Sample middleware component for ASP.NET that generates JWT access tokens
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Latest commit 80d52fb Mar 31, 2017

Simple Token Provider Middleware for ASP.NET

This project demonstrates how to generate JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) for token authentication in ASP.NET Core RC2. The functionality is wrapped up in a reusable middleware component.

Original blog post: Token Authentication in ASP.NET Core

This has not been tested in production, so explore and use at your own risk!

Configuring the middleware

The token provider endpoint can be added to your pipeline in Configure():

app.UseSimpleTokenProvider(new TokenProviderOptions
    Path = "/api/token",
    Audience = "ExampleAudience",
    Issuer = "ExampleIssuer",
    SigningCredentials = signingCredentials,
    IdentityResolver = GetIdentity

The options are:

  • Path (optional) - The endpoint path relative to the server root. Default: /token
  • Audience - The JWT aud claim value.
  • Issuer - The JWT iss claim value.
  • Expiration (optional) - The expiration duration for new tokens. Default: 5 minutes
  • SigningCredentials - The signing credentials to use when signing new tokens.
  • IdentityResolver - A delegate that takes a username/password and returns a ClaimsIdentity if the user exists, or null if the user does not exist.
  • NonceGenerator (optional) - A delegate that generates a random value (nonce) for each new token. Default: Guid.NewGuid()

If you are using an HMAC-SHA256 key (symmetric signing), the SigningCredentials will look like:

// The secret key every token will be signed with.
// Keep this safe on the server!
var secretKey = "mysupersecret_secretkey!123";

var signingCredentials = new SigningCredentials(
    new SymmetricSecurityKey(Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes(secretKey)),

The IdentityResolver delegate abstracts away the concern of looking up and verifying a user given a username and password. If the user exists and the password is valid, a ClaimsIdentity should be returned. If not, the delegate should return null.

You can use the following dummy resolver for testing: (don't use in production!)

private Task<ClaimsIdentity> GetIdentity(string username, string password)
    // Don't do this in production, obviously!
    if (username == "TEST" && password == "TEST123")
        return Task.FromResult(new ClaimsIdentity(new GenericIdentity(username, "Token"), new Claim[] { }));

    // Credentials are invalid, or account doesn't exist
    return Task.FromResult<ClaimsIdentity>(null);

How it works

At a high level, the middleware does the following:

  • Intercepts requests to options.Path
  • Verifies the request is a POST with Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
  • Pulls the username and password out of the form body
  • Delegates to options.IdentityResolver to look up the user; errors if the credentials are bad
  • Creates a JWT with the following claims:
    • sub (subject) - the username
    • jti (nonce) - a random value
    • iat (issued-at) - the current time
    • nbf (not-before) - the current time
    • exp (expiration) - the current time + options.Expiration
    • iss (issuer) - options.Issuer
    • aud (audience) - options.Audience
  • Encodes the JWT to a string and sends it back to the client

Trying it out

You can install the middleware in a new project, or just run the included test project. Send a POST request using a tool like Fiddler or Postman:

POST /token (or whatever you set options.Path to)
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded


You should get a 200 OK response:

  "access_token": "eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJzdWIiOiJURVNUIiwianRpIjoiYzRjYzdhMmUtMjI0OS00ZWUzLWJkM2MtYzU5MDkzYmU5MGU1IiwiaWF0IjoxNDYzNTMwMDI0LCJuYmYiOjE0NjM1MzAwMjMsImV4cCI6MTQ2MzUzMDMyMywiaXNzIjoiRXhhbXBsZUlzc3VlciIsImF1ZCI6IkV4YW1wbGVBdWRpZW5jZSJ9.mI0NPO437IuBSt5kmayy5XhNFEHVF4IyMkKsmtas6w8",
  "expires_in": 300

You can try decoding and verifying the JWT at


These resources were extremely helpful as I was figuring out how to make this work: