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Saturday, September 02, 2006

ASP.NET Tip: Control Access to a File Download

A developer, working on a Web application that allowed only registered members to access a file, recently asked me if there was any way to control how the file could be downloaded. He had to avoid using the "gray box" popup dialogs because the access was controlled via the application. The answer was yes, but the solution requires several steps.

The first step is to store the file in a folder that is not directly in the Web root but is still accessible to the Web site's user ID (IUSR_machinename, for instance). My hosting customers keep their Microsoft Access databases one level above their www folders. The Web site still has access to read and write the databases in the folder, but users can't simply download the files directly.

The coding part of this requires you to create an ASP.NET page that has no HTML component but contains a code-behind block like this one: Continue

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