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Passwords in the Security System

  • 4 minutes to read

This topic describes built-in XAF tools for generating and changing user passwords when using the AuthenticationStandard authentication.

Administrator-Generated Passwords

Administrators can use the ResetPassword Action to generate a password for a particular user. This Action is activated if a user type implements the IAuthenticationStandardUser interface, and the Standard Authentication is applied.

The ResetPasswordController View Controller provides the ResetPassword Action, which is enabled for root Views and located in the RecordEdit Action Container. This Action invokes the following dialog:


The user can change the generated password later.

Change the Password After the First Logon

User objects that implement the IAuthenticationStandardUser interface have the IAuthenticationStandardUser.ChangePasswordOnFirstLogon property. If you set this property to true for a particular user, the following dialog displays after this user is logged on:


Mobile applications do not support this functionality.

Since the AuthenticationActiveDirectory authentication type does not expect XAF application passwords to change, this window displays only when Standard Authentication is used.

End-User Password Modifications

When using the Standard Authentication type, end-users that have access to the My Details Detail View can change their passwords using the ChangeMyPassword Action. This Action is located in the Edit Action Container and is activated for the My Details Detail View. It invokes the following dialog:



You can force users to have complex passwords using the approach described in the Non-Persistent Objects Validation topic.

Access Passwords in Code

The built-in user classes (that is, DevExpress.Persistent.BaseImpl.EF.PermissionPolicyUser and DevExpress.Persistent.BaseImpl.PermissionPolicyUser) do not store the password as plain text. Instead, the derived hash is created from a password using the Rfc2898DeriveBytes or SHA512 classes. The behavior is specified using the static EnableRfc2898 and SupportLegacySha512 properties of the DevExpress.Persistent.Base.PasswordCryptographer class.


EnableRfc2898 = true

EnableRfc2898 = false

SupportLegacySha512 = true

SHA512-encrypted passwords that exist in the database are supported. Newly created passwords are encrypted and verified using RFC 2898 algorithm.

All passwords are encrypted and verified using SHA512.

SupportLegacySha512 = false

Default mode. SHA512-encrypted passwords are NOT supported. All passwords are encrypted and verified using RFC 2898 algorithm. This mode is FIPS-compliant.


You can specify these static property values in one of the following locations:

  • in the constructor of your platform-agnostic module located in the Module.cs (Module.vb) file;
  • in the Main method of the WinForms application located in the Program.cs (Program.vb) file, before the WinApplication.Start call;
  • in the Application_Start method of the ASP.NET application located in the Global.asax.cs (Global.asax.vb) file, before the WebApplication.Start call.


If you use the Middle-tier level security (WCF Service), you also need to specify these static properties in the server application’s Main method located in the Program.cs (Program.vb) file.

RFC 2898 is a preferred algorithm because it is more modern and secure. In XAF applications, created with Solution Wizard version 17.1 or higher, it is enabled by default. It is recommended to enable it manually in your existing applications.

It is impossible to decrypt the stored value to get the original password. To verify or encrypt passwords, use one of the following methods:

  • The static PasswordCryptographer.VerifyHashedPasswordDelegate and PasswordCryptographer.HashPasswordDelegate methods.

    To customize these methods’ behavior, use the following approach:

    using DevExpress.Persistent.Base;
    // ...
    PasswordCryptographer.VerifyHashedPasswordDelegate = VerifyHashedPassword;
    PasswordCryptographer.HashPasswordDelegate = HashPassword;
    // ...
    static bool VerifyHashedPassword(string saltedPassword, string password) {
        bool result;
        // validate password here.
        return result;
    static string HashPassword(string password) {
        string hash;
        // create hash here.
        return hash;
  • The IAuthenticationStandardUser.ComparePassword and IAuthenticationStandardUser.SetPassword methods. To use these methods, obtain an instance of the target user class that implements the IAuthenticationStandardUser interface. An example is provided in the How to: Implement a Custom Security System User Based on an Existing Business Class topic.