Completing the SSO Wizard On The Google Search Appliance


Invariably, more often recently we have been involved with configuring the Google Search Appliance with Single Sign On forms authentication based content. As you may know, this is one of my many on board features of the appliance. In many cases it can be easier said than done to complete the wizard successfully. This article demonstrates some easy tricks to help you complete the wizard.  Unfortunately the topic of SSO is quite large.  I will be just describing some short cuts that we employ when attempting to configure the Appliance. Single Sign On - The Problem

Most of the difficulties in completing the form come from small amounts of javascript that is called with the web browser normally submits the form. The appliance does not execute any javascript on the page. It instead simply rewrites the form and presents it to you. Evidence of javascript is when you hover over you see javascript:submitLogin() in your browsers status window.

Single Sign On - The Solution

Using a tool like HTTP Analyzer you can examing the posts and responses during the normal login process. By taking note of the form variables submitted you can recreate this if necessary during the form wizard process.

Be careful to note what the javascript is actually doing. In most cases, there is no logic in the javascript. In that case, you may use the next technique to complete the wizard successfully.

Completing the wizard:

  1. Turn off StylesSometimes developers will use Javascript to turn on and off styles. By turning off all styles, you'll see areas of the HTML that is hidden by CSS styles. In some cases, simply complete the form and save.
  2. Editing the HTML that the Google Search Appliance returns to you.If you submit a ticket to Google Support with javascript as the cause, the first response will be to see about getting the javascript removed. This will involved multiple internal departments within your company or your clients company.I find that this can be difficult at times. At best, a company can roll a version of the form that just the GSA sees. Since you may need to reset the form in the future, a simple swap form temporally will need to be repeated in the future and this too can cause internal stagnation.You can save yourself the trouble by simplifying editing the HTML that is returned by the appliance. If you remember earlier, I said to note what actual form variables need to be sent. Simply find the form and make appropriate changes to mimic the original submission. For example, your GSA returned form could look like this.[sourcecode language="plain"]
    [/sourcecode]Simply change it to this: [sourcecode language="plain"]
    ;
    [/sourcecode]Then, make sure that all of the text field, hidden and otherwise are included in this form.Submit and save.
  3. Clicking back and save

There have been times where simply clicking the back button and saving and done the trick.

Of course, MC+A can help you with a detail explanation of this during one of our Search Health Checks or other related support services. Feel free to Contact us.