Adding Authorize to a Web API

In the post Aurelia with ASP.NET 5 and Web API I removed the authorize attribute from the contacts API controller to reduce complexity. That change simplified some things but it also effectively made the API useless for multiple users.

In this post I am going to add back in authorization as well as making sure a user identifier is used in contact creation and retrieval. Also note that this authorization is taking place in the web application not via the API so the user must logged in via the main site before access to the API is allowed.

All the changes are in the controller class that needs to be protected. First add two new namespaces.

using Microsoft.AspNet.Authorization;
using System.Security.Claims;

Microsoft.AspNet.Authorization is where the Authorize attribute is found and System.Security.Claims contains an extension method on to the User class to make it easy to get the user ID.

Next add the Authorize attribute to the class level if the whole class should require authorization or at the function level if only some functions need authorization.

public class ContactsController : Controller

Next add a filter to the query for contacts to makes sure a user only sees their contacts. User is provided by the Controller base class and the GetUserId is the extension method from System.Security.Claims namespace referenced above.

private IQueryable<Contact> GetContacts()
    var contacts = from c in _dbContext.Contacts
                             .Include(c => c.Addresses)
                             .Include(c => c.EmailAddresses)
                             .Include(c => c.PhoneNumbers)
                   where c.UserId == User.GetUserId()
                   select c;
    return contacts;

In the create function, which handles HTTP post, the contact user ID must be set based on the current user before the contact is added to the DB context.

public async Task Create([FromBody] Contact contact)
    if (contact == null)
        return HttpBadRequest();

    if (!ModelState.IsValid)
        return new BadRequestObjectResult(ModelState);

    contact.UserId = User.GetUserId();

    await _dbContext.SaveChangesAsync();
    return CreatedAtRoute("GetById",
                              controller = "Contacts",
                              id = contact.Id

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