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AuthenticationManager Class

Manages the authentication modules called during the client authentication process.

Namespace:  System.Net
Assembly:  System (in System.dll)

public class AuthenticationManager

AuthenticationManager is a static class that manages the authentication modules that an application uses. When a request is made to protected resources, the AuthenticationManager calls the Authenticate method to get an Authorization instance to use in subsequent requests.

The AuthenticationManager queries each registered authentication module by calling the IAuthenticationModule.Authenticate method for each module. The first authentication module to return an Authorization instance is used to authenticate the request.

Modules that provide the basic, digest, negotiate, NTLM, and Kerberos authentication types are registered with the AuthenticationManager by default. Additional authentication modules that implement the IAuthenticationModule interface can be added using the Register method. Authentication modules are called in the order in which they were added to the list.


The Kerberos and negotiate authentication type is not supported on Windows 95/98 or Windows NT 4.0.

No code example is currently available or this language may not be supported.
// This program shows how to create a custom Basic authentication module,
// how to register it via the AuthenticationManager class and how to authorize
// users to access a Web site.
// Note: In order to run this program you must create a test Web site that performs
// Basic authentication. Also you must add to your server machine a user whose
// credentials are the same you use in this program.
// Attention: Basic authenticastion sends the user's credentials over HTTP.
// Passwords and user names are encoded using Base64 encoding. Although the
// user information is encoded, it is considered insecure due to the fact that it
// could be deciphered relatively easily.
// If you must use basic authentication you are strongly adviced to use strong
// security mechanisms, such as SSL, when transfering sensitive information on
// the wire.

#using <mscorlib.dll>
#using <System.dll>
using namespace System;
using namespace System::Net;
using namespace System::IO;
using namespace System::Text;
using namespace System::Collections;

// The ClientAuthentication class performs the following main tasks:
// 1) It obtains the user's credentials.
// 2) Unregisters the standard Basic authentication.
// 3) Registers the customized Basic authentication.
// 4) Reads the selected page and displays it on the console.
__gc class TestAuthentication {
   static String *username, *password, *domain, *uri;

   // Show how to use this program.
   static void showusage() {
      Console::WriteLine(S"Attempts to authenticate to a URL");
      Console::WriteLine(S"\r\nUse one of the following:");
      Console::WriteLine(S"\tcustomBasicAuthentication URL username password domain");
      Console::WriteLine(S"\tcustomBasicAuthentication URL username password");
      Console::WriteLine(S"\tcustomBasicAuthentication http://ndpue/ncl/ basicuser basic.101 ndpue");

   // Display registered authentication modules.
   static void displayRegisteredModules() {
      // The AuthenticationManager calls all authentication modules sequentially
      // until one of them responds with an authorization instance.  Show
      // the current registered modules, for testing purposes.
      IEnumerator* registeredModules = AuthenticationManager::RegisteredModules;
      Console::WriteLine(S"\r\nThe following authentication modules are now registered with the system");
      while(registeredModules->MoveNext()) {
         Console::WriteLine(S"\r \n Module : {0}",
         IAuthenticationModule* currentAuthenticationModule =
         Console::WriteLine(S"\t  CanPreAuthenticate : {0}", 

   // The getPage method accesses the selected page an displays its content
   // on the console.
   static void getPage(String* url) {
      try {
         // Create the Web request object.

         HttpWebRequest* req = dynamic_cast<HttpWebRequest*> (WebRequest::Create(url));

         // Define the request access method.
         req->Method = S"GET";

         // Define the request credentials according to the user's input.
         if (String::Compare(domain, String::Empty) == 0 )
            req->Credentials = new NetworkCredential(username, password);
            // If the user's specifies the Internet resource domain, this usually
            // is by default the name of the sever hosting the resource.
            req->Credentials = new NetworkCredential(username, password, domain);

         // Issue the request.

         // req->GetResponse();

         HttpWebResponse* result = dynamic_cast<HttpWebResponse*> (req->GetResponse());
         Console::WriteLine(S"\nAuthentication Succeeded:");

         // Store the response.
         Stream*  sData = result->GetResponseStream();

         // Display the response.
      } catch (WebException* e) {
         // Display the error, if any. In particular display protocol
         // related error.
         if (e->Status == WebExceptionStatus::ProtocolError) {
            HttpWebResponse* hresp = dynamic_cast<HttpWebResponse*> (e->Response);
            Console::WriteLine(S"\nAuthentication Failed, {0}", __box(hresp->StatusCode));
            Console::WriteLine(S"Status Code: {0}", __box((int) hresp->StatusCode));
            Console::WriteLine(S"Status Description: {0}", hresp->StatusDescription);
         Console::WriteLine(S"Caught Exception: {0}", e->Message);
         Console::WriteLine(S"Stack: {0}", e->StackTrace);

   // The displayPageContent method display the content of the
   // selected page.
   static void displayPageContent(Stream* ReceiveStream) {
      // Create an ASCII encoding object.
      Encoding*  ASCII = Encoding::ASCII;

      // Define the Byte array to temporary hold the current read bytes.
      Byte read[] = new Byte[512];

      Console::WriteLine(S"\r\nPage Content...\r\n");

      // Read the page content and display it on the console.
      // Read the first 512 bytes.
      int bytes = ReceiveStream->Read(read, 0, 512);
      while (bytes > 0) {
         Console::Write(ASCII->GetString(read, 0, bytes));
         bytes = ReceiveStream->Read(read, 0, 512);

// The CustomBasic class creates a custom Basic authentication by implementing the
// IAuthenticationModule interface. In particular it performs the following
// tasks:
// 1) Defines and initializes the required properties.
// 2) Impements the Authenticate method.

public __gc class CustomBasic : public IAuthenticationModule {
   String* m_authenticationType;
   bool m_canPreAuthenticate;

   // The CustomBasic constructor initializes the properties of the customized
   // authentication.
   CustomBasic() {
      m_authenticationType = S"Basic";
      m_canPreAuthenticate = false;

   // Define the authentication type. This type is then used to identify this
   // custom authentication module. The default is set to Basic.
   __property String* get_AuthenticationType() {
      return m_authenticationType;

   // Define the pre-authentication capabilities for the module. The default is set
   // to false.
   __property bool get_CanPreAuthenticate() {
      return m_canPreAuthenticate;

   // The checkChallenge method checks if the challenge sent by the HttpWebRequest
   // contains the correct type (Basic) and the correct domain name.
   // Note: the challenge is in the form BASIC REALM=S"DOMAINNAME"
   // and you must assure that the Internet Web site resides on a server whose
   // domain name is equal to DOMAINAME.
   bool checkChallenge(String* Challenge, String* domain) {
      bool challengePasses = false;

      String*  tempChallenge = Challenge->ToUpper();
      // Verify that this is a Basic authorization request and the requested domain
      // is correct.
      // Note: When the domain is an empty string the following code only checks
      // whether the authorization type is Basic.
      if (tempChallenge->IndexOf(S"BASIC") != -1)
         if (String::Compare(domain,String::Empty)!=0 )
            if (tempChallenge->IndexOf(domain->ToUpper()) != -1)
               challengePasses = true;
               // The domain is not allowed and the authorization type is Basic.
               challengePasses = false;
            // The domain is a blank string and the authorization type is Basic.
            challengePasses = true;

      return challengePasses;

   // The PreAuthenticate method specifies if the authentication implemented
   // by this class allows pre-authentication.
   // Even if you do not use it, this method must be implemented to obey to the rules
   // of interface implemebtation.
   // In this case it always returns null.
   Authorization * PreAuthenticate(WebRequest* request, ICredentials* credentials) {
      return 0;

   // Authenticate is the core method for this custom authentication.
   // When an internet resource requests authentication, the WebRequest::GetResponse
   // method calls the AuthenticationManager::Authenticate method. This method, in
   // turn, calls the Authenticate method on each of the registered authentication
   // modules, in the order they were registered. When the authentication is
   // complete an Authorization object is returned to the WebRequest, as
   // shown by this routine's retun type.
   Authorization * Authenticate(String* challenge, WebRequest* request, ICredentials* credentials) {
      Encoding*  ASCII = Encoding::ASCII;

      // Get the username and password from the credentials
      NetworkCredential * MyCreds = credentials->GetCredential(request->RequestUri, S"Basic");

      if (PreAuthenticate(request, credentials) == 0)
         Console::WriteLine(S"\n Pre-authentication is not allowed.");
         Console::WriteLine(S"\n Pre-authentication is allowed.");

      // Verify that the challenge satisfies the authorization requirements.
      bool challengeOk = checkChallenge(challenge, MyCreds->Domain);

      if (!challengeOk)
         return 0;

      // Create the encrypted string according to the Basic authentication format as
      // follows:
      // a)Concatenate username and password separated by colon;
      // b)Apply ASCII encoding to obtain a stream of bytes;
      // c)Apply Base64 Encoding to this array of bytes to obtain the encoded
      // authorization.
      String* BasicEncrypt = String::Concat(MyCreds->UserName, S":", MyCreds->Password);

      String* BasicToken = 
         String::Concat(S"Basic ", Convert::ToBase64String(ASCII->GetBytes(BasicEncrypt)));

      // Create an Authorization object using the above encoded authorization.
      Authorization* resourceAuthorization = new Authorization(BasicToken);

      // Get the Message property which contains the authorization string that the
      // client returns to the server when accessing protected resources
      Console::WriteLine(S"\n Authorization Message: {0}", resourceAuthorization->Message);

      // Get the Complete property which is set to true when the authentication process
      // between the client and the server is finished.
      Console::WriteLine(S"\n Authorization Complete: {0}", 
      // </Snippet 5>

      Console::WriteLine(S"\n Authorization ConnectionGroupId: {0}", 
      return resourceAuthorization;

// This is the program entry point. It allows the user to enter
// her credentials and the Internet resource (Web page) to access.
// It also unregisters the standard and registers the customized basic
// authentication.
int main() {
   String* args[] = Environment::GetCommandLineArgs();

   if (args->Length < 4)
   else {
      // Read the user's credentials.
      TestAuthentication::uri = args[1];
      TestAuthentication::username = args[2];
      TestAuthentication::password = args[3];

      if (args->Length == 4)
         TestAuthentication::domain = String::Empty;
         // If the domain exists, store it. Usually the domain name
         // is by default the name of the server hosting the Internet
         // resource.
         TestAuthentication::domain = args[4];

      // Instantiate the custom Basic authentication module.
      CustomBasic* customBasicModule = new CustomBasic();

      // Unregister the standard Basic authentication module.

      // Register the custom Basic authentication module.

      // Display registered Authorization modules.

      // Read the specified page and display it on the console.


Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC

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

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0