Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a protocol that allows data to be transferred
securely over the web. This comes in handy when you need to collect information
such as credit card numbers, social security numbers etc.
Internet Connection has a dedicated server used for SSL transmission. This
server features a 128-bit Verisign
certificate and should be used whenever you need to gather sensitive information
from your customers.
Implementing SSL into Your Site
Before using SSL on your site you must first have an SSL account. If you
do not have an account already, please fill out this form.
Every Internet Connection hosting account includes a free SSL account and
you will not be charged for this service.
Creating Your Secure Form
The forms that use SSL look just like other non-secure forms, the only differences
in them is that all links to them will look like this:
And the form action tag will look like this:
First, using your favorite HTML editor, create your form with all the fields
Note: From this point on, we recommend those using WYSIWYG HTML generators
(such as Microsoft® FrontPage®) switch to a simple text editor such
as Notepad, SimpleText or Vi.
Next, using the above as an example, replace your current form
action tag. Finally, select which of the following optional tags you'd
like to use to make your forms easier to manage:
|| There are two methods
available for setting the subject of the forms you'll retreive:
If no subject option is included, then the subject "Form Submission"
will appear on the form results page.
- The first method specifies a fixed subject. This is helpful for
users who have more than one form and wish to be able to assign each
form a unique subject.
To specify a fixed subject, include the following after the form
<input type="hidden" name="_subject" value="New
- The second method allows the form-user to specify their own subject
using a modifiable text-field.
To create a subject text-field box, include the following tag:
<input type="text" name="_subject">
|| The form success redirect
tag allows you to specify a page the user will be redirected to after
successfully completing your form. To enable the script to do this simply
include the following tag:
<input type="hidden" name="_success" value="https://sslserver.com/DomainName/page.html">
Notice the page the form redirects to is still being transferred through
the SSL server. Some browsers, Netscape most notably, display an annoying
dialog box when they transfer from secure to non-secure mode. To minimize
your customers fears that they're information was not transferred securely
we suggest your redirect page also been fed through the SSL server.
Then, from that page, link to the non-secure portions of your site.
|Sort / Order
|| The following tag allows
you to set the order in which the results are displayed in. Again, to
implement it simply place it beneath your form action
<input type="hidden" name="_sort" value="field1,field2,field3">
Note: "_sort" and "_order"
can be used interchangeably.
|| The ability to require
fields is very helpful when you must gather certain information from
your users. To set certain fields as required include the following after
your form action tag:
<input type="hidden" name="_required" value="field1,field2,field3">
Keep in mind that if you set any fields required, it's a good idea
to use the following tag to let your user know that required information
was not provided.
|Form Failure Redirect
|| The form failure redirect
allows you to specify a page users will see after attempting to submit
your form. This tag only works in conjunction with the required fields
tag and it's main purpose is to let your users know that they forgot
to provide some required information. To incorporate this feature place
the following after your <form action... >
<input type="hidden" name="_failure" value="https://sslserver.com/DomainName/page.html">
Like the form success redirect (above), we recommend the form failure
direct to is still being transferred through the SSL server.
It's also a good idea to utilize Server Side Includes (SSI), specifically
the echo command on this page to let the person
filling out the forn know which field they forgot to fill out. For more
on this, please check out Internet Connection's Server
Side Includes (SSI) support document.
|| This tag allows you to
specify an email address that will be alerted each time an order is received
by your SSL account. The email address must be in the form "UserName@DomainName",
and for security reasons, the account MUST be at the same domain as the
one receiving the SSL submission.
To incorporate this feature place the following after your form
<input type="hidden" name="_mailto" value="Username@DomainName">
Creating Your Secure Form With Microsoft® FrontPage®
Users of Microsoft® FrontPage® can also create forms to be used with the SSLServer.com end-to-end data encryption service. Here's how to use FrontPage® to create a secure ordering form.
First, create the form in FrontPage® with all of the fields that you will need.
Next, while in the Normal editing mode, right-click in your form (defined by dashed line) and choose "Form Properties..." from the menu.
In the Form Properties window click on the radio button for the "Send to other" option and choose "Custom ISAPI, NSAPI, CGI, or ASP script" from the drop-down menu:
Next, click the "Options..." to access the Options for Custom Form Handler window. In this window, type https://sslserver.com/submit/YourDomaiName (replacing "YourDomainName" with your actual domain name) in the Action field and click the OK button:
To set any of the optional tags, click the "Advanced..." button on the Form Properties window:
Then click the "Add..." button and provide a name (from the right column above) and a value and click OK.
You have to do this for each optional tag you want to use.
Retrieving Your Orders
Unlike other forms, the forms utilizing SSL send their contents to a server
rather than through email.
To check your orders you will have to point your browser to:
You will then be prompted for the login name (in the form of User@DomainName)
and password you supplied us. Enter those and hit "OK". When the page loads
you can either view your current orders or reset your order file. Please view
your orders before resetting, as there is no way to get them back.
Automating Order Retrieval
In addition to manually retrieving your orders from the SSL server, you
can also set up an automatic retrieval process using a script. This could
be beneficial for populating a local database with the information contained
in your form results pages that are deposited to the SSL server. Here's
an example of a script set up to do just this.
Please be advised that unless you have experience with Perl, it is not recommended
that you utilize a script such as this.
Also, in order to take advantage of this function of the SSL server you
must have either ActivePerl
(Windows) or Perl (other OS)
be installed for perl scripts to run. The script is also dependant on the
LWP::UserAgent and Net::SSL
perl modules, both of which are available on CPAN.