New features – secure app settings, scheduled tasks, CDN and more – available right now!

Frank CheungWe’re going full steam ahead launching new features for Everleap. We just launched the results of sprint #8 on Monday. This sprint included several interesting and useful features, here’s the list:

  • Added the ability to open an account without assigning it a domain name
  • Added a tool to allow you to securely set the connection string and appSettings from Control Panel
  • Added scheduled task
  • Added new SiteLock TrueShield product

 

Open an account without a domain name

We received feedback that some customers do not want to use a domain name when they open an account so we implemented that ability.

When you select the “Add a domain later” option during the registration process, we will assign your site an alternative URL using the .el-alt.com hostname.  You can fully test your application using the alternative URL and when you are ready to associate your domain name with the site, you can simply add the domain in Control Panel.

Notes about a “no domain” account:

 

Connection String and appSettings

With the Windows Azure Pack system it is not currently possible to encrypt sensitive information in the web.config as you are able to do with regular IIS.  Some of you have expressed concerns about possible security issues.  With this new feature, you can securely enter your connection strings and appSettings in Control Panel.

The connection strings and appSettings you enter in Control Panel are encrypted and securely stored in the Azure Pack database.  The connection strings and appSettings are dynamically loaded into the application during runtime.  Note that these settings WILL override the value you specified in the web.config file.

You can access this tool by going to the Site Overview section > Settings > Connection Strings and App Settings section.

These settings are accessible via both ASP.NET and PHP applications.

ASP.NET

You can access the connection strings and appSettings via the standard ConfigurationManager methods.

AppSettings

VB.NET: ConfigurationManager.AppSettings(“setting1”)
C#: ConfigurationManager.AppSettings[‘setting1’]

Connection strings

VB.NET: ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings(“connstr”).ConnectionString
C#: ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings[‘connstr’].ConnectionString

Note: In order for your .NET application to access the connection string via the above method, the connection string must be defined in the site’s web.config file.  The value in the web.config will be overridden by the value you set in Control Panel.

PHP

These settings are also exposed as environment variables which can be access by PHP applications.

AppSettings

The environment variable correspond to AppSetting value should be “APPSETTING_[settingName]”

Getenv(‘APPSETTING_setting1’)

Connection String

The environment variable correspond to Connection string should be prepended with:

MS SQL: “SQLCONNSTR_”
MySQL: “MYSQLCONNSTR_”
Custom: “CUSTOMCONNSTR_”

For example, if you have a MS SQL connection string named myConn1, you can access it via “SQLCONNSTR_myConn1”

 

Scheduled Tasks

Since we do not allow customers to run a scheduled batch for security reasons, we’ve added a new tool which is equivalent to scheduling a batch file.

The scheduled task tool allows you to schedule an http call made to any URL within your website.  This is useful if you want to issue any type of batch processing (daily tally, report, etc.).

 

SiteLock TrueShield

We also introduced the SiteLock TrueShield product, which is getting a separate post here in the blog all to itself. CDN? TrueShield can do that. Firewall your site against malicious traffic? TrueShield can do that too. Check out the article for more details.


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