ArcGIS supports secure access to location services and private data. It ensures that only valid, authorized users and services access protected information. In order to access secure ArcGIS resources, you need an access token. To get an access token, you need to choose a type of authentication and implement an authentication workflow in your app. The type of authentication you use will depend on the security and access requirements of your app.
There are three types of authentication that you can use to get an access token:
- API key authentication: grants a permanent token that grants your application access to ready-to-use services and, with an ArcGIS Developer account, private content.
- User authentication (sometimes referred to as named user or ArcGIS Identity): a collection of authentication workflows that connect your app to a user's ArcGIS account.
- OAuth 2.0: manage ArcGIS authentication and grant a short-lived access token generated via OAuth 2.0. This gives your application permission to access ArcGIS secured services authorized to an existing ArcGIS user's account.
- Generate token: manages ArcGIS authentication and grants a short-lived access token generated via Esri's proprietary token-based authentication mechanism. This gives your application permission to access ArcGIS secured services authorized to an existing ArcGIS user's account.
- Network credential: manage network authentication (also known as web-tier authentication) for ArcGIS Enterprise. This gives your application permission to access network secured services authorized to your web-tier's identity store user accounts. Supports Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and Integrated Windows Authentication (IWA).
- App credential authentication: uses the registered application's credentials to access ready-to-use services on ArcGIS. It manages ArcGIS authentication and grants a short-lived access token generated via OAuth 2.0 using the application's client ID and client secret outside of the context of a user.
The following considerations can help determine which type of authentication to implement:
Access to resources—Your app can access ready-to-use services using an API key, User authentication, or App credential authentication. To access private data hosted in ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise, or content that requires an ArcGIS Online subscription, your app needs an authenticated user to sign in with their account.
User experience—If you don't want to make users log in, your app can access ready-to-use services using an API key or App credential authentication. In this case, users will not need to have an ArcGIS account in order to use your app.
Usage charges—If you want service usage to be charged to the user's account, your app must request that the user log in. When using an API key or App credential authentication, all access to services from your app will be charged to your developer account.
You might also need to consider the level of security required for your app, how your app will be distributed, and your available ArcGIS products and accounts.
|Your app requires access to ready-to-use services only, you don't want to make users log in, and you are willing to pay for all charges incurred from usage of the app.||API key or App credential authentication|
|Your app requires access to ready-to-use services only and you want usage charged to the user.||User authentication|
|Your app needs to access content that requires an ArcGIS Online subscription.||User authentication|
|Your app needs to access private hosted data on your ArcGIS Developer account.||API key or App credential authentication|
|Your app allows users to view and edit private data hosted in ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise.||User authentication|
|You plan to distribute your app through ArcGIS Marketplace.||User authentication|
An API key is a permanent access token that grants your public-facing application access to specific, ready-to-use services, and, with an ArcGIS Developer account, private content, items, and limited client referrers.
Use API keys when you want to:
- Quickly write applications that consume ready-to-use services.
- Provide access to services without requiring users to sign in with an ArcGIS account.
- Use an access token that doesn't expire.
User authentication is a set of authentication workflows that allow users with an ArcGIS account to sign into an application and access ArcGIS content, services, and resources. The typical authentication protocol used is OAuth2.0. When a user signs into an application with their ArcGIS account, an access token is generated that authorizes the application to access services and content on their behalf. The resources and functionality available depend on the user type, roles, and privileges of the user's ArcGIS account. This authentication type was previously known as Named user login and ArcGIS identity.
Services that your app accesses with user authentication will be billed to the authenticated user's ArcGIS account and its associated ArcGIS subscription. If your application will access your users' secure content in ArcGIS or if you plan to distribute your application through ArcGIS Marketplace, you must use user authentication.
Implement user authentication when you want to:
- Ensure users are signed in and authenticated with their own ArcGIS account.
- Use your app user's credits to pay for their private data, content, or service transactions.
- Limit the length of time users can be signed in to your app with a temporary token.
- Distribute your app through ArcGIS Marketplace.
App credential authentication grants a short-lived access token, generated via OAuth 2.0, authorizing your application to access ready-to-use services, such as basemap layers, search, and routing.
Use app credential authentication when you want to:
- Access ready-to-use services with a more secure process and a short-lived token.
- Provide access to services without requiring users to have an ArcGIS account.
To learn more about how to implement authentication in your ArcGIS Maps SDK for .NET apps, see the Implement authentication topic. Explore the tutorials and samples below for some examples of how to use authentication in your apps.