Blog

Define a custom Authentication Scheme for your VSTS extension

11 May, 2016
The standard Authentication Schemed in VSTS include Basic (username/password), Token, Service Credential (for Azure) and AzureCertificate Authentication. If you simply need a username password or a Personal Access token you can derive your own Credential Type from one of the exiting Authentication Schemes.

You can see an example of this technique in my VSTS Extension tasks

{
"id": "marketplace-service-endpoint",
"description": "Visual Studio Marketplace",
"type": "ms.vss-endpoint.service-endpoint-type",
"targets": [
"ms.vss-endpoint.endpoint-types"
],
"properties": {
"name": "marketplace-auth-key",
"displayName": "Visual Studio Marketplace",
"url": "https://app.market.visualstudio.com/_apis/gallery",
"authenticationSchemes": [
{
"type": "ms.vss-endpoint.endpoint-auth-scheme-token"
},
{
"type": "ms.vss-endpoint.endpoint-auth-scheme-basic"
}
]
}
}

But what if you need to extend beyond the basics? There are ways to extend the UI with additional textboxes, as done in some of the other extensions you’ll find out on GitHub.

{
"id": "saucelabs-endpoint-type",
"description": "Sauce Labs Credentials",
"type": "ms.vss-endpoint.service-endpoint-type",
"targets": [ "ms.vss-endpoint.endpoint-types" ],
"properties": {
"name": "saucelabs",
"displayName": "Sauce Labs Credentials",
"url": "https://saucelabs.com/rest/v1/",
"inputDescriptors": [],
"authenticationSchemes": [
{
"type": "ms.vss-endpoint.endpoint-auth-scheme-basic",
"inputDescriptors": [
{
"id": "username",
"name": "Username",
"description": "Username",
"inputMode": "textbox",
"isConfidential": false,
"validation": { "isRequired": false, "dataType": "string" }
},
{
"id": "password",
"name": "API Token",
"description": "API Token Found on your saucelabs account page",
"inputMode": "textbox",
"isConfidential": true,
"validation": { "isRequired": true, "dataType": "string" }
}
]
}
]
}
}
}

NOTE: I’ve been asked by Microsoft to explain that even though the below code will currently create your custom auth scheme, the product still assumes that the standard list of authentication schemes is fixed. You will run into unforeseen issues until this fully opens up at some point in time.

I’m leaving the below piece for reference, as it’s a nice way to understand how the extensibility works and how items are defined, but please do not use it at the moment to create custom auth schemes. While your extension will likely pass all validations, it may cause all kinds of issues for your consumers.

Instead, expand the Basic or Token auth scheme with additional parameters and change the Name/Description to make the UI reflect your needs.

If you want to go beyond that and want to define your own UI with its own fields, the next step is to define your own endpoint-auth-scheme. The documentation on this contributionpoint is still scant, but if you dig into a TFS 2015 update 2 installation you’ll find some very useful examples.

Navigate to C:Program FilesMicrosoft Team Foundation Server 14.0ToolsDeployTfsServicingFilesExtensions to find the standard extensions that define the basic behavior of a standard installation. In there you’ll find 4 vsix files



If you dig a little deeper you’ll find extension.vsomanifest which contains the Json snippet you’re after. The example from the Service Credential is one of the most extensive:

{
"contributions": [
{
"id": "endpoint-auth-scheme-service-principal",
"description": "Service Principal based endpoint authentication scheme",
"type": "ms.vss-endpoint.service-endpoint-auth-scheme",
"targets": [
"ms.vss-endpoint.endpoint-auth-schemes"
],
"properties": {
"name": "ServicePrincipal",
"displayName": "Service Principal Authentication",
"inputDescriptors": [
{
"id": "servicePrincipalId",
"name": "Service Principal Id",
"description": "Client Id for connecting to the endpoint.nRefer to link on how to create Azure Service Principal.",
"inputMode": "textbox",
"isConfidential": false,
"validation": {
"isRequired": true,
"dataType": "string"
}
},
{
"id": "servicePrincipalKey",
"name": "Service Principal Key",
"description": "Service Principle Key for connecting to the endpoint.nRefer to link on how to create Azure Service Principal.",
"inputMode": "passwordbox",
"isConfidential": true,
"validation": {
"isRequired": true,
"dataType": "string"
}
},
{
"id": "tenantId",
"name": "Tenant Id",
"description": "Tenant Id for connecting to the endpoint.nRefer to link on how to create Azure Service Principal.",
"inputMode": "textbox",
"isConfidential": false,
"validation": {
"isRequired": true,
"dataType": "guid"
}
}
]
}
}
]
}

You’ll be able to stick these in your own extension manifests in order to create a full custom endpoint credential type with a complete custom authentication scheme. The sample below can be adapted to do exactly that:

{
"manifestVersion": 1,
"id": "jessehouwing-vsts-custom-authscheme",
"name": "Custom Authscheme",
"version": "0.0.0",
"publisher": "jessehouwing",
"targets": [
{
"id": "Microsoft.VisualStudio.Services"
}
],
"scope": [
],
"description": "Creates a custom auth scheme and matching endpoint definition.",
"categories": [
"Integrate"
],
"tags": [
"Sample"
],
"screenshots": [
],
"content": {
},
"links": {
},
"branding": {
"color": "rgb(36, 43, 50)",
"theme": "dark"
},
"icons": {
},
"files": [
],
"contributions": [
{
"id": "endpoint-auth-scheme-custom",
"description": "Jesse's custom scheme.",
"type": "ms.vss-endpoint.service-endpoint-auth-scheme",
"targets": [
"ms.vss-endpoint.endpoint-auth-schemes"
],
"properties": {
"name": "CustomAuthScheme",
"displayName": "Jesse's Custom Authentication Scheme",
"inputDescriptors": [
{
"id": "email",
"name": "Email",
"description": "Email.",
"inputMode": "textbox",
"isConfidential": false,
"validation": {
"isRequired": true,
"dataType": "string"
}
},
{
"id": "passphrase",
"name": "Passphrase",
"description": "Passphrase.",
"inputMode": "passwordbox",
"isConfidential": true,
"validation": {
"isRequired": true,
"dataType": "string"
}
}
]
}
},

{
"id": "marketplace-service-endpoint",
"description": "Visual Studio Marketplace",
"type": "ms.vss-endpoint.service-endpoint-type",
"targets": [
"ms.vss-endpoint.endpoint-types"
],
"properties": {
"name": "my-custom-scheme",
"displayName": "Custom Scheme",
"url": "https://app.market.visualstudio.com/_apis/gallery",
"authenticationSchemes": [
{
"type": "endpoint-auth-scheme-custom"
}
]
}
}
]
}


Jesse is a passionate trainer and coach, helping teams improve their productivity and quality all the while trying to keep work fun. He is a Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) through Scrum.org for the Professional Scrum Foundations (PSF), Professional Scrum Master (PSM) and Developer (PSD .NET) programs. With a strong background in the .NET platform and C#, Jesse is able to translate the needs of development teams when it comes to tools to manage work, build the code and keep quality up. He has contributed to a number of open source products that extend – as well as supported commercial tools like NDepend in their integration into – Team Foundation Server. Jesse regularly blogs and contributes to numerous communities on StackExchange and MSDN networks, he has received the Microsoft Community Contributor Award three years in a row and has been recently been awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award. He’s spoken at conferences and user groups, including the Microsoft TechDays and the Scrum Day Europe. Trainer certifications: Professional Scrum Foundations Professional Scrum Master Professional Scrum Developer (.NET) Scaled Professional Scrum (SPS) Scaled Agile Program Consultant In past years Jesse has delivered ALM, Test Automation and Scrum training all over the world, most recently in Sydney, Milan and Bangalore. He has redelivered materials from industry leading partners as well as developed his own. In addition to the previously mentioned subjects Jesse has taught courses on Visual Studio, Object Oriented Analysis and Design, Design Patterns for C# developers, Unified Modelling languages and Regular Expressions. Jesse is married with Charlotte, recently became father of his first daughter and lives in a house that’s more than a century old in the beautiful city of Utrecht. He loves espresso and dark chocolate, travels a lot and takes photos everywhere he goes.
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Explore related posts