Forms Authentication and Read/Anonymous Access

I had created a .ascx control as a footer for a SharePoint MasterPage which displayed the date the page was changed and it worked great.  It was great until I created a user account (Forms Based Authentication) with “Read” access and when the account logged in I would get an “Error: Access Denied”, this error did not occur if the account was granted “Contributor” access.


I tested the account using the default MasterPage in SharePoint and the account was fine when it had to display that page so I suspected some code I had attached to my .ascx control.

The code block that executed was pretty simple which is below:

        String PageName = FileName();
        using(SPSite RootSite = new SPSite(Page.Request.Url.ToString()))
            using (SPWeb SiteCollection = RootSite.OpenWeb())
                string path = RootSite.MakeFullUrl(PageName);
                SPFile file = SiteCollection.GetFile(path);
                String LastModifiedDate = file.TimeLastModified.ToString("yyyy-MM-dd");
                String ModifiedBy = file.ModifiedBy.ToString();
                theDate = LastModifiedDate;

If I commented out that code in the control the MasterPage loaded for the user account with “Read” access so I figured I needed to run the code “elevated” so I changed it slightly and surrounded it with


            // code here


This solved my issue with my .ascx control and the user with “Read” access no longer gets the “Error: Access Denied” page. 

A call to RunWithElevatedPrivileges switches both the User Identity and the Windows Identity, if you want to read more about this check out this great MSDN article on Security Programming in SharePoint 2007 by Ted Pattison.


About Wes MacDonald

Wes MacDonald is a DevOps Consultant for LIKE 10 INC., a DevOps consulting firm providing premium support, guidance and services for Azure, Microsoft 365 and Azure DevOps.

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