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Making Custom Proxy Error Pages

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature

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Posted: 24 Oct 2002
 

Current Version: Novell BorderManager 3.7

Create a set of Proxy Error Pages that are tailored to your site.

What's the Problem?

Many people don't like the default BorderManager Proxy error pages for reasons such as:

  • Makes users think the error is caused by BorderManager Proxy.
  • Too many graphics and too much text, so that if the error appears in a small frame you can't see the whole error page.
  • Provides cryptic information about the error.
  • Can't add customize detailed information for each error.

If you have issues with the default error pages, don't just sit there and fret. Change them! You can customize the Proxy error pages for your site, doing clever things like:

  • Translating the errors to your own language.
  • Putting your IS department's contact information in the error pages.
  • Adding your company's privacy policy and/or security policy details to the appropriate error pages (like for 403 Forbidden, or 401 Unauthorized).
  • Adding detailed solutions for errors you have commonly encountered in your installation.
  • Deleting the "onload" action in the <BODY> element to turn off the pop-up if you prefer not to have that displayed.

Sample Error Page

There's a tool you can use to help you customize things. The sample error page in TID 2957391 is an example of what you can do to customize your own error page.

PROXY.NLM has the source for a default PXYERR.HTM built into it. If a PXYERR.HTM file is not found in the SYS:ETC\PROXY\DATA directory, it will use the built-in version.

When an error occurs, the proxy by default will fill in a PXYERR.HTM file (either the built-in version or the one from SYS:ETC\PROXY\DATA) with some generic information such as the error status code information and a brief description of the error.

The replacement PXYERR.HTM (in the TID mentioned above) is pretty basic, but does the following:

  • Places the variables that Proxy looks for within Javascript variables
  • Pops up an alert message specific to the request that caused the error
  • Prints a very basic text message to the browser (so it can be viewed in a small frame)
  • Provides a link to more detailed information. The more detailed information is in a separate page for each error, so that customized details for each error can be provided.

This error page requires that all browsers support Javascript in order to provide a link to the specific detailed error page. However, if Javascript is not supported, a link to an index of the error pages is given to allow the user to find the error details.

There are individual error pages for the following error codes: 400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406, 407, 408, 409, 410, 411, 412, 413, 414, 415, 500, 501, 502, 503, 504, and 505. Many of the detailed pages include explanations of what Novell Technical Support has seen as causes, and potential fixes.

Examples

Kai Reichert

Here is my custom error webpage for BM. Mainly I did some popups and multilanguage stuff in it.

Download data_1.zip

Shaun Pond

Download smartproxy.zip

David Krotil

My custom error pages are localized to Czech. And I also offer some explanation about common errors.

Download data.zip

David Krotil
System NET Sokolov s.r.o.
Czech Republic

Chris Bailey

Here are the custom error pages we use for our school district - it has helped decrease the number of calls for errors such as 403 Forbidden and 502 Bad Gateway.

Download chrisb_custom_error_bm.zip

If you have any questions you may contact Chris at baileyc@carthage.k12.mo.us

Lon Jones

Download lonj_custom_error_bm.zip

Custom Error Pages - 10/22/02 - Whitley County Consolidated Schools

Lon Jones - ljjones@wccsonline.com

Many thanks to Chris Bailey

This archive contains all of the files needed to implement custom error pages for your BorderManager (or other) proxy or web server. It also contains a customized Login (etc) BorderManager page.

Files included:

README.TXT (this document)
400.htm - customized error page
401.htm - customized error page
402.htm - customized error page
403.htm - customized error page
404.htm - customized error page
405.htm - customized error page
406.htm - customized error page
407.htm - customized error page
408.htm - customized error page
409.htm - customized error page
410.htm - customized error page
411.htm - customized error page
412.htm - customized error page
413.htm - customized error page
414.htm - customized error page
415.htm - customized error page
500.htm - customized error page
501.htm - customized error page
502.htm - customized error page
503.htm - customized error page
504.htm - customized error page
505.htm - customized error page
error.css - external style sheet for custom pages (see for details)
error.js - external javascript for resizing page to fit browser window
background.gif - watermark graphic
index.htm - index of error pages and codes
BMLOGIN.HTM - customized BorderManager login page
PXYERR.HTM - directive for BorderManager to use these custom error pages

You may wish to customize these pages for your environment (colors, title, etc). This is all handled by the external style sheet - error.css For the login page - styles are in the actual documents <HEAD> section This archive has been set up to reflect the default structure of where the files need to be placed. As always - make sure you have a good backup just in case! :)

1. Copy the files BMLOGIN.HTM and PXYERR.HTM to \\_SERVER_\SYS\ETC\proxy\data

2. Copy rhe directory (and files in it) "error" to \\_SERVER_\SYS\ETC\proxy\data

3. Customize the pages as needed.

4. Unload and reload the proxy server and test (changes require restart).

That is it! - Your error pages are now customized according to your needs.

If you run into problems - remove the new files and restore the originals. You may also e-mail ljjones@wccsonline.com or post your question to the support forums (http://www.coolsolutions.com/forums/index.php)


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