Portals for Tableau 101: Setting up SSL/TLS Certificates for HTTPS


Portals for Tableau 101: Setting up SSL/TLS Certificates for HTTPS

Portals for Tableau 101 shares the basics of interacting with InterWorks' embedded analytics solution, Portals for Tableau.

Please note that Portals for Tableau are now officially known as Curator by InterWorks. You can learn more at the official Curator website.

If your portal is available to the World Wide Web, we highly recommend setting up encryption for the connection between your users and the portal itself. It’s like having a really nice Italian sports car but leaving the doors unlocked in a sketchy neighborhood with the keys sitting in the venti caffè latte holder—something is bound to be stolen. Even if your portal is tucked away behind a nice firewall, setting up an encrypted connection isn’t a bad idea.

To set up SSL/TLS for your portal, you’ll need to have at least an SSL/TLS certificate file and a private key file. These are usually generated by your own IT department. Be sure that they include Subject Alternative Names when they are generated.

Setting up the SSL/TLS for Your Portal

The one thing to note here is that if your portal sits behind some sort of network device, such as a reverse proxy, filter or load balancer, you may need to terminate the encrypted connection there instead of at the portal. The other option is to configure that network device to allow encrypted traffic through unharmed.

  1. Ensure that mod_ssl is installed. This should already be in place if using our Windows installer. If the webserver is on a Linux-based system, you can issue the following command:
sudo yum install mod_ssl
  1. Move your encryption key and certificate files to the webserver. Usually, this is done with some sort of secure copy (SCP) client, such as FileZilla.
  2. Copy the SSL configuration file to create a backup and then edit it to reference the key and certificate. This configuration file is often located at the following locations:
  • Linux: /etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf
  • Windows: C:\InterWorks\libs\Apache24\conf\extra\httpd-ahssl.conf

For Linux-based systems, the command to create a backup of the configuration file is something like this:

sudo cp /etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf /etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf.BKUP

After editing, the configuration should look something like:

<VirtualHost *:443>
    DocumentRoot [/var/www/html -or- ${SRVROOT}/htdocs]
    ServerName exampleportal.com
    SSLEngine on
    SSLCertificateFile /path/to/certificate.crt
    SSLCertificateKeyFile /path/to/certificate.key 

Note: You may have other automatically generated directives in the SSL configuration file. Leave these as they are unless you have a good reason to change them.

  1. After the configuration file has been edited and saved, restart the webserver.

For Windows-based systems, you should see stop and start shortcuts on the desktop. If not, the InterWorks Portal Server service can be restarted from the services manager (Start button > Type: “Services”).

For Linux-based systems, use one of the following commands. It’s a bit of a guessing game because each of these commands is specific to different Linux distributions. It’s safe to run all four, so just go down the list until one of them appears to try to restart the webserver successfully. Don’t worry. If you run a command that doesn’t work on your system, it will just gracefully error without impacting the system in any way:

sudo service httpd restart

sudo service apache2 restart

sudo systemctl restart httpd

sudo systemctl restart apache2
  1. Navigate to the HTTPS version of the link to your portal in your browser (i.e. https://exampleportal.com). You should see a lock icon appear in the URL bar after the site loads to indicate that it is successfully encrypted. If you don’t see the lock or if you get an error, check your key for invalid information, such as incorrect site name or missing Subject Alternative Names.
  2. Optional: If you receive a warning about there being mixed content (i.e. some images, styles or other assets being loaded from a non-HTTPS link), the portal isn’t successfully noticing that the link is encrypted. To force it to use encrypted links for all assets, you’ll need to edit one of the portal’s configuration files:
  • Open the config/cms.php file in your portal’s web root folder (usually /var/www/html/config/cms.php).
  • Find the linkPolicy setting, change it to secure, and save the file.

More About the Author

Matthew Orr

Curator Engineer
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