VB.NET/ASP.NET/ASP MVC - Send Email using Google/Gmail OAuth 2.0 Authentication

By default, you need to enable ” Allowing less secure apps” in Gmail, then you can send email with user/password SMTP authentication.

However Google will disable traditional user authentication in the future, switching to Google OAuth is strongly recommended now.

Installation

Before you can use the following codes, please download EASendMail SMTP Component and install it on your machine at first. Full sample proejcts are included in this installer.

Install from NuGet

You can also install the run-time assembly by NuGet. Run the following command in the NuGet Package Manager Console:

Install-Package EASendMail

Note

If you install it by NuGet, no sample projects are installed, only .NET assembly is installed.

Add Reference

To use EASendMail SMTP Component in your project, the first step is Add reference of EASendMail to your project. Please create or open your project with Visual Studio, then go to menu -> Project -> Add Reference -> .NET -> Browse..., and select Installation Path\Lib\net[version]\EASendMail.dll from your disk, click Open -> OK, the reference of EASendMail will be added to your project, and you can start to use it to send email in your project.

add reference in c#/vb.net/c++/cli/clr

.NET Assembly

Because EASendMail has separate builds for .Net Framework, please refer to the following table and choose the correct dll.

Separate builds of run-time assembly for .NET Framework 1.1, 2.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 4.6.1, .NET Core 2.1 and .NET Compact Framework 2.0, 3.5.

File .NET Framework Version
Lib\net11\EASendMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 1.1
It requires .NET Framework 1.1, 2.0, 3.5 or later version.
Lib\net20\EASendMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 2.0
It requires .NET Framework 2.0, 3.5 or later version.
Lib\net35\EASendMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 3.5
It requires .NET Framework 3.5 or later version.
Lib\net40\EASendMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 4.0
It requires .NET Framework 4.0 or later version.
Lib\net45\EASendMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 4.5
It requires .NET Framework 4.5 or later version.
Lib\net461\EASendMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 4.6.1
It requires .NET Framework 4.6.1 or later version.
Lib\netcoreapp2.1\EASendMail.dll Built with .NET Core 2.1
It requires .NET Core 2.1 or later version.
Lib\net20-cf\EASendMail.dll Built with .NET Compact Framework 2.0
It requires .NET Compact Framework 2.0, 3.5 or later version.
Lib\net35-cf\EASendMail.dll Built with .NET Compact Framework 3.5
It requires .NET Compact Framework 3.5 or later version.

The Gmail IMAP and SMTP servers have been extended to support authorization via the industry-standard OAuth 2.0 protocol. Using OAUTH protocol, user can do authentication by Google Web Login instead of inputting user and password directly in application.

Create Project in Google Developers Console

To send email using Gmail OAuth in your application, you should create a project in Google Developers Console like this:

  • Create your project at https://console.developers.google.com/projectcreate.

    ../_static/new_project.png
    alt:create new project in google developers console
  • After you created the project, select it from projects list as current project.

    select project in google developers console
  • Click APIs & Services -> Dashboard -> Credentials

    google oauth Credentials
  • Click Credentials -> Create Credentials -> OAuth client ID -> Web application or Other (Desktop Application). It depends on your application type.

    google oauth client id
  • Input a name for your application, input your web applicaton url at Authorized Redirect URIs. Desktop Application doesn’t require this step.

  • Click "Create", you will get client id and client secret

    google oauth client secret
  • Enable Gmail API in "Library" -> Search "Gmail", then click "Gmail API" and enable it.

    enable Gmail API
  • Set detail information for your project at "OAuth consent screen" -> "Edit App".

    edit Gmail oauth consent
  • Finally add "https://mail.google.com/" and "../auth/gmail.send" scopes at "OAuth consent screen" -> "Edit App" -> "Scopes for Google API".

    enable Gmail scope

API Scopes

Gmail supports SMTP + OAuth, but the API (https://mail.google.com/) scope is restricted API which requests to have full access to the Gmail account. Restricted API is throttled before your project is authenticated in by Google.

Using less restricted API (https://www.googleapis.com/auth/gmail.send) scope to send email via Gmail server is recommended.

  • If you use Gmail RESTFul API to send email, please only use "../auth/gmail.send" scope to avoid your app throttled;
  • If you use SMTP protocol, you should use https://mail.google.com/ scope.

Use client id and client secret to request access token

You can use client id and client secret to get the user email address and access token like this:

  • Your application uses a web browser/browser control to open Google OAUTH URL;
  • User inputs user and password in Google Web Authentication Page, and then Google returns access token back to your application;
  • Your application uses access token to access Gmail SMTP server.
  • You can find full example codes in EASendMail Installation Path\Samples_{Programming language/Developer Tool}\Oauth project.

Important

You should create your client id and client secret, do not use the client id from example codes in production environment, it is used for test purpose. If you got "This app isn't verified" information, please click "Advanced" -> Go to ... for test.

VB.NET - Send Email Using Google OAuth + Gmail SMTP Server

Here is a console application which demonstrates how to use Google OAuth to do user authentication and send email.

Note

This sample cannot handle the event of Web Browser is closed by user manually before authentication is completed. You can refer to the better sample project which uses Web Browser Control in EASendMail installation path.

Imports System
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Net
Imports System.Net.Sockets
Imports System.Threading.Tasks
Imports System.Text
Imports System.Runtime.InteropServices
Imports EASendMail

Module ModuleGoogleOauth
    Sub Main(ByVal args As String())
        Console.WriteLine("+------------------------------------------------------------------+")
        Console.WriteLine("  Sign in with Google                                             ")
        Console.WriteLine("   If you got ""This app isn't verified"" information in Web Browser, ")
        Console.WriteLine("   click ""Advanced"" -> Go to ... to continue test.")
        Console.WriteLine("+------------------------------------------------------------------+")
        Console.WriteLine("")
        Console.WriteLine("Press any key to sign in...")
        Console.ReadKey()

        Try
            Dim p As GoogleOauth = New GoogleOauth()
            p.DoOauthAndSendEmail()
        Catch ep As Exception
            Console.WriteLine(ep.ToString())
        End Try

        Console.ReadKey()
    End Sub

    Public Class GoogleOauth
        Private Sub SendMailWithXOAUTH2(ByVal userEmail As String, ByVal accessToken As String)
            ' Gmail SMTP server address
            Dim oServer As SmtpServer = New SmtpServer("smtp.gmail.com")
            ' enable SSL connection
            oServer.ConnectType = SmtpConnectType.ConnectSSLAuto
            ' Using 587 port, you can also use 465 port
            oServer.Port = 587

            ' use SMTP OAUTH 2.0 authentication
            oServer.AuthType = SmtpAuthType.XOAUTH2
            ' set user authentication
            oServer.User = userEmail
            ' use access token as password
            oServer.Password = accessToken

            Dim oMail As SmtpMail = New SmtpMail("TryIt")

            ' Your email address
            oMail.From = userEmail

            ' Please change recipient address to yours for test
            oMail.[To] = "support@emailarchitect.net"
            oMail.Subject = "test email from gmail account with OAUTH 2"
            oMail.TextBody = "this is a test email sent from VB.NET project with gmail."

            Console.WriteLine("start to send email using OAUTH 2.0 ...")

            Dim oSmtp As SmtpClient = New SmtpClient()
            oSmtp.SendMail(oServer, oMail)

            Console.WriteLine("The email has been submitted to server successfully!")
        End Sub

        ' client configuration
        ' You should create your client id And client secret,
        ' do Not use the following client id in production environment, it Is used for test purpose only.
        Const clientID As String = "1072602369179-aru4rj97ateiho9rt4pf5i8l1r01mc16.apps.googleusercontent.com"
        Const clientSecret As String = "Lnw8r5FvfKFNS_CSEucbdIE-"
        Const scope As String = "openid%20profile%20email%20https://mail.google.com"
        Const authUri As String = "https://accounts.google.com/o/oauth2/v2/auth"
        Const tokenUri As String = "https://www.googleapis.com/oauth2/v4/token"

        Private Shared Function GetRandomUnusedPort() As Integer
            Dim listener = New TcpListener(IPAddress.Loopback, 0)
            listener.Start()
            Dim port = (CType(listener.LocalEndpoint, IPEndPoint)).Port
            listener.[Stop]()
            Return port
        End Function

        Public Async Sub DoOauthAndSendEmail()
            ' Creates a redirect URI using an available port on the loopback address.
            Dim redirectUri As String = String.Format("http://127.0.0.1:{0}/", GetRandomUnusedPort())
            Console.WriteLine("redirect URI: " & redirectUri)

            ' Creates an HttpListener to listen for requests on that redirect URI.
            Dim http = New HttpListener()
            http.Prefixes.Add(redirectUri)
            Console.WriteLine("Listening ...")
            http.Start()

            ' Creates the OAuth 2.0 authorization request.
            Dim authorizationRequest = String.Format("{0}?response_type=code&scope={1}&redirect_uri={2}&client_id={3}",
                                            authUri,
                                            scope,
                                            Uri.EscapeDataString(redirectUri),
                                            clientID)

            ' Opens request in the browser
            System.Diagnostics.Process.Start(authorizationRequest)

            ' Waits for the OAuth authorization response.
            Dim context = Await http.GetContextAsync()

            ' Brings the Console to Focus.
            BringConsoleToFront()

            ' Sends an HTTP response to the browser.
            Dim response = context.Response
            Dim responseString As String = String.Format("<html><head></head><body>Please return to the app and close current window.</body></html>")
            Dim buffer = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(responseString)
            response.ContentLength64 = buffer.Length
            Dim responseOutput = response.OutputStream
            Dim responseTask As Task = responseOutput.
                WriteAsync(buffer, 0, buffer.Length).
                ContinueWith(Sub(task)
                                responseOutput.Close()
                                http.[Stop]()
                                Console.WriteLine("HTTP server stopped.")
                            End Sub)

            ' Checks for errors.
            If context.Request.QueryString.[Get]("error") IsNot Nothing Then
                Console.WriteLine(String.Format("OAuth authorization error: {0}.", context.Request.QueryString.[Get]("error")))
                Return
            End If

            If context.Request.QueryString.[Get]("code") Is Nothing Then
                Console.WriteLine("Malformed authorization response. " & context.Request.RawUrl)
                Return
            End If

            ' extracts the authorization code
            Dim code = context.Request.QueryString.[Get]("code")
            Console.WriteLine("Authorization code: " & code)

            Dim responseText As String = Await RequestAccessToken(code, redirectUri)
            Console.WriteLine(responseText)

            Dim parser As OAuthResponseParser = New OAuthResponseParser()
            parser.Load(responseText)

            Dim user = parser.EmailInIdToken
            Dim accessToken = parser.AccessToken

            Console.WriteLine("User: {0}", user)
            Console.WriteLine("AccessToken: {0}", accessToken)

            SendMailWithXOAUTH2(user, accessToken)
        End Sub

        Private Async Function RequestAccessToken(ByVal code As String, ByVal redirectUri As String) As Task(Of String)
            Console.WriteLine("Exchanging code for tokens...")

            ' builds the  request
            Dim tokenRequestBody = String.Format("code={0}&redirect_uri={1}&client_id={2}&client_secret={3}&grant_type=authorization_code",
                                            code,
                                            Uri.EscapeDataString(redirectUri),
                                            clientID,
                                            clientSecret)

            ' sends the request
            Dim tokenRequest As HttpWebRequest = CType(WebRequest.Create(tokenUri), HttpWebRequest)
            tokenRequest.Method = "POST"
            tokenRequest.ContentType = "application/x-www-form-urlencoded"
            tokenRequest.Accept = "Accept=text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8"

            Dim _byteVersion As Byte() = Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes(tokenRequestBody)
            tokenRequest.ContentLength = _byteVersion.Length
            Dim stream As Stream = tokenRequest.GetRequestStream()
            Await stream.WriteAsync(_byteVersion, 0, _byteVersion.Length)
            stream.Close()

            Try
                ' gets the response
                Dim tokenResponse As WebResponse = Await tokenRequest.GetResponseAsync()

                Using reader As StreamReader = New StreamReader(tokenResponse.GetResponseStream())
                    ' reads response body
                    Return Await reader.ReadToEndAsync()
                End Using

            Catch ex As WebException

                If ex.Status = WebExceptionStatus.ProtocolError Then
                    Dim response = TryCast(ex.Response, HttpWebResponse)

                    If response IsNot Nothing Then
                        Console.WriteLine("HTTP: " & response.StatusCode)

                        ' reads response body
                        Using reader As StreamReader = New StreamReader(response.GetResponseStream())
                            Dim responseText As String = reader.ReadToEnd()
                            Console.WriteLine(responseText)
                        End Using
                    End If
                End If

                Throw ex
            End Try
        End Function

        ' Hack to bring the Console window to front.
        Public Sub BringConsoleToFront()
            SetForegroundWindow(GetConsoleWindow())
        End Sub

        Private Declare Auto Function GetConsoleWindow Lib "kernel32.dll" () As IntPtr
        Private Declare Auto Function SetForegroundWindow Lib "user32.dll" (ByVal hWnd As IntPtr) As Int32

    End Class

End Module

VB.NET - Send Email Using Google OAuth + Gmail SMTP Server in ASP.NET/ASP MVC

If you use Google OAuth in ASP.NET/ASP MVC application, you should use a ASP.NET page or ASP MVC Controller to get authorization code instead of HttpListener. You need to add your ASP.NET page or ASP MVC Controller routing path to Authorized Redirect URIs in your Google project.

' Please add http://localhost:54098/oauth/token to Authorized redirect URIs in your Google/MS Azure project.
Public Function Token(ByVal code As String) As ActionResult
    ' code parameter is the authorization code returned by Google OAuth server,
    ' then you can use it to request AccessToken
    ' just like RequestAccessToken method in previous example
End Function

You can find a full sample project in EASendMail installation path\Samples_ASPNetMvc.

TLS 1.2 Protocol

TLS is the successor of SSL, more and more SMTP servers require TLS 1.2 encryption now.

If your operating system is Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 2003/2008/2008 R2/2012/2012 R2, you need to enable TLS 1.2 protocol in your operating system like this:

Enable TLS 1.2 on Windows XP/Vista/7/10/Windows 2008/2008 R2/2012

Appendix

Comments

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