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Creating the Self-Service Guest Portal

This section discusses the use of a Self-Service Guest Portal that is used in conjunction with a Guest User Account license.

This allows your organization or clients to easily access documents in your repository such as newsletters, forms, or corporate policies without having the need for a registered user license or to login with a username or password. This method is extremely helpful when an organization wants to proactively have employees look at information.

The guest users are given read-only access to the documents. Guest user accounts are ideal for casual employees, external personnel, partners, or vendors that are not part of your internal network but that may require secure access to specific documents or areas in the library.

You configure the Self-Service portal so that users are automatically logged in without having to enter a username and password. You can send the link to a document in an email or have it posted on a website. After clicking the link, the Self-Service Portal opens and guest users can access documents they have permission to view in the repository.

In order for guest users to access documents, they will need a “named alias” account to be created by a System Administrator and then added to the Guest User security group/role. The Guest User Group will then need to be given access to a cabinet, folder, and schema by the Library Administrator. The Library Administrator will have to carefully plan the library hierarchy and security membership for the Self-Service Portal. When Guest Users login to the Self-Service Portal, they will only be able to see those cabinets, folders, and documents that they have access to.

The Self-Service Portal can be configured to use a customized header. See Customizing the Header Panel in the Self-Service Portal.

In order to create the Self-Service Portal you will need System Administrator privileges, access to the FileHold server, and the username and password of the FileHold (FH_Service) Service Account.

IMPORTANT: Do not try to use the same browser session for both a regular login session and the guest portal access. If you are using Internet Explorer, for example, to login to the normal FileHold Web Client - then you need to install Chrome or FireFox to test the normal usage of the Guest Portal. This is because of how browsers work, in that your user session cookie will be set to your normal FileHold user account with its right and priveleges, and the Web browser will share this to the guest portal. Use two different browsers at all times for this.

To create the Self-Service Portal

  1. If you haven’t already done so, login as a System Administrator and create a user for the “named alias” account. For example, create a user called “FileHold” with a password of “guest123”. You can choose a more secure password, this is just an example of course.

  2. Add the user to the Guest Users group/security role.

  3. Login to the FileHold server using the Administrator username and password.

  4. In the FileHold server, open the Server Manager and go to Roles > Web Server (IIS) > Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.

  5. In the Connections pane, go to Server Name > Sites > Default Web Site > FH > FileHold.

  6. Right-click on FileHold and select Add Virtual Directory.

Server Manager

  1. In the Add Virtual Directory window, enter WebClientPortal in the Alias field.
    IMPORTANT: The Alias for the Self-Service Portal must be called WebClientPortal or the portal will not work.

  2. In the Physical Path field, enter the path to the FileHold server. In Windows Server 2008, this path is typically C:\Program Files\FileHold Systems\Application Server\WebClient.

  3. In the Virtual Directory window, click Connect As…

  4. In the Connect As window, select Specific User and click Set.

  5. VERY IMPORTANT: In the Set Credentials window, enter the User name and password for the FileHold service account (FH_Service) and click OK.

  6. In the Add Application window, click Test Settings.

  7. Your service account will be authenticated. Click Close.

  8. Click OK. The Web Client Portal is now a virtual folder in the list.

  9. Right-click on the WebClientPortal virtual folder and select Convert to Application.

Create Portal - Add Application

  1. In the Application Pool field, and click Select.

  2. Select the FHAppPool and click OK.

  3. In the Add Application window, click Connect As…

  4. In the Connect As window, select Specific User and click Set.

  5. VERY IMPORTANT: In the Set Credentials window, enter the User name and password for the FileHold service (FH_Service) account. 

  6. Click OK.

  7. In the Add Application window, click Test Settings.

  8. Your service account will be authenticated. Click Close.

  9. In the Add Application window, click OK.

  10. Then go to the properties of the WebClientPortal in IIS 7 Manager and double click on the Default Document.

Create Portal - Default Document

  1. Click Add. 

  2. In the Add Default Document window, type default.aspx and click OK. It is added to the default document list and entry type is Local.

Set default aspx for guest portal

  1. Double click on Directory Browsing in the Features View for the WebClientPortal

  2. Click Enable to enable directory browsing. The WebClientPortal is now an application.

Guest portal directory browsing

  1. Click the + sign to view all the folders in the application you have created

Self-Service Portal

  1. Right-click on WebClientPortal and select Explore.

  2. In the Webclient window, locate the web.config file and open with an xml editor or Notepad. To be able to login to the Self-Service Portal automatically, use the guest user account username and password that you set in Step 1 to edit the web.config file.

  3. Locate the PortalLogin key under <appSettings> and change the value to the guest username. For example: <add key="PortalLogin" value="filehold" /> 

  4. Locate the PortalPassword key under <appSettings> and change the value to the guest user password. For example: <add key="PortalPassword" value="guest123" />

  5. Save the web.config file.
    NOTE: You may need to run the application you used to edit the web.config file as an Administrator in order to save the changes.

  6. You can test the Self-Service Portal by entering the path in a web browser. For example:
    http://YourServerName/FH/FileHold/WebClientPortal/LibraryForm.aspx

  7. If your Self-Service Portal successfully opens, then you should see the Document Tray, Search, Reports (if they exist), Library, and Library Archive. There is also a place to insert a custom header in the portal. See the next section for more information on customizing the header panel.

  8. IMPORTANT: Do not try to use the same browser session for both a regular login session and the guest portal access. If you are using Internet Explorer, for example, to login to the normal FileHold Web Client - then you need to install Chrome or FireFox to test the normal usage of the Guest Portal. This is because of how browsers work, in that your user session cookie will be set to your normal FileHold user account with its right and priveleges, and the Web browser will share this to the guest portal. Use two different browsers at all times for this.