Custom login URL for cloud WorkspaceONE Portal nice and easy

With WorkspaceONE deployed, many users begin their day at the main page of the WS1 Portal. Which, if you are using a cloud version, is usually hosted at a URL like <yourname>.vmwareidentity.eu (or com/etc for other regions). Many don’t like this and want something like login.mycorp.com instead. Here’s a short note on how to make it, and make it right!

How to make it …wrong!

Our first thought would be: “Not a problem – I’ll just have a DNS CNAME (alias)!”

login.mycorp.com –> mycorp.vmwareidentity.eu

This will not work. The client traffic WILL be redirected to the IP address of the cloud portal, but the URL in all the HTTP headers will still remain login.mycorp.com. And this is not what WS1 expects. At the minimum you will see this:

A very obvious case of the certificate name mismatch.

How to make it …right!

What we need instead if a proper web redirect (HTTP 301 Moved Permanently code) that will basically tell the browser “go to mycorp.vmwareidentity.eu instead“, including all the necessary HTTP header changes.

One way to do it is to deploy a web server hosting the login.mycorp.com URL and responding with the HTTP 301 Code. But this is complicated and we need a web server. Is there an easier way?

Maybe. Many cloud DNS hosters offer a WR or Web Redirect type of record. Basically, this is exactly the above web server, but they host it for you, and you manage this as just another DNS record type. Here’s how it looks in my CloudDNS console (they did not pay me for this post, but they are the only sensible free DNS provider I could find)

Example of a WE or Web Redirect record. Click to enlarge.

Now if we go to our short login URL we will see a proper login screen and the following network trace in the browser (here I use Chrome Developer Tools). I believe this is pretty self-explanatory. Note that we also don’t need to touch any SSL certs, cookies or anything else. It. Just. Works.

Permanent 301 redirection for VIDM login URL in browser’s network trace.

Summary

Now you know two ways to make the life of your users easier by providing them with a short login URL for their WorkspaceONE portal. One of those ways actually works! šŸ™‚

What is your opinion, do you use shortened names in general or this is just a fad and waste of time? Write below!

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