I am using C# with MSDE to build a simple database, and I want to protect it with a password that anyone trying
to access the database has to use. The best and most secure approach to your problem, specially if you're in the face of a "simple" database (and app, I assume), is to use domain accounts for your users and configure the database with the permissions you see fit. You can create windows groups to assign permissions to categories of users (Employee, Manager, Admin, etc). MSDE already installs by default with Windows Integrated authentication enabled, which means that if you use a connection string like the following:
"Data Source=.;Database=MyDb;Integrated Security=true;"
Your users' Windows identity will be used to access the database. That is, you have single sign-on: they log into a domain, and that's it. Remember you need to give them permissions on the database and tables involved. MSDE doesn't come with any administrative interface to do this, and you can only access administrative features through the osql command line utility, which is highly annoying. I suggest you install SQL Server client tools (including Enterprise Manager) and use it to configure users permisions.
In order for the integrated Windows security to work on ASP.NET you would have to enable Windows Authentication in IIS AND the web.config:
<authentication mode="Windows" />
<identity impersonate="true" />
The only restriction is that the database must be running on the same server (ASP.NET-only restriction), which I believe will be the case for any small to medium app.
Dig deeper on C# programming language
Related Q&A from Daniel Cazzulino
Here Daniel Cazzulino explains how to load a DSL (domain specific language) domain model instance file programmatically. This requires the .NET type ...continue reading
Here we offer a glimpse at 12 of .NET development expert Danny Cazzulino's top ASP.NET questions and answers.continue reading
C# developers should NOT be modifying InitializeComponent method in the code-behind (or any of the variable definitions) by hand.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.