AD FS 2.0 Sign-In Pages Localization Overview

Active Directory Federation Services 2.0

The Active Directory® Federation Services (AD FS) 2.0 Sign-In Pages Web application contains support for multiple languages and locales. The Sign-In Pages implements localization by using global resource files. As in all ASP.NET applications that use global resource files, the Sign-In Pages global resource files are located in the App_GlobalResources folder (default location, c:\inetpub\adfs\ls\App_GlobalResources). The base file name is CommonResources, the default (or fallback) resource file is CommonResources.resx, and the fallback language is English. Localized resources for each supported language are contained in satellite files that contain the culture name in the file extension. For example, resources for the French language are contained in Pages will render in the locale of the browser, if it is supported; otherwise, pages will render in English. For a list of the cultures that AD FS 2.0 supports, see Supported Cultures. For information about globalization and localization, see ASP.NET Globalization and Localization (

You can remove support for a specified language or locale by removing its associated resource file from the App_GlobalResources folder. You can change the fallback (default) language by copying the resource file of the language or locale that you want to be the default over the CommonResources.resx file. You can add support for a new language or locale by making a copy of one of the existing resource files, renaming the copy with an extension that identifies the intended culture, and replacing the resource string values with those for the intended language or locale.

When you modify existing pages or add additional pages or controls to the Sign-In Pages, you can provide support for any strings you add in one of the following ways:

  • Add the string directly to the modified page. In this case, the string is not localized for any additional languages.

  • Add a string resource to the existing CommonResources files and reference it explicitly from the modified page. In this case, the string can be referenced from any of the AD FS Sign-In pages.

  • Use your own set of application-specific global resource files, add the string resource to these files, and reference it explicitly from the modified page. Note: these files must be located in the App_GlobalResources folder. The string can be referenced from any of the AD FS Sign-In pages.

  • Use local resource files. Local resource files contain resources that can only be accessed from the page or control with which the file is associated. If you do use local resource files, be aware that the Sign-In Pages already use global resource files and that an individual control can reference content from global resource files or local resource files, but not both.

Whether you choose to localize strings that you add to the Sign-In Pages, and how you choose to localize them is up to you and the requirements of your installation. For more information about resource files, see ASP.NET Web Page Resources Overview (

This section shows you how to add support for a new string resource to the CommonResources files and how to reference the new string from both the mark-up and the code-behind for a page.

Add a String Resource to CommonResources.resx

  1. Open the Sign-In Pages

    1. In Visual Studio 2008, click File, click Open, and then click Web Site….

    2. In the Open Web Site dialog, click File System and browse to the location of the Sign-In Pages (default c:\inetpub\adfs\ls). Click Open to open the Sign-In Pages.

  2. In Solution Explorer, expand the App_GlobalResources folder and double click CommonResources.resx to open the file.

  3. Click Add Resource.

  4. In the Name column, type the name for the new string resource; for example, MyString.

  5. In the Value column, type the value for the new string resource; for example This is my string.

  6. Click File and then click Save App_GlobalResources\CommonResources.resx to save the file.

System_CAPS_ICON_important.jpg Important

You must add the new string to the resource file for each of the supported cultures.

The following shows how to reference the new string resource from the mark-up for a label control.

<asp:Label ID="MyLabel" runat="server"   
    Text="<%$ Resources:CommonResources, MyString %>"></asp:Label>  

The following shows how to reference the new string resource from code.

MyLabel.Text = Resources.CommonResources.MyString;  

The AD FS 2.0 Sign-In Pages Web application is localized for the following languages and locales.

Language (Country/Locale)Culture Name
Chinese (Traditional, Hong Kong S.A.R)zh-HK
Chinese (Traditional, Taiwan)zh-TW
Portuguese (Brazil)pt-BR
Portuguese (Portugal)pt-PT

For a list of cultures, languages, and locales supported by Microsoft, see National Language Support (NLS) API Reference (

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