Blue Background 01

Log into Umbraco with Google authentication

Written by:

A little over a year ago we released the Identity Extensions for Umbraco and the accompanying extensions for allowing login with for example Google, and Facebook or any other OAuth based provider. We always talk about how easy they are to set up and use, but how easy is that really?

In this real-life example, we have two things:

  • a Google Apps account for a domain
  • an Umbraco website for which we want all Google Apps users in our organization to be able to log into the backoffice

As the first step, we need to ask Google for a ClientId and a secret by creating an OAuth client and give us some secret keys for that. Below is a short video that shows how to set this up. 

Once you have the ClientId and secret from the Google OAuth integration you go to you Umbraco Visual Studio solution and install 2 NuGet Packages:

Install-Package UmbracoCms.IdentityExtensions
Install-Package UmbracoCms.IdentityExtensions.Google

A few readme files will pop up to tell you what to do with the new files that are now present in your App_Start folder. The most important one is UmbracoStandardOwinStartup.cs which will need to know about the Google ClientId and secret. In this example, they will be read from the web.config, where they're stored as appSettings.

var clientId = WebConfigurationManager.AppSettings["GoogleOAuthClientID"];
var secret = WebConfigurationManager.AppSettings["GoogleOAuthSecret"];
app.ConfigureBackOfficeGoogleAuth(clientId, secret);

In order for the Umbraco Backoffice to know that we can now also log in with a Google account, we need to change the owin:appStartup appSetting to:

<add key="owin:appStartup" value="UmbracoStandardOwinStartup" />

After doing this, we can log in to Umbraco with our existing Umbraco account and link that account to a Google login.

Once you click on "Link your Google account" you will be taken to Google and can link any account you want. From that point forward you can use the Google button on the login screen to log into the backoffice!

Nice.. but a little cumbersome too, we still need to create a local account first and then link it to a Google account. What if we wanted to allow all people on our Google Domains account in by default?

When you installed the NuGet packages you also received a UmbracoGoogleAuthExtensions.cs file in your App_Start folder which we can alter a little bit. Just before the last line of code (app.UseGoogleAuthentication(googleOptions);) in this class we can set it up to automatically create an Umbraco account for anybody using the Google button to sign in.

googleOptions.SetExternalSignInAutoLinkOptions(new ExternalSignInAutoLinkOptions(autoLinkExternalAccount: true, defaultUserType: "admin", defaultAllowedSections: new[] { "content", "media", "settings", "developer", "users", "member" }));

By default, if we don't change the defaultUserType and defaultAllowedSections, a new user would be created as an editor and would only have access to the content/media section. But in the example above, more access is granted because we trust users in our domain.

Speaking of domains.. doing the above will give anybody in the world(!) with a Google account access to our backoffice. That's probably not what you want unless you like a bit of chaos in your life.

So as our final step, we need to only allow people in who's email ends with our actual domain name. In UmbracoGoogleAuthExtensions.cs we define a variable googleOptions in which we can add the following, just after the "CallbackPath":

CallbackPath = new PathString("/umbraco-google-signin"),Provider = new GoogleOAuth2AuthenticationProvider
{OnAuthenticated = context =>{if (context.Email.EndsWith("") || context.Email.EndsWith(""))// All good, return as usualreturn Task.FromResult(0);// Whoa, this one doesn't belong in our backoffice, throw exception, this will return a nulled out Auth Ticketvar errorMessage = string.Format("User tried to log in with {0}, which does not end with an accepted domain name.", context.Email);throw new AuthenticationException(errorMessage);}

Looks good, right? Not so fast! What if someone made a email address like.. The e-mail address still ends with so they will be let in as well. So we change it to:

var emailParts = context.Email.Split('@');
if (emailParts.Last() == "" || emailParts.Last() == "")

Much better!

That's all there is to it:

  • Enable OAuth in your Google account
  • Install the UmbracoCms.IdentityExtensions & UmbracoCms.IdentityExtensions.Google NuGet packages
  • Update UmbracoStandardOwinStartup.cs with the ClientId and secret you got from Google
  • Set the owin:appStartup appSetting in web.config to UmbracoStandardOwinStartup 
  • Update UmbracoGoogleAuthExtensions.cs to auto-link accounts and limit that to logins from your domain only

This is exactly what we've done for Our Umbraco, if you want to check out the code, have a look at the following two commits:

Note: The "Link your Google account" button has a bug in Umbraco 7.4 and 7.5 beta which can be fixed as follows:

Loved by developers, used by thousands around the world!

One of the biggest benefits of using Umbraco is that we have the friendliest Open Source community on this planet. A community that's incredibly pro-active, extremely talented and helpful.

If you get an idea for something you would like to build in Umbraco, chances are that someone has already built it. And if you have a question, are looking for documentation or need friendly advice, go ahead and ask the Umbraco community on Our.

Number of active installs
Number of active members in the community
Known free Umbraco packages available

Want to be updated on everything Umbraco?

Sign up for the Umbraco newsletter and get the latest news and special offers sent directly to your inbox