One of the unique aspects of ASP.NET 2.0 and ASP.NET 3.5 is that they introduce a number of powerful application services that are built using the provider model. Membership is one of the services addressing the common need that websites have for creating and managing users and their credentials. Although the Membership feature ships with a great deal of functionality right out of the box, it is also flexible enough for you to customize or extend many of the core aspects of the feature.
This chapter discusses the core classes of the Membership feature: the public static Membership class, the base MembershipProvider class, and the MembershipUser class all include functionality that is common regardless of the kind of providers used with the feature. You will see the various coding assumptions baked into the Membership feature for each of these classes. MembershipProvider is covered in detail so that you get a better idea about what needs to be implemented as well as the general behavior that ASP.NET expects from custom providers.
Last, you gain some insight into miscellaneous design concepts and areas of the Membership feature. The idea of user uniqueness is covered along with guidance about how to create a custom hash algorithm for use by providers. You also see how you can use the Membership feature in applications other than ASP.NET websites.
This chapter will cover the following topics:
The Membership class
The MembershipUser class
The MembershipProvider ...