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|iPlanet Web Server, Enterprise Edition Administrator's Guide|
Chapter 1 Introduction to iPlanet Web Server
This chapter introduces iPlanet Web Server and discusses some of the fundamental server concepts. Read it to obtain an overview of how iPlanet Web Server works.
This chapter includes the following sections:
iPlanet Web Server
iPlanet Web Server
iPlanet Web Server, Enterprise Edition 6.0 is a multi-process, multi-threaded, secure web server built on open standards. It provides high performance, reliability, scalability, and manageability for any size enterprise.
This section includes the following topics:
iPlanet Web Server Features
iPlanet Web Server is primarily designed to provide access to your business HTML files. In addition, it offers the following features:
Enterprise-wide manageabilityIncluding delegated administration, cluster management, and LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) support. LDAP integration with Directory Server enables you to store users and groups in a centralized directory. In addition, you can monitor your server in real-time by using the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). SNMP is a protocol used to exchange data about network activity.Note that in order to add users and groups to iPlanet Web Server, you must have a directory server installed, such as iPlanet Directory Server. See the iPlanet Web Server Installation and Migration Guide for more information.
Security Users can establish encrypted and authenticated transactions between clients and the server through the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) 3.0 protocol. In addition, iPlanet Web Server employs the following security-based standards: Public Key Cryptography Standard (PKCS) #11, which defines the interface used for communication between SSL and PKCS #11 modules; Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS)-140; and special certificates that work with 56, 128, or 168 bits, depending on the capability of the client.
Access controlYou can protect confidential files or directories by implementing access control (viewing, editing, and version control) by user name, password, domain name, or IP address. This feature also represents another aspect of the NSAPI Content Management plug-in, which enables an end user (the owner of a document) to set access control on a document, rather than having to ask the administrator to accomplish the task.
Standards-based iPlanet Web Server includes support for a wide range of web software standards, including: JDK 1.2; Servlets 2.2; JavaServer Pages 1.1; HTTP 1.1; and various security-based standards, including PKCS #11, FIPS-140, and 168-bit step-up certificates.
Administering and Managing iPlanet Web Servers
You can manage your iPlanet Web Server(s) via the following user interfaces:
For managing individual instances of iPlanet Web Server, you can use the Server Manager. For more information, see Server Manager.To manage virtual servers, use the Class Manager. For more information, see Dynamic Reconfiguration.
iPlanet Web Server Architecture
iPlanet Web Server incorporates a modular architecture that integrates seamlessly with all of the products in the iPlanet family of servers. In addition, iPlanet Web Server includes an administration server interface for coordinating administrative functions across all of your web servers. Note that this administrative interface is itself another instance of iPlanet Web Server.
iPlanet Web Server includes the following software modules:
iPlanet Web Server content engines are designed for manipulating customer data. The following three content engines make up the Web Publishing layer of the iPlanet Web Server architecture: HTTP (Web Server), Content Management, and Search.
The HTTP engine represents the core of the iPlanet Web Server. From a functional perspective, the rest of the iPlanet Web Server architecture resides on top of this engine for performance and integration functionality.
The Content Management engine enables you to manage your server's content. You create and store HTML pages, JavaServer Pages, and other files such as graphics, text, sound, or video on your server. When clients connect to your server, they can view your files provided they have access to them.
The Search engine enables iPlanet Web Server users to search the contents and attributes of documents on the server. As the server administrator, you can create a customized text search interface that works with various types of documents formats, such as HTML, Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF, and WordPerfect. iPlanet Web Server converts many types of non-HTML documents into HTML as it indexes them so that users can use your web browser to view the documents that are found for their search.
The iPlanet Web Server extensions enable you to extend or replace the function of the server to better suit your business operations. The following server extensions are part of the core iPlanet Web Server architecture:
Common Gateway Interface (CGI)Common Gateway Interface (CGI) is a stand-alone application development interface that enables you to create programs that process your client requests dynamically.
Netscape Server Application Programming Interface (NSAPI) is used to implement the functions the server calls when processing a request (Server Application Functions) which provide the core and extended functionality of the iPlanet Web Server. It allows the server's processing of requests to be divided into small steps which may be arranged in a variety of ways for speed and flexible configuration.
Java Servlets and JavaServer Pages extensions enable all Java servlet and JavaServer page meta-functions, including instantiation, initialization, destruction, access from other components, and configuration management. Java servlets and JavaServer pages, are reusable Java applications that run on a web server rather than in a web browser.
In addition to the various server extensions, iPlanet Web Server includes a set of runtime environments which support the server extensions. These runtime environments include the following:
Finally, the iPlanet Web Server architecture includes a set of application services for various application-specific functions. These application services include the following:
iPlanet Web Server Configuration
iPlanet Web Server is configured to enable you to turn on or off various features, determine how to respond to individual client requests, and write programs that run on and interact with the server's operation. The instructions (called directives) which identify these options are stored in configuration files. iPlanet Web Server reads the configuration files on startup and during client requests to map your choices with the desired server activity. For more information about these files, see iPlanet Web Server Configuration Files.
The server includes a number configuration files which are stored in server_root/https-server_id/config and server_root/https-admserv/config when installed on your computer.
This section includes the following topics:
iPlanet Web Server Component Options
iPlanet Web Server Component Options
The following component options are available when you install iPlanet Web Server:
iPlanet Web Server Configuration Files
iPlanet Web Server includes a variety of configuration files that enable you to set various global variables, and to customize how the server responds to specific events and client requests. You can modify the configuration files automatically using the Administrator Server, Server Manager, and Class Manager user interface, or by editing the files directly using a text editor.
The main iPlanet Web Server configuration files are: magnus.conf, obj.conf, mime.types, server.xml, and admpw. These configuration files are described in this section.
Note There are a number of configuration files iPlanet Web Server uses when your server is set up as part of a cluster of iPlanet Web Servers (these files include a .clfilter file extension). For more information regarding how you can configure a cluster of iPlanet Web Servers, including important guidelines, see About Clusters.
magnus.conf: contains global server configuration information (such as security and default language selection). This file sets the values for variables that configure the server during initialization. iPlanet Web Sever reads this file and executes the variable settings on startup. The server does not read this file again until it is restarted, so you must restart the server every time you make changes to this file.
For more information, see NSAPI Programmer's Guide for iPlanet Web Server
obj.conf: object configuration file. There is one obj.conf file for each virtual server class, or grouping of virtual servers. Whenever this guide refers to "the obj.conf file," it refers to all obj.conf files or to the obj.conf file for the virtual server class being described. All the obj.conf files are located in server_root/server_id/config. They are typically named vsclass.obj.conf, where vsclass is the virtual server class name.
The obj.conf file contains settings for server customization, and instructions that the server uses to process requests from clients (such as browsers). Each virtual server reads this file every time it processes a client request.
For more information about the actual file syntax and the specific directives used by the obj.conf and magnus.conf configuration files, see the NSAPI Programmer's Guide.
server.xml: configures the addresses and ports that the server listens on and assigns virtual server classes and virtual servers to these listen sockets. For more information, see the NSAPI Programmer's Guide.
mime.types: the MIME (Multi-purpose Internet Mail Extension) type configuration file. This file maps file extensions to MIME types, to enable the server to determine the type of content being requested. For example, requests for resources with .html extensions indicate that the client is requesting an HTML file, while requests for resources with .gif extensions indicate that the client is requesting an image file in GIF format.
For more information, see Specifying a Default MIME Type. Note that you must restart the server every time you make changes to this file.
admpw: the user name and password file for the Administrator Server superuser. For more information, see Changing the Superuser Settings.
Dynamic reconfiguration allows you to make configuration changes to a live web server without having to stop and restart the web server for the changes to take effect. You can dynamically change all configuration settings and attributes in server.xml and its associated files without restarting the server.
To access the dynamic reconfiguration screen and install a new configuration dynamically, click the Apply link found in the upper right corner of the Server Manager, Class Manager, and Virtual Server Manager pages, then click the Load Configuration Files button on the Apply Changes page. If there are errors in installing the new configuration, the previous configuration is restored.
If you have installed iPlanet Web Server on a single server machine, the installation process places all the files under the server root directory that you specified during installation.
For all platforms, the following directories are created under the server root directory:
alias contains the key and certificate files for all iPlanet servers (for example, https-admserv-server_id-cert7.db and secmod.db).
bin contains the binary files for the server, such as the actual server, the Administration Server forms, and so on. In addition, this directory includes the https/install folder that contains files needed for migrating server settings and default configuration files needed for backward compatibility.
docs is the server's default primary document directory, where your server's content files are usually kept. If you are migrating settings from an existing server, this directory doesn't appear until you finish the migration process.
The flexanlg directory contains a command-line log analyzer. This log analyzer analyzes files in flexlog format.httpacl contains the files that store access control configuration information in the generated.server-id.acl and genwork.server-id.acl files. The file generated.server-id.acl contains changes you make using the Server Manager access control forms after saving your changes; genwork.server-id.acl contains your changes before you save your changes.
For Unix/Linux platforms, this directory contains shell scripts to start, stop, and restart the server and a script to rotate log files.https-server_id.domain are the directories for each server you have installed on the machine. Each server directory has the following subdirectories and files:
config contains the server's configuration files: admpw, admin.conf, cluster.xml, contexts.properties, cron.conf, dsgw.conf, dsgwfilter.conf, dsgw-language.conf, dsgw-orgperson.conf, dsgwserarchprefs.conf, jvm12.conf, magnus.conf, magnus.conf.clfilter, mime.types, ns-cron.conf, obj.conf, obj.conf.clfilter, server.dtd, servers.lst, server.xml, server.xml.clfilter, servlets.properties, ssl.xml, user-apps.xml, userclass.obj.conf, and web-apps.xml. Working copies are kept here. For more information on magnus.conf and obj.conf, see the NSAPI Programmer's Guide for iPlanet Web Server.
ClassCache contains classes and Java files, generated as result of the compilation of JavaServer pages.manual contains the online manuals for the product.
reconfig is the script used to reconfigure the server dynamically. If you make non-global changes to the server, you can use this script to reconfigure the server without stopping and starting it. Note that changes to ACL files and magnus.conf require you to stop and restart the server.
htaccess contains server plugin for .htaccess access control and htconvert, an .nsconfig to .htaccess converter.setup contains the various iPlanet Web Server setup files, including setup.log and uninstall.inf.
nsapi contains header files and example code for creating your own functions using NSAPI. For more information, see the iPlanet documentation web site at: http://docs.iplanet.com/docs/manuals/enterprise.html.
Unix and Linux Platforms
In addition to the files and directories described in All Platforms the following files are created at the server-root directory for Unix and Linux platforms:
ClassCache contains classes and Java files, generated as result of the compilation of JavaServer pages.
Virtual Server Configuration
Virtual servers allow you, with a single installed server, to offer companies or individuals domain names, IP addresses, and some server administration capabilities. You can configure virtual servers using the Virtual tab of the Server Manager, as well as the Class Manager interface and the server.xml file. The settings for virtual servers are stored in the server.xml file, found in the server_root/server_id/config directory.
For more information, see "Using Virtual Servers".
You can have multiple web servers running on the same server machine. Multiple web servers can be configured from a single-server administration interface called the Administration Server
The Administration Server is a web-based server that contains the Java forms you use to configure all of your iPlanet Web Servers.
After installing iPlanet Web Server, you use your browser to navigate to the Administration Server page and use its forms to configure your iPlanet Web Servers. When you submit the forms, the Administration Server modifies the configuration for the server you were administering.
The URL you use to navigate to the Administration Server page depends on the computer host name and the port number you choose for the Administration Server when you install iPlanet Web Server. For example, if you installed the Administration Server on port 1234, the URL would look like this:
Before you can get to any forms, the Administration Server prompts you to authenticate yourself. This means you need to type a user name and password. You set up the "superuser" user name and password when you install iPlanet Web Server on your computer. After installation, you can use distributed administration to give multiple people access to different forms in the Administration Server. For more information about distributed administration, see "Allowing Multiple Administrators."
The first page you see when you access the Administration Server, is called Servers. You use the buttons on this page to manage, add, remove, and migrate your iPlanet Web Servers. The Administration Server provides the following tabs for your administration-level tasks:
ServersFor more information on using the Administration Server, including information regarding these administration-level tasks, see "Administering iPlanet Web Servers".
The Server Manager is a web-based interface that contains the Java forms you use to configure individual instances of iPlanet Web Server.
You can access the Server Manager for iPlanet Web Server by performing the following steps:
Install and start your iPlanet Web Server.You use the links on the Preferences page to manage options such as thread pool settings, and to turn the web server on and off.
In the Manage Servers area, select the desired server and click Manage.
- The Administration Server displays the Servers page.
In addition, the Server Manager provides the following tabs for additional iPlanet Web Server managerial tasks:
Using the Resource Picker
Most of the Server Manager and Class Manager pages configure the entire iPlanet Web Server or an entire class. However, some pages can configure either the entire server (or class) or files and directories that the server (or class) maintains. These pages include the Resource Picker, shown in Figure 1-1, at the top.
Figure 1-1    Resource Picker
The Resource Picker appears on a number of pages, including the Server Manager's Log Preferences page and most screens accessible from the Class Manager's Content Management tab.
To use the Resource Picker, choose a resource from the drop-down list for configuration. Click Browse to browse your primary document directory; clicking Options allows you to choose other directories. Click Wildcard to configure files with a specific extension.
Wildcards Used in the Resource Picker
In many parts of the server configuration, you specify wildcard patterns to represent one or more items to configure. Please note that the wildcards for access control and text search may be different from those discussed in this section.
Wildcard patterns use special characters. If you want to use one of these characters without the special meaning, precede it with a backslash (\) character.
The Class Manager is a web-based interface that contains the Java forms you use to configure your virtual iPlanet Web Servers. The user interface for virtual servers has two parts, the Server Manager and the Class Manager. The Class Manager contains settings that affect a single class or single virtual server. You can set services for the class in the Class Manager, as well as add virtual servers (members of the class) and configure settings for an individual virtual server.
You can access the Class Manager for iPlanet Web Server by performing the following steps:
From the Server Manager, click the Virtual Server Class tab.You can also access the Class Manager by simply clicking the Class Manager link in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
From the drop-down list, select a virtual server class and click Manage.
- The Server Manager displays the Select a Class of Virtual Server page.
- iPlanet Web Server displays the Class Manager's Select a Virtual Server page.
The Class Manager provides the following tabs to manage your iPlanet Web Server virtual servers:
Virtual Server Manager
To access the Virtual Server Manager, go to the Virtual Servers tab in the Class Manager, then select a virtual server from the list on the Manager Virtual Servers page and click Manage, or click on the link to a virtual server under the tree view.
The pages provided in the Virtual Server Manager allow you to check the status and settings, set the Java web applications state to on, and generate reports for the selected virtual server.
The Virtual server Manager provides the following tabs to manage your iPlanet Web Server virtual servers:
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Copyright © 2001 Sun Microsystems, Inc. Some preexisting portions Copyright © 2001 Netscape Communications Corp. All rights reserved.
Last Updated May 09, 2002