Seamlessly incorporate third-party Web-based applications into
UBCMS, while maintaining its integrity and reliability.
If you have Web-accessible scripts that need to run on a
server, especially if they are services your website provides,
rather than tools to help manage the content of your website,
they belong on a separate server from the CMS. This could be
the server they're already on, Wings, a server you manage
yourself, or in the cloud.
To present these external services in the context of your UBCMS
site (header, footer, navigation), you can use the "External
Embed" component. This is almost like an iframe, but runs on
the server side and is relatively unnoticeable to the website
At the point on the UBCMS page where you add the External
Embed, your external application will be requested
and embedded into the page. This is designed to work even if
your application has multiple pages and embedded resources
that link among each other.
In addition to the External Embed component, you could also use
UBCMS page that are coded to interact with your external
application via AJAX or similar techniques.
Examples of these techniques already in use include:
- All of the search pages in UBCMS (example: http://ubcms.buffalo.edu/searchresults.html?q=cms),
which use the External Embed component backed by the campus Google
Search Appliance (search.buffalo.edu). Note how the "Sort by
Date" or "Next Page" links stay embedded in a CMS page, though
the search.buffalo.edu app did not have to be customized.
- The SMBS Faculty Browser (http://medicine.buffalo.edu/faculty.html),
which is actually a bunch of ASP scripts on a separate backend
server, including the profile pages, different tabs and
- The Parking and Transportation Mobile page (http://mobile.buffalo.edu/more_ub_mobile/transportation.html),
which uses some AJAX techniques to add highlighted alert
markers (the red number "2" right now) to a few links if there
is more info available in a back-end application, and then (if
you click one of those links), uses an External Embed
component to display the external content within the UBCMS
- The Services Status dashboard on the UBit home page (http://www.buffalo.edu/ubit.html),
which is an External Embed.
the component to the page. There are three tabs: External,
Filters and Wrapper.
Target application - Provide the source URL of your
third-party application that will be embedded.
Rewrite limit - Define how the embedded content will
perform when a link is clicked.
- No limit - All clicks will stay within the UBCMS
- This option is not very safe since potentially
non-approved content may then be shown as if they were actually
part of your own site.
- Host - Clicks outside your application's server will
leave the UBCMS page. This is good for multi-page
- Off - ALL clicks will leave the UBCMS page. This is good
for simple content.
Pass parameters - Allow the Web application to pass
parameters from your UBCMS page (e.g., for search queries or
Component handle - Choose to display the component's gray
bar and descriptive label in Author (recommended).
Description: Enter a descriptive label for the component
that will be shown on your page in Author (recommended).
Timeout (ms) - Define how long the UBCMS should wait for
the external server to supply your embedded content (default is
20,000 or 20 seconds).
Error content - Display this page on your UBCMS site if
the external content cannot be displayed.
Click the button with the plus (+) mark to define any regular
expressions and replacement patterns for the application. This can
be used to adjust the code supplied by the external application,
but ideally any adjustments would be made on the external
You may type or paste HTML to be included before and
after the application’s HTML. (Ideally you would
instead set this up in the external application itself.)
When creating the third-party application:
- Server caching. Be advised that the UBCMS has server
side caching. Pages are normally stored until there is a change by
an author, and changes in an externally embedded third-party
application do not qualify as an author change unless they include
a form or parameters are passed. Workarounds include:
- Set the page to never be cached.
- Add -nc to the page's name (e.g.
- Or make a Special
Request to ask us to add your page to a "never cache"
- Manually (re)activate any page on your site to clear all
of your site's pages from the cache, including your external embed
- Be careful with links – relative links may
- Skip the header and footer – these will always be
supplied by the UBCMS host page.
- SSL - Be careful if your third party content needs to be
accessed securely. Your main page may be insecure and this will
cause a browser security conflict.
- Forms - POST and GET both work.
- Cookies – will NOT be passed through.
- HTTP headers – will NOT be passed through.
- Authentication – will NOT be passed through (e.g.
- Redirects – these should work normally.
- Errors – Any server or script errors will be
captured and displayed within the UBCMS page (Demo