KB0058 - G-On 5 and SharePoint support

Author: Zilvinas Grigonis

08/26/2010 04:39 pm

Description

G/On and SharePoint support through G-On questions from the customers:

1) Does SharePoing work with G/on ?
2) If it does, are there any limitations in the functionality when using several servers, external links etc.
3) How do you configure Sharepoing with one, respective several (clustered ) servers?
4) SharePoint requires Internet Explorer. Are there any security aspects to consider related to cashing and Internet Explorer? What is the best practice according to Giritech?
5) Are there any alternatives in form virtualization of Internet Explorer or similar solutions?

Solution

Yes SharePoint works through G-On, but there are some important aspects to consider.

SharePoint is … again, web application written by Microsoft and supported with the IE only. As I already mentioned, IE is very limited in the command line parameters.

If SharePoint is running on one server and links are made in such way that they all can be resolved to loopback interface (i.e. are not hardcoded to be internal links) all of them will work nice through G-On. Unfortunately (and usually) in real life this is not a case, SharePoint contains different links (internal and external as well as hardcoded or fixed links IPs/ DNS names) and/or targets to more than 1 server in the backend, therefore even if you can run SharePoint through G-On you can’t really follow all links. To resolve this situation usually SOCKS’ification of the browser helps. However IE (as I mentioned about limited command line parameters) cannot be SOCKS’ified other than manually AND even if you SOCKS’ify IE, still not all links works, because IE can’t do the internal DNS resolution through SOCKS connection.

As a workaround we suggest using Firefox Portable through G-On, which is capable of:
- displaying SharePoint correctly (at least newer version is [reported by some customers])
- can be SOCKS’ified through command line when launched through G-On
- can do the internal DNS resolution through SOCKS through G-On
- can run from USB device (i.e. G-On USB key)
Possible limitation:
SharePoint through Firefox and Microsoft Office application integration might not work as expected.

In the G-On 5 we have included Firefox Portable application package already prepared and configured for running SOCKS connection. We have also menu action “Windows Firefox for Intranet” for using SOCKS’ified browser through G-On i.e. towards the SharePoint server.

We are also looking to the solution to have IE based browser (maybe even written by us, which is capable of doing the SOCKS and DNS resolution through SOCKS). It is on the development table, but I can’t give any dates or any more details on it yet.

SOCKS server
For the SOCKS’ified browser solution you also need some SOCKS server which “removes” SOCKS’ification and targets to the right internal servers on the server side.
For this purpose we provide SOCKS server called GSOCKS. GSOCKS is written by Giritech especially for the scenario described. The biggest advantage of using GSOCKS is that it is capable of limiting the internal/external connections to the allowed target machines/IP/ports only, instead of exposing to the whole network. GSOCKS is free for G-On customers.
Usually GSOCKS server is installed on the same machine as G-On server, but of course can be installed on the separate machine if necessary.

Workaround

The easiest and most cost effective solution is running SharePoint on the terminal server, or on the user’s PC, or on some sort of virtual desktop. In such case users simply connect to the TS, or desktop of his office PC, or virtual desktop using standard G-On RDP connection and uses the SharePoint in the same look and feel as he would be using it when sitting in the office (LAN).

Additional Information

Comments are always welcome.

Related file

Comments

 

Log in or create a user account to comment.

Popup window for inform