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services platforms author level client service endpoint
.NET native (WPF)
ASP.NET Core 2.0

Calling a ASP.NET Core Web API from a WPF application using Azure AD

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There's a newer version of this sample! Check it out:

This newer sample takes advantage of the Microsoft identity platform (formerly Azure AD v2.0).

While still in public preview, every component is supported in production environments

About this sample


You expose a Web API and you want to protect it so that only authenticated user can access it.


This sample presents a Web API running on ASP.NET Core 2.0, protected by Azure AD OAuth Bearer Authentication. The Web API is exercised by a .NET Desktop WPF application. The .Net application uses the Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL.Net) to obtain a JWT access token through the OAuth 2.0 protocol. The access token is sent to the ASP.NET Core Web API, which authenticates the user using the ASP.NET JWT Bearer Authentication middleware.


This sample has been updated to ASP.NET Core 2.0. Looking for previous versions of this code sample? Check out the tags on the releases GitHub page.

User experience with this sample

The Web API (TodoListService) maintains an in-memory collection of to-do items per authenticated user. Several applications signed-in under the same identity share the same to-do list.

The WPF application (TodoListClient) enables a user to:

  • Sign in. The first time a user signs it, a consent screen is presented letting him/her consent for the application accessing the TodoList Service and the Azure Active Directory. When s/he has signed-in, the user sees the list of to-do items exposed by Web API for the signed-in identity
  • add more to-do items (buy clicking on Add item).

Next time a user runs the application, the user is signed-in with the same identity as the application maintains a cache on disk. Users can clear the cache (which will also have the effect of signing them out)

TodoList Client

How to run this sample


  • Install .NET Core for Windows by following the instructions at, which will include Visual Studio 2017.
  • An Internet connection
  • An Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) tenant. For more information on how to get an Azure AD tenant, see How to get an Azure AD tenant
  • A user account in your Azure AD tenant. This sample will not work with a Microsoft account (formerly Windows Live account). Therefore, if you signed in to the Azure portal with a Microsoft account and have never created a user account in your directory before, you need to do that now. (See Quickstart: Add new users to Azure Active Directory

Step 1: Clone or download this repository

From your shell or command line:

git clone

Given that the name of the sample is pretty long, and so are the name of the referenced NuGet pacakges, you might want to clone it in a folder close to the root of your hard drive, to avoid file size limitations on Windows.

Step 2: Register the sample with your Azure Active Directory tenant

There are two projects in this sample. Each needs to be separately registered in your Azure AD tenant. To register these projects, you can:

  • either follow the steps in the paragraphs below (Step 2 and Step 3)
  • or use PowerShell scripts that:
    • automatically create for you the Azure AD applications and related objects (passwords, permissions, dependencies)
    • modify the Visual Studio projects' configuration files.

If you want to use this automation, read the instructions in App Creation Scripts

First step: choose the Azure AD tenant where you want to create your applications

As a first step you'll need to:

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. On the top bar, click on your account, and then on Switch Directory.
  3. Once the Directory + subscription pane opens, choose the Active Directory tenant where you wish to register your application, from the Favorites or All Directories list.
  4. Click on All services in the left-hand nav, and choose Azure Active Directory.

In the next steps, you might need the tenant name (or directory name) or the tenant ID (or directory ID). These are presented in the Properties of the Azure Active Directory window respectively as Name and Directory ID

Register the service app (TodoListService)

  1. In the Azure Active Directory pane, click on App registrations and choose New application registration.
  2. Enter a friendly name for the application, for example 'TodoListService' and select 'Web app / API' as the Application Type.
  3. For the sign-on URL, enter the base URL for the sample, which is by default https://localhost:44351/.
  4. Click on Create to create the application.
  5. From the Azure portal, note the following information:
    • The Tenant domain: See the App ID URI base URL. For example:
    • The Tenant ID: See the Endpoints window (button next to New application registration). Record the GUID from any of the endpoint URLs. For example: da41245a5-11b3-996c-00a8-4d99re19f292. Alternatively you can also find the Tenant ID in the Properties of the Azure Active Directory object (this Tenant ID is the value of the Directory ID property)
    • The Application ID (Client ID): See the Properties window. For example: ba74781c2-53c2-442a-97c2-3d60re42f403

Register the TodoListClient app

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. In the Azure Active Directory pane, click on App registrations and choose New application registration.
  3. Enter a friendly name for the application, for example 'TodoListClient' and select 'Native' as the Application Type.
  4. For the Redirect URI, enter https://TodoListClient. Click on Create to create the application.
  5. While still in the Azure portal, choose your application, click on Settings, and choose Properties.
  6. Find the Application ID value and copy it to the clipboard.
  7. Configure Permissions for your application - in the Settings menu, choose the 'Required permissions' section, click on Add, then Select an API, and type "TodoListService" in the text box. Then, click on Select Permissions and select 'Access TodoListService'.

Step 3: Configure the sample to use your Azure AD tenant

In the steps below, ClientID is the same as Application ID or AppId.

Configure the TodoListService C# project

  1. Open the solution in Visual Studio.
  2. In the TodoListService project, open the appsettings.json file.
  3. Find the Domain property and replace the value with your AAD tenant domain, for example,
  4. Find the TenantId property and replace the value with the Tenant ID you registered earlier,
  5. Find the ClientId property and replace the value with the Application ID (Client ID) property of the Service application, that you registered earlier.

Configure the TodoListClient C# project

  1. In the TodoListClient project, open App.config.
  2. Find the app key ida:Tenant and replace the value with your AAD Tenant ID (GUID). Alternatively you can also use your AAD tenant Name (for example,
  3. Find the app key ida:ClientId and replace the value with the ApplicationID (Client ID) for the TodoListClient from the Azure portal.
  4. Find the app key ida:RedirectUri and replace the value with the Redirect URI for the TodoListClient from the Azure portal, for example https://TodoListClient.
  5. Find the app key todo:TodoListResourceId and replace the value with the ApplicationID (Client ID) of the Service application (a GUID)
  6. If you changed the default value, find the app key todo:TodoListBaseAddress and replace the value with the base address of the TodoListService project.

Step 4: Run the sample

Clean the solution, rebuild the solution, and run it. You might want to go into the solution properties and set both projects as startup projects, with the service project starting first.

When you start the Web API, you'll get an empty web page. This is expected.

Explore the sample by signing in into the TodoList client, adding items to the To Do list, removing the user account (clearing the cache), and starting again. As explained, if you stop the application without removing the user account, the next time you run the application, you won't be prompted to sign in again - that is because the sample implements a persistent cache for ADAL, and remembers the tokens from the previous run.

NOTE: Remember, the To Do list is stored in memory in this TodoListService sample. Each time you run the TodoListService API, your To Do list will get emptied.

How was the code created?

Code for the service

The code for the service was created in the following way:

Create the web api using the ASP.NET templates

md TodoListService
cd TodoListService
dotnet new webapi -au=SingleOrg

Add a model (TodoListItem) and modify the controller

In the TodoListService project, add a folder named Models and then a file named TodoItem.cs with the following content:

namespace TodoListService.Models
    public class TodoItem
        public string Owner { get; set; }
        public string Title { get; set; }

Under the Controllers folder, rename the file ValuesController.cs to TodoListController.cs. Make sure the content is the following:

using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Authorization;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc;
using System.Collections.Concurrent;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Security.Claims;
using TodoListService.Models;

namespace TodoListService.Controllers
    public class TodoListController : Controller
        static ConcurrentBag<TodoItem> todoStore = new ConcurrentBag<TodoItem>();

        public IEnumerable<TodoItem> Get()
            string owner = (User.FindFirst(ClaimTypes.NameIdentifier))?.Value;
            return todoStore.Where(t => t.Owner == owner).ToList();

        public void Post([FromBody]TodoItem Todo)
            string owner = (User.FindFirst(ClaimTypes.NameIdentifier))?.Value;
            todoStore.Add(new TodoItem { Owner = owner, Title = Todo.Title });

This code gets the todo list items associated with their owner, which is the identity of the user using the Web API. It also adds todo list items associated with the same user. There is no persistence as this would be beyond the scope of this sample

Change the App URL

If you're using Visual Studio 2017

  1. Edit the TodoListService's properties (right click on TodoListService.csproj, and choose Properties)
  2. In the Debug tab:
    1. Check the Launch browser field to https://localhost:44351/api/todolist
    2. Change the App URL field to be https://localhost:44351 as this is the URL registered in the Azure AD application representing the Web API.
    3. Check the Enable SSL field

How to deploy this sample to Azure

This project has one WebApp / Web API projects. To deploy it to Azure Web Sites, you'll need to:

  • create an Azure Web Site
  • publish the Web App / Web APIs to the web site, and
  • update its client(s) to call the web site instead of IIS Express.

Create and Publish the TodoListService to an Azure Web Site

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. Click Create a resource in the top left-hand corner, select Web + Mobile --> Web App, select the hosting plan and region, and give your web site a name, for example, Click Create Web Site.
  3. Once the web site is created, click on it to manage it. For this set of steps, download the publish profile by clicking Get publish profile and save it. Other deployment mechanisms, such as from source control, can also be used.
  4. Switch to Visual Studio and go to the TodoListService project. Right click on the project in the Solution Explorer and select Publish. Click Import Profile on the bottom bar, and import the publish profile that you downloaded earlier.
  5. Click on Settings and in the Connection tab, update the Destination URL so that it is https, for example Click Next.
  6. On the Settings tab, make sure Enable Organizational Authentication is NOT selected. Click Save. Click on Publish on the main screen.
  7. Visual Studio will publish the project and automatically open a browser to the URL of the project. If you see the default web page of the project, the publication was successful.

Update the Active Directory tenant application registration for TodoListService

  1. Navigate to the Azure portal.
  2. On the top bar, click on your account and under the Directory list, choose the Active Directory tenant containing the TodoListService application.
  3. On the applications tab, select the TodoListService application.
  4. From the Settings -> Reply URLs menu, update the Sign-On URL, and Reply URL fields to the address of your service, for example Save the configuration.

Update the TodoListClient to call the TodoListService running in Azure Web Sites

  1. In Visual Studio, go to the TodoListClient project.
  2. Open TodoListClient\App.Config. Only one change is needed - update the todo:TodoListBaseAddress key value to be the address of the website you published, for example,
  3. Run the client! If you are trying multiple different client types (for example, .Net, Windows Store, Android, iOS) you can have them all call this one published web API.

NOTE: Remember, the To Do list is stored in memory in this TodoListService sample. Azure Web Sites will spin down your web site if it is inactive, and your To Do list will get emptied. Also, if you increase the instance count of the web site, requests will be distributed among the instances. To Do will, therefore, not be the same on each instance.

Community Help and Support

Use Stack Overflow to get support from the community. Ask your questions on Stack Overflow first and browse existing issues to see if someone has asked your question before. Make sure that your questions or comments are tagged with [adal dotnet].

If you find a bug in the sample, please raise the issue on GitHub Issues.

To provide a recommendation, visit the following User Voice page.


If you'd like to contribute to this sample, see CONTRIBUTING.MD.

This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct. For more information, see the Code of Conduct FAQ or contact with any additional questions or comments.

More information

To understand better how the client code acquires a token, see ADAL.NET's conceptual documentation:

Other documentation / samples

The scenarios involving Azure Active directory with ASP.NET Core are described in ASP.Net Core | Security | Authentication | Azure Active Directory

For more information about how the protocols work in this scenario and other scenarios, see Authentication Scenarios for Azure AD.

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