Home > Articles > Operating Systems, Server > Solaris

  • Print
  • + Share This
Like this article? We recommend

How the Gateway Works

The mainstay of the Sun ONE Portal Server gateway component is the ability to present content from backend web servers and application servers through a single interface to a remote end user in a secure fashion. This can be done in one of two ways using the gateway component.

The first is by using a netlet connection and tunneling the data to the client. The netlet is usually used for tunneling fixed-port TCP/IP protocols (such as telnet and IMAP) to specialized applications running on the remote client. The second is by redirecting content requests through the gateway by using the bookmark provider on the Portal Server desktop or by specifying the URL to the internal resource with the gateway URL prepended in the location field of the web browser. The second method is used primarily for securely accessing Intranet web content.

Gateway Details

To present Intranet content to a remote user, the gateway must first know what URLs are contained in the content itself. For HTML, this is a relatively easy task because the gateway knows what HTML tags and tag attributes represent URLs. One example would be that of the Anchor tag with an HREF attribute. If the HREF value is an absolute URL, the gateway prepends its own URL to the beginning of the original URL so that if an end user selects that particular link, the request would go directly to the gateway component where it would then be retrieved by the gateway on behalf of the browser.

The following is an example of a URL:

<A HREF="http://www.internal.iplanet.com">

The above URL would become the following:

<A HREF="https://ips-gateway.iplanet.com/http://www.internal.iplanet.com">

This result is known as URL rewriting or URL translation. Using the same example, if the HREF value was relative to the server root, the gateway would first resolve the server URL based on the HTTP header information. It would then concatenate the the gateway URL and the absolute Intranet URL to make the final result.

The following is an example of a relative URL:

<A HREF="/pages/page2.html">

After passing through the gateway, the above would become the following:

<A HREF="https://ips-gateway.iplanet.com/http://www.internal.iplanet.com/pages
/page2.html">

If no prepended path information is given for a URL, the gateway does one of the following to expand the relative path into an absolute URL:

  • It uses a BASE tag if one exists in the document.

  • It attempts to resolve the absolute URL by using the host and path information from the HTTP request header.

  • It does nothing, and the browser uses the URL in the location field as the URL to resolve the relative path when the page is rendered.

The third possibility is described in more detail in "Rewriter Verses Browser" on page 6 and applies more to pre-SP3 deployments. In addition, Portal Server releases earlier than SP3 (with the exception of SP2 Hot Patch 4) ignored the BASE tag altogether. This behavior also assumes that the HREF rule is still listed in the Rewrite HTML Attributes field of the gateway profile (which is there by default, out-of-box). How to add, remove, and view rules in the gateway profile is discussed in "Adding and Removing Rewriter Rules" on page 8.

With this basic model in mind, there needs to be some way to tell the gateway that a particular string or piece of code actually represents a URL. The purpose of the rewriter is to provide a human computer interface for providing context where the gateway sees only syntax. By adding rules to different sections of the gateway profile, the way in which the gateway parses, interprets, and modifies the result-set is changed.

Rule entries are simply a list of substring matches or regular expressions that the gateway uses to determine if a string, or portion of scripted code, needs to be rewritten. The rule entries are stored in LDAP and are part of the gateway profile. In SP3, the gateway can rewrite most of the HTML 4.0 tags and tag attributes. The exception is the STYLE attribute that can contain a background URL parameter. The JavaScript code is dealt with using a variety of methods described in "Rewriting JavaScript Content" on page 39. As of SP3, Form Input Data and Java Applet parameters can be rewritten with the appropriate gateway profile configuration. SP3 Hot Patch 1 adds the ability to rewrite XML data, inlined CSS, imported CSS, and imported JavaScript code (to some extent). SP3 Hot Patch 3 includes case insensitive rewriting of the background-URL CSS function within a STYLE tag. This release also adds the ability to use wildcards with the JavaScript content, which is particularly useful for JavaScript document object arrays.

Rewriter Verses Netlet

As stated earlier, the Netlet is typically used to provide secure remote access to specialized, fixed-port TCP/IP applications that talk to their own client application residing on the end-user machine. The netlet does this by establishing a secure tunnel between the client and server, using a preconfigured local port that communicates directly with the gateway. Telnet, Citrix, and IMAP are just a few of the programs and protocols that leverage Netlet functionality.

The netlet is not used for web surfing because of the difficulty in configuring it to actually work in that manner. The browser would have to be configured so that all HTTP requests are redirected to the local host port on which the Netlet is listening. There would also have to be a web proxy configured on the corporate side that knows how to handle the incoming netlet HTTP requests. Those requests might be for content outside of the corporate Intranet and have to be handed off to another proxy. While this extends the Portal Server to include more VPN-like functionality, it would be difficult to implement, put undue strain on the gateway, and require client customizations that may not be feasible, depending on the client type, the end-user location, and the intended Portal Server audience.

Take, for example, a business-to-business portal that provides a parts ordering interface. The company providing the parts interface would not be able to dictate web browser configuration requirements to the parts ordering company. The netlet would be used in this case if the parts ordering interface was a TCP/IP application that had a separate client application to interact with it, rather than a Web-based interface.

In contrast to the netlet, the rewriter allows remote access through the use of a Netscape Navigator™ 4.x or Internet Explorer 5.x browser. The rewriter uses similar functionality of a full-featured reverse web proxy, with the added benefit of rewriting the URLs so that there is no browser configuration required to make sure requests for Intranet content are routed back to the gateway. This prevents the browser from trying to make direct requests to content that is not available outside of the corporate firewall.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020