Chapter 36. Apache Access Handler Perl Module

Table of Contents

Use Cases
Proxying Websites

The OpenILS::WWW::AccessHandler Perl module is intended for limiting patron access to configured locations in Apache. These locations could be folder trees, static files, non-Evergreen dynamic content, or other Apache features/modules. It is intended as a more patron-oriented and transparent version of the OpenILS::WWW::Proxy and OpenILS::WWW:Proxy::Authen modules.

Instead of using Basic Authentication the AccessHandler module instead redirects to the OPAC for login. Once logged in additional checks can be performed, based on configured variables:

Use of the module is a simple addition to a Location block in Apache:

<Location /path/to/be/protected>
    PerlAccessHandler OpenILS::WWW::AccessHandler
    # For each option you wish to set:
    PerlSetVar OPTION "VALUE"
</Location>

The available options are:

OILSAccessHandlerLoginURL
  • Default: /eg/opac/login
  • The page to redirect to when Login is needed
OILSAccessHandlerLoginURLRedirectVar
  • Default: redirect_to
  • The variable the login page wants the "destination" URL stored in
OILSAccessHandlerFailURL
  • Default: <unset>
  • URL to go to if Permission, Good Standing, or Home OU checks fail. If not set a 403 error is generated instead. To customize the 403 you could use an ErrorDocument statement.
OILSAccessHandlerCheckOU
  • Default: <User Home OU>
  • Org Unit to check Permissions at and/or to load Referrer from. Can be a shortname or an ID.
OILSAccessHandlerPermission
  • Default: <unset>
  • Permission, or comma- or space-delimited set of permissions, the user must have to access the protected area.
OILSAccessHandlerGoodStanding
  • Default: 0
  • If set to a true value the user must be both Active and not Barred.
OILSAccessHandlerHomeOU
  • Default: <unset>
  • An Org Unit, or comma- or space-delimited set of Org Units, that the user’s Home OU must be equal to or a descendant of to access this resource. Can be set to shortnames or IDs.
OILSAccessHandlerReferrerSetting
  • Default: <unset>
  • Library Setting to pull a forced referrer string out of, if set.

As the AccessHandler module does not actually serve the content it is protecting, but instead merely hands control back to Apache when it is done authenticating, you can protect almost anything else you can serve with Apache.

Use Cases

The general use of this module is "protect access to something else" - what that something else is will vary. Some possibilities:

  • Apache features

    • Automatic Directory Indexes
    • Proxies (see below)

      • Electronic Databases
      • Software on other servers/ports
  • Non-Evergreen software

    • Timekeeping software for staff
    • Specialized patron request packages
  • Static files and folders

    • Semi-public Patron resources
    • Staff-only downloads