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Silverlight 3 with WCF RIA Authentication service

(15 votes)
Thanigainathan Siranjeevi
Thanigainathan Siranjeevi
Joined Apr 25, 2009
Articles:   4
Comments:   6
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17 comments   /   posted on May 22, 2009
Categories:   Line-of-Business , General

Authentication and authorization plays a key role in the web world. Going distributed makes information sharing healthier. But only if it's allowed for the know contact it will be healthy. We can very well see this in the existing web world. We have the memberships and roles for ASP.Net web applications. In addition we also have forms authentication and NTLM authentication.

Going smart client is always best. But considering security it has to be more secure since smart clients attract all the people they can be easily prey to security vulnerabilities. Ria services is one of the fantastic releases from Microsoft (though its still in beta stage) to achieve this. Its nothing but a platform to bring all the capabilities from ASP.Net web to the Silverlight .It actually tries to show a showcase a two-tier applications and behind the scene handling all the things necessary to build a three tier application. All this can be achieved by one thing called Domain Service. Thisarticle is aimed at showing how we can authenticate our Silverlight applications with ASP.Net membership objects.

Sources reffered:
  1. Brad Adam's Posting
  2. EggHead cafe
  3. silverlight-show

I referred from all these links. Even Microsoft offer's a sample application in the Ria download page.

ASP.Net Security:

Create a new Silverlight Project called "AuthenticLight" with Web application enabled. ASP.Net offers an easy way of integrating security into web application. This we can be set up from the ASP.Net configuration in the menu. Below picture depicts that.

Selecting this option will open a web page with all the security features that a web application needs. It enables you to create the following options

  • Authentication
  • Role Based Authorization

You can refer this link User Profile . This link also shows how to customize this feature.

There will be a wizard interface for creating a new user with username, passwords, roles and role access filters. Refer below pictures in the wizard.

Fig-1 (Select security tab)

Fig-2 (Selecting the Security wizard to create the user)

Fig-3 (Select the Internet option)

Fig-4 (Provider)

Here you can customize the provider to any DB or XML source. If we left for default then an ASPNETDB.MDF will be created in the APP_Data folder in the web application. This will have all the user related tables. Next wizard is about the Roles and it has to be enabled if it's needed. Following that will ask for the role name details.

Fig-5(Role Names)

Fig-6(New User details)

Fig-7(Role and access rights)

Finishing this will finish the user creation wizard. Now we are ready with the userdb setup and to expose them for Silverlight through DomainService.

Exposing AuthenticationBase with DomainService :


Authentication base is the new class found in the System.Web.Ria.ApplicationServices. This enables us to expose the secuiryt services to the SilverlightClient. Try adding a new Domainservice class to the ASP.Net Web application ("AuthenticLight.Web"). Name this "AuthenticationSrv". The code will be looking like as follows.

namespace AuthenticLight.Web
    using System;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.ComponentModel;
    using System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations;
    using System.Linq;
    using System.Web.Ria;
    using System.Web.Ria.ApplicationServices;
    using System.Web.Ria.Data;
    using System.Web.DomainServices;
    // TODO: Create methods containing your application logic.
    public class AuthenticationSrv : AuthenticationBase<UserBase>

The UserBase which is from System.Secuirty.Principle will be exposed through the AuthenticationBase Class. Userbase has the following methods.

  1. AuthenticationType
  2. IsAuthenticated
  3. Name
  4. Roles
  5. IsInRole

The AuthenticationSrv is the class that's intended to expose the User classes. Hence we add the EnableClientAccess()attribute to this class. Authentication base inherits from the DomainService class . So there's no need to worry about implementing the Domainservice Class here.Authentication base has the following methods available with them.

  1. ClearAuthenticationToken
  2. CreateUser
  3. GetAnonymousUser
  4. GetAuthenticatedUser
  5. GetUser
  6. IssueAuthenticationToken
  7. Login
  8. Logout
  9. UpdateUser
  10. UpdateUserCore
  11. ValidateUser

These are the basic methods needed to validate the user credentials. When exposing them through the EnableClientAccess they will create the proxy classes at the client side i.e Silverlight Applciation side. The generated code file will have the name "AuthenticLight.Web.g.cs". The project structure will be like the following picture.

The Silverlight application created for this demo is created with "Silverlight Navigation Application". If you want more info on Navigation you can check my Article.

There's a few change that needs to be done on the ASP.Net page where the Silverlight page is referred .Remove the entries for registering System.Web.Silverlight and make the following changes.

<%@Register Assembly="System.Web.Ria"Namespace="System.Web.Ria" TagPrefix="ria"%>

Replace this code where its referred as <asp:Silverlight…

<ria:SilverlightApplication ID="Silverlight1" runat="server"
    Source="~/ClientBin/AuthenticLight.xap" MinimumVersion="3.0.40307.0" 
    Width="100% "Height="100%"/>

The final page will look like this.

<%@Page Language="C#"AutoEventWireup="true"%>
<%@Register Assembly="System.Web.Ria" Namespace="System.Web.Ria" TagPrefix="ria"%>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC"-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN""http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
    <head runat="server">
    <style type="text/css">
        html, body {
            height: 100%;
            overflow: auto;
        body {
            padding: 0;
            margin: 0;
        <form id="form1" runat="server" style="height:100%;">
            <div style="height:100%;">
            <ria:SilverlightApplication ID="Silverlight1" runat="server" Source="~/ClientBin/AuthenticLight.xap"
                MinimumVersion="3.0.40307.0" Width="100%" Height="100%"/>

For calling this Authentication service WebUserService has to be referenced from "App.Xaml" as a service. So add the following changes in the "App.Xaml"

    <appsvc:WebUserService x:Name="UserServ">

Now in the Silverlight Application wherever there's a need to call the UserService then refer the Namespace

using System.Windows.Ria.ApplicationServices;

Referring this will enable the developer to call the user Service like


Silverlight Client code sample below.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Net;
using System.Windows;
using System.Windows.Controls;
using System.Windows.Documents;
using System.Windows.Input;
using System.Windows.Media;
using System.Windows.Media.Animation;
using System.Windows.Shapes;
using System.Windows.Navigation;
using System.Windows.Ria.ApplicationServices;
namespace AuthenticLight
    public partial class HomePage : Page
        public HomePage()
        // Executes when the user navigates to this page.
        protected override void OnNavigatedTo(NavigationEventArgs e)
        private void lgOut_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
            UserService.Current.LogoutCompleted += this.HandleCompletionEvent;
        private void HandleCompletionEvent(Object Sender, EventArgs e)
                this.NavigationService.Navigate(newUri("/Views/LoginPage.xaml", UriKind.Relative));
        private void Page_Loaded(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
            if (!AuthServ.IsUserAuth()) 

Like this we can use them in silverlight application wherever needed. You can find a demo here. There's a login page in this application which validates the username and password and then it allows the user to move around all other pages.


The Article has demonstrated how one can use the ASP.Net role and membership for Silverlight application through .Net Ria service's. I will come back with some more advanced concepts on how we can customize these features for need's. Please bare with me if there is any mistakes and let me know so that I can correct them.


Thanigainathan Siranjeevi



  • -_-

    RE: Silverlight 3 with Ria Authentication service

    posted by Mike on May 22, 2009 17:34
    Hi, where can I find a source code for this demo? Thanks.
  • -_-

    RE: Silverlight 3 with Ria Authentication service

    posted by Thanigainathan Siranjeevi on May 23, 2009 00:13
    Hi Guys,

    The demo is in this link.

    Since its 9 MB in size i uploaded in here.

  • -_-

    RE: Silverlight 3 with Ria Authentication service

    posted by Thomas on May 26, 2009 03:55

    Does the RIA authentification also work in a out of browser scenario?

    (Silverlight App that runs OOB and uses a local WCF Service instead of the external WCF svc)

  • -_-

    RE: Silverlight 3 with Ria Authentication service

    posted by todicke on Jul 21, 2009 12:30
    can any body pont me in the right dirrection on this

    The property 'Services' does not exist on the type 'Application' in the XML namespace

            <appsvc:WebUserService x:Name="UserServ">

    missing namespace or ???


  • MisterFantastic

    RE: Silverlight 3 with Ria Authentication service

    posted by MisterFantastic on Jul 21, 2009 15:24

    Hei Todicke,

    Have you installed RIA services in your system ?



  • MisterFantastic

    RE: Silverlight 3 with Ria Authentication service

    posted by MisterFantastic on Jul 21, 2009 15:25

    Yes This application also runs out of the browser if confihured.



  • -_-

    RE: Silverlight 3 with Ria Authentication service

    posted by todicke on Jul 21, 2009 16:54
    Hei Thani.

    Yes Ria Juli 2009 ist installed.

     btw THX for helping

  • -_-

    RE: Silverlight 3 with Ria Authentication service

    posted by lee on Sep 21, 2009 22:40
    I have RIA July 2009  beta installed, but the example will not compile.  It is getting an error for the UserService that is suppose to be under RIA.ApplicationServices.  Has anyone found the solution to this?

    Thanks in advance,
  • -_-

    RE: Silverlight 3 with Ria Authentication service

    posted by steph on Sep 24, 2009 15:56

    Hello I've got exactly the same trouble as lee, not able to declare

    even if I use:







  • -_-

    RE: Silverlight 3 with Ria Authentication service

    posted by Eric on Sep 28, 2009 15:40

    I had similar problems. My problem was, that I had used the wrong template to create the application with VS2008. When I use "Silverlight Navigation Application", RIA service classes / definitions are not included, only with the "Silverlight Business Application".

    So I added manually the folders 'Services' for the Web Application and other definitions -> Comapre the two created projects und you find the differences.

  • -_-

    RE: Silverlight 3 with Ria Authentication service

    posted by Lajos Marton on Oct 08, 2009 13:46

    And how can I deploy the RIA Authenticated projekt? I made a projekt, and it is working correct in VS2008 with F5.
    If I copy this into an IIS folder, it seems it lost the database connection somewhere.
  • -_-

    RE: Silverlight 3 with Ria Authentication service

    posted by Mr G on Nov 12, 2009 14:07
    This article is a loose of time
  • -_-

    RE: Silverlight 3 with Ria Authentication service

    posted by VSMK on Nov 18, 2009 07:33
    this articale is not worthable, if this is with anonymus users then it is good
  • -_-

    RE: Silverlight 3 with Ria Authentication service

    posted by hehe on Nov 18, 2009 10:49
  • -_-

    RE: Silverlight 3 with Ria Authentication service

    posted by Bobby on Jan 13, 2010 21:11
    Example code does not compile
  • -_-

    RE: Silverlight 3 with Ria Authentication service

    posted by H on Apr 30, 2010 14:24
    Mr. G what do u mean by waste of time ? Have u ever read this thing ...?
  • HassanAShehata

    Re: Silverlight 3 with WCF RIA Authentication service

    posted by HassanAShehata on Apr 18, 2012 08:51

    Thank You So Much


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