Manfred Kuechler
11/19/99

Providing a password protected area for ERes course pages

ERes provides an option by which each instructor can set, change, and remove a course password on his/her own -- without needing assistance of the ERes manager or server administrator. At times, however, it is useful to have parts of the course page generally available (e.g., for future students) while certain documents should only be available to currently enrolled students (including copyright sensitive material, and drafts of student papers).

Such partial password protection is possible with a one time assistance by the ERes manager. Upon request of an ERes instructor, the ERes manager will do the following:

  1. Create a subdirectory under the existing course directory (e.g., maxweber.hunter.cuny.edu/pub/eres/TST111_KUE/prot/ ); to keep things simply it may be a good idea to always call this subdirectory "prot" -- though it is not necessary to do this
  2. Create a specific user name and password for access to this area via the "htpasswd" utility
  3. Copy an edited version (replacing the "user name") of the template ".htaccess" file in .../TST111_KUE/prot/ to the newly created subdir
This will not take more than 5 minutes and it has to be done only once during a semester -- unless the password gets corrupted and needs to be changed.

In order to protect specific documents, the ERes instructor will have to do the following:

  1. Upload such documents into the newly created subdirectory by using any ftp program. This cannot be done via the ERes forms, but Netscape can be used by specifying the following URL in the location bar:
    ftp://eresuser@maxweber.hunter.cuny.edu/pub/eres/TST111_KUE/prot/ 
    where the part in italics is replaced by the specific course and subdirectory
    Netscape will prompt for the "ERes upload password" as usual and the upload itself is started by going to "file"/"upload file" as usual
  2. Such documents must be added as links (!) to the ERes course page using the following URL:
    http://maxweber.hunter.cuny.edu/pub/eres/TST111_KUE/prot/filename.htm
  3. (Optional) It may be helpful to create one or more special folders for such documents and include a (non-protected) document describing the access process for the students in the course (example)
Since the "protected contents" folder on the TST111_KUE course page does not really contain any sensitive material, here is the information how to access the documents: