Lately I???ve been??building??websites with??AngularJS,??TypeScript,??WebApi??and??Entity Framework 6??(and??Bootstrap, obvs!).??A lot of the work is repetitive grunt-work, generating the model, then the DTO, then the WebApi controller, etc. For a little while now I???ve been using my own ???code generator??? tool to scaffold out these ???templates???, which saves me a lot of??work. Recently I open-sourced the??project on GitHub, and now I???ve got a chance to blog about it.

I???ve also set up a hosted version, which you can play with??now, to see how it works. Simply head over to?? log in with the following credentials:

  • Username:??
  • Password:??L3tM3!n

Here follows an explanation of how to use it, and what it does.


When you first log in, you will see a list of projects. Click the??Demo Project??for now. You will see a page like the following:

You can see there are 4 entities: Product, Customer, Order and Line Item (we all know where this is going, right?)

You???ll see 13 columns in the table:??Model,??Enums,??DTO,??SettingsDTO, etc. These are the outputs that will be generated by the tool. More on these later.


Clicking on the Customer entity link, takes us to the following webpage:

Some entity-level fields are hidden under that??More >??button, but we???ll ignore those fields for now. More importantly you see the 3 fields on the entity:??CustomerId,??Name, and??Telephone. You can add more fields, rearrange the order, or click on a field row to edit that field.

Beneath the fields are the relationships with other entities: those relationships where the??Customerentity is the parent, and then where it is the??Child.??Customer??is a parent of??Orders, so you can see the relationship to the??Orders??entity listed.

Beneath that you???ll find??Code Replacements. Code Replacements allow you to customize the??generated outputs. More on that in another post, though.


For now, let???s click??the??Name??field. This brings up the following page:

Here you can see some standard things you???d need for a field: a field name, a label, the data type (e.g. nVarchar), the Length, whether it???s a key field, if it???s unique, if it???s nullable, whether it???s a search field, whether it should be shown on the search results page, a sort order, etc. So enough to get you started.

The Code!

Back on the entity page, if you click the blue??Code </>??button, you???ll get to this page:

Here you???ll find 13 checkboxes and 13 tabs: one for each of the output files that the Code Generator tool produces. (The checkboxes are for deploying the outputs directly to your local??folder, if/when the tool is installed on your development machine ??? again, more on that??in a later post).

The Model Code

For now, you???ll see that the tool is generating a Model file in the screenshot above. It???s??outputting the key field,??CustomerId, which is a Guid. The??Name??field is a 250-length string, with an index for uniqueness. There???s also a navigation property to the??Orders??collection, which is produced because of the relationship defined from Customers to Orders.

The WebApi Controller Code

Let???s look at the WebApi controller code next:

So the API is protected with??Authorize(Roles =?????Administrator???), and the??route prefix is??api/customers.

There is a??Search??end-point which??takes an optional paging object, for paging through results, and then a string search parameter??q.??If this is supplied, the??controller will search in the??Customer.Namefield for any matches, because the??Name??field was defined as a text-search field. The name field was also designated as??a sorting field, so the results are sorted by the??Name. The controller then gets a paginated response object, and??converts the model to the DTO using the??ModelFactory.Createmethod.

Further down you???ll see a??Get??method, for returning a single item. Then an??Insert??and??Update??method, which both use a private??Save??method, and lastly a??Delete??method.

The AngularJS (TypeScript) Code

Ok, let???s look at what it does from the AngularJS / TypeScript side. Here is the output for the AngularJS controller, for the Edit page:

Ok, so this is a standard AngularJS controller, with several items injected. Let???s look at what it does.

There???s an??initPage??function which runs when the controller loads. It determines via the??$stateParamsif the entity is being added (new) or loaded (existing). If it???s being loaded, it uses the??customerResource??(ngResource)??to??.get??the appropriate record. That???s really it, in a nutshell.

Then there???s a??save??function, which saves changes up to the API.

Then there???s a??delete??function, which will delete the entity.

And lastly there???s a??loadOrders??function, which will load the customer???s orders, using the pagination parameters that were mentioned briefly in the??Controller??section above, so??it will display 10 orders at a time with a pager to move through them.

The Html Code

Lastly, let???s look at an Html??page that gets output.

Here???s the Html that??works with the??AngularJS controller. I???m not going to go into detail, but you???ll see it uses Bootstrap 4 (although there???s a setting for 3 on the Project), it does a bit of validation and uses??ng-messages, has the??Save??and??Delete??buttons, and then displays the customer???s orders in a list at the bottom (if the customer record is not new).

Hopefully that explains it enough to show you what it can do. Obviously you???ll need to have a project with the appropriate supporting files (e.g. the BaseApiController.cs, the WebApiConfig.cs, the ApplicationDBContext.cs, etc). However, the CodeGenerator project on GitHub has all these files in it! So you can simply strip out the??files related to the CodeGenerator, and paste in??the files from your project, and you should be good to go. (If you???re struggling with getting that set up, I can/will provide an ???empty??? project that you can start with, if it would help.)

Let me know if you find it useful, and if you??hit any issues. Hopefully this will help someone???s productivity as much as it???s helped mine!

In this post,??I’ll show how I set up ASP.NET5 (vNext / ASP.NET Core / MVC6 / ASP.NET MVC Core) to use JWT tokens.

29 Jan 2016 UPDATE: The Github repo has been updated to include an AngularJS login.

First up, let me say I’m not expert on any of this, but if you see any??room for improvements / errors, please let me know.

TLDR:??If you don’t want to read the whole thing, you can download the finished code from:??

The website I??will be using this on is an AngularJS front end (although that’s not really relevant), which I hope to one day build mobile apps for, so JWT tokens seems like the logical choice.??My understanding is that I’d be using the??Resource Owner Flow of OAuth2; and that my authorization server (the thing that creates??the token) and my resource server (the thing that validates the token and returns the data – i.e. the API) would be in the same application. Also, users wouldn’t (initially) be??authorizing other??apps/websites/etc. (i.e. “clients”) to use their data (resources) – so the typical??authorization??aspect that you see in many OAuth2 examples (“Application X wants to access??your data – Accept / Deny?”) didn’t apply. Basically, I just wanted a typical login (i.e. cookies) system for round trips to the API, but without the cookie – i.e. with JWTs!

Note that I use Entity Framework and SQL Server for data access/storage, and I’ll be using ASP.NET Identity v3.

First I needed to choose which existing software to use to generate the JWT tokens. Previously, in ASP.NET4, I had used an OWIN implementation that I based on the fantastic??blog of Taiseer Joudeh – at It involved quite a lot of coding so I was hoping for something in v5 that had??less heavy lifting.

I looked at Identity Server v3 first, and got reasonably far, but it also got??quite tricky to understand, as you have to look at an example for using??Identity, and then another example for Entity Framework, and then another example for ASP.NET5, and then another example for JWT tokens, etc – and then try pull them all together. I gave up when I read something about Entity Framework 7 not yet being fully (natively?) supported.

The other??option I was reading about was AspNet.Security.OpenIdConnect.Server (ASOS). But again, this looked quite tricky to pull together. then I stumbled onto the lesser known OpenIddict??software, which is based on ASOS, but??does most of the heavy lifting for you. This is what I ended up choosing.

There are installation instructions on the OpenIddict home page. Note that at the time of writing, you have to use RC2 builds, so you’ll need to run:

You also have to create a??Nuget.Config file in the root of your application, with the following contents:

At the time of writing, these installation instructions mirror what’s on the OpenIddict home page. From here on we’ll start to deviate, though, as we don’t want the default configuration, which seems to be more about authorizing other applications/clients.

First up, we add??hosting.json to the project with the following contents:

My project name is??openiddict-test, so in project.json we set the following commands:

Note that the??web command is the project name, not the namespace name (I originally had it as openiddicttest and the damned thing wouldn’t start).

The new static void main syntax in Startup.cs??is now as follows:

In the config file (in my case, in appsettings.json), we have the database connection string and some logging settings:

Lastly (before we get into the real code), in??project.json, make sure you have the following dependencies:

We don’t actually need the whole of??OpenIddict, we just need the??core for generating the tokens, and the??EF for the entity??Entity Framework aspects, so I’ve just included these two, although you could include the main package if you like. We’re also going to be using the Microsoft JwtBearer package for validating the tokens, so include that now too. Notice that all dependencies are using the “-*” versioning option.

The Real Code

This is where it starts to get interesting.

First we need the User model, so this is the??ApplicationUser.cs file:

Note that we’re deriving from??IdentityUser as you normally would if using ASP.NET Identity. We’re also adding a custom field called??GivenName, which we will include in the JWT token.

Similarly, here is the very simple ApplicationRole.cs file:

It simply derives from??IdentityRole.

Then??we need a??DbContext, so the below is from a file ApplicationDbContext.cs:

Note that we’re deriving from??OpenIddictContext and we’re using an override with 4 parameters: the ApplicationUser, the Application class, the ApplicationRole, and string.??Although we’re not going to be using the Application class, we still need??to use this signature otherwise the roles won’t get populated in the JWT token.

Now, here is the??ConfigureServices method from the Startup.cs:

  • Lines 4-7 are standard for building the configuration options.
  • Lines 10-13 adds??Entity Framework and configures the connection string from the configuration file.
  • Lines 16-19 adds??Identity. Notice Line 19 being the first OpenIddict line of code, which also tells OpenIddict to use Entity Framework.
  • Line 22 adds MVC, for the API.
  • Line 25 adds the Database Initializer, which is simply to seed the database with some data.
  • Line 26 adds a??Custom OpenIddict Manager. The OpenIddict Manager will override the token generation method so we can add the custom field (GivenName) to the JWT token.

Let’s look at the CustomOpenIddictManager.cs:

This??class simply inherits from??OpenIddict.OpenIddictManager<ApplicationUser, Application> and then overrides??CreateIdentityAsyncCreateIdentityAsync. It creates the??claimsIdentity from the base method, and then adds the Given Name claim to the claimsIdentity, and sets the destination property of the claim to both??id_token and token. This simply means that when the token is requested, the Given Name claim should be returned in the token.

Back in the Startup.cs file, we now look at the??Configure method:

  • Lines 3-5 set up logging.
  • Line 7 has??something to do with IIS, I won’t pretend to know what.
  • Line 11 & 10 allow static files to be served (index.html) and lets the index.html page be served as the default page (index.html will be our test??javascript page).
  • Note we??don’t use the identity line on line 14 as this is just a wrapper for cookies.
  • Lines 16-23 configures OpenIddictCore – telling it to use JWT tokens, to allow non-HTTPS requests, and to display errors (these last two??are obviously development settings).
  • Lines 26-33 configures the JWT middleware that will validate the token and thus ensure that the??Authorize attribute on our WebApi methods is??honoured. Note that the audience and authority are the same, but more importantly the??audience must match the??resource value sent in the token request payload (on the index.html page, which we will see later). Also note that you will have to put in the correct values??for your environment here and on index.html, and that this should ideally be stored in the config file.
  • Lines 36-41 configures MVC.
  • Line 44 seeds the database.

I’m not going to cover the Database Initialiser as that just seeds the database with a user and a role. You can view the source on Github if you’re interested.

The??API??endpoint we will be calling to test the token is in??TestController.cs:

This is a pretty standard controller, with these notes:

  • On line 8 we are using the??Authorize attribute to ensure that only authorized (logged in) users can access this data.
  • On line 9 we’re inherting from the MVC Controller class.
  • On lines 11-18 we’re instantiating the controller object, using Dependency Injection to get the??ApplicationDbContext and the??UserManager, which we store in local properties.
  • Line 20??specifies the Route (api/test) and that it’s a??GET request.
  • Line 23-26 gets the user that is logged in. If there’s no user ??it returns a simple text message (there always will be a user??if the??Authorize??attribute is in place on line 7, but you can remove the attribute and call the??url to test it’s working). If there is a user, the user object gets returned.

Basically, this API url??(http://localhost:58292/api/test) will return the user if??logged in, or it will return 401 (Unauthorized).

That is really all there is to it, on the server side.

Client Side Testing Code

This post is not meant to cover what happens on the client side – it could be an AngularJS??website, or a mobile app, or whatever. But to??test that the server is working, below is??the??index.html test page:

  • ??Lines 9-21 are the??form fields for logging in, and the buttons for logging in (getting the token) and getting the api data (using the token).
  • Lines 22-27 are the??outputs of the results of the two button clicks.
  • Lines 29-32 sets up the base url and the button click event handlers.
  • Lines 58-104 gets the token (logs the user in). It basically creates an??XMLHttpRequest that when loaded, will output the token to the controls in lines 22-27. You can ignore the client_id and client_secret lines. Note that the url being called is the base url plus??connect/token. Note the??grant_type, the??resource??(which, as mentioned ealier, must match the settings in Startup.cs), and the scope (offline_access is required to get the refresh??token).
  • Lines 34-56 access the API url. It creates an??XMLHttpRequest that will log the results to the controls in lines 22-27. The API url is simply the base url plus??api/test. Note that the access token is sent as a Bearer token (“Bearer ” + access_token) ??in the Authorization header.
  • Lines 106-132 simply decode the token so the contents can be shown on the page.

If all goes well, you should see the result of the token request (login) and the data request (api call) as shown in the screenshot below.

The code is at Github:??

Good luck!



I must??thank Kevin Chalet, aka Pinpoint / PinPointTownes??for all his assistance. Kevin is the author of OpenIddict and had endless patience with me while I was fumbling my way around.