Configuring read-only access to the Service API with ASP.NET Identity

Recently I had to configure read-only access to the Service API. ASP.NET Identity is used in this project and I was not able to make it work. The project was EPiServer 9 project. So I wanted to check if it is fixed in the EPiServer 10.

Configuring read-only Service API access

First of all, ASP.Identity should be configured for Service API. The process for EPiServer 10 is same as for EPiServer 9.

Creating read-only user group and user

Creating user group and a user are simple. With AspNetIdentity package default administrative user interface works. Navigate to the Admin -> Administer Groups and add a new group.

Read-only user group creation view

Next step is creating the user. Open Admin -> Create User and fill in Service API user's information. Add the user to the newly created read-only group.

Read-only user creation view

Adding read-only access to Service API

Access to the Service API can be configured under Config -> Permissions for Functions. Here edit ReadAccess under EPiServerServiceApi.

Permissions to functions view

By default, only Administrators are listed here. Add read-only user group here too.

Permissions to functions group adding view


To test the setup, it is possible to create automated test which authenticates against site's Service API. For this purpose, I have created a base class to use for all Service API tests.

public abstract class ApiTestsBase : IDisposable
    private const string Username = "RadOnlyService";
    private const string Password = "Episerver123%";

    protected readonly HttpClient Client;
    private const string IntegrationUrl =

    protected ApiTestsBase()
        ServicePointManager.ServerCertificateValidationCallback +=
            (sender, cert, chain, sslPolicyErrors) => true;
        Client = new HttpClient
            BaseAddress = new Uri(IntegrationUrl)

    public void Dispose()

    private void Authenticate(HttpClient client)
        var fields = new Dictionary<string, string>
                { "grant_type", "password" },
                { "username", Username },
                { "password", Password }
        var response = client.PostAsync(
            new FormUrlEncodedContent(fields)).Result;
        if (!response.IsSuccessStatusCode)
            throw new Exception(
              $"Authentication failed! Status: {response.StatusCode}");

        var content = response
        var token = JObject
        client.DefaultRequestHeaders.Authorization =
            new AuthenticationHeaderValue("Bearer", token);

First of all, the base class makes sure that SSL certificate validation is ignored as you might have only a local certificate installed which does not validate. Then it makes authentication request against Service API.

The actual authentication test is simple - just assert that no exception is thrown.

public class AuthenticationTests : ApiTestsBase
    public void it_authenticates()

Next step is creating tests against Service API endpoints to get "read-only" data. With a base class in place, it is simple.

public class CatalogTests : ApiTestsBase
  public void it_can_retrieve_catalogs()
      var response =

      Assert.Equal(response.StatusCode, HttpStatusCode.OK);

This test ensures that our user can retrieve catalogs from Service API.

Next test is a little bit more complicated. This test verifies that user is unable to modify anything. For this purpose, I am trying to create a new catalog. I took an example from EPiServer documentation. I took Catalog and CatalogLanguage classes from there.

public void it_fails_to_post_catalog()
    var model = new Catalog
        DefaultCurrency = "usd",
        DefaultLanguage = "en",
        EndDate = DateTime.UtcNow.AddYears(1),
        IsActive = true,
        IsPrimary = true,
        Languages = new List<CatalogLanguage>
            new CatalogLanguage
                Catalog = "Test Post",
                LanguageCode = "en",
                UriSegment = "Test Post"
        Name = "Test Post",
        StartDate = DateTime.UtcNow,
        WeightBase = "lbs"
    var json = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(model);
    var response = Client.PostAsync(
        new StringContent(json, Encoding.UTF8, "application/json")).Result;

    Assert.Equal(response.StatusCode, HttpStatusCode.Unauthorized);

Issues with EPiServer 9

While it is quite easy to setup Service API read-only access in EPiServer 10, I couldn't make it in EPiServer 9. I have stuck on granting access rights to my custom user group. At first, I tried to add read-only rights to the user group directly in the database.

Adding read-only access rights in the database view

After that user still was not able to access Service API.

Then I tried to setup through UI. But I couldn't find my user group there. Instead, it listed built-in groups and some Windows groups.

Missing read-only group in the group search view

So if you are using ASP.NET Identity package and need a read-only access to Service API, you should upgrade to EPiServer 10.