Show ASP.NET Membership Online Users

There are several ways to show who is currently online within your ASP.NET Application if you use the build in Membership Provider. I tested a few on performance and accuary which lead me to the following conclusion:

Using a stored procedure on LastActivityDate is the winner.

Here is how I did it, create this stored procedure:

– =============================================
– Author: Andreas Kraus
– Create date: 2007-03-27
– Description: Who Is Online Box
– =============================================
CREATE PROCEDURE [dbo].[xx_WhoIsOnline]
@TimeWindow DATETIME
– SET NOCOUNT ON added to prevent extra result sets from
– interfering with SELECT statements.

— Insert statements for procedure here
SELECT UserName FROM aspnet_Users
WHERE IsAnonymous = ‘FALSE’ AND LastActivityDate > @TimeWindow

and create a custom ASP.NET Control featuring this code:

   18         cn = new SqlConnection(System.Web.Configuration.WebConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings["LocalSqlServer"].ConnectionString);


   20         SqlCommand cmd = new SqlCommand();

   21         SqlDataReader dr;


   23         DateTime TimeWindow = DateTime.Now;

   24         TimeSpan TimeSpanWindow = new TimeSpan(0, 10, 0);

   25         TimeWindow = TimeWindow.Subtract(TimeSpanWindow);


   27         cmd.Connection = cn;

   28         cmd.CommandText = “battle_WhoIsOnline”;

   29         cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@TimeWindow”, TimeWindow);       

   30         cmd.CommandType = System.Data.CommandType.StoredProcedure;


   32         cn.Open();

   33         dr = cmd.ExecuteReader();


   35         System.Text.StringBuilder sb = new System.Text.StringBuilder();

   36         while (dr.Read())

   37         {

   38             sb.Append(dr["UserName"].ToString());           

   39         }       

   40         dr.Close();

   41         cn.Close();


   43         if (sb.Length > 0)

   44         {

   45             sb.Remove(sb.Length – 2, 2);

   46         }


   48         Literal1.Text = sb.ToString();

Include the control on any .aspx page and you are set.


#1 Pablogrind on 01.05.08 at 7:46 am

Excelent nice code.. very interesting

#2 Greg Bray on 01.24.08 at 6:18 am

I think that is what the Membership.GetNumberOfUsersOnline() function does:

The time window is configured as an attribute of the membership tag in web.config

#3 pwlasantha on 03.12.08 at 8:15 am

Exellent,this was a big problem to me.thanks lot.

#4 Icen on 09.15.08 at 4:20 pm

Nice but there is one problem what will happen if some one will press logout button?

He will appear one line for next 10 minutes which is unacceptable.

#5 rob on 12.22.08 at 9:43 pm

Well this isn’t the most artful approach, but it works quite well. Anyone who complains about this method should be shot becuase they aren’t at the level to do it the right way. I needed something like this for my nefarious cms purposes hehe.

#6 Stephan on 03.29.09 at 11:12 am

Hi Icen, don’t know if it is possible, but why not set a value (in the past of course) for the last LastActivityDate when signing out? Wouldn’t that solve it?

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