Microsoft Account External Login Setup

Microsoft Account External Login Setup

In this article, I will discuss Microsoft Account External Login Setup. Please read our previous article discussing Integrating Google External Authentication in ASP.NET Core MVC Application.

What is Microsoft Account External Login?

A Microsoft Account External Login in the context of web development, specifically with ASP.NET Core, refers to integrating Microsoft’s authentication system into a web application to allow users to sign in using their Microsoft Account credentials. This feature is part of a broader category known as external or third-party authentication. Here’s a more detailed explanation:

What It Is:
  • This feature enables users to sign in to your ASP.NET Core application using their existing Microsoft Account (which could be their Outlook, Live, Hotmail, or Xbox account, among others).
  • It’s a part of OAuth 2.0 authentication, a standard protocol for authorization.
How It Works:
  • When a user chooses to sign in using their Microsoft Account, they are redirected to Microsoft’s OAuth 2.0 authentication service.
  • The user enters their Microsoft Account credentials (unless they are already logged in).
  • After successfully logging in, Microsoft authenticates the user and sends them back to your application with an authorization token.
  • Your application can then use this token to access certain user information (like name, email, etc.) based on the permissions granted.
Benefits:
  • Security: Users don’t have to create a new set of credentials for your site, reducing the risk of weak passwords.
  • Convenience: It simplifies the login process for users with a Microsoft Account.
  • Reduced Responsibility: Your application doesn’t need to handle or store sensitive login information, as Microsoft manages authentication.
Implementation:
  • In ASP.NET Core, this is usually implemented using middleware that integrates with Microsoft’s Identity platform.
  • The implementation involves registering your application with Microsoft, configuring OAuth 2.0 services in your ASP.NET Core application, and handling authentication-related routes and callbacks in your application code.
Use Cases:
  • Any web application (such as e-commerce, forums, news sites) where you want to provide users with the option to sign in using their Microsoft Account.
  • Applications that require access to Microsoft services (like OneDrive, Outlook, etc.) on behalf of the user.
Privacy and Compliance:
  • As with any external authentication service, it’s important to understand and comply with privacy laws and regulations, ensuring user data is handled securely and transparently.
How to Setup Microsoft Account External Login?

Setting up an external login for a Microsoft Account involves integrating Microsoft’s authentication system with your application or website. This is typically done using OAuth 2.0, a protocol for authorization. Here’s a general overview of how to set it up:

Register Your Application with Microsoft:

Go to the Microsoft Azure portal and sign in with your Microsoft account. If you don’t have a Microsoft account, select Create one. So, please visit the URL https://portal.azure.com/, which will open the following page:

How to Setup Microsoft Account External Login?

Once you click on the Next button, it will ask you to enter the password. Once you enter the password, click the Sign in button, as shown in the image below.

How to Setup Microsoft Account External Login?

Once you click on the Sign in button, it will open the following Verify Your Identity window. Click on the Email option as shown in the below image.

Register Your Application with Microsoft

Once you click the above, it will send a verification code to your Microsoft account and open the following verification window. Copy the verification code from your Microsoft account, paste it here, and then click on the Verify button, as shown in the image below.

Register Your Application with Microsoft

Once you click on the Verify button, your account will be created. After signing in, you are redirected to the following App registrations page. Please click on the New Registration button as shown in the below image.

Register Your Application with Microsoft

Once you click on the New Registration button, it will open the following page. Here, you need to provide the details of your application, such as its name, platform, and the redirect URI (the URL where users will be redirected after authentication), and then click on the Register button, as shown in the image below.

Register Your Application with Microsoft

Important Points:

  • Under Redirect URI, enter your development URL with /signin-microsoft appended. For example, https://localhost:7056/signin-microsoft. The Microsoft authentication scheme configured later in this sample will automatically handle requests at the /signin-microsoft route to implementing the OAuth flow.
  • If you want to allow personal Microsoft accounts (consumers), ensure you’ve selected the appropriate option, such as “Accounts in any organizational directory and personal Microsoft accounts”.

Once you click the Register button, it will register your application, and you will get the following dashboard. Here, you need to copy the value of the Application (client) ID, which is required in our ASP.NET Core Application.

Application (client) ID, which is required in our ASP.NET Core Application

Get Application (Client) ID and Secret:

Once your app is registered, you will receive an Application (Client) ID. This is your app’s unique identifier. You also need to create a new client secret (a key that your application will use to authenticate with Microsoft’s servers). To Create the client secret for your application, from the left pane, select the Certificates & secrets option as shown in the below image:

Microsoft Account External Login Setup

Once you click on the Certificates & secrets, it will open the following page. Here, you need to click on the New client secret button as shown in the below image:

Get Application (Client) ID and Secret

Once you click on the New Client Secret button, it will ask you to provide a description of the client secret and the expiration time of the client secret, as shown in the below image. Here, give a description, select an expiration time, and click the Add button, as shown in the image below.

Get Application (Client) ID and Secret

Once you click the Add button, it will add the client secret, as shown in the image below. Under Client secrets, copy the value of the client secret, which we will use in our ASP.NET Core Application.

Microsoft Account External Login Setup

Once we have the Client ID and Client Secret, we can use these two pieces of information in our ASP.NET Core Application to implement Microsoft External Authentication, which we will discuss in our next article.

In the next article, I will discuss Integrating Microsoft External Authentication in ASP.NET Core MVC Application. In this article, I explain Microsoft Account External Login Setup. I hope you enjoy this article, Microsoft Account External Login Setup.

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