Creating user customizable announcements for NetScaler Access Gateway

A customer would like to designate a number of people for customizing announcements on the Access Gateway Enterprise page.  This way the organization can announce important changes, planned downtime or other announcements. The advantage of this is that a network engineer does not need to be bothered for displaying all sorts of messages on the Access Gateway by fiddling with the files on the appliances.

image

The most fancy en quickest solution would be if this could be made possible with a simple SSI (Server Side Include) within the HTML Code. Unfortunately this is not possible within Access Gateway. Don’t even think about scripting languages like ASP or PHP. All No Go’s.

One way we could achieve this is by inserting an iFrame and publish the iFrame content through a separate publication. In my example the iFrame html (messages.html)  is running on a Windows IIS Server in the internal environment an can be customized by the given users through Share/NTFS permissions. I have used a Citrix NetScaler for publishing the IIS website, of course it is possible to use other means for publications as long as it is reachable from the outside.

For the example I have used the default (Black Carbon) theme, of course the issue is applicable to all themes. You would just need to find a good location for placing the iFrame within a given theme.

Add the following line to the /netscaler/ns_gui/vpn/index.html file (of course the address needs to be adjusted to your publication). Apologies for the screenshot but WordPress does not like iFrame code. (When you click the image it will enlarge).

image

The messages.html on the webserver looks like this (I have also copied the caxtonstyle.css file to align the lay-out):

The idea is that the users are able to customize the (yellow-marked) text within messages.html as they see fit.I have found no other (simpler) way to achieve this, If someone else does please let me know.

Examples:

<HTML><HEAD><TITLE>Messages</TITLE>
<META http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
<META content=noindex,nofollow,noarchive name=robots>
<LINK href="/images/caxtonstyle.css" type=text/css rel=STYLESHEET>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<b><span style="color:red"> Important Announcements!</span></b><BR>
<BR>
No announcements.
</BODY>
</HTML>

image

<HTML><HEAD><TITLE>Messages</TITLE>
<META http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
<META content=noindex,nofollow,noarchive name=robots>
<LINK href="/images/caxtonstyle.css" type=text/css rel=STYLESHEET>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<b><span style="color:red"> Important Announcements!</span></b><BR>
<BR>
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
</BODY>
</HTML>

image

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About Henny Louwers
I work as a Consultant specialized in Application Delivery, Virtualization of Servers, Desktops and Apps.

5 Responses to Creating user customizable announcements for NetScaler Access Gateway

  1. CyberRuiz says:

    Thank you for the post. Been working on a GSLB project and wanted to brand the AGEE page a bit so I knew what site I hitting.

    Much appreciated
    Daniel

    Like

    • CyberRuiz says:

      The one suggestion I have is to place the messages.html file under the vpn folder so it will look like this. src=”/vpn/messages.html”

      Yes I understand that you will need to do a rc.netscaler reconfig to make sure the customization remains after the reboot. but you already have to do it since you are changing the index.html file.

      Again thanks for the post

      Like

  2. WhereIsMyMind (WIMM) says:

    Great Post.

    Can this by similarly applied to the webinterface.conf on a NetScaler WI? Ah, no it wont as the conf file is just that, a flat file, and not a html file.

    Could you suggest a solution for NetScaler WI annoucements? I have starting investigating Techstur’s “Announcement Module (Posting Announcements Pre & Post Authentication)” (I am not affiliated with them)

    Regards,
    WhereIsMyMind (WIMM)

    Like

  3. Alex Jones says:

    NetScaler, Access Gateway, Web Interface, StoreFront and Receiver can be customized to match your site / Company brand and theme or as your requirement. Please visit to http://www.interfaceplanet.com for live demos and submit the quote for your requirement.

    Alex Jones

    Like

  4. Ryan harris says:

    Thank you for the article . It will be beneficial for all visitors. Keep writing on

    Like

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