I am trying to implement the "best" solution for a custom authentication mechanism in a SharePoint 2010 Extranet site.

Here is how I would define "best":

  • Does not require purchasing additional certs/domains/etc. we are already operating on SSL
  • Allows for completely custom implementation, I have a service to authenticate against and I don't need the SQL Membership DB or anything like that.
  • Can be deployed using a feature to avoid manual configuration on all the servers

To be clear, I want to create the solution, but I am looking for guidance that leads me to a solution that keeps the requirements above in mind.

I started by creating a custom STS service but got to a point where a certificate would be needed. I moved on to creating a :MembershipProvider and :RoleProvider implementation but read about how these are not enough in SharePoint 2010.

Are there any solutions that meet these requirements, or at least most of them?

  • Please clarify. You want to create a custom provider? Or looking for an existing solution? Jun 1, 2012 at 4:38

1 Answer 1


I would recommend going the MembershipProvider/RoleProvider route. I have done this before to create a custom authentication mechanism for SharePoint 2010, in order to authenticate against a Salesforce user list. It was fairly easy to do - just implementing the membership provider functions - and no SharePoint specific knowledge was needed to create it. Not to mention, this same membership provider can now also be used with other .Net apps in your organization. I believe it should also meet all of the requirements you list.

  • Thank you @ChrisCoulson, several of the resources I found mentioned issues with signing out and other strange behaviors when they were not using the SPClaims model. Did you run into any issues like that? Also, how did you manage deployment? My understanding is that a feature cannot be leveraged because 3 different web.config's need to be updated.
    – jjr2527
    Jun 1, 2012 at 18:08
  • I didn't run into these strange behaviours. As for deployment, I just deployed the membership provider to the GAC and implemented like you would a sqlmembershipprovider: donalconlon.wordpress.com/2010/02/23/… Jun 7, 2012 at 18:46

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