ACS | Version 4

ACS Guide

Use Sophora’s module Additional Content Server (ACS) in order to edit content from two separate operating Sophora Servers with just one DeskClient or MobileClient.

Overview

Usually you have a Sophora Primary (Master) Server in which you maintain the website content. If you want to manage additional content in a separate repository or Sophora Server (Additional Content Server - ACS), but the editors should use their DeskClient as always, this module fulfills that demand.

Technically it works like this: the editor connects to a plugin in the Sophora Primary (Master) Server. This plugin merges the contents of the Sophora Primary (Master) Server and the ACS, so that in the DeskClient the content from both Sophora Servers is displayed as if it was only a single Sophora Server, completely transparent for the user.

The user can search, edit and publish documents of both repositories using the DeskClient and will not notice that he is modifing content from different Sophora Servers. This also includes the work with proposals.

An example would be an ACS with user-related content or user-related data that should be stored separately from the main webpage content.

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Installation

Configuring the Connection

To install the add-on you need to create a file named acs.properties next to your sophora.properties of the Sophora Primary (Master) Server. The file contains the connection from the Sophora Primary (Master) Server to the ACS:

sophora.acs.addon.serviceUrl=http://acshost:acshttpport

The Sophora Primary (Master) Server is the Sophora Server a user usually connects to. The ACS is the Sophora Server with the additional content that should be shown in the DeskClient of the Sophora Primary (Master) Server.

Configuring the ACS-user documents

The Sophora Primary (Master) Server will need to login to the ACS to provide the extra content. Therefore an ACS user document must be present in the Adminstation view of the Sophora Primary (Master) Server. This document maps a Sophora role (in the Sophora Primary (Master) Server) to a Sophora user and its credentials (in the ACS).

You choose a role of the Sophora Primary (Master) Server and fill in the login credentials of a user in the ACS. This login will be used by the plugin for the connection to the ACS. From now on everyone with that configured role will be able to login with an ACS connection.

Using ACS

When logging in with the Sophora DeskClient you need to change the connection URL to http://mainserverdomain:mainserverport?acs=true. After that you are able to search content from the Sophora Primary (Master) Server and the ACS, edit and publish documents and use proposals from both Sophora Servers.

Note that an ACS connection can only be established by using http(s). Connecting without ?acs=true results in a connection without the additional content.

Running ACS as a cluster

It is also possible to run the ACS as a cluster. For that to be possible the Add-on High Availability Cluster is needed.

Limitations

There are some limitations:

  • Administration: To administrate the acs server you need a direct connection to the server. Currently it is not possible to administrate both servers with a single acs connection.
  • Links between documents: It is currently not possible to link documents from the main server with documents from the ACS and vice versa.
  • Searching documents: While searching for documents you are only able to search in the main repository or the ACS repository. A single search in the DeskClient will only yield results from one repository.

Updates with ACS

Major updates of the Sophora Server, especially the Sophora Staging Server with an ACS connection (?acs=true), might lead to a situation in which the Sophora Staging Server cannot connect to the ACS because of incompatible API versions. This issue can be avoided by the following update procedure:

  • Update of all Sophora Staging Servers
  • Update of the ACS
  • Update of the Sophora Primary (Master) Server

When the staging Sophora Staging Servers are updated, the ACS documents might not be accessible in the webapp. To reduce this time, the update of the ACS should be done just after the update of the Sophora Staging Servers.

Last modified on 10/16/20

The content of this page is licensed under the CC BY 4.0 License. Code samples are licensed under the MIT License.

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