Skip to content
An OAuth server based on the OWIN OAuth 2.0 Authorization Server
Branch: develop
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.


TeamCity Build Status

Sentinel is an OAuth server based on the ASP.NET OWIN OAuth 2.0 Authorization Server. This project aims to simplify the work with setting up OAuth on a WebAPI application, by providing you with simpler interfaces and less work to do before you have proper authorization up and running.

Please note that this library is for people wanting to make their own authentication server using ASP.NET. Sentinel is designed to lessen the burden of creating an authentication server, but you need to do some work yourself to fully support OAuth 2.0.

Package Description Version
Sentinel.OAuth.Core The base package that is used by all the other packages and 3rd party plugins NuGet Version
Sentinel.OAuth The authorization provider itself NuGet Version
Sentinel.OAuth.Client A generic OAuth client built on the Microsoft HTTP Client Libraries NuGet Version
Sentinel.OAuth.TokenManagers.Redis A token manager using Redis for storage NuGet Version
Sentinel.OAuth.TokenManagers.RavenDB A token manager using RavenDB for storage NuGet Version
Sentinel.OAuth.TokenManagers.SQL A token manager using SQL for storage NuGet Version


  • Simple setup
  • Supports authorization codes and refresh tokens out of the box
  • Supports basic authentication and signature authentication
  • Easy to extend and configure


To make contributions to this project, please fork the develop branch and make your pull request against the develop branch.

Setting up

The easy way

Sentinel needs to know where and how your users and clients are located. This is accomplished by making an implementation of the IUserRepository and IClientRepository interfaces. These have methods that is responsible for locating users and clients, stuff that is probable very specific to your application.

In its simplest form Sentinel the only requires the following code in your OWIN Startup class to work:

    new SentinelAuthorizationServerOptions()
           IssuerUri = new Uri(""),
           ClientRepository = new SimpleClientRepository(),
           UserRepository = new SimpleUserRepository()

The IUserRepository and a IClientRepository can be implemented like this.

public class SimpleUserRepository : IUserRepository
    /// <summary>Gets the users.</summary>
    /// <returns>The users.</returns>
    public async Task<IEnumerable<IUser>> GetUsers()
        return new List<IUser>() 
                new User() { UserId = "myid", Password = "some-hash" }

    /// <summary>Gets a user.</summary>
    /// <param name="userId">Identifier for the user.</param>
    /// <returns>The user.</returns>
    public async Task<IUser> GetUser(string userId)
        return new User() { UserId = userId, Password = "some-hash" };

public class SimpleClientRepository : IClientRepository
    /// <summary>Gets the clients in this collection.</summary>
    /// <returns>An enumerator that allows foreach to be used to process the clients in this collection.</returns>
    public async Task<IEnumerable<IClient>> GetClients()
        return new List<IClient>() 
                new Client() { ClientId = clientId, ClientSecret = "some-hash", RedirectUri = "http://localhost" }
    /// <summary>Gets the client with the specified id.</summary>
    /// <param name="clientId">Identifier for the client.</param>
    /// <returns>The client.</returns>
    public async Task<IClient> GetClient(string clientId)
        return new Client() { ClientId = clientId, ClientSecret = "some-hash", RedirectUri = "http://localhost" };

Hashing and validation

By default, Sentinel uses HMACSHA-256 for token hashing, and PBKDF2 for password/client secret hashing and validation.
If you use (or want to use) something other than this, you need to swap out the UserManager and ClientManager properties on the configuration object.


The above setup will configure the OAuth server with the default settings, which are as follows:

Setting Default Value
Access Token Lifetime 1 hour
Authorization Code Lifetime 5 minutes
Refresh Token Lifetime 3 months (90 days)
Token Endpoint /oauth/token
Authorization Code Endpoint /oauth/authorize
UserInfo Endpoint /openid/userinfo
Token Format JWT (Using a SHA-512 hashing algorithm to encrypt the token)


You might have noticed the use if ISentinelPrincipal, ISentinelIdentity and SentinelClaim.

  • ISentinelPrincipal is a extension of IPrincipal, the base interface for principals in the .NET world. ClaimsPrincipal also implements this interface, and the two are convertible via the included extension methods, or in the constructor of ISentinelPrincipal.
  • ISentinelIdentity is a extension of IIdentity, the base interface for principals in the .NET world. ClaimsIdentity also implements this interface, and the two are convertible via the included extension methods, or in the constructor of ISentinelIdentity.
  • SentinelClaim and its interface ISentinelClaim do not derive from the System.IdentityModel.Claims.Claim. Instead it can take in a Claim in its constructor and can convert back implicitly.

The reason for these custom types are that the built-in ClaimsPrincipal is not PCL-compatible, and the Core and Client packages must be PCL-compatible. I've included a lot of conversion options, so it should not pose a problem for you.

On supporting the authorization_code flow

Sentinel does not include a view for your users to log in when using the /oauth/authorize endpoint. You need to create a page/controller that responds to that endpoint, and that logs in the user using the OWIN AuthorizationManager. However, the Sentinel.OAuth.Authorize package includes a BaseOAuthController class, and it is fairly easy to use:

Coming soon

About Models


A client has a ClientSecret and a PublicKey property. Both should be populated when creating the client. The ClientSecret should be a hash, and the PublicKey should be the public key portion of the RSA key pair.


A user has a Password field that can be used to authenticate the user using Basic authentication. In addition, it is possible to use an api key to authenticate using Basic or Signature authentication.


A user can have multiple api keys. The private key generated when creating an api key can be used with both Basic and Signature authentication.

Authentication Types

OAuth 2.0 / OpenID Connect

This follows the standard OAuth 2.0 authentication flows.

NOTE: The redirect_uri parameter must be present on all authentication requests.

Basic Authentication

Basic authentication can be enabled by setting the EnableBasicAuthentication property to true when setting up the Authorization server.

When enabled, you can create requests against your API using a regular Basic Authorization header.

Signature Authentication

Signature authentication can be enabled by setting the EnableSignatureAuthentication property to true when setting up the Authorization server. It is safer than Basic authentication, but it is not possible to use it with all application types.

Signature authentication is based on a public/private key system, where the public key is stored at the server. Only the user/client has access to the private key. By default, Sentinel uses SHA256 for hashing, and RSA for generating the private/public key pair. NOTE: The private key must not be disclosed.

To use Signature authentication you must supply an Authorization header using Signature as scheme. To create the parameter you must follow the procedure below:

  1. Create a data string using this format user_id={userId},client_id={clientId},redirect_uri={redirectUri},request_url={requestUrl},timestamp={timestamp},nonce={nonce}

     The `timestamp` should be in Unix format
     The `request_url` must match the actual request url
     The `nonce` must be unique in a timeframe of 5 minutes to prevent replay attacks
  2. Create a signature for the data string using the private key

  3. Create a digest by adding the signature to the data string

  4. Base64 encode the digest

  5. Add the digest to the Authorization header

     Authorization: Signature dXNlcl9pZD1OVW5pdCxjbGllbnRfaWQ9TlVuaXQscmVkaXJlY3RfdXJpPWh0dHA6Ly9sb2NhbGhvc3QscmVxdWVzdF91cmw9b3BlbmlkL3VzZXJpbmZvLHRpbWVzdGFtcD0xNDc2Njk5NTQzLG5vbmNlPTQwNmQ5OTk3ODNjYTQwZGZiMzY4YzQxNzkzZTAzMmEyLHNpZ25hdHVyZT1HR1VNZE1CSTFNR2x4cFhGZENkcUcvZkFpUkRzWnJ2aGF6NDN2MUJ1TUduS29zZ2FwU0Z0dml4ZU14RCtGcFZlblBoTExGSVlJSnFMbHZWVGF0V2U2UT09


There is nothing special with Sentinel as an OAuth 2 provider, you can use a normal OAuth client that conforms to the specification.
Sentinel also includes a client for use in .NET projects (source)

There is one thing that must be mentioned however. Sentinel requires the client redirect uri parameter to be present on the authorize request. Not all OAuth 2 providers do this, but it is recommended according to the specification.


These are the average performance results for the included storage providers in the current version.
Please note that these tests may not be fair. The tests are equal, but the connection is not. In addition, I currently do not have a lot of statistics history so the averages might be off by quite a lot.

Also, you must not discard the idea that some methods need to be optimized :-)
The Authenticate methods for the Redis provider are too slow and should be made much faster.

Action Memory SQL (LocalDb) Redis RavenDB
Create Authorization Code 442ms 21ms 477ms 488ms
Authenticate Authorization Code 445ms 24ms 702ms 594ms
Create Access Token 451ms 23ms 486ms 468ms
Authenticate Access Token 464ms 60ms 6244ms 1004ms
Create Refresh Token 433ms 4ms 472ms 447ms
Authenticate Refresh Token 460ms 47ms 3424ms 613ms


The samples below can be mixed and matched to your liking. You can use SQL Server for storing users and clients, and then use RavenDB for storing tokens, or the other way around :-)

Custom OAuth Grant Types

TODO: Example using custom grant type to add a new property to the token response

Custom User Manager

It is possible to use the ASP.NET Identity system to store your users and use Sentinel at the same time.
Please look at the sample implementation in the AspNetIdentityUserManager project

There is also a demo using Dapper and a vanilla SQL database in the SqlServerUserManager project.

Custom Client Manager

There is a sample implementation using Dapper and SQL Server here. You can also use NoSQL databases for storing clients.

Custom Token Manager

Guides on how to use token managers with persistent storage.


There are some claims that will be added to your user principal that are specific for Sentinel.
Below you can find an overview of claims with explanations.

Claim Explanation
urn:oauth:client The client that was used to authenticate the user
urn:oauth:scope The scope that was set when asking for an authorization code or access token
urn:oauth:accesstoken The access token for the current user object
urn:oauth:refreshtoken The refresh token for the current user object

TODO (Roadmap)

  • Add support for scope handling
You can’t perform that action at this time.