Lab time is always time well spent.

The push to get a website out for my wife brought to light my neglect of my authentication site, both in function and style. As one of the ongoing projects at work has been centered around Identity Server, a refresher course would help my cause. So over the last week, I dove into my Identity Server to get a better feel for the function and to push some much needed updates.

Function First

I had been running Identity Server 4 in my local environments for a while. I wanted a single point of authentication for my home lab, and since Identity Server has been in use at my company for a few years now, it made sense to continue that usage in my lab environment.

I spent some time over the last few years expanding the Quickstart UI to allow for visual management of the Identity Server. This includes utilizing the Entity Framework integration for the configuration and operational stores and the ASP.NET Identity integration for user management. The system works exactly as expected: I can lock down APIs or UIs under single authentication service, and I can standardize my authentication and authorization code. It has resulted in way more time for fiddling with new stuff.

The upgrade from Identity Server 4 to Identity Server 5 (now under Duende’s Identity Server) was very easy, thanks to a detailed upgrade guide from the folks at Duende. And, truthfully, I left it at that for a few months. Then I got the bug to use Google as an external identity provider. After all, what would be nicer than to not even have to worry about remembering account passwords for my internal server?

When I pulled the latest quick start for Duende, though, a lot had changed. I spent at least a few hours moving changes in the authorization flow to my codebase. The journey was worth it, however: I now have a working authentication provider which is able to use Google as an identity provider.

Style next

As I was messing around with the functional side, I got pretty tired of the old CoreUI theme I had applied some years ago. I went looking for a Bootstrap 5 compatible theme, and found one in PlainAdmin. It is simple enough for my identity server, but a little more crisp than the old Core UI.

As is the case with many a software project, the functional changes took a few hours, the visual changes, quite a bit longer. I had to shuffle the layout to better conform with PlainAdmin’s templates, and I had a hell of a time stripping out old scss to make way for the new scss. I am quite sure my app is still bloated with unnecessary styles, but cleaning that up will have to wait for another day.

And finally a logo…

What’s a refresh without a new logo?

A little background: spyder007, in some form or another, has been my online nickname/handle since high school. It is far from unique, but it is a digital identity I still use. So Spydersoft seemed like a natural name for private projects.

I started with a spider logo that I found with a good creative commons license. But I wanted something a little more, well, plain. So I did some searching and found a “web” design that I liked with a CC license. I edited it to be square, which had the unintended affect of making the web look like a cube… and I liked it.

The new Spydersoft logo

So with about a week’s worth of hobby-time tinkering, I was able to add Google as an identity provider and re-style my authentication site. As I’m the only person that sees that sight, it may seem a bit much, but the lessons learned, particularly around the identity server functional pieces, have already translated into valuable insights for the current project at work.






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