HomeDev GuideAPI Reference
Dev GuideAPI ReferenceUser GuideGitHubNuGetDev CommunityDoc feedbackLog In
GitHubNuGetDev CommunityDoc feedback

Optimizely Content Management System (CMS) uses an extension of the Role concept called _Virtual Roles_. These are roles where the membership criteria is determined at runtime. In other words, the virtual role membership is not stored in the database, but depends on programmatic criteria that can vary with each request.

Virtual roles are controlled by the **\<virtualRoles>** configuration element in the **\<episever.framework>** section in _web.config_. A typical configuration looks like this:

Virtual roles can operate in two modes. By default, the `addClaims` attribute sets whether a claim is added to the current principal for each virtual role in which a user is member. If you set `replacePrincipal` to true, then the principal object gets replaced with a principal object wrapper that supports virtual roles by overriding the `IsInRole` method. This mode is not supported with federated security or other scenarios where claims are used because the wrapper is not claims-aware.

You can access the current principal object in several different ways. The recommended approach is to use `EPiServer.Security.PrincipalInfo.CurrentPrincipal` property. Alternate ways, such as `System.Web.HttpContext.Current.User`, are supported also.

If both `replacePrincipal="false"` and `addClaims="false"` then virtual roles are only evaluated when you check access rights based on ACLs in CMS. Any principal.IsInRole calls for a virtual role returns false.

The **\<providers>** element contains a series of **\<add...>** tags. Each \<add...> defines a virtual role implementation (as identified by the type attribute) and gives the role a name with the name attribute.

The following virtual roles are delivered with CMS:

  • Anonymous

  • Authenticated

  • Creator

  • Everyone

  • Administrator

  • CmsAdmins

  • CmsEditors

  • PackagingAdmins

  • SearchAdmins

  • SearchEditors

In addition to the predefined roles, you can create new virtual roles to allow access based on business rules, such as allowing access only during business hours. A common scenario is to define virtual roles that evaluate to true if the user is a member of _role1_ and _role2_, which can reduce the number of groups needed for setting the required permissions in CMS.

  • **Administrator**.

    Needed to support localized versions of Windows, where the Administrators group was translated. The Administrators virtual role runs a localization-independent test for the Administrators group, thus eliminating the need to manually modify _web.config_ or access rights in CMS.

  • **Creator**.

    Only used when evaluating `AccessControlLists` in CMS and returns true if the current principal is the same as the Creator for an ACL.

  • **PackagingAdmins**.

    Used for controlling access to the Add-ons menu option from where add-ons are managed.

  • **SearchAdmins**.

    Used for controlling access to the Episerver Find user interface and the Clear Indexes screen. Note that Optimizely Search & Navigation users who are not Administrators must be both WebEditors _and_ SearchAdmins: WebEditors to access the edit view, and SearchAdmins to access Optimizely Search & Navigation features.

  • **SearchEditors**.

    Used to control access to the Optimizely Search & Navigation user interface. SearchEditors do _not_ have access to the Clear Indexes screen.

The **PackagingAdmins, CmsAdmins**, **CmsEditors, SearchEditors** and **SearchAdmins** virtual roles are of the `MappedRole` type (used to map existent or non-existent groups to several other groups). The roles attribute contains the names of one or more roles that are used to evaluate membership in the `MappedRole`. The mode attribute can have the following values:

  • **Any** means that membership in at least one of the roles listed in the roles attribute is required for membership in the mapped role.

  • **All** means that membership in all of the roles listed in the roles attribute is required for membership in the mapped role.

## Register virtual roles programmatically

You can register virtual roles programmatically: