Production Server FTP Settings
The Production Server FTP Settings panel includes several configuration items that determine the proper communication with the production server, as well as directory and access configurations. This is important for not only publishing, but it also sets up the main images folder, identifies the images directory, and the location of the templates. An access group can be assigned to the production server.
In order to update the website using OU Campus, the production server credentials must be correct. If on new site setup errors are experienced when publishing or when uploading to the production server, incorrect FTP settings could be the cause.
The settings include:
- FTP Type
- Authentication Type
- Show Password
- Test Connection
- FTP Root
- FTP Home
- HTTP Root
- Image Directory
- Template Location
- Available To
Field names in bold on-screen indicate that the setting is required.
NOTE: Image Directory, Template Directory, FTP Home, and FTP Directory require that the defined FTP Root be included in the entered path, but the FTP Root should not be included with the LDP Gallery Directory (under the LDP Settings). Include only preceding slash / and the directory name for that setting.
Required. The FTP address for where the web site is hosted, e.g. "humanities.gallena.edu." This can also be specified with an IP address.
Required. The available options for FTP Type are:
- SFTP: Secure FTP
- FTP: Active mode for FTP*
- Passive FTP: PASV mode for FTP
*Active FTP is only available for self-hosted implementations.
When secure FTP connection is chosen, additional options are available for Authentication Type and UMask.
Required. The username for the FTP account, e.g. "humanities.gallena.edu" or "ksmith."
When utilizing Secure FTP (SFTP), the Authentication Type may also be chosen. Authentication can be performed with Password or Public Key as the selection depends on how the production server is configured. A public key is generated after the site settings are saved and displayed in the Site Information panel.
Required. The password for the FTP account. An optional feature at the account level, when enabled, provides the ability to reveal the password.
Once enabled at the account level, the Show Password button allows the password to be revealed. Note that when allowing a password to be shown that any level 10 administrator has access to the site settings and will be able to view the password for the server.
Additionally, the Test Connection button is available, which tests that the required credentials as entered are correct.
The UMask options are available for Secure FTP. UMask settings set the UNIX based file permissions for files within the site. Changing this setting does not change existing files, it only applies to new files. By default OU Campus sets all file permissions to 644, user writable. The following image illustrates the UMask setting of User Writeable, which includes read/write for the user, but only read for the group.
Choosing User + Group Writable sets the permissions to 664, user and group writable. Switching this setting in the site record requires that the modified files be republished either via a site publish or other type of publish to make the file settings change on the server.
NOTE: The addition of group writable applies to the UNIX files system and does not have a direct relationship to the groups setup in the OU Campus system.
Required. The FTP Root setting determines the root of what is accessible in OU Campus in Production view. Basically, it is a view of the production server. Anything below the FTP Root path can be accessed, whereas anything above it is off limits. Being accessible as a view within OU Campus is also a reflection of the server settings as if write permissions are not available at the FTP Root on the server, OU Campus cannot write to that location either.
The FTP Root field requires a preceding slash, but not a trailing slash. It can merely be left as slash to indicate root: /. However, the root of the FTP server account does not always have the correct permissions to be the FTP Root or website root. If this is the case, this setting allows the FTP root path to be defined. For example, if the permissions are configured to allow only the FTP user only read/execute FTP access to the account root while the directory with the appropriate web server permissions is /public_html (user: read/write/execute), then the FTP Root should be /public_html. If left as root / then OU Campus will not be able to upload to /. If set up this way, OU Campus users with proper access, would be able to see any files and directories typically at the FTP server account root, such as the logs directory, but not publish pages to those directories without proper server write permissions.
If the production server uses /public_html as the web server root similar to the above example, the FTP Root in OU Campus should reflect this.
If setting up multiple sites within OU Campus that will share the server, the FTP Root can be used to delineate sites as explained later on the Sites, Staging, and Production page. For example, if the Art Department requires a separate site then the FTP Root can be set as /public_html/art/ and the HTTP Root is set correspondingly as http://humanities.gallena.edu/art/.
What is seen when navigating between the staging and production in OU Campus is the same, as is what is viewed on the web server in the /art directory when logging in via FTP. When editing these settings a site publish may be necessary to re-set the view. If not already created on the FTP server, the path specified in FTP Root is created when the site record is saved.
FTP Home must be a subdirectory of FTP Root. It is the highest directory to which files can be written on production for a site and the default location for production navigation when defined. For example, if FTP Home is defined in the settings as /public_html/art, then the /art directory becomes the root of the files published to production. In other words, if the index.pcf exists at the root of the staging files and the FTP Home is defined as above (/art), the index.html is published to exampledomain.com/art/index.html. Whereas, without the FTP Home defined, it would be published to the domain root exampledomain.com/index.html. The FTP Home field requires a preceding slash, but not a trailing slash.
- If FTP Home isn't defined, it is (internally) set to FTP Root
- If FTP Home is defined, it must equal or be within FTP Root (i.e., a subdirectory)
- If the Template Directory is defined, it must be within FTP Home
FTP Home was originally designed as a way to share image resources across sites. It was not intended to be used to support sharing templates across sites, as that is the job of the OMNI-INF/templates directory at the account level.
While all templates placed in the account's OMNI-INF/templates directory are available to all sites in the account, this too can be controlled by the Template Groups function of OU Campus. This would allow only a subset of templates be available to a specific subset of sites in an account.
In current OU Campus implementations, it would be very rare to set the FTP Home to path other than the FTP Root. With the advent of the Asset Manager and Binary Management it should never be used as a way to share files across sites. While FTP Home is still supported, it functionality has been decreased.
Required. The HTTP Root corresponds to the FTP Root, but as accessed through HTTP. It is essentially the HTTP URL of the website, i.e. http://humanities.gallena.edu/. If a path exists in the FTP Root, that path must follow the HTTP Root. For example, if the FTP Root is /public_html/art, the HTTP Root would be http://humanities.gallena.edu/art/. The HTTP Root must include the http:// and the trailing slash /. The HTTP Root field accepts top-level domains consisting of two characters or more.
Note: If the HTTP Root changes, the entire site must be republished.
This is an optional path where users are placed when inserting an image from within the WYSIWYG. The Images Directory setting must be a subdirectory of FTP Root and should include a preceding slash, but not a trailing slash, e.g. /public_html/images. The Image Directory field can be used in conjunction with the FTP Home setting to create sites that can access a shared images location.
Two options are available for template location, as they can be housed either on the staging or production server. Choosing either option allows a path to be defined for the location of the templates with the use of Template Directory. Templates that have been added to the hidden OMNI-INF folders are inherited, allowing both global templates and local templates to be used. OMNI-INF templates can be inherited from the skin, account, or site level. The options are:
- Local (Staging Server)
- Remote (Production Server)
This allows a path to be defined on either the staging or production server for site-specific templates. These templates are used in addition to the templates found in the OMNI-INF folders. When identifying a remote path for templates, include the defined FTP Root, e.g. /public_html/_resources/ou/templates. However, do not include the FTP Root when defining the path to the local staging server; instead, it would be defined as /_resources/ou/templates.
The Available To setting assigns a group in order to limit the ability to see the production server view at the site root level. Only members of the assigned group have the ability to access the production list view of the server. The default group of "Everyone" indicates that everyone can access the production server unless otherwise restricted at the directory or page level, or another access setting. This allows users to preview and publish files to the server unless otherwise restricted with an approver in workflow. The "Administrators Only" group indicates that no access group has been specified; this allows Level 9 and Level 10 administrators to publish, but not other users.
More About Sites, Staging, and Production
A site can be created without the use of FTP Home, but FTP Home can be used in conjunction with FTP Root to help change the way files are accessible via staging and this also effects how a site is pushed to production. For example, without the use of FTP Home, the FTP Root refers to the site root as it will be uploaded via FTP, e.g. humanities.gallena.edu. One method of setting up sites is to use a unique subdomain for every site. This allows for the DNS for the subdomain to be managed separately than the main domain. Since the subdomain is configured as the “server” in OU Campus, there is little risk of overwriting content on the production server. If several sites are added under a domain or subdomain, and they all share the FTP production server, then FTP Root can be used to help delineate sites.
Say that the College of Humanities has several departments that all require their own sites, such as the Art Department and the English Department, but that do not use a separate subdomain such as http://humanities.gallena.edu/art. Creating a unique site allows for the Art Department to see only their site as the site root in OU Campus. Even though the site root is unique, multiple sites within the account can be accessed through a file browser by clicking Sites in the breadcrumb, so pages and images can be linked to across multiple sites within an account. With the FTP Root set to humanities.gallena.edu/art/, the content is pushed to that location on the web server.
If viewing the contents on the web server upon logging in via FTP, it would include directories for the sites:
and so on.
The HTTP root for the main humanities site would be: http://humanities.gallena.edu/ and the FTP Root would be /public_html. Take care when creating sites in the manner as both the College of Humanities and the Art Department could create unique /art directories on the staging server that would push content to the same location on the web server, which could overwrite one another.
One way to help prevent overwriting folders' designated sites is to limit access to the production server. This can be done with the use of the Available To setting in the site settings. Only members of the group assigned by the Available To setting have access to production. Users that are not members of the group cannot view the Production list view at all and likewise cannot publish since no publish targets are available.
Another way to help circumvent overwriting content on the production server is to limit the users who can create directories by creating template groups and assigning specific templates to them. At the site root for the College of Humanities, create a template group that does not include the template that creates a new section. This would also require that a specific template group or groups be created with the template for creating new sections, so that subdirectories could be created as necessary at subordinate areas.