The eZproxy authentication framework enables the library to provide secure off-campus access to subscription-based third-party resources for providers who are unable to support the Shibboleth protocol. We have encountered an issue over the last few months that has led to the loss of off-campus to a number of such resources. This is the result of those third-party web platforms moving their entire site across from ‘http:’ to the more secure ‘https:’ protocol. This causes a key component of the exchange between the university’s eZproxy server and the third party site to fail.
The solution to this issue is an upgrade to the eZproxy server, an enhancement that colleagues in IS are preparing to deploy to the production environment once testing has successfully completed.
The resources currently affected by this problem are:
- Elgar Online
- New Left Review
In addition, it is currently not possible for for students to register new accounts on the WGSN service from off-campus. The library is able to register new accounts for students who are off-site and have details of their registration emailed to them. Once registration has completed, off-campus access to WGSN is available.
A further update will follow once the upgrade to eZproxy has been deployed and access to these services is confirmed as restored.
Secure off-campus access to the BCIS platform has been enabled in the Find Databases service of Library OneSearch. While on-campus access remains direct, off-campus access is now through university username and password (using the secure link provided in LOS). Access URLs and details have been updated in the records in Library OneSearch.
BCIS (the Building Cost Information Service) has launched a new and improved platform, and links from Library OneSearch have been updated to connect to the new interface. Access remains direct on-campus; off-campus access is not available.
The new platform is based on a web interface (rather than a client, launched via a web request). This means that the interim page, through which customers were previously directed, is no longer required – and access to the service is direct.
The Shelob web server was withdrawn from service at NTU last week, leading to the loss of access to several important web files still being used by LLR on the server. This meant that the links in eSearch to BCIS (Building Cost Information Service) and FORS (Forensic Science Service) temporarily stopped working. This links have now been reinstated. It has also meant that the NTU ‘banner’ in the eBrary eBook interface no longer displayed correctly. This banner will be reinstated by eBrary shortly.
Colleagues in IS have been working with us to resolve the pop-up blocker problem which was preventing access to the BCIS database from on-campus workstations under the new Windows XP student image. This solution has been tested on a number of library workstations and appears to be working effectively. The resource prompts for BCIS have been updated accordingly:
04 December 2006: Access to BCIS should now be available again from all on-campus workstations. Please ensure that your browser’s pop-up blocker is switched off when attempting access. If you continue to experience problems, please contact the User Support Team.
Please let me have the details of any instances where the problem appears to be persisting. (In the first instance, please restart the workstation involved – to ensure that it has picked up the new config settings).
LLR has previously had a subscription which only allowed two customers to access BCIS at any one time. A revised agreement which will increase our simultaneous user level to 99 is in process – I will advise when this has been completed. Additionally, negotiations are currently continuing with BCIS to enable off-campus access to the service.