Can we pass authentication with an article link?


We have set up our copy of InstantKB within a Client area of our website that requires a username and pw for entry.  We are then passing authentication credentials to the KB on login and either creating anew account or loading an existing account.

We want to be able to send article links to our clients and have them be able to click on the link and go directly to the article.  We know this will work if the client has visited the KB and disconnected (not logged out) as this saves a cookie in their browser.  But we can't count on them all to follow this approach.

Does anybody know of an approach we could use that would allow us to send links to articles to our clients and allow them to go directly to the article?  We could probably live with an approach that works for clients who already have a user record in the KB but not for those that have never visited and have no account.

For example, could we add authentication parameters to the link?

Or, could we pass the user to an intermediate site that would then authenticate them into the kb and the correct article?

I'm interested to know if anyone has found a workaround for this scenario.

Hi Alex,

Hope your very well. Very nice to see you in the forums :)

This should actually be quite easy to do if you don't mind users having to login. I would not suggest passing usernames or passwords within the querystring to automatically authenticate users.

You can pass in a ReturnURL to our login page. If passed in this will be used as the default redirect after a successful login. There are ways around this. For example you could create a cookie with a GUID and do a look up for this within the InstantASP_Users table. You would always need to ensure the GUID is unqiue for each user. This does have security implications.

I would suggest if you can using the login page method. For example…

https://localhost/InstantKB2011/Logon.aspx?ReturnURL=https://localhost/InstantKB2011/KnowledgebaseArticle10107.aspx

Would redirect you to https://localhost/InstantKB2011/KnowledgebaseArticle10107.aspx once logged in.

To get this to work you will need to ensure you've not specified a default login URL within the application settings. To do this goto the InstantKB.NET admin CP and click settings on the top. Go to "Registration & Login". Ensure the  "Login Landing Page" textbox is empty.

So when you distribute links to customers that require login simply add "https://domain.com/Logon.aspx?ReturnURL=" before the article link. I.e.

https://domain.com/Logon.aspx?ReturnURL=https://domain.com/KnowledgebaseArticle10107.aspx

If users are already logged in (via remember me) the login will be skipped and you'll be taken right to the returnURL.

Hope this helps. If I can assist further please don't hesitate to respond,

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Kindest Regards,

Ryan Healey



ryan@instantasp.co.uk
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This is helpful - makes login much easier - but we still have some issues due to the way we implemented KB.

I was wondering if, as an alternate approach, we could change the default behavior so that the only way to leave the KB is to disconnect.  This way, all those who log in will have the cookie left in their browser (assuming they accept cookies) and we can send them a direct link.  

We would probably want to replace the logout link with a disconnect link that closes the browser window.  Is this possible? Also, would it have any implications for performance?

Thanks for your help!
GO

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