Single user with access to multiple applications

Hi There

I am implimenting the .NET 2.0 Membership system within a set of applications I am working on.  I am using the SqlMembershipProvider.

I want to know if it is possible to give 1 user account access to multiple applications.  Looking at the DB schema, there seems to be a 1 to 1 membership between a User and an Application.

Ideally I want a 1 to Many relationship.  This would affectively allow us to grant an existing user access to new applications as they are developed.  It would also allow a user to log in, and be presented with a list of Applications they have access to.

Is this possible using the SqlMembershipProvider out of the box?



C# Software Developer
1/5/2007 2:38:46 PM 27051 articles. 1 followers. Follow

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I believe you are going to have to make your own membership provider to do this.

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1/5/2007 3:18:15 PM
Looks to me like it is a one to many.  The base users table is aspnet_users and the details table is aspnet_membership.  Multiple records in aspnet_membership will allow for multiple applications per user.
Peter Kellner and blogging at
1/5/2007 3:19:11 PM

So do you mean within aspnet_membership you create the relationships between users and Applications, ie assign multiple ApplicationIDs to 1 UserID?

I also thought that, however UserID is the primaryKey in the aspnet_membership table, so a user can only exist once in that table, meaning the user can only be assigned to 1 application.

I think it would make more sense to have a "MembershipID" column in that membership table, make that the PrimaryKey, and then you could have many to many relationships between Users and Applications.

Do you see what I mean?



C# Software Developer
1/5/2007 3:31:21 PM
I think you are right.  I would have thought the primary key would have been composite application +user and it is not. (It is also not for sqlserver, I could see them making it this way for sqlexpress).  I wonder if this is what they intended?  I would submit a bug and post the response here. 
Peter Kellner and blogging at
1/5/2007 5:55:55 PM


I see what you mean, it would make more sense that way.  But to get this done now I think you are going to have to make your own membership provider.

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1/5/2007 7:15:22 PM

within the membership/role provider configuration of each application give every application the same name.


<membership defaultProvider="MyProvider">


   <add name="MyProvider" type="System.Web.Security.SqlMembershipProvider" applicationName="/someNameHere"/>



And just use the same value for applicationName across all your applications. 

1/11/2007 5:56:07 PM

In the end I went for a solution which is a hybrid of some of the suggestions here.

I setup my Membership provider to work as 1 application across all my applications by setting the ApplicationName to the same value in all Apps.

I then wrote a custom Profile provider system, which allows me to give authorised users profiles to the various applications.  This way, I can control access to the applications, but also give users different profile types for each application.  This lends itself to be pretty flexible, as new profile types and so business rules can be added as new applications dictate

Thanks for the help. 

C# Software Developer
2/23/2007 12:23:43 AM

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