Results Authorization

 

Results Authorization allows restriction of search results to authorized users only, on a per-URL basis. Only users with access to a given URL will ever see that URL in a result list, instead of all users seeing all matches (and potentially being denied access to results already shown).

Access to a URL, as well as the namespace of users, is determined by the URL's origin server, not Webinator, so no reconfiguration of users or access is needed - the pre-existing server access controls are just forwarded by Webinator. And since access is determined on a per-result, not per-search, basis, a single profile can serve a multitude of users with any combination of whole/partial access to the underlying data.

Results Authorization works at search time (late binding) by accessing each potential search result URL with the user's credentials. Only URLs authorized to that user are then shown in search results. The authentication method(s) used will depend on the existing system(s) already used by the indexed URLs. Various schemes are supported:

  • None: No access verification; return all search results to all users. This is the default.

  • Cookie-based: Custom HTML-form-based single-sign-on systems. Users first login on a web server (not a Windows workstation login), which then sends an access cookie to the user's browser. This cookie is automatically returned to the server when accessing future pages, and grants the user access.

  • Basic: HTTP Basic authentication, for web servers.

  • NTLM: Windows NTLM authentication, for web servers.

  • SMB/Windows: SMB for Windows file servers (for Thunderstone products that support file:// walking).

For cookie-based systems, Webinator will merely forward the cookies the user has already received from the site login page. For all others (Basic/NTLM/SMB), Webinator must prompt for the user and password directly, as they are needed to verify result URLs. In the latter case, credentials will then be stored in a cookie by Webinator so that future searches do not need to re-prompt for a login. Note that NFS-mounted file servers are not currently supported by Results Authorization, due to limitations of NFS.



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