After, mostly, getting the SSO / OAuth2 server setup with OWIN working over the past week, I ran into a few interesting scenarios and bits of information worth sharing.
The main scenario was in dealing with Authorization Code Grant across different domains and working that scenario into both the SSO paradigm and “protected Resource” server access.
After my previous post regarding Secure Token Services / SSO, I have been diving deeper into OWIN to understand its capabilities further.
As I mentioned, the STS system I devised is still using FormsAuthentcation. As a consequence, the relying applications are also dependent on FormsAuth. Upon further inspection, I found that this is redundant. It turns out that OWIN was doing more than I initially divined. Additionally, from all that I have read, it appears that Microsoft’s vision is to completely supplant, and retire, FormsAuth. This, obviously, could be a point of contention if one ties their authentication system into FormsAuth.
For the past week, I’ve been working on creating a Single SignOn (SSO) system with ASP.NET. One joke around the office is that SSO could also stand for Seldom SignOn. Essentially, we want to make securing applications as painless for the user as possible. Along the way, being able to generate secure tokens through a Secure Token Service (STS) seemed advantageous as well.
Interestingly, it still comes back to cookies. Tokenizaiton is only useful for securing API’s. That is to say, attaching an Authorization Header to an API call is straight forward, but it’s not feasible to attach one to a user’s initiated browsing.