ASP .NET Identity is a replacement for the aging Membership system that was introduced over 10 years ago in the .NET 2.0 framework, and although various modifications have been made it had become bloated and generally doesn’t fit the wide array of authentication options that users demand these days. Originally Membership was initially designed for tight integration into Microsoft SQL Server instances.
The changes within the web application development arena such as authenticating using social networking accounts, and the introduction of MVC as the preferred Microsoft platform over the older web forms, has meant Identity was developed to achieve these goals:
One Identity System – Can be used with web forms, web pages, MVC, web API and SignalR
Custom Schemas – Membership allowed some customisation to the schema, now with Identity you have full flexibility. No more having to place loads of “NotImplementedExceptions” throughout the class.
Unit test easier
Use roles or claims based authentication to offer greater flexibility in what permissions the application offers
Easy integration with cloud Azure Active Directory to provide enterprise level authentication
- NuGet package installation, which allows easier updating
TechEd Video - November 2014
A good overview of Identity even though it is a little old