Application Offloading and HTTP(S) Bookmarks Overview
SMA appliances use HTTP(S) bookmarks and application offloading to provide access to web-based applications running on servers within the intranet. This includes SharePoint 2007 and the enhanced versions of commonly used Web mail interfaces, such as Microsoft OWA Premium and Domino Web Access 8.0.1, 8.5.1, and 8.5.2. SharePoint 2010 is supported with application offloading, but not with HTTP(S) bookmarks.
SharePoint 2013 is supported with application offloading. Note that third-party modules that are not proxy friendly might not be supported by SharePoint.
Both application offloading and HTTP(S) bookmarks use an HTTP(S) reverse proxy. A reverse proxy is a proxy server that is deployed between a remote user outside an intranet and a target Web server within the intranet. The reverse proxy intercepts and forwards packets that originate from outside the intranet. An HTTP(S) reverse proxy specifically intercepts HTTP(S) requests and responses.
Application Offloading provides secure access to both internal and publicly hosted Web applications. An application offloading host is created as a special-purpose portal with an associated virtual host acting as a proxy for the backend Web application.
Unlike HTTP(S) bookmarks, access to offloaded applications is not limited to remote users. The administrator can enforce strong authentication and access policies for specific users or groups. For instance, in an organization, certain guest users might need Two-factor or Client Certificate authentication to access Outlook Web Access (OWA) but are not allowed to access OWA public folders. If authentication is enabled, multiple layers of advanced authentication features such as One Time Password, Two-factor Authentication, Client Certificate Authentication and Single Sign-On can be applied on top of each other for the offloaded host.
The offloaded application portal must be configured as a virtual host with a suitable Secure Mobile Access domain. It is possible to disable authentication and access policy enforcement for such an offloaded host.
Web transactions can be centrally monitored by viewing the logs. In addition, Web Application Firewall can protect offloaded application hosts from any unexpected intrusion, such as Cross-site scripting or SQL Injection.
Access to offloaded Web applications happens seamlessly as URLs in the proxied page are not rewritten in the manner used by HTTP or HTTPS bookmarks.
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