Hyrax - OLFS Configuration

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Contents

1 Overview

This document should help you get started configuring the OLFS web application component of Hyrax. This software package was developed, compiled, and tested using the java 1.6.x compiler, the 1.6.x Java Virtual Machine, and Jakarta Tomcat 7.x.x (which also provided the javax.servlet packages).

The OLFS web application is composed of these servlets:

  • Hyrax servlet - The Hyrax servlet provides DAP (and other) services for the Hyrax server. The Hyrax servlet does the majority of the work in the OLFS web application. It does this by providing a flexible "dispatch" mechanism through which incoming requests are evaluated by a series of DispatchHandlers (pieces of software) that can choose to handle the request, or ignore it. The OLFS ships with a standard set of DispathHandlers which handle requests for OPeNDAP data products, THREDDS catalogs, and OPeNDAP directories. These defalut DispatchHandlers can be augmented by adding custom handlers without the need to recompile the software. All of the DispatchHandlers used by the Hyrax servlet are identified in the olfs.xml configuration file.
  • Viewers servlet - The Viewers servlet provides a service for datasets through which Web Services and Java WebStart applications that might be used with the dataset are identified. The Viewers servlet is configured via the viewers.xml file.
  • Docs servlet - The Docs servlet provides clients access to a tree of static documents. By default a minimal set of documents are provided (containing information about Hyrax), these can be replaced by user supplied documents and images. By changing the images and documents available through the Docs servlet the data provider can further customize the appearance and layout of the Hyrax server web pages to better conform with their parent organizations visual identity. The Docs servlet has no specific configuration file.
  • Admin Interface servlet - The Hyrax Administration Interface (HAI) provides server administrators with a GUI for monitoring, controlling, and configuring the server. The Admin Interface is documented here.
  • Gateway servlet - Provides a gateway service that allows Hyrax to be configured to retrieve files (that the server recognizes as data) from the web and then provide DAP services for those files once they are retrieved. The Gateway servlet does not require additional configuration, only that the BES be correctly configured to perform gateway tasks. The BES Gateway Module is documented here.

Additionally the OLFS web application relies on one or more instances of the BES to provide it with data access and basic catalog metadata.

The OLFS web application stores it's configuration state in a number of files. The server's configuration is altered by carefully modifying the content of one or more of these files and then restarting the web application (or simply restarting Tomcat).

The remainder of this document is concerned with how to correctly configure the Hyrax and Viewers servlets - the primary components of the OLFS web application.

2 OLFS Files

The OLFS web application gets its configuration from 4 files. In general all of your configuration need will be met by making changes to the first two: olfs.xml and catalog.xml located in the 'persistent content directory': $CATALINA_HOME/content/opendap

olfs.xml
role: Contains the localized OLFS configuration - location of the BES(s), directory view instructions, etc.
location: In the persistent content directory which by default is located at $CATALINA_HOME/content/opendap/
catalog.xml
role: Master(top-level) THREDDS catalog content for static THREDDS catalogs.
location: In the persistent content directory which by default is located at $CATALINA_HOME/content/opendap/
viewers.xml
role: Contains the localized Viewers configuration.
location: In the persistent content directory which by default is located at $CATALINA_HOME/content/opendap/
web.xml
role: Core servlet configuration.
location: The servlet's web.xml file located in the WEB-INF directory of the web application "opendap". Typically that means $CATALINA_HOME/webapps/opendap/WEB-INF/web.xml
log4j.xml
role: Contains the logging configuration for Hyrax.
location: The default location for the log4j.xml is in the WEB-INF directory of the web application "opendap". Typically that means $CATALINA_HOME/webapps/opendap/WEB-INF/log4j.xml However, Hyrax can be configured to look in additional places for the log4j.xml file. Read More About It Here.


3 Hyrax Servlet Configuration

The Hyrax servlet is the front end (public interface) for Hyrax. It provides DAP services, THREDDS catalogs, directory views, logging, and authentication services. This is accomplished through a collection of software components called DispatchHandlers. At startup the Hyrax servlet reads the olfs.xml file which contains a list of DispatchHandlers and their configurations. DispatchHandlers on the list are loaded, configured/initialized, and then used to provide the aforementioned services.

3.1 Dispatch Handlers

Request dispatch is the process in through which the OLFS determines what actual piece of code is going to respond to a given incoming request. This version of the OLFS handles each incoming request by offering the request to a series of DispatchHandlers. Each DispatchHandler is asked if it can handle the request. The first DispatchHandler to say that it can handle the request is then asked to do so. The OLFS creates an ordered list of DispatchHandlers objects in memory by reading the olfs.xml.

The order of the list is significant. There is no guarantee that two (or more) DispatchHandlers may claim a particular request. Since the first DispatchHandler in the list to claim a request gets to service it, changing the order of the DispatchHandlers can change the behaviour of the OLFS (and thus of Hyrax). For example the URL:

http://localhost:8080/opendap/data/ 

Is recognized by both the DirectoryDispatchHandler and the ThreddsDispatchHandler as a request for a directory view: both can provide a such a view. However, only the DirectoryDispatchHandler can be configured to not claim the request and pass it on for another handler (in this case the ThreddsDispatchHandler) to pickup. The result is that if you put the ThreddsDispatchHandler prior to the DirectoryDispatchHandler on the list there will be no possible way to get OPeNDAP directory view - the ThreddsDispatchHandler will claim them all.

The usefulness of this dispatching scheme is that it creates extensibility. If a third party wishes to add new functionality to Hyrax one way is to write a DispatchHandler. To incorporate it into Hyrax they only need to add it to the list in the olfs.xml and add the java classes to the Tomcat lib directory.

3.2 olfs.xml Configuration File

The olfs.xml file contains the core configuration of the Hyrax servlet:

  • Configures the BESManager with at least one BES to be used by the OLFS web application
  • Identifies all of the DispatchHandlers to be used by the Hyrax servlet.
  • Controls both view and access behaviours of the Hyrax servlet.

3.3 OLFSConfig element

The <OLFSConfig> element is the document root and it contains two elements that suppy the configuration for the OLFS: <BesManager> and <DispatchHandlers >

3.4 <BESManager> element (required)

The BESManager element provides configuration for the BESManager class. The BESManager is used various parts of the OLFS web application whenever the software needs to access BES(s) services. This configuration is key to the function of Hyrax. In it each BES that is connected to a Hyrax installation is defined. The following examples will show a single BES example. For more information on configuring Hyrax to use multiple BES's look here.

Each BES is identified using a seperate <BES> child element inside of the <BESManager> element.

3.4.1 <BES> element (required)

The <BES> element provides the OLFS with connection and control information for a BES. There are 4 child elements in a <BES> element: <prefix>, <host>, <port>, and <ClientPool>

3.4.2 <prefix> element (required)

This child element of the <BES> element contains the URL prefix that the OLFS will associate with this BES. This provides a mapping bewteen this BES to the URI space serviced by the OLFS. Essentailly what this means is that the prefix is a token that is placed between the host:port/context/ part of the Hyrax URL and the catalog root used to designate a particular BES instance in the case that multiple BES's are available to a single OLFS. For a single BES (the default configuration) the tag MUST be designated by "/". The prefix is used to provide a mapping for each BES connected to the OLFS to URI space serviced by the OLFS.

  1. There must one (but only one) BES element in the BESManager handler configuration whose prefix has a value of "/" (see example 1). There may be more than one <BES> but there must be at least that one.
  2. For a single BES (the one with "/" as it's prefix) no additional effort is required. However, when using multiple BES's it is neccesary that each BES have a mount point exposed as a directory (aka collection) in URI space where it's going to appear. See Configuring With Multiple BES's for more information.
  3. The prefix string must always begin with the slash ("/") character. (see example 2)

example 1:

 <prefix>/</prefix>

example 2:

 <prefix>/data/nc</prefix>

3.4.3 <host> element (required)

This child element of the <BES> element contains the host name or IP address of the BES.

example:

<host>test.opendap.org</host >

3.4.4 <port> element (required)

This child element of the <BES> element contains port number on which the BES is listening.

example:

<port>10022</port >

3.4.5 <timeOut> element (optional)

This child element of the <BES> element contains the timeout time, in seconds, for the OLFS to wait for this BESto respond. Defaults to 300 seconds.

example:

<timeOut>600</timeOut >

3.4.6 <maxResponseSize> element (optional)

This child element of the <BES> element contains the maximum response size, in bytes, allowed for this BES. Requests that produce a larger response will receive an error response. A value of zero, 0, indicates that there is no imposed limit. The default value is 0.

example:

<maxResponseSize>0</maxResponseSize>

3.4.7 <ClientPool> element (optional)

This child element of the <BES> element configures the behavior of the pool of client connections that the OLFS maintains with this particular BES. These connections are pooled for efficiency and speed. Currently the only configuration item available is to control the maximum number of concurrent BES client connections that the OLFS may make, the default is 10, but the size should be optimized for your locale by empirical testing. The size of the Client Pool is controlled by the maximum attribute. The default value of maximum is 10.

example:

<ClientPool maximum="17" />

If the <ClientPool> element is missing the pool size defaults to 10.

3.4.8 <adminPort> element (optional)

This child element of the <BES> element contains the port on the BES system that can be used by the Hyrax Admin Interface to control the BES. THe BES must also be configured to open and utilize this admin port.

example:

<adminPort>11002</adminPort>

3.4.9 Example BESManager configuration element

<BESManager>
    <BES>
        <prefix>/</prefix>
        <host>localhost</host>
        <port>10022</port>
        <timeOut>300</timeOut>
        <maxResponseSize>0</maxResponseSize>
        <ClientPool maximum="10" maxCmds="2000" />
        <adminPort>11002</adminPort>
    </BES>
</BESManager >

3.5 <DispatchHandlers> element

The <DispatchHandlers> element has two child elements: <HttpGetHandlers> and <HttpPostHandlers>. The <HttpGetHandlers> contains and ordered list of the DispatchHandler classes used by the OLFS to handle incoming HTTP GET requests.

3.6 <HttpGetHandlers> element

The <HttpGetHandlers> contains and ordered list of the DispatchHandler classes used by the OLFS to handle incoming HTTP GET requests. The list order is significant, and permutating the order will (probably negatively) change the behavior of the OLFS. Each DispatchHandler on the list will be asked to handle the request. The first DispatchHandler on the list to claim the request will be asked to build the response.

3.7 <HttpPostHandlers> element

While programmatic support for POST request handlers is part of the Hyrax servlet there are currently no HttpPostHandlers implemented for use with Hyrax. Maybe down the road…

3.8 <Handler> elements

Both the <HttpGetHandlers> and <HttpPostHandlers> contain an orderd list of <Handler> elements. Each <Handler> must have an attribute call className whose value is set to the fully qualified Java class name for the DispatchHandler implementation to be used. For example:

           <Handler className="opendap.bes.VersionDispatchHandler" />

Names the class opendap.bes.VersionDispatchHandler.

Each <Handler> element may contain a collection of child elements that provide configuration information to the DispatchHandler implementation. In this example:

           <Handler className="opendap.coreServlet.BotBlocker">
               <IpAddress>44.55.66.77</IpAddress>
           </Handler>

The <Handler> element contains a child element <IpAddress> that indicates to the BotBlocker class to block requests from the IP address 44.55.66.77.

3.9 HTTP GET Handlers

Hyrax uses the following DispatchHandlers to handle HTTP GET requests:

VersionDispatchHandler
Handles the version document requests.
BotBlocker
This optional handler may be used to block access to your server individual IP addressesl or groups of IP addresses.
NcmlDatasetDispatcher
StaticCatalogDispatch
Provides static THREDDS catalog services for Hyrax.
Gateway
DapDispatcher
Handles all DAP requests.
DirectoryDispatchHandler
Handles the OPeNDAP directory view (contents.html) requests.
BESThreddsDispatchHandler
Provides dynamic THREDDS catalogs of all BES holdings.
FileDispatchHandlerr
Handles requests for file level access. (README files etc.)


3.10 VersionDispatchHandler (required)

Handles the version document requests. This DispatchHandler has no configuration elements, so it will always be written like this:

3.10.1 Example Configuration Element

<Handler className="opendap.bes.VersionDispatchHandler" />

3.11 BotBlocker (optional)

This optional handler can be used to block access from specific IP addresses and by a ranges of IP addresses using regular expressions. It turns out that many of the web crawling robots do not respect the robots.txt file when one is provided. Since many sites do not want their data holdings exhaustively queried by automated software, we created a simple robot blocking handler to protect system resources from non-compliant robots.

3.11.1 <IpAddress> element

The text value of this element should be the IP address of a system which you would like to block from accessing your service. For example:

    <IpAddress>128.193.64.33</IPAddress>

Blocks the system located at 128.193.64.33 from accessing your server. There can be zero or more <IpAddress> elements in the <BotBlocker>

3.11.2 < IpMatch > element

The text value of this element should be the regular expression that will be used to match the IP addresses clients attempting to access Hyrax.

For example:

    <IpMatch>65\.55\.[012]?\d?\d\.[012]?\d?\d</IpMatch>

Matches all IP address beginning with 65.55 and thus block access for clients whose IP addresses lie in that range. There can be zero or more < IpMatch > elements in the Handler configuration for teh BotBlocker

3.11.3 Example Configuration Element

    <Handler className="opendap.coreServlet.BotBlocker">
 
        <IpAddress>127.0.0.1</IpAddress>
 
        <!-- This matches all IPv4 addresses, work yours out from here.... -->
        <!--<IpMatch>[012]?\d?\d\.[012]?\d?\d\.[012]?\d?\d\.[012]?\d?\d</IpMatch> -->
 
        <!-- Any IP starting with 65.55 (MSN bots the don't respect robots.txt  -->
        <IpMatch>65\.55\.[012]?\d?\d\.[012]?\d?\d</IpMatch>
 
    </Handler>

3.12 Ncml Dataset Dispatcher (required)

The Ncml Dataset Dispatcher is a specialized handler that filters NcML content retrieved from the BES so that the path names in the NcML documents returned to clients are consistent with the paths from the external (to the server) perspective.

3.12.1 Example Configuration Element

            <Handler className="opendap.ncml.NcmlDatasetDispatcher" />

3.13 Static Thredds Catalog Dispatch Handler (required)

Serves static THREDDS catalogs (i.e. THREDDS catalog files stored on disk). Provides both a presentation view (HTML) for humans using browsers, and direct catalog access (XML).

3.13.1 <prefix> element (required)

Defines the path component that comes after the servlet context and before all catalog requests. For example, if the prefix is thredds, then http://localhost:8080/opendap/thredds/ should give you the top-level static catalog (the contents of the file $CATALINA_HOME/content/opendap/catalog.xml)

3.13.2 <useMemoryCache> element (optional)

If the text value of this element is the string 'true' this will cause the servlet to ingest all of the static catalog files at startup and hold their contents in memory. See this page for more information about the memory caching operations

3.13.3 <ingestTransformFile> element (optional)

This is a specific development option that allows one top specify the fully qualified path to an XSLT file that will be used to preprocess each THREDDS catalog file read from disk. The default version of this file (found in $CATALINA_HOME/webapps/opndap/xsl/threddsCatalogIngest.xsl) processes the thredds:datasetScan elements in each THREDDS catalog so that they contain specific content for Hyrax. This is a developers option and in general is not recommended for use in an operational server.

3.13.4 Example Configuration Element

<Handler className="opendap.threddsHandler.StaticCatalogDispatch">
     <prefix>thredds</prefix>
     <useMemoryCache>true</useMemoryCache>
</Handler>

3.14 Gateway Dispatcher

Directs requests to the Gateway Service

3.14.1 <prefix> element (required)

Defines the path component that comes after the servlet context and before all gateway requests. For example, if the prefix is gateway, then http://localhost:8080/opendap/gateway/ will give you the gateway access form page.

3.14.2 Example Configuration Element

<Handler className="opendap.gateway.DispatchHandler">
    <prefix>gateway</prefix>
</Handler>

3.15 DapDispatchHandler (required)

Handles DAP request for Hyrax. For example the DapDispatchHandler will handle requests for all DAP2 and DAP4 products

3.15.1 <AllowDirectDataSourceAccess> element (optional)

The <AllowDirectDataSourceAccess /> element controls the users ability to directly access data sources via the web interface. If this element is present (and not commented out as in the example below) a client can get an entire data source (such as an HDF file) by simply requesting it through the HTTP URL interface. This is NOT a good practice and is not recommended. By default Hyrax ships with this option turned off and I recommend that you leave it that way unless you really want users to be able to circumvent the OPeNDAP request interface and have direct access to the data products stored on your server.

3.15.2 <UseDAP2ResourceUrlResponse> element (optional)

By default, at least for now, the server will provide the (undefined) DAP2 style response to requests for a dataset resource URL. Commenting out the "UseDAP2ResourceUrlResponse" element will cause the server to return the (well defined) DAP4 DSR response when a dataset resource URL is requested.

3.15.3 Example Configuration Element

<Handler className="opendap.bes.dapResponders.DapDispatcher" >
    <!-- AllowDirectDataSourceAccess / -->
    <UseDAP2ResourceUrlResponse />
</Handler>

3.16 DirectoryDispatchHandler (required)

Handles the OPeNDAP directory view (contents.html) requests.

3.16.1 Example Configuration Element

 
<Handler className="opendap.bes.DirectoryDispatchHandler" />

3.17 BES Thredds Dispatch Handler (required)

Provides dynamic THREDDS catalogs of BES data holdings.

3.17.1 Example Configuration Element

<Handler className="opendap.bes.BESThreddsDispatchHandler" />

3.18 File Dispatch Handler (required)

Handles requests for file level access. (README files etc.). This handler only responds to requests for files that are not considered "data" by the BES. File requests for data files are handled by the opendap.bes.dapResponders.DapDispatcher.

3.18.1 Example Configuration Element

In the following example, the FileDispatchHandler is configured to deny direct access to data sources (note that the <AllowDirectDataSourceAccess /> element is commented out:

<Handler className="opendap.bes.FileDispatchHandler" />

3.19 HTTP POST Handlers

Hyrax does not currently support HTTP POST requests.


3.20 Example olfs.xml file

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<OLFSConfig>
    <DispatchHandlers>
        <HttpGetHandlers>
 
            <Handler className="opendap.bes.BESManager">
                <BES>
                    <prefix>/</prefix>
                    <host>localhost</host>
                    <port>10022</port>
                    <!-- <timeOut>300</timeOut> -->
                    <!-- <adminPort>11002</adminPort> -->
                    <maxResponseSize>0</maxResponseSize>
                    <ClientPool maximum="10" maxCmds="2000" />
                </BES>
            </Handler>
 
            <Handler className="opendap.bes.VersionDispatchHandler" />
 
            <Handler className="opendap.coreServlet.BotBlocker">
                <IpMatch>65\.55\.[012]?\d?\d\.[012]?\d?\d</IpMatch>
            </Handler>
 
            <Handler className="opendap.ncml.NcmlDatasetDispatcher" />            
 
            <Handler className="opendap.threddsHandler.StaticCatalogDispatch">
                <prefix>thredds</prefix>
                <useMemoryCache>true</useMemoryCache>
            </Handler>
 
            <Handler className="opendap.gateway.DispatchHandler">
                <prefix>gateway</prefix>
            </Handler>
 
            <Handler className="opendap.bes.dapResponders.DapDispatcher" >
                <!-- AllowDirectDataSourceAccess / -->
                <UseDAP2ResourceUrlResponse />
            </Handler>
 
            <Handler className="opendap.bes.DirectoryDispatchHandler" />
 
            <Handler className="opendap.bes.BESThreddsDispatchHandler" />
 
            <Handler className="opendap.bes.FileDispatchHandler" />
 
        </HttpGetHandlers>
    </DispatchHandlers>
</OLFSConfig>

4 THREDDS configuration catalog.xml file

The catalog.xml file contains the static THREDDS catalog configuration for Hyrax. Read About It Here.

5 Logging configuration (logback.xml file)

The logback.xml file contains the logging configuration for Hyrax. Read About It Here.

6 web.xml configuration file

We strongly recommend that you do NOT mess with the web.xml file. At least for now. Future versions of Server and the OLFS may have "user configurable" stuff in the web.xml file, but this version does not. SO JUST DON'T DO IT. OK? Having said that, here are the details regarding the web.xml file:

6.1 Servlet Definition

The OLFS running in the opendap context area needs an entry in the web.xml file. Multiple instances of a servlet and/or several different servlets can be configured in the one web.xml file. For instance you could have a DTS and a Hyrax running in from the same web.xml and thus under the same servlet context. Running multiple instances of the OLFS in a single web.xml file (aka context) will NOT work.

Each a servlet needs a unique name which is specified inside a <servlet> element in the web.xml file using the <servlet-name> tag. This is a name of convenience, for example if you where serving data from an ARGOS satellite you might call that servlet argos.

Additionally each instance of a <servlet> must specify which Java class contains the actual servlet to run. This is done in the <servlet-class> element. For example the OLFS servlet class name is opendap.coreServlet.DispatchServlet

Here is a syntax example combining the two previous example values:

<servlet>
	<servlet-name>hyrax</servlet-name>
	<servlet-class>opendap.coreServlet.DispatchServlet</servlet-name>
	.
	.
	.
</servlet>

This servlet could then be accessed as: http://hostname/opendap/servlet/argos

You may also add to the end of the web.xml file a set of <servlet-mapping> elements. These allow you to abbreviate the URL or the servlet. By placing the servlet mappings:

<servlet-mapping>
    <servlet-name>argos</servlet-name>
    <url-pattern>/argos</url-pattern>
</servlet-mapping>

<servlet-mapping>
    <servlet-name>argos</servlet-name>
    <url-pattern>/argos/*</url-pattern>
</servlet-mapping>

At the end of the web.xml file our previous example changes it's URL to: http://hostname/opendap/argos

Eliminating the need for the word servlet in the URL. For more on the <servlet-mapping> element see the Jakarta-Tomcat documentation.

6.2 <init-param> Elements

The OLFS uses <init-param> elements inside of each <servlet> element to get specific configuration information.

<init-param>'s common to all OPeNDAP servlets are:

6.2.1 OLFSConfigFileName

This parameter identifies the name of the XML document file that contains the OLFS configuration. This file must be located in the persistent content directory and is typically called olfs.xml

For example:

    <init-param>
	<param-name>OLFSConfigFileName</param-name>
	<param-value>olfs.xml</param-value>
    </init-param>
6.2.2 DebugOn

This controls output to the terminal from which the servlet engine was launched. The value is a list of flags that turn on debugging instrumentation in different parts of the code. Supported values are:

  • probeRequest: Prints a lengthy inspection of the HttpServletRequest object to stdout. Don't leave this on for long, it will clog your Catalina logs.
  • DebugInterface: Enables the servers debug interface. This ineractive interface allows a user to look at (and change) the server state via a web browser. Enable this only for analysis purposes, disable when finshed!

Example:

    <init-param>
	<param-name>DebugOn</param-name>
	<param-value>probeRequest</param-value>
    </init-param>

Default: If this parameter is not set, or the value field is empty then these features will be disabled - which is what you want unless there is a problem to analyze.

6.3 Example of web.xml content

<servlet>

    <servlet-name>hyrax</servlet-name>

    <servlet-class>opendap.coreServlet.DispatchServlet</servlet-class>

    <init-param>
        <param-name>DebugOn</param-name>
        <param-value></param-value>
    </init-param>

    <load-on-startup>1</load-on-startup>

</servlet>

<servlet-mapping>
    <servlet-name>hyrax</servlet-name>
    <url-pattern>*</url-pattern>
</servlet-mapping>

<servlet-mapping>
    <servlet-name>hyrax</servlet-name>
    <url-pattern>/hyrax</url-pattern>
</servlet-mapping>

<servlet-mapping>
    <servlet-name>hyrax</servlet-name>
    <url-pattern>/hyrax/*</url-pattern>
</servlet-mapping>

7 Viewers Servlet (viewers.xml file)

The Viewers servlet provides, for each dataset, and HTML page containing links to Java WebStart applications and to WebServices (such as WMS) that can be utilized in conjunction with the dataset. The Viewers servlet is configured via the contents of the viewers.xml file located in the persistent content directory $CATALINA_HOME/content/opendap.

7.1 viewers.xml configuration file

7.1.1 <JwsHandler> elements

7.1.2 <WebServiceHandler> elements

7.1.3 Example Configuration

<ViewersConfig>
 
    <JwsHandler className="opendap.webstart.IdvViewerRequestHandler">
        <JnlpFileName>idv.jnlp</JnlpFileName>
    </JwsHandler>
 
    <JwsHandler className="opendap.webstart.NetCdfToolsViewerRequestHandler">
        <JnlpFileName>idv.jnlp</JnlpFileName>
    </JwsHandler>
 
    <JwsHandler className="opendap.webstart.AutoplotRequestHandler" />
 
    <WebServiceHandler className="opendap.viewers.NcWmsService" serviceId="ncWms" >
        <applicationName>Web Mapping Service</applicationName>
        <NcWmsService href="/ncWMS/wms" base="/ncWMS/wms" ncWmsDynamicServiceId="lds" />
    </WebServiceHandler>
 
    <WebServiceHandler className="opendap.viewers.GodivaWebService" serviceId="godiva" >
        <applicationName>Godiva WMS GUI</applicationName>
        <NcWmsService href="http://localhost:8080/ncWMS/wms" base="/ncWMS/wms" ncWmsDynamicServiceId="lds"/>
        <Godiva href="/ncWMS/godiva2.html" base="/ncWMS/godiva2.html"/>
    </WebServiceHandler>
 
</ViewersConfig>

8 Docs Servlet

The Docs (or documentation) servlet provides the OLFS web application with the ability to serve a tree of static documentation files. By default it will serve the files in the documentation tree provided with the OLFS in the Hyrax distribution. This tree is rooted at $CATALINA_HOME/webapps/opendap/docs/ and contains documentation pertaining to the software in the Hyrax distribution - installation and configuration instruction, release notes, java docs, etc.

If one wishes to replace this information with their own set of web pages, one can remove/replace the files in the default directory. However, installing a new version of Hyrax will cause these files to be overwritten, forcing them to be replaced after the install (and hopefully AFTER the new release documentation had been read and understood by the user).

The Docs servlet provides an alternative to this. If a docs directory is created in the persistent content directory for Hyrax the Docs servlet will detect it (when Tomcat is launched) and it will serve files from there instead of from the default location.

This scheme provides 2 beneficial effects:

  1. It allows localizations of the web documents associated with Hyrax to persist through Hyrax upgrades with no user intervention.
  2. It preserves important release documents that ship with the Hyrax software.

In summary, to provide persistent web pages as part of a Hyrax localization simple create the directory: $CATALINA_HOME/content/opendap/docs

Place your content in there and away you go. If later you wish to view the web based documentation bundled with Hyrax simply change the name of the directory from docs to something else and restart Tomcat. (or, you could just look in the $CATALINA_HOME/webapps/opendap/docs directory)

In the Docs servlet, if a URL ends in a directory name or a "/" then the servlet will attempt to serve the index.html in that directory. In other words index.html is the default document.

9 Logging

Logging is a big enough subject we gave it it's own page.

10 Authentication & Authorization

10.1 Request For Input

So far Hyrax relies on the Tomcat security implementation for authentication services. If after reading this section and the Tomcat documentation on security you are left wanting something more, then please get in touch with us at OPeNDAP. We would like to talk with you about your security needs for OPeNDAP Hyrax and possibly develop some use cases that describe your needs. In the future we hope to provide a richer security configuration environment than the one currently offered by Tomcat.

10.2 Synopsis

Hyrax currently relies on the security features implemented by Tomcat for authentication and authorization services. It is recommended that you read carefully and understand the Tomcat security documentation.

For Tomcat 5.x see:

For Tomcat 6.x see:

And that you read chapter 12 of the Java Servlet Specification 2.4 that decribes how to configure security constraints at the web application level.

Tomcat security requires fairly extensive additions to the web.xml file. (It is important to keep in mind that altering the <servlet> definitions may render your Hyrax server inoperable - please see the previous sections that discuss this.)

Examples of security content for the web.xml file can be found in the persistent content directory of the Hyrax server, which by default is located at $CATALINA_HOME/content/opendap/.

10.3 Limitations

Officially Tomcat security supports context level authentication. What this means is that you can restrict access to the collection of servlets running in a single web application - in other words all of the stuff that is defined in a single web.xml file. You can call out different authentication rules for different <url-pattern>'s within the web application, but only clients which do not cache ANY security information will be able to easily access the different areas.

For example in your web.xml file you might have:

    <security-constraint>
        <web-resource-collection>
            <web-resource-name>fnoc1</web-resource-name>
            <url-pattern>/hyrax/nc/fnoc1.txt</url-pattern>
        </web-resource-collection>
        <auth-constraint>
            <role-name>fn1</role-name>
        </auth-constraint>
    </security-constraint>
 
    <security-constraint>
        <web-resource-collection>
             <web-resource-name>fnoc2</web-resource-name>
             <url-pattern>/hyrax/nc/fnoc2.txt</url-pattern>
         </web-resource-collection>
         <auth-constraint>
             <role-name>fn2</role-name>
          </auth-constraint>
    </security-constraint>
 
    <login-config>
        <auth-method>BASIC</auth-method>
        <realm-name>MyApplicationRealm</realm-name>
    </login-config>


Where the security roles fn1 and fn2 (defined in the tomcat-users.xml file) have no common members.

The complete URI's would be:

http://localhost:8080/mycontext/hyrax/nc/fnoc1.txt
http://localhost:8080/mycontext/hyrax/nc/fnoc2.txt

Now - this works, for clients that aren't too smart - i.e. they don't cache anything. However, if you access these URLs with a typical browser, once you authenticate for one URI, then you are locked out of the other one until you successfully "reset" the browser (purge all caches).

I think the reason is as follows: In the exchange between Tomcat and the client, Tomcat is sending the header:

WWW-Authenticate: Basic realm="MyApplicationRealm"

And the client authenticates. When the second URI is accessed Tomcat sends the the same authentication challenge, with the same WWW-Authenticate header. The client, having recently authenticated to this realm-name (defined in the <login-config> element in the web.xml file - see above), resends the authentication information, and, since it's not valid for that url pattern, the request is denied.

10.4 Persistence

You should be careful to back up your modified web.xml file to a location outside of the $CATALINA_HOME/webapps/opendap directory as new versions of Hyrax will overwrite it when installed. You could use an XML ENTITY and an entity reference in the web.xml to cause a local file containing the security configuration to be included in the web.xml. For example adding the ENTITY:

[<!ENTITY securityConfig SYSTEM "file:/fully/qualified/path/to/your/security/config.xml">]

To the <!DOCTYPE> declaration at the top of the web.xml in conjunction with adding an entity reference:

&securityConfig;

To the content of the <web-app> element would cause your external security configuration to be included in the web.xml file.

Here is an example of an ENTITY configuration:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
 
    <!DOCTYPE web-app
        PUBLIC "-//Sun Microsystems, Inc.//DTD Web Application 2.2//EN"
        "http://java.sun.com/j2ee/dtds/web-app_2_2.dtd"
        [<!ENTITY securityConfig      SYSTEM "file:/fully/qualified/path/to/your/security/config.xml">]
    >
    <web-app>
 
        <!--
            Loads a persistent security configuration from the content directory.
            This configuration may be empty, in which case no security constraints will be
            applied by Tomcat.
        -->
        &securityConfig;
 
        .
        .
        .
 
    </web-app>

This will not prevent you from losing your web.xml file when a new version of Hyrax is installed, but adding the ENTITY stuff to the new web.xml file would be easier than remembering an extensive security configuration. Of course, Y.M.M.V.

11 Compressed Responses and Tomcat

Many OPeNDAP clients accept compressed responses. This can greatly increase the efficiency of the client/server interaction by diminishing the number of bytes actually transmitted over "the wire". Tomcat provides native compression support for the GZIP compression mechanism, however it is NOT turned on by default.

The following example is based on Tomcat 5.15. We recommend that you read carefully the Tomcat documentation related to this topic before proceeding:

11.1 Details

To enable compression you will need to edit the $CATALINA_HOME/conf/server.xml file. You will need to locate the <Connector> element associated with your server, typically this will be the only <Connector> element whose port attribute is set equal to 8080. To this you will need to add/change several attributes to enable compression.

With my Tomcat 5.5 distribution I found this default <Connector> element definition in my server.xml file:

    <Connector port="8080" maxHttpHeaderSize="8192"
        maxThreads="150" minSpareThreads="25" maxSpareThreads="75";
        enableLookups="false" redirectPort="8443" acceptCount="100"
        connectionTimeout="20000" disableUploadTimeout="true"
        compression="no"
     >

You will need to add to this four attributes:

compression="force"
compressionMinSize="2048"
noCompressionUserAgents="gozilla, traviata"
compressableMimeType="text/html,text/xml,application/octet-stream"

Notice that there is a list of compressible MIME types. Basically:

  • compression="no" means nothing gets compressed.
  • compression="yes" means only the compressible MIME types get compressed.
  • compression="force" means everything gets compressed (assuming the client accepts gzip and the response is bigger than compressionMinSize)

You MUST set compression="force" for compression to work with the OPeNDAP data transport.

The final result being:

    <Connector port="8080" maxHttpHeaderSize="8192"
        maxThreads="150" minSpareThreads="25" maxSpareThreads="75";
        enableLookups="false" redirectPort="8443" acceptCount="100"
        connectionTimeout="20000" disableUploadTimeout="true"
        compression="no"
        compression="force"
        compressionMinSize="2048"
        noCompressionUserAgents="gozilla, traviata"
        compressableMimeType="text/html,text/xml,application/octet-stream"
     >

Restart Tomcat for these changes to take effect.

NOTE: If you are using Tomcat in conjunction with the Apache Web Server (our friend httpd) via AJP you will need to configure Apache to deliver compressed responses too. Tomcat will not compress content sent over the AJP connection.