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This whitepaper demonstrates the use of SQL Anywhere and Visual Studio 2010 to build a database-driven ASP.NET web site. The web application is a simple company directory that displays general employee information in a public page, as well as detailed information in a password-protected secure page. The data in the secure page can only be viewed after a user logs in with the correct credentials. The use of SQL Anywhere ASP.NET providers is highlighted to implement the security mechanism. Topics include information about how to install, configure and set up the SQL Anywhere ASP.NET providers as well as how SQL Anywhere stores application security details in the database. The tutorial also describes how to bind EntityDataSource objects to data-bound server controls and how to integrate the new Dynamic Data feature of the .NET Framework 4.0 in the example web site.

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Required Software


This tutorial covers the following areas:

Installing the SQL Anywhere ASP.NET Providers

The SQL Anywhere ASP.NET providers allow you to build a security mechanism using a SQL Anywhere database as backend storage. They must be installed in order to add the required schema to a designated database for storing and managing confidential user information. SQL Anywhere includes five providers:

Please refer to the online documentation for more information about SQL Anywhere ASP.NET Providers.

SQL Anywhere also provides a setup wizard to help you add the required security schema to the database. You can either add the SQL Anywhere ASP.NET providers to a new database or to an existing database. For simplicity, we will use the SQL Anywhere demo database in the following procedures.


  1. Using Windows Explorer, browse to the installation folder where SQL Anywhere is installed (the default installation path is shown here) and locate the following folder:
    C:\Program Files\SQL Anywhere 12\Assembly\v2
  2. Double-click SASetupAspNet.exe to run the ASP.NET Security Schema Setup Wizard. Alternatively, you can run SASetupAspNet.exe from a command line prompt. When using the command line to access the SASetupAspNet.exe, use the question mark (-?) argument to display detailed help for configuring the database.

  3. Select the desired language and click Next.
  4. Enter "dsn=SQL Anywhere 12 Demo" for the Connection String and click Next. You can also test the database connection at this point.

  5. Add the desired features (all in this case) and click Next. Notice that you can also remove features already installed.

  6. Verify the installing details and click Finish.

Viewing the SQL Anywhere ASP.NET Providers Schema

The necessary tables and stored procedures are added to the demo database by the wizard in the previous section, all with the prefix "aspnet_". This section shows the changes made to provide an overview of how SQL Anywhere stores confidential login information and application security details.


  1. Open Sybase Central and connect to the demo database. Using the Folders View, expand Tables to see the tables created by the wizard. As shown below, notice that new tables prefixed with "aspnet_" are added to the demo database. These are the tables that hold the security data used in the web site.

  2. Click the table aspnet_Membership to view its columns. This table stores the membership information of the users, including userId (primary key), password, security question, lastLoginDate and all the necessary information to perform web site authentication. Password format is hashed by default, ensuring that the information saved in the database is secure.

  3. Click the Constraints tab and notice that the proper key constraints on the columns are also set up by the wizard.

  4. Expand Procedures and Functions in the folder view. Notice the wizard added procedures for the operations available in each provider. Click the aspnet_Membership_CreateUser procedure to view the SQL code. This is the procedure used by the Membership Provider when a new user record is inserted into the database.

  5. Expand Indexes and notice that indices are also automatically created for the added tables to improve performance.

Create an ASP.NET Web Site and Add an Entity Data Model

Any SQL Anywhere database profile defined in Visual Studio can be used to create a new entity data model (EDM). Follow the steps below to create an ASP.NET web site and add the SQL Anywhere demo database as an EDM to it.

  1. Start Visual Studio 2010.
  2. Select File > New > Web Site.
  3. From the 'New Web Site' dialog, choose ASP.NET Web Site.
  4. Save the web site as 'Sample_asp.net' in a known location of your choice.
  5. Right-click the web site project in the Solution Explorer, click Add New Item > ADO.NET Entity Data Model from the popup menu.
  6. In the Name field, type SADemo.edmx. Click Add.
  7. Click Yes to add the ADO.NET Entity Model to the folder App_Code as recommended.

  8. The Entity Data Model Wizard appears. Select Generate from database and click Next.

  9. Click New Connection. Click the Change button beside Data Source. In the Data source list, select SQL Anywhere then click OK.

    If SQL Anywhere does not appear in the Data source list, please ensure that the SQL Anywhere integration components for Visual Studio are properly installed. To install the integration components:

    1. Close Visual Studio 2010.
    2. Open a Command Prompt and change to this directory:
      C:\Program Files\SQL Anywhere 12\Assembly\v2
    3. Then execute the following command: SetupVSPackage.exe -i

  10. Click ODBC Data Source name and select SQL Anywhere 12 Demo. Click OK.

  11. Change the name of the entity connection string to "SAEntities" and click Next.

  12. Include all database objects in the model and click Finish. In practice, your EDM would only include the objects required by your application. For simplicity, we're adding all the objects in this tutorial.

  13. Open SADemo.edmx file, a visual representation of the model appears in the Entity Designer. Right-click the SalesOrders entity and select Table Mapping to view the mapping details. This diagram illustrates that the entity is properly mapped to the database schema.

  14. You can also use the Entity Designer to view the tables that are added to the demo database by the ASP.NET providers. Right-click the empty space in the Entity Designer and select Model Browser to obtain an overview of all the entity types in the Model namespace.

Creating Web Controls to Display Data

Now that we have set up the ASP.NET providers and the Entity Model used in the web site, we will add a GridView control to the default page and bind it to an EntityDataSource. This page will be the public area of the web site and all users are allowed to view the information without any authentication.


  1. Open Default.aspx, switch to Design view and drag a GridView control from the toolbox to replace the default body content.
  2. In the GridView Tasks menu, open the drop down list Choose Data Source and select <New data source...>

  3. Choose Entity and click OK.

  4. The Configure Data Source wizard appears. In the Named Connection drop down list, select SAEntities and click Next.

  5. Select Employees from the EntitySetName drop down list. Select EmployeeID, ManagerID, Surname, GivenName, DepartmentID, State, Country and Phone as the public information to be viewed by anyone. Click Finish.

  6. Hit F5 to run/debug the application. Enable debugging in the Web.config file if desired (you may see a dialog asking for that). The default page displays the selected columns from the Employee table in the demo database. Note that this information is available to anyone who accesses the page. Close the page and stop the application.

Configuring SQL Anywhere ASP.NET Data Providers

Now we want to add the secure page to the web site and enable the appropriate security settings. The application also must be configured to use the SQL Anywhere ASP.NET providers. The following steps show you how to register the SQL Anywhere ASP.NET providers and how to use the ASP.NET Administration Tool to manage user information.

  1. Right-click the project in the Solution Explorer and select Add Reference. Select the .NET tab and choose iAnywhere.Web.Security from the list to add a reference to the iAnywhere.Web.Security assembly to your web site.

  2. Open the web.config file and add the connection string to the <connectionStrings> element (changes are highlighted):
    <!--Register the connection string-->
    <add name="MyConnectionString"
            connectionString="dsn=SQL Anywhere 12 Demo"
            providerName="iAnywhere.Data.SQLAnywhere" />

    <add name="SAEntities"
            connectionString="metadata=res://*/App_Code.SADemo.csdl|res://*/App_Code.SADemo.ssdl|res://*/App_Code.SADemo.msl;provider=iAnywhere.Data.SQLAnywhere;provider connection string='UserID=dba;Password=sql;DataSourceName="SQL          Anywhere 12 Demo"'"
            providerName="System.Data.EntityClient" />

  3. Add an entry for each provider and add <machineKey validation="SHA1"> to the <system.web> element. Add the name of the SQL Anywhere ASP.NET provider to the "defaultProvider" attribute in the application (changes are highlighted):
         <machineKey validation="SHA1" />

         <compilation debug="true" strict="false" explicit="true" targetFramework="4.0">
                 <add assembly="System.Security, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=B03F5F7F11D50A3A" />
                 <add assembly="System.Data.Entity, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=B77A5C561934E089" />
                 <add assembly="System.Data.Entity.Design, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=B77A5C561934E089" />

                 <add extension=".edmx" type="System.Data.Entity.Design.AspNet.EntityDesignerBuildProvider" />

        <authentication mode="Forms">
            <forms loginUrl="~/Account/Login.aspx" timeout="2880" />

        <membership defaultProvider="SAMembershipProvider">
             <clear />
             <add name="SAMembershipProvider" type="iAnywhere.Web.Security.SAMembershipProvider" connectionStringName="MyConnectionString" enablePasswordRetrieval="false"
                     passwordFormat="hashed" />

        <profile defaultProvider="SAProfileProvider">
             <clear />
             <add name="SAProfileProvider"
                     commandTimeout="30" />

        <roleManager enabled="true" defaultProvider="SARoleProvider">
             <clear />
             <add connectionStringName="MyConnectionString"
                     type="iAnywhere.Web.Security.SARoleProvider" />
             </providers >
        </roleManager >

    </system.web >

    For more information on how to configure the SQL Anywhere ASP.NET Providers, please refer to the online API documentation.

  4. Now you can use the Web Site Administration Tool to create new users. To use this tool, save the changes and then click ASP.NET Configuration on the Website menu in Visual Studio 2010. Click Provider Configuration > Select a different provider for each feature (advanced), you'll see that SAMembershipProvider and SARoleProvider are used.

  5. Under the Security tab, there are a number of tools provided for you to perform web site administration tasks including enabling roles and creating access rules for different users.

  6. Click Security>Create user, you will then be able to create new user accounts by completing the web form.

  7. Close the ASP.NET Web Application Administration page.

Displaying Private Information for Authenticated Users

Now we can create a second page that displays a detailed employee profile that's only available to an employee who's logged in. For simplicity, we will register a user whose information already exists in the Employee table (we'll use the first name as the user name). We will rename the built-in About.aspx file and customize it to be an employee profile page that displays private information. Visual Studio also provides an enhanced ASP.NET web site template that includes a built-in account folder already configured with basic membership functionality. We will take advantage of these provided templates to set up the sample application in the following steps.

  1. Right-click file About.aspx in solution explore and click Rename. Rename the file to Profile.aspx. Notice that the corresponding code file is renamed automatically as well.

  2. Now we want to edit the menu bar in the master page so that the menu item name is consistent with the file name. Open the file site.master and switch to Design view. Locate the navigation menu and click the > button beside it. Select Edit Menu Items, and Replace the URL of the second menu item to "~/Profile.aspx" in the Menu Item Editor and change the Text property to "Profile". Click OK.

    If you switch to Source view, the markup for the navigation menu should look like this:
    <asp:Menu ID="NavigationMenu"
            <asp:MenuItem NavigateUrl="~/Default.aspx" Text="Home"/>
            <asp:MenuItem NavigateUrl ="~/Profile.aspx" Text="Profile"/>
  3. Now we will edit the default login template so that it automatically redirects the user to this Profile page after logging in successfully. Open Account/Login.aspx, right-click the Login control in the Design view and click Properties. Select Profile.aspx for the DestinationPageURL property.

  4. Open Profile.aspx and delete the default lines in the MainContent place holder. Then drag a Label control, a LoginName control and a DetailsView control and drop them into the MainContent place holder.

  5. In the DetailsView Tasks menu, open the drop down list Choose Data Source and select <New data source...>. We'll add a new EntityDataSource as we did for the public page.
  6. Choose Entity and click OK.
  7. From the Named Connection drop down list, select SAEntities and click Next.
  8. Select Employees from the EntitySetName drop down list. This time we will select all the columns in the table. Click Finish.
  9. A new EntityDataSource appears below the DetailsView control. Right-click it and select Properties.
  10. Click the button beside Where on the Properties menu to open the Expression Editor. Click Add Parameter and type "emp_name" in the name field. Select Session from the Parameter Source drop down list and enter "uid" in the Session Field. In the Where Expression Field, enter "it.GivenName=@emp_name".
  11. Click Show advanced properties and select String from the DbType drop down list. Click OK to close the Expression Editor.

  12. Insert the following code to the Page_Load event of the Profile.aspx page:
    //check to see if the user has logged in
    if (User.Identity.IsAuthenticated)
        //retrieve the user name and save it as a session variable
        var user = User.Identity;
        Session["uid"] = user.Name;

        //display login information
        Label1.Text = "You are logged in as ";

    else {
        Session["uid"] = "";
        Label1.Text = "Hello Guest! Please sign in to view your profile.";
    ‘check to see if the user has logged in
    If User.Identity.IsAuthenticated Then
        ‘retrieve the user name and save it as a session variable
        Dim user As MembershipUser = Membership.GetUser()
        Session("uid") = user.UserName.ToString
        Label1.Text = "You are logged in as "


        Session("uid") = ""
        Label1.Text = "Hello Guest! Please sign in to view your profile."
    End If
  13. Now press F5 to view the page. Notice that the label displays a message to indicate that the user has not signed in.

  14. Click Log in at the upper right corner of the page. Click Register and enter the user name "Matthew" (a record for this employee already exists in the demo database). Set the password to "password". Click Create User.

  15. Notice that the Home page displays the public information, while the DetailsView control in the Profile page displays the private data for the user Matthew using all the columns from the Employee table.

  16. Now click Log out and try to access the page again. Notice that the information is no longer available since the user is not authenticated.
  17. Close the web browser.
  18. Back in Sybase Central, expand Tables and select the table aspnet_users to view its data. Notice that there's a new row created for the user "Matthew" with his authentication information stored.

  19. Select the table aspnet_Membership and click the Data tab. Notice that a new row is added to store the membership information of Matthew. When you use the other ASP.NET providers such as the Profile provider, you can check and manage the data stored in the corresponding table using Sybase Central as well.

Enabling Dynamic Data

  1. Run the simple web site, and log in as user Matthew, notice that the date format in the StartDate and BirthDate columns don't show up in a desired format. The time 12:00:00AM is automatically generated since there is no time information in the database. We want to modify the Employee class to display these two dates in a standard YYYY-MM-DD format.
    In addition, notice that the TerminationData field is empty, meaning that there is no record in the database. We will also set a default value to be displayed when the data is null. Close the web application.
  2. Back in Visual Studio, add a new class file to the folder App_Code and name the new file Employee.cs or Employee.vb.
  3. Insert the following lines of code to the added file:
    using System.Web.DynamicData;
    using System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations;

    namespace Model {

    //Extend the Employee partial class
    public partial class Employee {

        public class EmployeeMeta

            //re-format the StartDate column
            public object StartDate { get; set; }

            public object BirthDate { get; set; }

            //sets default value for the TerminationDate column
            public object TerminationDate { get; set; }




    Imports Microsoft.VisualBasic
    Imports System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations
    Imports System.Web.DynamicData

    Namespace Model

        <MetadataType(GetType(EmployeeMeta))> _
        Partial Public Class Employee
        End Class

        Public Class EmployeeMeta

            <DisplayFormat(DataFormatString:="{0:yyyy-MM-dd}")> _
            Public Property StartDate() As Object
                End Get
    (ByVal value As Object)
                End Set
            End Property

            <DisplayFormat(DataFormatString:="{0:yyyy-MM-dd}")> _
            Public Property BirthDate() As Object
                End Get
    (ByVal value As Object)
                End Set
            End Property

            <DisplayFormat(nulldisplaytext:="N/A")> _
            Public Property TerminationDate() As Object
                End Get
    (ByVal value As Object)
                End Set
            End Property

         End Class
    End Namespace

  4. Open Profile.aspx and switch to Source view. Replace the markup for the GridView control and the EntityDataSource object with the following lines:
    <asp:DetailsView ID="DetailsView1" runat="server" Height="50px" Width="125px" DataSourceID="EntityDataSource1" AutoGenerateRows="true">
    <asp:EntityDataSource ID="EntityDataSource1" runat="server" ConnectionString="name=SAEntities" EnableFlattening="False" 
                                    EntitySetName="Employees" Where="it.GivenName = @emp_name" ContextTypeName="Model.SAEntities" EntityTypeFilter="" Select="">
               <asp:SessionParameter DefaultValue="" Name="emp_name" SessionField="uid" DbType="String" />


    This deletes the bound fields for the DetailsView control and lets Dynamic Data format the data.

  5. Add the following line to the Page_Load event of the Profile.aspx page:
    DetailsView1.EnableDynamicData( typeof(Model.Employee));

    DetailsView1.EnableDynamicData( GetType(Model.Employee))
  6. Now run the web site again and log in as user Matthew. Notice changes in the display format of the StartDate, BirthData and TerminationDate fields are made according to the annotation in the Employee code file.

  7. Close the web browser. This concludes the tutorial.

Removing the SQL Anywhere ASP.NET Providers

If you want to revert the demo database to its original state, you must un-install the SQL Anywhere ASP.NET providers.

  1. Start the ASP.NET Security Schema Setup Wizard mentioned in the installation section and connect to the demo database.
  2. Select all the features for removal and un-check Preserve Data at the third step, then complete the wizard.
  3. The wizard will remove the SQL Anywhere ASP.NET providers tables from the demo database.


By taking advantage of the SQL Anywhere ASP.NET providers and the enhanced web site template provided by ASP.NET 4.0, developers can build a security-enabled web site with very little effort. The SQL Anywhere integration components for Visual Studio 2010 and its Entity Model support further enables developers to implement data-driven web applications by binding EntityDataSources to data-bound server controls. Using the new Dynamic Data feature of .NET 4.0, developers can easily implement business logic simply by extending a partial class instead of struggling with markup or SQL queries.

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