Role providers provide the interface between Microsoft ASP.NET's role management service (the "role manager") and role data sources. ASP.NET 2.0 ships with three role providers:
- SqlRoleProvider, which stores role data in Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft SQL Server Express databases
- AuthorizationStoreRoleProvider, which retrieves role information from Microsoft Authorization Manager ("AzMan")
- WindowTokenRoleProvider, which retrieves role information from each user's Microsoft Windows authentication token, and returns his or her group membership(s).
The fundamental job of a role provider is to interface with data sources containing containing role data mapping users to roles, and to provide methods for creating roles, deleting roles, adding users to roles, and so on. The Microsoft .NET Framework's System.Web.Security namespace includes a class named RoleProvider that defines the basic characteristics of a role provider.