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Azure Easy Auth and Roles with .NET and Microsoft.Identity.Web

ยท 3 min read

I wrote recently about how to get Azure Easy Auth to work with roles. This involved borrowing the approach used by MaximeRouiller.Azure.AppService.EasyAuth.

As a consequence of writing that post I came to learn that official support for Azure Easy Auth had landed in October 2020 in v1.2 of Microsoft.Identity.Web. This was great news; I was delighted.

However, it turns out that the same authorization issue that MaximeRouiller.Azure.AppService.EasyAuth suffers from, is visited upon Microsoft.Identity.Web as well.

Getting set up#

We're using a .NET 5 project, running in an Azure App Service (Linux). In our .csproj we have:

<PackageReference Include="Microsoft.Identity.Web" Version="1.4.1" />

In our Startup.cs we're using:

public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services) {    //...    services.AddMicrosoftIdentityWebAppAuthentication(Configuration);    //...}
public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app, IWebHostEnvironment env) {    //...    app.UseAuthentication();    app.UseAuthorization();    //...}

You gotta roles with it#

Whilst the authentication works, authorization does not. So whilst my app knows who I am - the authorization is not working with relation to roles.

When directly using Microsoft.Identity.Web when running locally, we see these claims:

[    // ...    {        "type": "",        "value": "Administrator"    },    {        "type": "",        "value": "Reader"    },    // ...

However, we get different behaviour with EasyAuth; it provides roles related claims with a different type:

[    // ...    {        "type": "roles",        "value": "Administrator"    },    {        "type": "roles",        "value": "Reader"    },    // ...]

This means that roles related authorization does not work with Easy Auth:

[Authorize(Roles = "Reader")][HttpGet("api/reader")]public string GetWithReader() =>    "this is a secure endpoint that users with the Reader role can access";

This is because .NET is looking for claims with a type of "" and not finding them with Easy Auth.

Claims transformation FTW#

There is a way to work around this issue .NET using IClaimsTransformation. This is a poorly documented feature, but fortunately Gunnar Peipman's blog does a grand job of explaining it.

Inside our Startup.cs I've registered a claims transformer:

services.AddScoped<IClaimsTransformation, AddRolesClaimsTransformation>();

And that claims transformer looks like this:

public class AddRolesClaimsTransformation : IClaimsTransformation {    private readonly ILogger<AddRolesClaimsTransformation> _logger;
    public AddRolesClaimsTransformation(ILogger<AddRolesClaimsTransformation> logger) {        _logger = logger;    }
    public Task<ClaimsPrincipal> TransformAsync(ClaimsPrincipal principal) {        var mappedRolesClaims = principal.Claims            .Where(claim => claim.Type == "roles")            .Select(claim => new Claim(ClaimTypes.Role, claim.Value))            .ToList();
        // Clone current identity        var clone = principal.Clone();
        if (clone.Identity is not ClaimsIdentity newIdentity) return Task.FromResult(principal);
        // Add role claims to cloned identity        foreach (var mappedRoleClaim in mappedRolesClaims)             newIdentity.AddClaim(mappedRoleClaim);
        if (mappedRolesClaims.Count > 0)            _logger.LogInformation("Added roles claims {mappedRolesClaims}", mappedRolesClaims);        else            _logger.LogInformation("No roles claims added");
        return Task.FromResult(clone);    }}

The class above creates a new principal with "roles" claims mapped across to "". This is enough to get .NET treating roles the way you'd hope.

I've raised an issue against the Microsoft.Identity.Web repo about this. Perhaps one day this workaround will no longer be necessary.