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Tech Note: Handling Web Logins
Published On: October 17, 2006

The 4th Dimension Web server provides support for HTTP passwords through the On Web Authentication database method. Once activated and configured, this feature automatically sends a challenge whenever a protected method or other database resource is requested. However, there is a limitation to this system. If the password window is cancelled, a blank screen is displayed in the browser. This blank screen is confusing for end users and makes it look like the Web site has disappeared. Instead of a blank screen, it is far better to show a page with help text, login hints, links to other pages on the site, or any other relevant information. Overcoming On Web Authentication's default behavior is not difficult, but it does require using a different strategy. Instead of using the automatic system, authentication is performed with a few lines of custom code in On Web Connection and any methods called through 4DACTION.

This technical note explains why On Web Authentication system works as it does and describes the replacement Web password system. Included with this note are two sample databases, Web_Login_Default, which illustrates how On Web Authentication behaves, and Web_Login_Custom, which implements the custom solution.

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