Login Page Customization

< appboard | old

This document provides some basic examples of how the enPortal/AppBoard administrator can customize the system Login Page, create a new Login Page, and assign a Login Page to a Domain or the entire system.

Page Contents

1. Overview

enPortal/AppBoard allows customers to write and integrate their own Login Pages. These Login Pages are the entry point to the system. After creating customized Login Pages, the Administration interface allows administrators to link different Login Pages to different user groups (Domains). This document reviews the necessary components to create custom Login Pages and provides examples.

The Login Page is the single-entry point into the enPortal/AppBoard system. This page must contain an HTML form that contains USER, PASSWORD, and DOMAIN form elements. The form submits this information to the enPortal authentication servlet and upon successful authentication, the main home page is presented to the user. For more information about configuring the home page, see Configuring the Home URL. There are some additional, optional functions the Login Page can provide, such as pre-filling the user and domain elements, and error processing. The default Login Page provided by enPortal -- login.jsp -- can be found in [INSTALL_HOME]/webapps/enportal/login_pages/. Review this page as an example of the necessary Login Page components.

2. Creating New Login Pages

Since the Login Page is an HTML page, it is relatively easy to create a new custom Login Page. A custom Login Page can be embedded in any existing HTML page. An HTML developer needs only to add the necessary form elements (and possibly JSP elements) to create an access point for enPortal/AppBoard. In order to add advanced features (error processing, pre-filling elements, minimum browser version detection, and so on) it is necessary to add JSP elements to the page. The standard system login page ([INSTALL_HOME]/server/webapps/enportal/login_pages/login.jsp) contains all of the programmatic functions necessary for the common login functions (obtaining the previous user/domain, displaying error messages, and so on).

Perform the following steps to create a new custom login page:

  1. Create the directory: [INSTALL_HOME]/server/webapps/enportal/login_pages/custom/.
  2. Copy the following file to the new custom directory: [INSTALL_HOME]/server/webapps/enportal/login_pages/login.jsp.
  3. [Optional] Rename the login.jsp file to a name that represents the purpose of the file.
  4. Modify the file as needed.

A sample custom Login Page is provided, under /companyX/login.jsp

2.1. Example: Basic Login Page

For a detailed example of a Login Page, refer to the default login.jsp page provided with enPortal. As stated above, the easiest method to create a new custom Login Page is to copy/rename the page (to re-use the JSP/Javascript functions) and update the HTML layout/display of the new Login Page. This section provides some details for a basic example of a custom Login Page.

The following example provides only the necessary HTML login form.

The following example assumes that the page is located on the same host as the enPortal server. If not, then the action field must contain the full URL of the enPortal server.
 <title>Basic Enportal Login page</title>
 <P>Basic enPortal Login Page</P>
 <form name="loginForm" method=post action="/enportal/servlet/pd">
 <input name="login" type="hidden" value="yes">
 <table border="1" >
 <tr><td>UserID:</td> <td><input type="text" name="userid" size="12" maxlength="15"></td></tr>
 <tr><td>Pwd:</td> <td><input type="text" name="password" size="12" maxlength="15"></td></tr>
 <tr><td>Domain:</td> <td> <input type="text" name="domainSelect" size="12" maxlength="80"></td></tr>
 <tr><td colspan="2" align="center"> <input type="submit" value=”login”></td></tr>

2.2. Login Page Elements

All Login Pages must contain certain elements. This section describes the necessary and optional elements of Login Pages for custom Login Page authors. The following table outlines the Login Page elements:

Login Element Class Description
Login Form Required HTML Login form which provides entry into the enPortal system.
Browser Type Checking Optional Servlet/Javascript to determine minimum browser requirements.
Auto-Fill UserID and Domain Optional Functions to pre-fill the user and domain fields of the login form with most recent values.
Error Message Optional JSP/Javascript functions to read and display any error messages returned from Login process.

2.3. Login Form

The login page must contain an HTML form with the parameters described in the following table:

Parameter Value
Form method POST
Form action /enportal/servlet/pd (assuming this is on the same HTTP server, otherwise the full URL of the enPortal server plus this path must be listed as the action)
Hidden input <input name="login" type="hidden" value="yes">
UserID field name=”userid”
Password field name="password"
Domain field name=”domainSelect”

2.4. Browser Type Checking

Optionally, the login form can utilize the built-in browser type and version checking that exists in the Presentation Toolkit. A client that does not meet the minimum browser requirements can be redirected to another page. By default, the login.jsp page redirects to an enPortalInvalidBrowser.jsp page. This page accesses the minimum IE and Netscape version information that is stored in the enPortal server. Custom Login Page authors also may wish to access this information in order to perform the appropriate checking and redirection. The following JSP scriptlet retrieves the minimum versions required. This can be used in a JavaScript function to redirect to another page, if the browser does not meet the minimum standards:

<jsp:useBean id="JspConfigBean" scope="application" class="com.edgetech.util.config.JspConfig">
<% config.getServletContext().setAttribute("JspConfigBean", JspConfigBean); %>
float minIEVersion = JspConfigBean.getMinIEVersion();
float minNetscapeVersion = JspConfigBean.getMinNetscapeVersion();

The above fields are included in the baseline login.jsp file.

2.5. Auto-fill of the User ID and Domain Fields

Instead of providing a blank login form, it is possible to retrieve information about the last login from a client. The Login Page author can then pre-fill the login form with user and domain information. This information is obtained by a cookie that is set on the client browser that stores the user ID and Domain of the User (not the password). The name of the User cookie is enPortal_userid and the name of the Domain cookie is enPortal_domainid. While it is possible to retrieve this information in a number of methods, the default Login Page uses a utility class provided in enPortal’s Java API (com.edgetech.eportal.dispatch.DispatchUtilities). The following JSP scriptlet illustrates the use of this class for retrieval of the User and Domain fields. First, it checks for the User and Domain passed in on the request. If they are not present (possibly from an error or redirection), then the strings are set to null. Finally, the strings are normalized via the toHTMLString function. This code is present in the loginCommon.jsp file:

<%@ page import="com.edgetech.eportal.util.*" %>
<%@ page import="com.edgetech.eportal.dispatch.DispatchUtilities" %>
<%@ page import="com.edgetech.eportal.web.JSPUtilities" %>
// Lookup the UserID/Domain values from the cookie to pre-fill the login form
String user = DispatchUtilities.getRequestAccessor().getUserName(request);
String domain = DispatchUtilities.getRequestAccessor().getDomainName(request);
if ( (domain == null) || domain.equals("null") ) {
domain = "";
if ( (user == null) || user.equals("null") ) {
user = "";
user = JSPUtilities.toHTMLString(user);
domain = JSPUtilities.toHTMLString(domain);

2.6. Error Message Display

Authors creating custom Login Pages will most likely want to add code that processes login error messages. When a User unsuccessfully logs in, the enPortal process dispatcher returns a message, which can be displayed to the User. For example, if the User typed in an incorrect password, an error message would be returned. The dispatcher redirects the User back to the Login Page assigned to that Domain. In order for the User to see the error message, the Login Page must have code that looks for the error message. Otherwise, the Login Page will simply re-appear upon an unsuccessful login attempt. The request parameter error is populated by the text message of the error when an error occurs during login. This example shows a snippet of JSP code to check for the error message, and then some JavaScript code that pops up a message. The JavaScript code assumes that there is a form named loginForm. The JavaScript function error_checks() should be called on load of the page (in the body tag, using onLoad=‘error_checks()’ ):

<JSP Code>….
<% String error_Text = request.getParameter("error");
if (error_Text == null)
error_Text = (String) request.getAttribute("error");
} %><JavaScript code>….
function error_checks(myForm) {
 	// find top-level browser window where portal reside.
	var rootWindow = cleanUpEnportalWindows(self);
 	var errorText = "<%=JSPUtilities.toHTMLString(error_Text)%>";
 	var errorTextEncoded = "<%=EnportalURLEncoder.encode(error_Text)%>";
 	// If browser is valid,
   if ( ! ((isNav && version < <%=minNetscapeVersion%>) || (isIE && version < <%=minIEVersion%>)) ) {
 		// If we are activated in a page that is not the portal rootWindow
 		if ( rootWindow == null)
        {   //this is to prevent IE problem when in Explorer and other channels that generate multiple portal rquests into different iframes that result in multiple login windows.  When this happens with an alert, then the window cannot be closed and user end up with two login pages, one in the root window and the other in the open window.
        else if ( rootWindow != self ) {
			var pageToLoad = location.protocol+"//"+location.host+"<%=JSPUtilities.out(URLUtil.getFullPDURI(), true)%>";
			// pass along any error messages
 			if ( errorText != "" ) {
 				pageToLoad = pageToLoad + "?error=" + errorTextEncoded;
 			// Reload the root window.
 		} else {
 			// We are already displayed in the proper window (an portal root window)
 			// Notify user of any errors,
 			if ( errorText != "" ) {
				setErrorState( true );
 			// and automate login form focus
 			if ( myForm && myForm.userid) {
 				myForm.password.value = "";
 	} else {
 		// The user is trying to use an unsupported version of IE or netscape.
 		rootWindow.location.replace("<%=JSPUtilities.out(URLUtil.getPortalContext(), true)%>/enPortalInvalidBrowser.jsp");

2.7. Hard-coding a Default Domain

AppBoard/enPortal requires three elements for a User to successfully log in to the system: Username, Password, and Domain. In some cases, all of the Users may be in a single Domain, and it may be a nuisance for the User to have to enter the Domain in order to log in. In this case, you can pre-fill a Domain name in the login form, or even hide the field completely and just have the Login Page auto-submit the hard-coded value for everyone who submits a login request.

Perform the following steps to hard-code a value in the Domain field in the login form:

  1. Open the Login Page jsp file for editing in a text editor.
  2. Search for the following text in the login page:
    • <input type="text" id="domain" value="<%=domain%>" name="domainSelect"
  3. Change "value=" to a hard-coded value.
    • Example: <input type="text" id="domain" value="CustomerName" name="domainSelect"

The above will force the default Domain to be “CustomerName” instead of whatever domain was last accessed (<%=domain%>). To hide the field completely from view, change the input type from "text" to "hidden". You will want to hide the "Domain" label for the field also.

3. Implementing a Custom Login Page

Once you have created a custom Login Page, implement the new Login Page by completing the following:

  1. Place the Login Page in the appropriate location on the server.
    • [INSTALL_HOME]/webapps/enportal/login_pages/custom/[loginpagename].jsp
  2. Assign the Login Page to the system or individual Domain(s).
    • To assign to the entire system:
      • Log in to enPortal/Appboard as the administrator.
      • Go to the enPortal admin URL: http://<hostname>:<port>/enportal/home#.
      • Mouse over "Advanced" and select "Explore System".
      • Right-click "Explorer" and select "System Login Page".
      • Enter the relative path/name of the Login Page to use.
        • Example: custom/myloginpage.jsp
    • To specifying a default Login Page for a Domain:
      • Select the Domain for which you would like to specify a default Login Page.
      • Log in to enPortal/Appboard as the administrator.
      • Go to the enPortal admin URL: http://<hostname>:<port>/enportal/home#.
      • Click the "Users" tab.
      • Right-click the Domain name and select "Edit".
      • Under "Default Login Page", enter the relative path/name of the Login Page to use.
        • Example: custom/myloginpage.jsp
      • Click "Save".

If a Login Page is assigned to a Domain, a User in that Domain will need to log in and log out once to that Domain to set the cookie that will provide that custom Login Page the next time that User logs in.