ASP.NET CAPTCHA Troubleshooting C# Code Example

The ASP.NET SimpleCaptcha troubleshooting example project shows how to use BotDetect CAPTCHA built-in error logging and Captcha event tracing, using the BotDetect Troubleshooting utility based on log4net.

First Time Here?

Check the BotDetect Developer Crash Course for key integration steps.

The logging requires the botdetect.xml configuration file and BotDetectTroubleshooting Module registration in the web.config file, as well as the log4net.config file defining log4net settings (in this case, logging to simple text files).

Such logging techniques can be used as a foundation for effective diagnosis and resolution of any BotDetect issues you might encounter on your servers.

The example demonstrates the effects of following the How To Troubleshoot BotDetect ASP.NET CAPTCHA Issues guide.

Download the BotDetect ASP.NET CAPTCHA Component and run this example

Visual Studio 2005-2017 / .NET 2.0 and onwards

By default, the .NET C# version of the ASP.NET SimpleCaptcha troubleshooting example project is installed at:
C:\Program Files\Captcha Inc\BotDetect 4 CAPTCHA Component\Asp.Net\.NET\WebApp\SimpleAPI\CaptchaTroubleshootingExample\ CSharp

You can also run it from the BotDetect Start Menu:
Programs > Captcha Inc > BotDetect 4 CAPTCHA Component > ASP.NET > ASP.NET Examples > Run .NET Examples

Default.aspx

<<%@ Page Language="C#" AutoEventWireup="true" CodeFile="Default.aspx.cs" 
Inherits="_Default" %>

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head id="Head1" runat="server">
  <title>BotDetect ASP.NET CAPTCHA Options: Troubleshooting Helper Code Example</title>
  <link type="text/css" rel="Stylesheet" href="StyleSheet.css" />
</head>
<body>
  <form id="form1" class="column" runat="server">
    <h1>BotDetect ASP.NET CAPTCHA Options:<br />
      Troubleshooting Helper Code Example</h1>
    <fieldset id="TroubleshootingDebug">
      <legend>CAPTCHA Debug Logging</legend>
      <p class="prompt">
        <label for="CaptchaCodeTextBox">Retype the characters from the picture:</label></p>
      <BotDetect:WebFormsSimpleCaptcha runat="server" ID="ExampleCaptcha" 
 />
      <div class="validationDiv">
        <asp:TextBox ID="CaptchaCodeTextBox" runat="server"></asp:TextBox>
        <asp:Button ID="ValidateCaptchaButton" runat="server" />
        <asp:Label ID="CaptchaCorrectLabel" runat="server" CssClass="correct"></asp:Label>
        <asp:Label ID="CaptchaIncorrectLabel" runat="server" 
        CssClass="incorrect"></asp:Label>
      </div>
      <p class="validationTroubleshooting">A detailed trace of all CAPTCHA 
      events will be logged to the <code>debug.txt</code> file in the example 
      folder.</p>
      <div class="troubleshooting">
        <asp:Label ID="DebugLabel" runat="server"></asp:Label>
      </div>
    </fieldset>
    <fieldset id="TroubleshootingError">
      <legend>CAPTCHA Error Logging</legend>
      <p class="troubleshooting">Clicking <em>Simulate Error</em> will throw a 
      fake BotDetect CAPTCHA exception and log it to the <code>error.txt</code> 
      file in the example folder.</p>
      <asp:Button ID="CauseErrorButton" runat="server" 
      OnClick="CauseErrorButton_Click" />
      <div class="troubleshooting">
        <asp:Label ID="ErrorLabel" runat="server"></asp:Label>
      </div>
    </fieldset>
  </form>
</body>
</html>

Default.aspx.cs

using System;
using System.Web;
using System.Web.Security;
using System.Web.UI;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls;

using BotDetect;
using BotDetect.Web;
using BotDetect.Web.UI;

public partial class _Default : System.Web.UI.Page
{
  protected void Page_PreRender(object sender, EventArgs e)
  {
    // initial page setup
    if (!IsPostBack)
    {
      // set control text
      ValidateCaptchaButton.Text = "Validate";
      CaptchaCorrectLabel.Text = "Correct!";
      CaptchaIncorrectLabel.Text = "Incorrect!";

      // these messages are shown only after validation
      CaptchaCorrectLabel.Visible = false;
      CaptchaIncorrectLabel.Visible = false;

      CauseErrorButton.Text = "Simulate error";
      ErrorLabel.Text = "An error has been generated. Please check the 'error.txt' file.";

      DebugLabel.Text = "A validation attempt has been logged. Please check the 'debug.txt' file.";
      DebugLabel.Visible = false;
    }

    if (null != Session["error"])
    {
      ErrorLabel.Visible = true;
      CaptchaCorrectLabel.Visible = false;
      CaptchaIncorrectLabel.Visible = false;
      Session["error"] = null;
      DebugLabel.Visible = false;
    }
    else
    {
      ErrorLabel.Visible = false;
    }

    if (IsPostBack)
    {
      // validate the Captcha to check we're not dealing with a bot
      bool isHuman = ExampleCaptcha.Validate();
      if (isHuman)
      {
        CaptchaCorrectLabel.Visible = true;
        CaptchaIncorrectLabel.Visible = false;
      }
      else
      {
        CaptchaCorrectLabel.Visible = false;
        CaptchaIncorrectLabel.Visible = true;
      }

      DebugLabel.Visible = true;
    }
  }

  protected void CauseErrorButton_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
  {
    Session["error"] = true;
    throw new BotDetect.WebCaptchaException("Simulated exception");
  }
}

Global.asax

<%@ Application Language="C#" %>

<script RunAt="server">

  void Application_Start(object sender, EventArgs e)
  {
    // Code that runs on application startup

  }

  void Application_End(object sender, EventArgs e)
  {
    //  Code that runs on application shutdown

  }

  void Application_Error(object sender, EventArgs e)
  {
    // Code that runs when an unhandled error occurs

    // since we log the errors using our handler, 
    // they don't need to be shown to the client

    Response.Redirect("Default.aspx");
  }

  void Session_Start(object sender, EventArgs e)
  {
    // Code that runs when a new session is started

  }

  void Session_End(object sender, EventArgs e)
  {
    // Code that runs when a session ends. 

    // Note: The Session_End event is raised only when the sessionstate mode
    // is set to InProc in the Web.config file. If session mode is set to 
    // StateServer 
    // or SQLServer, the event is not raised.

  }
       
</script>

log4net.config

<?xml version="1.0"?>

<!-- This section contains the log4net configuration settings -->
<log4net debug="false">

  <!-- Errors are logged to a 'error.txt' file -->
  <appender name="ErrorFileAppender" type="log4net.Appender.FileAppender">
  <file value="error.txt" />
  <appendToFile value="true" />
  <lockingModel type="log4net.Appender.FileAppender+MinimalLock" />
  <layout type="log4net.Layout.PatternLayout,log4net">
    <conversionPattern value="%date [%thread] %type - %n%n%message%n%n" />
  </layout>
  </appender>

  <!-- Error logging is enabled, comment-out to disable -->
  <logger name="ErrorLogger">
  <level value="ERROR" />
  <appender-ref ref="ErrorFileAppender" />
  </logger>


  <!-- Debug info is logged to a 'debug.txt' file -->
  <appender name="DebugFileAppender" type="log4net.Appender.FileAppender">
  <file value="debug.txt" />
  <appendToFile value="true" />
  <lockingModel type="log4net.Appender.FileAppender+MinimalLock" />
  <layout type="log4net.Layout.PatternLayout,log4net">
    <conversionPattern value="%date [%thread] %type - %n%n%message%n%n" />
  </layout>
  </appender>

  <!-- Debug logging is enabled, comment-out to disable -->
  <logger name="DebugLogger">
  <level value="DEBUG" />
  <appender-ref ref="DebugFileAppender" />
  </logger>

</log4net>

Web.config

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!--
  For more information on how to configure your ASP.NET application, please 
  visit
  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=169433
  -->
<configuration>
  <configSections>
    <!-- Register the log4net configuration section -->
    <section name="log4net" 
    type="log4net.Config.Log4NetConfigurationSectionHandler, log4net" 
    requirePermission="false"/>
    
  </configSections>
  <appSettings>
    <add key="aspnet:UseTaskFriendlySynchronizationContext" value="true" />
    <add key="ValidationSettings:UnobtrusiveValidationMode" value="None" />
  </appSettings>
  <!-- log4net settings are loaded from a separate config file -->
  <log4net configSource="log4net.config"/>
  
  <system.web>
    <httpHandlers>
      <!-- Register the HttpHandler used for BotDetect Captcha requests -->
      <add verb="GET" path="BotDetectCaptcha.ashx" 
      type="BotDetect.Web.SimpleCaptchaHandler, BotDetect"/>
    </httpHandlers>
    <httpModules>
      <!-- Register the HttpModule used for BotDetect error logging (IIS 5.0, 5.1, 
      6.0) -->
      <add name="BotDetectTroubleshootingModule" 
      type="BotDetect.Web.SimpleCaptchaTroubleshootingModule, BotDetect"/>
    </httpModules>
   
    <pages controlRenderingCompatibilityVersion="4.5">
      <controls>
      <!-- Register the BotDetect tag prefix for easier use in all pages -->
      <add assembly="BotDetect" namespace="BotDetect.Web.UI" 
      tagPrefix="BotDetect"/>
      </controls>
    </pages>
    <compilation debug="false" targetFramework="4.5" />
    <httpRuntime requestValidationMode="4.5" targetFramework="4.5" 
    encoderType="System.Web.Security.AntiXss.AntiXssEncoder, System.Web, Version=4.
    0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a" />
    <machineKey compatibilityMode="Framework45" />
    <trace enabled="false" localOnly="true"/>
    <httpCookies httpOnlyCookies="true"/>
    <trust level="Medium" originUrl=""/>
    <authentication mode="None"/>
    <customErrors mode="RemoteOnly"/>
  </system.web>
  <system.webServer>
  <validation validateIntegratedModeConfiguration="false"/>
  <handlers>
    <!-- Register the HttpHandler used for BotDetect Captcha requests (IIS 7.0+) -->
    <remove name="BotDetectCaptchaHandler"/>
    <add name="BotDetectCaptchaHandler" preCondition="integratedMode" verb="GET" 
    path="BotDetectCaptcha.ashx" type="BotDetect.Web.SimpleCaptchaHandler, BotDetect"/>
  </handlers>
  <modules>
    <!-- Register the HttpModule used for BotDetect error logging (IIS 7.0+) -->
    <remove name="BotDetectTroubleshootingModule"/>
    <add name="BotDetectTroubleshootingModule" preCondition="integratedMode" 
    type="BotDetect.Web.SimpleCaptchaTroubleshootingModule, BotDetect"/>
  </modules>
  </system.webServer>
</configuration>

botdetect.xml

BotDetect logging options in the botdetect.xml configuration file, along with other BotDetect settings. For the most detailed logging available, paste the following just below the <captchaStyles> element:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<botdetect xmlns="https://captcha.com/schema/net"
        xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
        xsi:schemaLocation="https://captcha.com/schema/net
            https://captcha.com/schema/net/botdetect-4.4.0.xsd">

  <captchaStyles>
    <captchaStyle>
      <name>ExampleCaptcha</name>
      <userInputID>CaptchaCodeTextBox</userInputID>
      <codeLength>4</codeLength>
      <helpLinkMode>IMAGE</helpLinkMode>
    </captchaStyle>
  </captchaStyles>

  <loggingProvider>BotDetect.Logging.Log4NetLoggingProvider, BotDetect.Troubleshooting</loggingProvider>
  <errorLoggingEnabled>true</errorLoggingEnabled>
  <traceLoggingEnabled>true</traceLoggingEnabled>
  <traceLoggingEventFilter>.*</traceLoggingEventFilter>

</botdetect>

The element includes the following options:

  • The errorLoggingEnabled attribute specifies should BotDetect errors be logged to the error.txt file or not.
  • The traceEnabled attribute specifies should the BotDetect event trace be logged to the debug.txt file or not. If you only want to log BotDetect errors, set this value to false.
  • The eventFilter specifies a regular expression used to filter which Captcha events will be traced. If you only want to trace Captcha validation attempts for example, specify eventFilter="UserInput" (which matches both "ValidatingUserInput" and "ValidatedUserInput", but none of the other event names).
  • The loggingProvider specifies which logging provider class will be used to write BotDetect logs. If you don't want to use log4net for example, it's also possible to use custom BotDetect.Logging.ILoggingProvider implementations suited to your purposes.