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Managing Browser Configuration for Novell BorderManager Proxy Clients

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Sterling Smith

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Posted: 5 Apr 2002

Current Version: Novell BorderManager 3.6

This AppNote describes the various approaches to configuring and distributing your client browser configurations to match updated proxy configuration in your environment. In particular, it discusses how you can use proxy auto-configuration (PAC) and the Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Protocol (WPAD) methods to create logic to assist the browser in making the best configuration possible to the user. This will be supplemented with any proprietary methods available from current popular browser vendors. Finally, it outlines the advantages of these two approaches and describes deployment solutions within the enterprise.

Here's what you'll find in this AppNote:

Proxy Fundamentals
Before we discuss the approaches of configuring browser configurations, let's quickly review the functionality of proxies and the reasons to deploy them in an enterprise.

Desktop Interaction with Proxy Servers
If installing and configuring a proxy server was the only thing an administrator had to do, life would be easy. But alas, this is not the case. The second half of the job requires the administrator to determine how to configure the client's browser configuration with the appropriate settings to communicate to the proxy.

Automatically Configuring Web Browsers to Use the Proxy Server
Now that you understand the basic approaches to configuring browser settings, let's take a look at some methods of automatically deploying browser settings to the desktop.

  1. Using desktop management software to deploy "manual" browser settings
  2. Using automatic browser settings along with proxy auto-configuration files in deploying browser settings
  3. Using a vendor-specific approach
  4. Using a hybrid approach

Manually Configuring Web Browsers to Use the Proxy Server
This section details how to manually configure the two most popular browsers-- Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator--on various platforms.

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