Chapters 10 through 16 discuss in detail the provider model, membership, and role services, and their different built-in provider implementations. This section recaps those features to make it easier to understand the material presented later in the chapter on the integration between ASP.NET AJAX 3.5 and ASP.NET membership and role services.
In ASP.NET 3.5 the same application services that were introduced in ASP.NET 2.0 are still available and have not changed at all. This means all your code written for ASP.NET 2.0 to access the membership and role services is still valid and runs perfectly under ASP.NET 3.5 once again due to the fact that ASP.NET 3.5 runtime is solely based on the ASP.NET 2.0 runtime with additional features and improvements.
The ASP.NET membership feature facilitates validating user credentials against a data source and helps in managing and creating user accounts that belong to the membership system of a web application. The membership feature is built on the provider model and hence it gives you the option to interact with any data source of choice by simply creating a concrete provider implementation for the data source.
By default, when you create a new ASP.NET website or application in Visual Studio 2005/2008, membership will be enabled automatically. Thus, you can benefit from the implicit definition of the membership feature inside the machine.config configuration file. ...