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Membership in Asp.Net

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Membership service is one of the important features of Asp.Net. Microsoft introduced membership service with ASP.NET 2.0 for the first time. It is very useful for validating and storing user credentials.

Some important functionalities of Membership API are given below:
  • It has the ability to delete or create a user.

  • It has the ability to store the membership information such as username, password, E-mail address etc. in database.

  • It has the ability to reset password and if an e-mail address is stored for a user, an automatic system generated E-mail is received by the user with a reset link.

  • A membership API service authenticates the visitors.

  • It has the ability to manage passwords by creating, changing and resetting them. It also uses an automatic password generating system to set a new password.

  • It is used to store and retrieve the user information.
In other words we can say that the main task for this service is to authenticate and authorized a user to access a specific point of an application or a specific dataset that is provided by the application. So let us understand that what is authentication and authorization.


Authentication is a process of identifying users based on username, password or security question. When unregistered users register themselves, they become authenticated user. Authenticated users have their own username and password to identify oneself. Authentication is introduced in Asp.Net 3.5 using membership service.


Authorization is a process of providing the access to the authenticated user. In this process users are authorized to access a specific part of the application or a specific set of Database or have the rights the access the all functionalities of the application.

Some important membership API related classes are given below:
  • Membership : It is the primary class to interact with the membership API. It provides the method for managing users or password.

  • Membership Provider: Membership Provider provides the interaction between database and the login controls.

  • SqlMembershipProvider : This membership class works with sql database.

  • MembershipUser : It is a single user which is stored in membership API.
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