Unique domain login screens
Question asked by Michael Schuler - June 11, 2015 at 5:41 AM
Answered
I have upgraded to SmarterMail 14 and overall it's working great and the new features are excellent. I've been trying to get the customized login screens to work but cannot seem to get the additions I've made to a specific domain to show up - instead it just pulls in the global custom settings.
 
I'm wondering if there's a step I'm missing in my initial setup for the domain and/or IIS in order to properly identify which domain I'm hitting so SmarterMail knows and can apply the custom settings. Is there any specific method to attaching which address domain goes to which domain in SmarterMail (i.e. webmail.domain.com goes to the SmarterMail settings for domain.com)?
 
Thanks!
Mike

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Bruce Barnes Replied
Mike, et al;

If you are using a unique IP address per domain, you won't have any problems with creating a unique login screen per domain, but, unless we are mega providers, we are probably paying dearly for the few public IP addresses we have available and, unless the customer is very large, or we have a very special relationship with them, don't want to give up a public IP address for custom login screens.
 
If you use only a single IP address, then you will be able to create multiple IIS records which can call up the SmarterMail login interface and, via the custom CSS screens, create custom login pages.
 
An alternative is to create an external login screen, with the look and feel of the domain, and use that as the jump-off point for the domain, with date entered into that screen being pushed to the SmarterMail login.
 
See: the "employee login" at the bottom right-hand corner, of this page:  http://antiochtownshipil.gov/ as an example.
 
Note that this code is located on the customer's website.  This could also be adapted, with some clever IIS header configurations, to use a custom page on the SmarterMail server and do the same thing.
 
Here's the code for the call:
 
<h3 align="center"><strong>Employee Login</strong></h3>
                        <a href="https://securemail.chicagonettech.com" target="_blank" >
                        <h3 align="center"><strong><br />
                          <img src="images/SmarterMail.gif" alt="SmarterMail Webmail Login" width="80" height="80" /></strong></h3>
                        <table align="center">
                          <form action="https://securemail.chicagonettech.com/Login.aspx" method="post" name="mailform" target="_blank" id="mailform">
                            <input type="hidden" name="shortcutLink" value="autologin" id="shortcutLink" />
                            <tr>
                              <!-- Username Login Field -->
                              <td class="entry">E-Mail Address:</td>
                              <td><input type="text" name="email" id="email" /></td>
                            </tr>
                            <tr>
                              <!-- Password Login Field -->
                              <td>Password:</td>
                              <td><input name="password" type="password" id="password" /></td>
                            </tr>
                            <tr>
                              <!-- Submit Button -->
                              <td colspan="3"><div align="center">
                                  <input name="submit1" type="submit" id="submit1" value="WebMail Login" />
                                </div></td>
                            </tr>
                          </form>
                        </table>
                        </a>
 
Here's what the code looks like in a GUI code editor:
Webmail Login Form
Webmail Login Form
If the domain user enters his or her credentials into the form, and then clicks on WebMail Login, the credentials are passed directly to SmarterMail, and the user never sees the ChicagoNetTech login screen.
 
Here's what the code looks like on the client's website:
 
SmarterMail Login Example from Client Website
SmarterMail Login Example from Client Website
In the event that the client enters invalid information in the login fields, or if the client clicks WebMail login with no data in the form, the client is re-directed to the ChicagoNetTech SmarterMail login page.
 
Additionally, when the client logs out of SmarterMail, they are returned to their website's home page.
 
This solution offers a complete branding package, with the SmarterMail login integrated into the Client's website and saves a ton of support issues with their staff because they have a single point of login for everything - their website.
 
With some additional code checking, invalid password attempts could be directed back to be retried on the client's website, vs via the SmarterMail web interface.  The same is true for password recovery or changes:  with some additional coding or input checking, a complete, branded solution, could be developed for a customer, allowing them to maintain all webmail access directly from their website.
 
Additionally, some additional input checking could prevent a user from ever seeing the SmarterMail login landing page.
 
If you, or anyone else, requires assistance in the implementation, or further development of this code, for a particular client, please contact me directly.
 
If you create enhancements to the code, please share them back to me so I can create a central repository of these enhancements in our ChicagoNetTech portal.
 
 - Bruce
Bruce Barnes
ChicagoNetTech Inc
brucecnt@comcast.net

Phonr: (773) 491-9019
Phone: (224) 444-0169

E-Mail and DNS Security Specialist
Network Security Specialist

Customer Service Portal: https://portal.chicagonettech.com
Website: https://www.ChicagoNetTech.com
Security Blog: http://networkbastion.blogspot.com/

Web and E-Mail Hosting, E-Mail Security and Consulting
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Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
Unfortunately without any other alternatives that I can think of the only way we can identify which domain Login Display to show is parsing out and using the URL at the top of the browser.
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
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Michael Schuler Replied
Bruce,
 
Thank you for the detailed walkthrough! In my install, I actually do have two unique IPs for the two domains I use with SmarterMail. Each IP is assigned to a different site set up in IIS but both are pointed to the same MRS folder on the server. This is all following the process for setting up the IIS site from SmarterMail's help as well.
 
One thing I'm wondering is that (for example) we have the domain in SmarterMail set up with example.com. However, the URL for the webmail is webmail.example.com. I'm not sure how the code behind the login file decides which customizations to apply but could this confuse it and possibly just revert back to the global custom login options?
 
-Mike
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Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
We currently parse the url and match it to a domain and show that domain's login display information.
mail.smartertools.com -> (parsed) -> smartertools.com
mail.somethingelse.org ->(parsed) -> somethingelse.org
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Michael Schuler Replied
Matt,

That's what I figured would be happening so in my case it should work just fine. But it doesn't seem to want to as I go in to the domain and save the changes - and do see the custom changes written to the domain config file - but they don't get applied to the login screen. I did try a full uninstall and then fresh install of 14.0 as is often recommended but still it just shows the global settings.

I do have a support ticket available and could open one so ST techs could take a look and see if it's my configuration or something else going on.
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Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
Before that when you go into the domain folder for the domain your having issues with, does the companyinfo.xml contain the information you put into the domain login info?
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Michael Schuler Replied
Yes, that file exists in both domains and is the custom info that I entered at the domain level. Within the SmarterMail installation folder, the Service/companyInfo.xml file also exists with the global customizations that I entered as System Admin.
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Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
So when you type in a certain URL for logging in it shows nothing or it shows the global, or does it show the wrong domain info?
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Michael Schuler Replied
It just shows up the global info.
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Philip Levine Replied
I am having this exact same issue as well - both having the webmail.domainname.com setup as a CNAME to the server name as well as an A record an an IIS entry -
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Bruce Barnes Replied
As an FYI: CNAMES for MX are now prohibited by the IETF, because they cause double DNS lookups. Weve seen issues with non-delivery of e-mail, caused by the use of CNAMES, and the time it takes for DNS to do the double lookup may be contributing to your problems.
Bruce Barnes
ChicagoNetTech Inc
brucecnt@comcast.net

Phonr: (773) 491-9019
Phone: (224) 444-0169

E-Mail and DNS Security Specialist
Network Security Specialist

Customer Service Portal: https://portal.chicagonettech.com
Website: https://www.ChicagoNetTech.com
Security Blog: http://networkbastion.blogspot.com/

Web and E-Mail Hosting, E-Mail Security and Consulting
0
Philip Levine Replied
The CNAME I referred was for the webmail url not the MX. But that is good to know
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Bruce Barnes Replied
If you have an A or HOST NAME and you also have a CNAME pointing to the same record, the HOST record will be IGNORED.
 
This is because BIND, the most commonly used DNS server in UNIX, will not process the record.  Many newer DNS servers will also ignore them.
 
CNAMES should no longer be used for anything.
 

2.4 CNAME records

A CNAME record is not allowed to coexist with any other data. In other words, if suzy.podunk.xx is an alias for sue.podunk.xx, you can't also have an MX record for suzy.podunk.edu, or an A record, or even a TXT record.
 
Especially do not try to combine CNAMEs and NS records like this!: podunk.xx. IN NS ns1 IN NS ns2 IN CNAME mary
 
mary IN A 1.2.3.4
 
This is often attempted by inexperienced administrators as an obvious way to allow your domain name to also be a host.
 
However, DNS servers like BIND will see the CNAME and refuse to add any other resources for that name. Since no other records are allowed to coexist with a CNAME, the NS entries are ignored. Therefore all the hosts in the podunk.xx domain are ignored as well!
Bruce Barnes
ChicagoNetTech Inc
brucecnt@comcast.net

Phonr: (773) 491-9019
Phone: (224) 444-0169

E-Mail and DNS Security Specialist
Network Security Specialist

Customer Service Portal: https://portal.chicagonettech.com
Website: https://www.ChicagoNetTech.com
Security Blog: http://networkbastion.blogspot.com/

Web and E-Mail Hosting, E-Mail Security and Consulting
0
Philip Levine Replied
I don't have both at once - I have tried both ways is all I was saying
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Philip Levine Replied
any update on this?
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Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
Is Custom Login Display is enabled for the domain?
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Philip Levine Replied
Yes - Custom Login is enabled for the domain and like Michael said - I have the same issue that the global logo shows instead of the custom for that domain.

I have tried this by having mail.domainname.com be a CNAME of mail.server.com - that didn't seem to work

I tried maildomainname.com as an A record (removing the CNAME from above) and setting up an IIS entry that didn't work either
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Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
Ok, I will be looking further into this. I have a ticket open that I will be working with to fix this issue.
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
1
Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post Marked As Answer
There was an issue where it was trying to grab subdomains (webmail, mail) and trying to include them in it's lookup for domains on SmarterMail in which case it would return the global login display info if set.

It will be fixed in today's minor build which will be out very soon.
 
This is probably effecting a lot of people so thanks for reporting it. Glad I was able to work with you guys on getting this quickly fixed.
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
2
Michael Schuler Replied
Matt,
 
Thanks for the update on the release. I just completed the minor version upgrade and now everything is working great!
 
Thanks again and have a good weekend!
 
Mike
0
Philip Levine Replied
Mike - I just wanted to confirm that I do see this working as well- Thank you very much
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Tony Loosle Replied
where is the original documentation on how to implement this?
 
thanks
t
 
0
Login as the System Administrator and for each of your domains that you want to customize the login pages, select the domain and click Edit to get into the domain settings. Click on the Features tab and make sure Login Display Customization is checked. See http://help.smartertools.com/SmarterMail/v14/Topics/SystemAdmin/Manage/AddDomain.aspx for details on that particular tab.

After that's enabled, you'll need to go into each domain as the Domain Administrator or just click Manage when logged in as System Admin. Under General Settings, you'll find the Login Display area. See http://help.smartertools.com/SmarterMail/v14/Topics/DomainAdmin/Settings/GeneralSettings.aspx for the details on all this.

After that's done, you should be good to go.
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Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
You can also enable the ability for Domain Admin's to modify their own domain by toggling the feature on the domain, not sure if it's defaulted to false or true.
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
I have been working on a cool concept where I have developed my own unique login page, which uses various web methods to log a user in :) Its working really great and my clients have really responded well to the fancy new change!
 
I am now able to copy and paste this easily and re skin & re brand for clients as they wish and even host the page on their own domain!
 
 
Login Screen
 
Login Screen 2
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Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
That's pretty awesome. Is this using the custom login display or master page changes?
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Neither, its a stand alone web page
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Bruce Barnes Replied
That's actually a brilliant solution, and much more customizable than any other.
Bruce Barnes
ChicagoNetTech Inc
brucecnt@comcast.net

Phonr: (773) 491-9019
Phone: (224) 444-0169

E-Mail and DNS Security Specialist
Network Security Specialist

Customer Service Portal: https://portal.chicagonettech.com
Website: https://www.ChicagoNetTech.com
Security Blog: http://networkbastion.blogspot.com/

Web and E-Mail Hosting, E-Mail Security and Consulting
0
Do I understand this correctly? Are you saying if we add a Binding in IIS (with Server Name Indication Required?) then SmarterMail will parse mail.mydnsname.com and realize mydnsname.com is the SmarterMail domain with custom branding and it takes me to that custom login page?
 
Basing that off your reply, Matt:
We currently parse the url and match it to a domain and show that domain's login display information.
mail.smartertools.com -> (parsed) -> smartertools.com
mail.somethingelse.org ->(parsed) -> somethingelse.org
Does that also work for any subdomain such as: webmail.mydnsname.com or inbox.mydnsname.com?
I'm on 14.2 and it's not working with IIS Bindings and DNS records functional. Those XML files you mentioned seem to be correct.
 
Anything else I'm missing?
Thanks
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Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
You should not need to do anything special with bindings, it should work with your setup. It works with sub-domains at multiple levels of any type or name.
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Thanks, Matt.
Well, I thought it should work like you say but it doesn't seem to be functioning. I have a single IP with multiple URLs in use. I have URL rewrite in IIS which rewrites to https for all traffic; however, even if I make an exclusion to test this without https, it still doesn't work over http.

Thoughts?
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Matt. Sorry, confused here.
I was asking this question
https://portal.smartertools.com/community/a86548/where-is-the-setting-mail_domain-or-webmail_domain.aspx

and see that you just mentioned both (webmail and mail)
Is this related ?

www.HawaiianHope.org - Providing technology services to non profit organizations, homeless shelters, clean and sober houses and prisoner reentry programs. in 2018, in just one year, we gave away 1,000 Free Computers !

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Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
Send me the complete link you use in either a reply or as a profile message (through clicking my name in community) if you don't want the URL public. I will test it.
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Thanks, Matt! I've sent you a message.
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Very cool feature.... Would like to know how to do this, as this could be used to make us stand out compared to the competition ! With competition I mean Exchange and those people
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Hi Kenneth, replied to your PM
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Alaa Majzoub Replied
HEllo Nicolas,
can you please help us to do same concept?
Is there a way to keep changing the background like what bing does
Alaa
0
Hi Alaa, yes that will be possible with some custom dev. PM if you are interested and I can quote you accordingly.
0
Alaa Majzoub Replied
Yes please send me the quote.

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