Membership and Login Controls
ASP.NET 2.0 introduces a membership feature and set of login Web server controls that simplify the implementation of applications that use forms authentication.
Membership provides credential storage and management for application users. It also provides a membership API that simplifies the task of validating user credentials when used with forms authentication. The membership feature is built on top of a provider model. This model allows implementing and configuring different providers pointing to different user stores. ASP.NET 2.0 includes the following membership providers:
•Active Directory membership provider. This provider uses either an Active Directory or Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) user store.
•SQL Server membership provider. This provider uses a SQL Server user store.
You can also add support for custom user stores. For example, you can add support for other Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directories or other existing corporate identity stores. To do so, create a custom provider that inherits from the MembershipProvider abstract base class.
ASP.NET login controls automatically use membership and forms authentication and encapsulate the logic required to prompt users for credentials, validate users, recover or replace passwords, and so on. In effect, the ASP.NET login controls provide a layer of abstraction over forms authentication and membership, and they replace most, or all of, the work you would normally have to do to use forms authentication.
For more information about using the membership feature and login controls, see How To: Use Membership in ASP.NET 2.0