Authentication is the process of discovering and verifying the identity of a principal by examining the user's credentials and validating those credentials against some authority. The information obtained during authentication is directly usable by your code. You can also use .NET Framework role-based security to authenticate the current user and to determine whether to allow that principal to access your code. See the overloads of the WindowsPrincipal.IsInRole method for examples of how to authenticate the principal for specific roles. For example, you can use the WindowsPrincipal.IsInRole(String) overload to determine if the current user is a member of the Administrators group.

A variety of authentication mechanisms are used today, many of which can be used with .NET Framework role-based security. Some of the most commonly used mechanisms are basic, digest, Passport, operating system (such as NTLM or Kerberos), or application-defined mechanisms.

The following example requires that the active principal be an administrator. The name parameter is null, which allows any user who is an administrator to pass the demand.

Note Note

In Windows Vista, User Account Control (UAC) determines the privileges of a user. If you are a member of the Built-in Administrators group, you are assigned two run-time access tokens: a standard user access token and an administrator access token. By default, you are in the standard user role. To execute the code that requires you to be an administrator, you must first elevate your privileges from standard user to administrator. You can do this when you start an application by right-clicking the application icon and indicating that you want to run as an administrator.

Imports System
Imports System.Threading
Imports System.Security.Permissions
Imports System.Security.Principal

Class SecurityPrincipalDemo

    Public Shared Sub Main()
        Dim principalPerm As New PrincipalPermission(Nothing, "Administrators")
        Console.WriteLine("Demand succeeded.")

    End Sub 'Main
End Class 'SecurityPrincipalDemo

The following example demonstrates how to determine the identity of the principal and the roles available to the principal. An application of this example might be to confirm that the current user is in a role you allow for using your application.

Imports System
Imports System.Threading
Imports System.Security.Permissions
Imports System.Security.Principal

Class SecurityPrincipalDemo

    Public Shared Sub DemonstrateWindowsBuiltInRoleEnum()
        Dim myDomain As AppDomain = Thread.GetDomain()

        Dim myPrincipal As WindowsPrincipal = CType(Thread.CurrentPrincipal, WindowsPrincipal)
        Console.WriteLine("{0} belongs to: ", myPrincipal.Identity.Name.ToString())
        Dim wbirFields As Array = [Enum].GetValues(GetType(WindowsBuiltInRole))
        Dim roleName As Object 
        For Each roleName In wbirFields
                ' Cast the role name to a RID represented by the WindowsBuildInRole value.
                Console.WriteLine("{0}? {1}.", roleName, myPrincipal.IsInRole(CType(roleName, WindowsBuiltInRole)))
                Console.WriteLine("The RID for this role is: " + Fix(roleName).ToString())

                Console.WriteLine("{0}: Could not obtain role for this RID.", roleName)
            End Try 
        Next roleName
        ' Get the role using the string value of the role.
        Console.WriteLine("{0}? {1}.", "Administrators", myPrincipal.IsInRole("BUILTIN\" + "Administrators"))
        Console.WriteLine("{0}? {1}.", "Users", myPrincipal.IsInRole("BUILTIN\" + "Users"))
        ' Get the role using the WindowsBuiltInRole enumeration value.
        Console.WriteLine("{0}? {1}.", WindowsBuiltInRole.Administrator, myPrincipal.IsInRole(WindowsBuiltInRole.Administrator))
        ' Get the role using the WellKnownSidType. 
        Dim sid As New SecurityIdentifier(WellKnownSidType.BuiltinAdministratorsSid, Nothing)
        Console.WriteLine("WellKnownSidType BuiltinAdministratorsSid  {0}? {1}.", sid.Value, myPrincipal.IsInRole(sid))

    End Sub 'DemonstrateWindowsBuiltInRoleEnum

    Public Shared Sub Main()

    End Sub 'Main
End Class 'SecurityPrincipalDemo 
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