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Invoking an API protected by Azure AD from a text-only device

Utolsó frissítés: 2016.01.21.
Szerkesztés a GitHubon

This sample demonstrates how to leverage ADAL .NET to authenticate user calls to a web API (in this case, the directory Graph) from apps that do not have the capability of offering an interactive authentication experience. The sample uses the OAuth2 device profile flow similar to the one described here. The app is build entirely on .NET Core, hence it can be ran as-is on Windows (including Nano Server), OSX and Linux machines. To emulate a device not capable of showing UX, the sample is packaged as a console application. The application signs users in with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), using the Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL) to obtain a JWT access token through the OAuth 2.0 protocol. The access token is sent to Azure AD's Graph API to obtain information about other users in their organization.

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

About The Sample

If you would like to get started immediately, skip this section and jump to How To Run The Sample.

This sample solution is a command line utility that can be used for looking up basic information for users in Azure AD tenants. The project targets .NET Core, hence it can run wherever DNX can run: it has been tested on Windows, OSX and Ubuntu Linux.

The application obtains tokens through a two steps process especially designed for devices and operating systems that cannot display any UX. The idea is that whenever a user authentication is required, the command line app asks the user to use another device (such as an internet-connected smartphone) to navigate to, where the user will be prompted to enter the code so obtained. That done, the web page will lead the user through a normal authentication experience, including consent prompts and multi factor authentication if necessary. Upon successful authentication, the command line app will receive the required tokens through a back channel and will use it to perform the web API calls it needs.

The code for handling the token acquisition process is extremely simple, as it boils down to one call for obtaining the code to display to the user (via AcquireDeviceCodeAsync) and one call to poll the service to retrieve the tokens when available (via AcquireTokenByDeviceCodeAsync). You can find both calls in the sample in the static method GetTokenViaCode, from the app root class Program in program.cs.

How To Run The Sample

To run this sample you will need: - An Internet connection - A Windows machine (necessary if you want to run the app on Windows) - An OS X machine (necessary if you want to run the app on OSX) - A Linux machine (necessary if you want to run the app on OSX) - Visual Studio 2015 (recommended) or DNX command line tools - 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: Setup DNX

The ASP.NET documentation pages provide step by step instructions for installing ASP.NET 5 and DNX (the .NET Execution Environment) for your platform of choice.


If you are targeting Windows, see this document. (this readme assumes you will follow the instructions for installing ASP.NET 5 with Visual Studio, but you can also go for the standalone option).

Mac OS X

If you are targeting Mac OS X, please follow the instructions here.


If you are targeting Linux, please follow the instructions here. This sample has been tested on Ubuntu

Step 2: Clone or download this repository

Once you have completed the DNX setup, from your shell or command line run:

git clone

or download and exact the repository .zip file.

Step 3: Run the sample

Starting up the sample requires slightly different steps on different platforms, but once it runs it presents the exact same surface across all OSes.

Starting up the sample on Windows

Open the solution in Visual Studio, restore the NuGet packages, select the project and start it in the debugger.

Starting up the sample on Mac OS X & Linux

Open a terminal and navigate to the project folder (DirSearcherClient). Restore the packages with the following command: dnu restore Launch the app by entering the following command: dnx run

Operating the sample

As soon as you start the sample, you will be presented with the following prompt.

Enter command (search | clear | printcache | exit | help) >

To see the device code authentication experience in action, enter a command for searching a user in one of your tenants. In my case, I want to search a user with alias mario in my tenant Hence, the command I'll enter will be:

search mario

The app will respond with the following prompt.

You need to sign in. Message: To sign in, use a web browser to open the page Enter the code B7D3SVXHV to authenticate. If you're signing in as an Azure AD application, use the --username and --password parameters.

Open a browser on any device (common choices are the computer on which you are running the sample, or even your smartphone) and navigate to Once there, type in the code provided by the app (in this sample, I am typing B7D3SVXHV) and hit enter. The web page will proceed to prompt you for authentication: please authenticate as a user (native or guest) in the tenant that you specified in the search command. Note that, thanks t the fact that you are using an external browser or a different, browser capable device, you can authenticate without restrictions: for example, if your tenant requires you to authenticate using MFA, you are able to do so. That would not have been possible if you would have had to drive the authentication operations exclusively in the console Once you successfully authenticate, go back to the console app. You'll see that the app has now access to the token it needs to query the Directory Graph API. In my case, a mario does exist in my tenant: hence I'll receive the following result.

Users found. displayName: Mario Rossi givenName: Mario surname: Rossi userPrincipalName: telephoneNumbe: Not Listed. Enter command (search | clear | printcache | exit | help) > >

As a next step, you can search for other users. If you search for users in the same tenant, you'll be able to perform the query without extra prompts. If you indicate a new tenant, you will be prompted again. Note that, if your authenticated user is provisioned in the new tenant and your sample app already received consent in that tenant, you'll be able to get tokens for the new tenant without extra prompts as well.

Optional: configure the sample as an app in your directory tenant

The instructions so far leveraged the Azure AD entry for the app in our test tenant: given that the app is multitenant, anybody can run the sample against that app entry. Below you'll find instructions to provision the sample in your own tenant, so that you can exercise complete control on the app settings and behavior.

Register the app in your tenant

  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 'DirSearcherClient' and select 'Native' as the Application Type. Enter a Redirect Uri value of your choosing and of the form http://MyDirSearcherApp. However note that for the flow in this sample, it will not be used. 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 select 'Microsoft Graph' (this is the Graph API). Then, click on Select Permissions and select 'Sign in and read user profile' and 'Read directory data'.

Update the sample code to point to the app entry in your tenant

1.Open the solution in Visual Studio 2015. 2.Open the Program.cs file in the DirSearcherClient project. 3.Find the clientId member variable and replace its value with the Client Id you copied from the Azure portal.