Why is my ApplicationDbContext getting disposed when I dispose of UserManager/RoleManager in my database initializer Seed()?

I'm playing with MVC 5, and I've created a website that uses ASP.NET Identity. I followed the steps in this blog post on MSDN to create a user and a role in the Seed method for my database initializer.

However, I noticed that the UserManager and RoleManager used in that code both implement IDisposable, so I changed the code slightly, to look something like this (and thus dispose them once I've finished with them):

    protected override void Seed(ApplicationDbContext context)
        using (var userManager = new UserManager<ApplicationUser>(new UserStore<ApplicationUser>(context)))
        using (var roleManager = new RoleManager<IdentityRole>(new RoleStore<IdentityRole>(context)))
            EnsureRoleCreated(roleManager, Roles.Administrator);

            const string AdministratorUserName = "admin";
            const string DefaultAdminPassword = "password";

            var user = EnsureUserCreated(userManager, AdministratorUserName, DefaultAdminPassword);

            EnsureUserIsInRole(userManager, user, Roles.Administrator);


Now, when my controller actions attempt to access the DB, I get an exception saying that my DbContext has been disposed. (I new up a DbContext instance in the constructor for my controller).

[If I remove those using() statements and thus do not dispose the UserManager and RoleManager, then the problem goes away, so it's definitely those using() statements that are making the difference.]

This seems very odd to me. If the "correct" way to deal with this is to not explicitly dispose the UserManager and RoleManager, then surely they will still be disposed eventually when the garbage collector kicks in. Since this is unpredictable and could happen at any time, does this not mean that I have a ticking time-bomb in my application?

It seems to me that since I created the DbContext, I should be responsible for disposing of it. Why the heck are UserManager and/or RoleManager disposing of something they did not create?


It is the RoleStore that disposes the DbContext even if it did not create it. The UserStore has a DisposeContext bool property that controls if the context should be disposed or not. The DisposeContext is false if you use the constructor that takes a DbContext as input.

This seems to have been fixed in the nightly builds. Here the RoleStore also have the DisposeContext property and seems to work as expected.

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