Table of Contents

Release Notes for Cisco Service Selection Dashboard Release 2.5(1)

Release Notes for Cisco Service Selection Dashboard Release 2.5(1)

December 7, 2000

These release notes contain important information and describe issues and workarounds regarding the Cisco Service Selection Dashboard (Cisco SSD) Release 2.5(1).


Release 2.5(1) of the Cisco SSD makes significant improvements in scalability, performance, and robustness while incorporating important feature enhancements.

The Cisco SSD is a J2EE web application based on Java servlets. The Cisco SSD acts as a controller for the Service Selection Gateway (SSG) running on the Cisco 6400 platform. The Cisco SSD requires Cisco IOS Release 12.0(3)DC or greater.

The Cisco SSD provides facilities for subscribers to authenticate, log on and off services, and view session status and system messages. The Cisco SSD user interface is based on HTML and is fully customizable.

For detailed information on system hardware and software requirements and on installing and configuring a Cisco SSD, refer to the Cisco SSD Installation and Configuration Guide.

Note   Starting with Release 2.5(1), the publication that describes how to install, configure, and start a Cisco SSD is the Cisco SSD Installation and Configuration Guide. This publication replaces the Cisco Service Selection Dashboard User Guide, which documented an earlier release of the Cisco SSD.

These release notes discuss the following topics:

Changed and New Features

Cisco SSD features that have changed from previous releases or that are new in Cisco SSD Release 2.5(1) are described in the following sections.

Changed Features

For users upgrading from a previous release, the following general changes are included in Cisco SSD Release 2.5(1):

New Features

The following additional new features are supported by Cisco SSD Release 2.5(1). These features include functionality that was added as part of Cisco SSD Release 2.2s(1.12).

Configuration File Changes

The following sections describe changes to the configuration files used with Cisco SSD Release 2.5(1).

Obsolete Configuration Files

The alias.conf and servlets.conf files are no longer used or supported.

Changes to the dashboard.conf File

The dashboard.conf file, which contains general configuration information about the dashboard application, no longer supports the ADMIN, TOOLS, or SSG sections.

The dashboard.conf file no longer uses or supports these SERVER section parameters:

The dashboard.conf file supports the following new SERVER section parameters:

New Configuration Files

Cisco SSD Release 2.5(1) uses these new configuration files:

Important Notes

The following sections describe some important considerations related to use of the Cisco SSD Release 2.5(1).

Cisco SSD Security

Cisco SSD 2.5(1) makes use of numerous security mechanisms. The Cisco SSD is built using Java technology based on the J2EE specification. It inherits the security features both of the Java language platform and the security framework in J2EE. The Cisco SSD is also a web server-based application and so must be deployed in a web server that enforces HTTP security. In addition, because the Cisco SSD plays a role in user authentication, it must enforce constraints at this level also.

Note   For important information on Cisco SSD security and the configuration files that control security and authentication, refer to the Cisco SSD Installation and Configuration Guide.

Server Hardware

If you are using a Sun Ultra or Enterprise, you must be using Solaris version 2.6 or later. Cisco recommends that, for live deployments, an Enterprise class server with hot-swappable components be used with load balancing across multiple servers provided by Local Director or Cisco IOS.

For Windows NT installations, Cisco highly recommends that you use hardware that meets the Windows NT Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) guidelines set by Microsoft with at least 64 MB of RAM (128 MB of RAM is recommended).

Account Logoff

Cisco SSD 2.5(1) supports a feature called Account Logoff, which causes the status of the Host object in the SSG to be changed to inactive if it was created as a result of a PPP login, or causes the Host object to be destroyed in the case of a bridged connection. In either case, all service connections are destroyed and the SSD login page will appear after an Account Logoff. Regardless of whether the SSD is set to reauthenticate or not, the following occurs:

PPP Logoff with SSO

With Single Sign-On (SSO), if a PPP-connected user does the following,

    1. Logs off from the Cisco SSD.

    2. Disconnects the PPP connection but leaves the Cisco SSD login screen visible.

    3. Re-establishes the PPP connection as another user (for example, User2).

    4. Logs in but not as a valid user.

User2 is then presented with the logged-on screen for the new user (User2) because this user is effectively already logged in.

SSO with Multiple Logins from Different Browsers

With Single Sign-On (SSO), when a user has two browser windows open and logs onto the Cisco SSD with one of them, any interaction on the other browser window causes the logged-on screen to be displayed in both browser windows. The interactions on the second browser window that cause this behavior to occur include doing a refresh or reload, logging in as a different user, or logging in with an incorrect user name and password.

Cisco SSD Login with PPP

If the user logs off from the Cisco SSD, a login window appears. If the user then logs off and on the PPP connection, and tries to log into the Cisco SSD without a user name and password, the user is authenticated as is normal for Single Sign-On (SSO) functionality.

Dragging and Dropping in Netscape

Netscape allows elements to be dragged and dropped between frames. A user can do this and may end up with HTML elements in various odd places. Dragging and dropping elements in this manner does not affect the working of the Cisco SSD. The user can simply reload the Cisco SSD in the browser to get back to a sensible display.

Authentication Failed Messages from the SSG

A fix to the SSG (CSCdm25215) changed the mechanism behind messages 28 and 29 and changed the messages that the SSG sends. If the authentication for a service fails, the SSG now sends only error 29 even if 28 is the case. That is, even if the authentication for the service just failed (28) is the reason for the error, the SSG returns message 29, which indicates a proxy problem.

Upgrading to Cisco SSD Release 2.5(1)

When upgrading, Cisco Release 2.5(1) must be installed separately from Cisco SSD Release 2.2s.

The information that the user supplies for the Cisco SSD Release 2.5(1) installation has not changed from what was required in Cisco SSD Release 2.2s.

The Cisco SSD Release 2.5(1) shares many of the existing dashboard.conf settings and HTML templates with Cisco SSD Release 2.2s. With the exception of hidden services, the RADIUS profiles used with Cisco SSD Release 2.5(1) are identical to what was used with Release 2.2s.

Configuration Files

For a complete list of the configuration file changes that have occurred in Cisco SSD Release 2.5(1), see "Configuration File Changes" earlier in these release notes.

The dashboard.conf file for Cisco SSD Release 2.5(1) has changed significantly. Two upgrading considerations for dashboard.conf are as follows:

RADIUS Profiles for Hidden Services

Hidden services are not implemented as a specific feature of the Cisco SSD but as a combination of existing behaviors. If a service is defined as an auto service (A) in the subscriber's profile, the service does not appear in the service list. If the same service is defined as a normal (N) service in the subscriber's profile, the service does appear in the service list. For a service to be an auto service and to appear in the service list, the service must appear twice in the subscriber's profile: once as an auto service and once as a normal service.

HTML Template Changes

The loggedOn.gif, loggedOff.gif files, and sessionLost.gif files are required if the service list is displayed as text but not if the list is displayed as icons.

In Cisco SSD 2.5(1), some new HTML web page templates have been added:

The dashboardWithGroups.html template no longer contains a service list frame. All services that are in the current group are displayed at the bottom of the group list. The group list now occupies the space occupied by the service list (that is, the service list when there are no groups).

Obtaining Documentation

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CCO's broad range of features and services helps customers and partners to streamline business processes and improve productivity. Through CCO, you will find information about Cisco and our networking solutions, services, and programs. In addition, you can resolve technical issues with online support services, download and test software packages, and order Cisco learning materials and merchandise. Valuable online skill assessment, training, and certification programs are also available.

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