Differences Between AddIdentity and AddDefaultIdentity in .NET Core

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In .NET Core, there are two methods that you can use to add the identity framework to your application: AddDefaultIdentity and AddIdentity. Both methods add the same functionality, but they differ in one important way: AddDefaultIdentity also scaffolds the default identity pages, while AddIdentity does not.

The default identity pages are located in the Pages/Account folder. They provide a basic user interface for registering, logging in, and managing accounts. If you want to use these pages, you will need to use AddDefaultIdentity.

However, if you do not want to use the default identity pages, you can use AddIdentity and then create the pages yourself. This gives you more control over the look and feel of the pages.

Here is a table that summarizes the differences between AddDefaultIdentity and AddIdentity:

Feature AddDefaultIdentity AddIdentity
Scaffolds default identity pages Yes No
Requires Entity Framework Yes Yes
Requires IdentityOptions Yes Yes

Which method should you use?

The best method to use depends on your specific needs. If you want to use the default identity pages, then you should use AddDefaultIdentity. However, if you want more control over the look and feel of the pages, then you should use AddIdentity and then create the pages yourself.

AddDefaultIdentity: For beginners and rapid setup

If you’re looking for a streamlined setup process and prefer to leverage the default identity pages provided by ASP.NET Core Identity, AddDefaultIdentity is the method for you. This convenience method simplifies the configuration of Identity services and scaffolds the essential identity pages out of the box.

With AddDefaultIdentity, you can quickly get started with authentication and authorization in your application without spending time on manual view and controller creation. It internally calls AddIdentity with pre-configured options and sets up the necessary services for authentication and authorization.

By using AddDefaultIdentity, you benefit from sensible defaults that align with typical application requirements. The scaffolded identity pages handle common tasks like user registration, login, and password reset, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your project.

It’s important to note that while AddDefaultIdentity offers ease of use and rapid setup, it may not provide the same level of customization as AddIdentity. If your application demands specific alterations to the default behavior or you wish to integrate with alternative authentication methods, AddDefaultIdentity might limit your flexibility.

AddIdentity: For non-basic & custom requirements

The AddIdentity method provides a more flexible and customizable approach to configure the Identity services in your ASP.NET Core application. By using AddIdentity, you gain finer control over various aspects of the Identity framework, including authentication and authorization.

One significant advantage of AddIdentity is the ability to specify the types of the user and role entities. By passing your custom user and role types, such as ApplicationUser and IdentityRole, you can tailor the Identity system to fit your specific domain requirements. This empowers you to extend the default user and role properties, add additional fields, or integrate external systems seamlessly.

Another benefit of AddIdentity is the granular control it offers over configuration options. You can fine-tune password requirements, set character limitations, enforce unique email addresses, and tweak various other parameters to align with your application’s security policies. This flexibility ensures that your authentication mechanism adheres to the specific needs of your project.

However, it’s worth noting that when using AddIdentity, the default identity pages, such as registration, login, and password reset, are not automatically scaffolded. You’ll need to manually create the necessary views and controllers or leverage a separate scaffolding command to generate them. This level of customization might be beneficial if you prefer to have complete control over the user interface and want to design a unique authentication flow tailored to your application.

Final thoughts

Here are some additional things to consider when choosing between AddDefaultIdentity and AddIdentity:

  • Time to market: If you need to get your application up and running quickly, then AddDefaultIdentity is a good option. The default identity pages are already there, so you can start using them right away.
  • Customization: If you want to customize the look and feel of the identity pages, then you should use AddIdentity. This gives you more control over the pages, but it also takes more time to create them.
  • Experience: If you are new to .NET Core, then AddDefaultIdentity is a good option. The default identity pages are a good starting point, and they can help you learn how to use the identity framework.

Article Categories: # .net # identity # asp.net # dotnet-core
Date Published: Jul 15, 2023


A tech blog by Andy P. I talk about coding, enterprise software development, tech, games design & other things that interest me.

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