Impersonation with ASP.NET 2.0


Impersonation is the process of executing code in the context of another user identity. By default, all ASP.NET code is executed using a fixed machine-specific account. To execute code using another identity we can use the built-in impersonation capabilities of ASP.NET. We can use a predefined user account or user's identity, if the user has already been authenticated using a windows account.

We can use the impersonation in this two scenarios:

  1. To give each web application different permissions.
  2. To use existing Windows user permission.

These two scenario are fundamentally different. In the first one, impersonation defines a single, specific account. In this case, no matter what user access the application, and no matter what type of user-level security you use, the code will run under the account you've set. In the second one, the user must be authenticated by IIS. The web-page code will then execute under the identity of the appropriate user.

Implement Impersonation:

Impersonate the Microsoft IIS Authenticated Account or User:

To impersonate the IIS authenticating user on every request for every page in an ASP.NET application, we must include an <identity> tag in the Web.config file of this application and set the impersonate attribute to true.

<identity impersonate="true" /> 

Impersonate a Specific User:

To impersonate a specific user for all the requests on all pages of an ASP.NET application, you can specify the userName and password attributes in the <identity> tag of the Web.config file for that application.

<identity impersonate="true" userName="AccountNAME" password="Password" />

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