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Last updated: Sep 21 2015

Permissions to functions

Episerver has a built-in system for assigning permissions to individual functions. You can assign users and roles to a permission in the administrative interface under Config > Permissions to functions. Built-in permissions include the ability to access web services and viewing detailed exception messages.

Using permissions to functions

The API for querying whether a user is permitted to perform a function is available via EPiServer.Security.PermissionService or via PrincipalInfo as a simplified API.

            //Alt 1
            bool hasPermission = ServiceLocator.Current.GetInstance<PermissionService>().IsPermitted(HttpContext.Current.User, SystemPermissions.DetailedErrorMessage);

            //Alt 2
            bool hasPermission = PrincipalInfo.Current.IsPermitted(SystemPermissions.DetailedErrorMessage);

Define permissions to functions in code

You can define custom permissions to functions by defining a class as shown in the following example. Classes with the PermissionTypes attribute are automatically picked up by Episerver and appear in the administrative interface. Permission names must be unique within a group, so pick a group name that is unique to your solution. You also can register permission types via EPiServer.DataAbstraction.PermissionTypeRepository to support dynamic creation of permissions.

    public static class MyCustomPermissions
        public const string GroupName = "MyCustomPermissions";

        static MyCustomPermissions()
            EditSettings = new PermissionType(GroupName, "EditSettings");
            ViewSettings = new PermissionType(GroupName, "ViewSettings");

        public static PermissionType EditSettings { get; private set; }

        public static PermissionType ViewSettings { get; private set; }

You can define readable descriptions for the group and the permissions that are shown in the user interface by adding an entry to a language resource file. Under <groups>, name the GroupName (such as <MyCustomPermissions>) in which you place a <description> and node permission names (such as <EditSettings> and <ViewSettings>) as shown in the following example.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes"?>
  <language name="English" id="en">
            <description>Custom settings fuctions</description>
              <EditSettings>Allows users to access edit settings</EditSettings>
              <ViewSettings>Allows users to access view settings</ViewSettings>

Protecting a controller via a permission

Use the AuthorizePermission attribute to authorize a MVC controller via permissions to functions:

    [AuthorizePermission("MyCustomPermissions", "EditSettings")]
    public class EditSettingsController : Controller
        public ActionResult Index()
            return View();

Using virtual roles to expose permissions to other systems

Some systems cannot validate permissions but can validate roles. In these cases, you can expose a permission as a role:

    public class VirtualRoleInitializer : IInitializableModule
        public void Initialize(InitializationEngine context)
            var virtualRoleRepository = VirtualRoleRepository<VirtualRoleProviderBase>.GetDefault();

            virtualRoleRepository.Register("EditSettingsVirtualRole", new PermissionRole
                Permission = MyCustomPermissions.EditSettings

        public void Uninitialize(InitializationEngine context) { }
        public void Preload(string[] parameters) { }

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