ASP.NET membership enables you to validate and manage user information for your Web application. It provides functionality for validating user credentials, creating and modifying membership users, and managing user settings such as passwords and e-mail addresses. ASP.NET membership is primarily intended for use with ASP.NET forms authentication, but can be used anywhere within an ASP.NET application.
ASP.NET membership enables you to manage user authentication for your application while keeping the user information in the data source of your choice. Because ASP.NET membership users providers to the membership data source, it does not require extensive code to read and write membership information.
ASP.NET membership consists primarily of built-in membership providers, which communicate with the data source, and the static class that exposes the functionality of the membership providers. You call the membership class from your ASP.NET code to perform user validation and management.
Most of the functionality that the membership class and the membership providers provide is encapsulated in several user management web controls. For more information, see the control.