COMSOL Server™ Updates
For users of the COMSOL Server™ product, version 5.3a of the COMSOL® software brings the ability to set up automatic login for regular users, edit application info directly in the Application Library, and send notifications from admins and power users to users and user groups within COMSOL Server™. Read more about these and other COMSOL Server™ updates here.
Automatic Login for COMSOL Server™ Users
To remove the need for users to log in each time they use COMSOL Server™, you can use the automatic login feature to automatically log users in with a username taken from an HTTP header, a cookie, or the user's remote address. One example where this is useful is in an intranet where single sign-on is currently used, so that web browsers automatically send the credentials of the workstation user to the internal web servers. By configuring a reverse proxy to pass the single-sign-on username to COMSOL Server™, for example as an HTTP header, this allows COMSOL Server™ to participate in the single-sign-on scheme. This example is shown through the three associated images.
Improved Toolbar for Applications in a Web Browser
When running an app in a web browser, the main toolbar has an improved user interface with more options for customization. You can now include text, for buttons and sections, as well as both large and small buttons. This improvement has also been included for apps running in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software on the Linux® operating system and macOS.
Edit Application Info in COMSOL Server™
You can now change the title, description, and thumbnail of an application directly from the Application Library in COMSOL Server™. Additionally, you can replace the application with a new MPH-file via the Replace button in the Edit Application window.
The Edit Application window allows you to edit the title, description, and thumbnail of uploaded apps, and to replace an uploaded app with a new MPH-file.
Modify and Test Login Configuration in the Browser
When configuring COMSOL Server™ to use, for example, Active Directory® or LDAP user databases, the configuration can be edited and tested directly from the Administration section of COMSOL Server™. This testing tool aids in debugging issues with the login configuration by outputting log information from the configured login modules.
A login configuration on the left is tested on the right, with error messages included for easy debugging.
In addition to the configuration options described in the Automatic Login section, you can allow users to log in and use COMSOL Server™ anonymously. This can be useful when showcasing simulations to a wider audience, for example, on an external web page.
New Application for Cluster Setup Validation
The new Cluster Setup Validation application makes it easier to find the correct settings for cluster computing and remote computing by allowing the new settings to be directly tested within the application. When working settings have been found, you can export them for use with COMSOL Server™. By defining a cluster computing environment for COMSOL Server™ or COMSOL Multiphysics® preferences, individual applications need not contain hard-coded cluster settings. Note that the Open Documentation toolbar button opens a PDF that contains a detailed workflow on how to use the app. The Cluster Setup Validation app can also be used for cluster configurations with COMSOL Multiphysics®.
Import and Export Preferences
The COMSOL Server™ preference page now supports importing and exporting preferences, useful for transferring preferences from one server instance to another. You can also import cluster preferences that were exported from the new Cluster Setup Validation app.
Send Notifications to Users
Administrators and power users can now send notifications. This feature can be used, for instance, to let users know about new uploaded apps, scheduled maintenance, or that an admin plans to shut down their app. Notifications can be configured to expire in a certain number of days, and you can choose to have notifications appear immediately or only after the user clicks the Notification link in the top navigation bar. Notifications can be sent to all users, a single user, or any combination of groups.
Notifications are shown in a sidebar to the right.
Improved Handling of Multiple Browser Tabs
A user can close an application session running in a web browser either from the Running Applications section in the Application Library or from the menu accessible in the top-right corner of the application. With COMSOL Server™ version 5.3a, closing an app session will automatically close the corresponding browser tab, unless it is the only COMSOL Server™ tab open in the browser.
Closing an app session from the application menu (shown here) or the Application Library will also close the corresponding web browser tab.
Custom License Error Message
The default license error message, shown when there are not enough seats available to run an application, can be overridden with a custom error message. This can be useful when the details of the license handling should not be exposed to the users of the COMSOL Server™ instance or if you want to direct them to a specific contact.