This section on 2.2-01 web agents consists of the following subsections:
The first subsection that follows explains how to determine the version of a Policy Agent 2.2 web agent. For example, you could determine if a hot patch has been applied or not.
Subsequently in this section is a subsection that describes the important fixes and enhancements introduced during the various Policy Agent 2.2 web agent hot patches and a subsection explaining the important new properties introduced.
For the complete list of known problems fixed and enhancements made, see the README provided in the web agent download. Some of the fixes, enhancements, and properties described in the sections that follow only apply to a single agent. For example, many of the changes are specific to Agent for Microsoft Internet Information Services 6.0.
The method for determining the specific version of an installed Policy Agent 2.2 web agent is different depending upon if the web agent was developed through the OpenSSO project or not. The documentation specific to each web agent states if it was developed through the OpenSSO project. Most Policy Agent 2.2 agents were not developed through the OpenSSO project.
The following information explains how to determine the version of a web agent; therefore, you can determine if a hot patch has been applied to the web agent using the appropriate method, as follows:
For most OpenSSO project web agents, you can use the command line, in the PolicyAgent-base/bin directory, to issue the agentadmin --version command.
Where the agentadmin --version command does not apply, check the amAgent log file as described in the Other Web Agents section that follows.
See the amAgent log file. If you are uncertain of the location of the amAgent log file, you can find it in the web agent AMAgent.properties configuration file as the value assigned to the following property:
This section lists the key fixes and enhancements introduced in the various Policy Agent 2.2 web agent hot patches, which are now rolled into the 2.2-01 update release. The initial issue is described with its associated change request (bug) number. Furthermore, a short summary is provided about how the fix or enhancement resolved the issue.
This enhancement involved a behavior modification to the Basic Authentication filter. This fix corresponds to specific versions of Access Manager, as follows:
Access Manager 7.0 series from patch 5 forward
Access Manager 7.1 series from patch 1 forward
Support is now provided for using Policy Agent and Access Manager in conjunction with Microsoft IIS 6.0 Basic Authentication. For more information on Agent for Microsoft IIS 6.0 see Sun Java System Access Manager Policy Agent 2.2 Guide for Microsoft Internet Information Services 6.0.
This enhancement allows the following session attributes to be set as headers:
This enhancement improved the security around how user passwords are handled. Furthermore, this enhancement involved adding a new property to the web agent AMAgent.properties configuration file as described in Property Made Available: com.sun.am.replaypasswd.key.
This fix enabled Policy Agent 2.2 to work properly with Access Manager 6.3.
This problem only applied to Agent for Microsoft Internet Information Services 6.0 when the agent was deployed to provide protection for Microsoft Outlook Web Access.
While one was able to configure a local redirection page to automatically redirect incoming HTTP connection to HTTPS, when configured with Access Manager, this local redirection invoked a security pop up window in Internet Explorer browsers in certain deployment scenarios.
To fix this issue, a property was made available to convert the HTTP connection to HTTPS automatically, without a local redirection page. See Properties Made Available for Microsoft Office SharePoint and Outlook Web Access for info on the following property:
WebDAV support has been implemented for web agents. Using the WebDAV protocol with web agents requires additional configuration as described in these release notes. For more information, see Access Manager and Policy Agent 2.2–01 Web Agents: Allowing Requests Using Non-Standard HTTP Methods.
For Windows systems, the 2.2–01 web agents come with .pdb files as part of the agent binaries. These .pdb files, which are in the same location as .dll files, can be of assistance in debugging.
Windows Systems: For web agents on Windows systems, Policy Agent 2.2-01 is compiled with Microsoft Visual Studio 2003. As a result, the Microsoft libraries msvcr71.dll and msvcp71.dll are bundled with web agents since they are required for the agents to run successfully.
This section describes the key properties that were added to the web agent AMAgent.properties configuration file in conjunction with the hot patches bundled in the 2.2-01 web agent release. For each property listed in this section, the following information is provided:
The associated bug (change request) number
A description of why the property was added
This property was added to allow you to disable the Nagle algorithm. When the agent and an associated load balancer both use the Nagle algorithm, buffering of small packets can take place, causing network delays and performance problems.
This property was added to Policy Agent to allow all cookies set by the agents to be marked as secure. A cookie marked as secure is only transmitted if the communications channel with the host is secure. Therefore, only secure cookies are sent to HTTPS servers.
This property was made available to both Access Manager and Agent for Microsoft IIS 6.0 to allow Access Manager to send an encrypted password to Agent for Microsoft IIS 6.0.
This property was not specifically added to the configuration file of Access Manager or Policy Agent but simply made available. Therefore, if you want to set this property, you must add both the property name and the corresponding value. For more information, see Sun Java System Access Manager Policy Agent 2.2 Guide for Microsoft Internet Information Services 6.0.
When set to true, this property enables encoding of special characters, such as Chinese characters in the URL before the request is sent for policy evaluation. Otherwise, the use of special characters in the URL can cause unreliable results, even causing the web server to crash. The default setting is false. Enable this property by setting it as follows:
com.sun.am.policy.agents.config.encode_url_special_chars.enable = true
This property is specific to Apache-HTTP-Server related web agents in the Policy Agent 2.2 software set. The default for this property is false.
This property was made available to address a delay that occurs when Apache HTTP Server spawns a new process. The parent process goes to sleep for up to one second to allow the child process to get into commission. This one second delay applies to every process that the Apache HTTP Server spawns.
Setting this property to true, as shown in the following example, reduces the delay down to a range from ten microseconds to one millisecond.
com.sun.am.policy.agents.config.no_child_thread_activation_delay = true
This property was not specifically added to the web agent AMAgent.properties configuration file, but simply made available. Therefore, to set this property to true, you must add both the property name and the value.
Microsoft Office SharePoint: com.sun.am.sharepoint_login_attr_name = login
Microsoft Outlook Web Access:com.sun.am.iis_owa_enabled = true
These new properties were added to indicate whether or not Microsoft Office SharePoint or Outlook Web Access is configured.
These properties were not specifically added to the web agent AMAgent.properties configuration file, but simply made available. Therefore, to configure these properties, you must add the applicable property name and its corresponding value.
The sections that follow are applicable to web agents starting with Policy Agent 2.2–01 used with Access Manager starting with the 7.0 release.
Prior to Policy Agent 2.2–01, the only HTTP methods supported by web agents were GET, HEAD, PUT, POST, DELETE, TRACE, OPTIONS. Any request received by the agent with a method other than one of these was marked as UNKNOWN and access to the resource was denied.
With Policy Agent 2.2–01, web agents also support the following methods: CONNECT, COPY, INVALID, LOCK, UNLOCK, MOVE, MKCOL, PATCH, PROPFIND, PROPPATCH.
By default, policies in Access Manager only allow control of GET and POST actions. To extend Access Manager control to other actions, see the corresponding Access Manager document. For example, for Access Manager 7.1, see Adding a Policy Enabled Service in Sun Java System Access Manager 7.1 Administration Guide.
Typically, a web server marks a request as an INVALID method and denies access to the resource when the request uses a method other than any of the methods listed in the preceding section.
However, in cases where the web server is configured to forward requests to an application that can handle non-standard HTTP methods, the web server does not deny access, but forwards the request to the requested application. You can configure Access Manager to allow or deny such INVALID requests. A typical example is when a web agent is installed on Apache HTTP Server that is configured as a proxy for Microsoft Exchange Server. In this scenario, requests can use methods such as SEARCH or SUBSCRIBE, which are not recognized by Apache HTTP Server and, therefore, marked as INVALID.
To decide if such requests should be allowed or denied, the INVALID method must be loaded in the iPlanetAMWebAgentService service.