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Membership.RequiresQuestionAndAnswer Property

Gets a value indicating whether the default membership provider requires the user to answer a password question for password reset and retrieval.

Namespace:  System.Web.Security
Assembly:  System.Web (in System.Web.dll)

public static bool RequiresQuestionAndAnswer { get; }

Property Value

Type: System.Boolean
true if a password answer is required for password reset and retrieval; otherwise, false.

Requiring a password question and answer provides an additional layer of security when retrieving or resetting a user's password. Users can supply a question and answer when their user name is created that they can later use to retrieve or reset a forgotten password.

RequiresQuestionAndAnswer is checked when ResetPassword or GetPassword is called. The provider provided with the .NET Framework throws a NotSupportedException if RequiresQuestionAndAnswer is true and the supplied password answer is null.

If EnablePasswordReset and EnablePasswordRetrieval are both false, RequiresQuestionAndAnswer can still be used to enforce the creation of questions and answers when new users are created; however, the question and answer will not be used. You will be able to retrieve the question by using the MembershipUser class.

For more information, see ResetPassword and GetPassword.

The following code example shows the membership element in the system.web section of the Web.config file for an ASP.NET application. It specifies that the application use an instance of the SqlMembershipProvider, enables password reset, and requires a password answer when performing a reset.

<membership defaultProvider="SqlProvider" userIsOnlineTimeWindow="20">
  <providers>
    <add name="SqlProvider"
      type="System.Web.Security.SqlMembershipProvider"
      connectionStringName="SqlServices"
      enablePasswordRetrieval="false"
      enablePasswordReset="true"
      requiresQuestionAndAnswer="true"
      passwordFormat="Hashed"
      applicationName="MyApplication" />
  </providers>
</membership>

The following code sample checks the value of RequiresQuestionAndAnswer and adds the necessary controls for a password question and answer to be supplied when creating a user.

Security noteSecurity Note

This example includes a text box that accepts user input, which is a potential security threat. By default, ASP.NET Web pages validate that user input does not include script or HTML elements. For more information, see Script Exploits Overview.

<%@ Page Language="C#" %>
<%@ Import Namespace="System.Web.Security" %>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<script runat="server">

public void CreateUser_OnClick(object sender, EventArgs args)
{
  // Create new user and retrieve create status result.

  MembershipCreateStatus status;
  string passwordQuestion = "";
  string passwordAnswer = "";

  if (Membership.RequiresQuestionAndAnswer)
  {
    passwordQuestion = PasswordQuestionTextbox.Text;
    passwordAnswer = PasswordAnswerTextbox.Text;
  }

  try
  {
    MembershipUser newUser = Membership.CreateUser(UsernameTextbox.Text, PasswordTextbox.Text, 
                                                   EmailTextbox.Text, passwordQuestion,
                                                   passwordAnswer, true, out status);
    if (newUser == null)
    {
      Msg.Text = GetErrorMessage(status);
    }
    else
    {
      Response.Redirect("login.aspx");
    }
  }
  catch
  {
    Msg.Text = "An exception occurred creating the user.";
  }
}

public string GetErrorMessage(MembershipCreateStatus status)
{
   switch (status)
   {
      case MembershipCreateStatus.DuplicateUserName:
        return "Username already exists. Please enter a different user name.";

      case MembershipCreateStatus.DuplicateEmail:
        return "A username for that e-mail address already exists. Please enter a different e-mail address.";

      case MembershipCreateStatus.InvalidPassword:
        return "The password provided is invalid. Please enter a valid password value.";

      case MembershipCreateStatus.InvalidEmail:
        return "The e-mail address provided is invalid. Please check the value and try again.";

      case MembershipCreateStatus.InvalidAnswer:
        return "The password retrieval answer provided is invalid. Please check the value and try again.";

      case MembershipCreateStatus.InvalidQuestion:
        return "The password retrieval question provided is invalid. Please check the value and try again.";

      case MembershipCreateStatus.InvalidUserName:
        return "The user name provided is invalid. Please check the value and try again.";

      case MembershipCreateStatus.ProviderError:
        return "The authentication provider returned an error. Please verify your entry and try again. If the problem persists, please contact your system administrator.";

      case MembershipCreateStatus.UserRejected:
        return "The user creation request has been canceled. Please verify your entry and try again. If the problem persists, please contact your system administrator.";

      default:
        return "An unknown error occurred. Please verify your entry and try again. If the problem persists, please contact your system administrator.";
   }
}

</script>

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" >
<head>
<title>Create User</title>
</head>
<body>

<form id="form1" runat="server">
  <h3>Create New User</h3>

  <asp:Label id="Msg" ForeColor="maroon" runat="server" /><br />

  <table cellpadding="3" border="0">
    <tr>
      <td>Username:</td>
      <td><asp:Textbox id="UsernameTextbox" runat="server" /></td>
      <td><asp:RequiredFieldValidator id="UsernameRequiredValidator" runat="server"
                                      ControlToValidate="UserNameTextbox" ForeColor="red"
                                      Display="Static" ErrorMessage="Required" /></td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td>Password:</td>
      <td><asp:Textbox id="PasswordTextbox" runat="server" TextMode="Password" /></td>
      <td><asp:RequiredFieldValidator id="PasswordRequiredValidator" runat="server"
                                      ControlToValidate="PasswordTextbox" ForeColor="red"
                                      Display="Static" ErrorMessage="Required" /></td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td>Confirm Password:</td>
      <td><asp:Textbox id="PasswordConfirmTextbox" runat="server" TextMode="Password" /></td>
      <td><asp:RequiredFieldValidator id="PasswordConfirmRequiredValidator" runat="server"
                                      ControlToValidate="PasswordConfirmTextbox" ForeColor="red"
                                      Display="Static" ErrorMessage="Required" />
          <asp:CompareValidator id="PasswordConfirmCompareValidator" runat="server"
                                      ControlToValidate="PasswordConfirmTextbox" ForeColor="red"
                                      Display="Static" ControlToCompare="PasswordTextBox"
                                      ErrorMessage="Confirm password must match password." />
      </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td>Email Address:</td>
      <td><asp:Textbox id="EmailTextbox" runat="server" /></td>
      <td><asp:RequiredFieldValidator id="EmailRequiredValidator" runat="server"
                                      ControlToValidate="EmailTextbox" ForeColor="red"
                                      Display="Static" ErrorMessage="Required" /></td>
    </tr>


<% if (Membership.RequiresQuestionAndAnswer) { %>

    <tr>
      <td>Password Question:</td>
      <td><asp:Textbox id="PasswordQuestionTextbox" runat="server" /></td>
      <td><asp:RequiredFieldValidator id="PasswordQuestionRequiredValidator" runat="server"
                                      ControlToValidate="PasswordQuestionTextbox" ForeColor="red"
                                      Display="Static" ErrorMessage="Required" /></td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td>Password Answer:</td>
      <td><asp:Textbox id="PasswordAnswerTextbox" runat="server" /></td>
      <td><asp:RequiredFieldValidator id="PasswordAnswerRequiredValidator" runat="server"
                                      ControlToValidate="PasswordAnswerTextbox" ForeColor="red"
                                      Display="Static" ErrorMessage="Required" /></td>
    </tr>

<% } %>


    <tr>
      <td></td>
      <td><asp:Button id="CreateUserButton" Text="Create User" OnClick="CreateUser_OnClick" runat="server" /></td>
    </tr>
  </table>
</form>

</body>
</html>

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.5.2, 4.5.1, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0

Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core Role not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core Role supported with SP1 or later; Itanium not supported)

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

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