Connection tab, update the Destination URL so that it is https, for example https://todolistservice-skwantoso.azurewebsites.net. Click Next.
  6. On the Settings tab, make sure Enable Organizational Authentication is NOT selected. Click Publish.
  7. Visual Studio will publish the project and automatically open a browser to the URL of the project. If you see the default web page of the project, the publication was successful.

Update the TodoListClient to call the TodoListService Running in Azure Web Sites

  1. In Visual Studio, go to the TodoListClient project.
  2. Open app.config. Only one change is needed - update the todo:TodoListBaseAddress key value to be the address of the website you published, e.g. https://todolistservice-skwantoso.azurewebsites.net.
  3. Run the client! If you are trying multiple different client types (e.g. .Net, Windows Store, Android, iOS) you can have them all call this one published web API.

NOTE: Remember, the To Do list is stored in memory in this TodoListService sample. Azure Web Sites will spin down your web site if it is inactive, and your To Do list will get emptied. Also, if you increase the instance count of the web site, requests will be distributed among the instances and the To Do will not be the same on each instance.

About The Code

Coming soon.

How To Recreate This Sample

coming soon.