The Connect SDK enables you to develop a native feel to your web applications while utilizing the Aspera file-transfer capabilities. Through the JavaScript API you can offer a seamless user experience from initial installation of the plugin to use of the web application.

New in Connect: As of 3.9, the Connect SDK makes use of browser extension technology to facilitate the Connect app's communication with the web browser. This enables significant improvements to ease-of-use and security for users of on-premises servers and users of Aspera on Cloud.

Upgrading Connect to version 3.9 is required by June 2019. Aspera encourages you to take immediate action:

  • End users should upgrade to Connect 3.9.
  • Web developers should integrate their Connect applications with the Connect SDK 3.9.
  • If your web application has a custom installation experience for IBM Aspera Connect, see Implementing Support for Extensions Installation, below.

The Connect SDK contains all of the files that you need to load on your web server. There are two ways to access the Connect SDK for use in your web application:

**We welcome your feedback. Customers interested in providing feedback for Connect 3.9 can register at the IBM Feedback Program (IBMid required for login). You can submit your feedback on the Submit Problem Report page.**

Setting Up Your Web Server To Host the Connect SDK

After you download the Connect SDK, you need to load it onto a web server; we recommend keeping it separate from your other servers. You can use any server setup and any directory, but you must reference the JavaScript from your application.

1. Configure cache-control Headers

To ensure that updates are recognized, configure the following headers on your server:

  • Cache-Control: private, must-revalidate
  • Expires: -1
  • Last-Modified: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

This allows clients to check whether or not files have been modified, while allowing you to take advantage of cache performance.  You can set the configuration on a per-directory basis, if needed.

2. Configure MIME Types

To ensure that web server sends the browser plugin and Connect Installer files from your web server correctly, enable the following MIME types:

  • .crx - application/x-chrome-extension
  • .xpi - application/x-xpinstall
  • .jar - application/java-archive
  • .exe - application/octet-stream
  • .msi - application/octet-stream
  • .dmg - application/octet-stream
  • .sh - application/x-sh
  • .zip - application/zip
  • .cab - vnd.ms-cab-compressed

3. Deploy the SDK

Now that the server is ready, you can deploy the contents of the SDK.  We recommend using a directory on your server, such as /connect/.  Unzip the archive and move the content to the chosen directory on your web server.  Verify that the web server has permission to read the files.

4. Configure Web Applications

The server is now ready to host the Connect SDK. You now need to ensure that any web applications you create point to this location. For example, replace any occurrences of "//d3gcli72yxqn2z.cloudfront.net/connect/" with "//your-website.com/directory/".

 

Adding the Installation of Extensions to the Custom Install Experience (Connect 3.9)

A new Connect state EXTENSION_INSTALL has been added to the SDK for web applications that are ready to use extensions.

The ConnectInstaller class provides helper functions even if you don't use the default installation experience.

  1. Include connectinstaller-4.js from the SDK.
  2. Create an instance of the ConnectInstaller:
    var installer = AW4.ConnectInstaller()
  3. To indicate your web application is ready for web extensions, set the following global variable:
    AW4.ConnectInstaller.supportsInstallingExtensions = true
  4. If extensions are not detected, your web application will receive an EXTENSION_INSTALL event. In response to this event, present your extension install view.
  5. To check whether the current browser needs an extension install experience, run the following:
    var needed = installer.doesBrowserNeedExtensionStore()
  6. In addition to the EXTENSION_INSTALL event, you can manually check whether the extension is installed :
    installer.isExtensionInstalled(1000, {
         timedout: function() { console.log('not installed') },
         success: function() { console.log('installed') }
        })
  7. To start the extension do one of the following:
    • Run the installer:
      installer.startExtensionInstall()
    • To create a hyper link to the store URL, run:
      installer.getExtensionStoreLink()
  8. To facilitate the installation process, the Connect extension attempts to return the user to the tab that started the installation. To take advantage of the return behavior, add an element to your page with css class aspera-connect-ext-locator. Do this only when the extension installation is in progress. The extension will return to the tab that contains this element and refresh the page.
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