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Administration Interface

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The Hotspot Administration Menubar

This section describes the core component of the hotspot and includes sub-pages that explain how to manage accounts, tickets and ticket rates, to create reports, and to configure the general settings. Although this graphic interface shares the design with the other modules, it contains an entirely new menu structure: Its complexity and the countless configuration options it offers require that a different layout be employed. The choice was to consider the hotspot as an independant module of the Endian UTM Appliance and therefore to replace the standard menubar, common to all other main sections of the Endian UTM Appliance, with a new one that consist of two parts, as shown in the figure above. The upper part does not change across the various parts of the Administration Interface and contains the ‘proper’ menu, while the lower part is a sub menu, which changes depending on which section of the Administration Interface is chosen.

New in version 2.5-2013-May: SmartLogin functionality and cyclic tickets.

Each of the four main sections allows the management of one hotspot’s component:

Accounts - Create, manage, import, and export user accounts.

Tickets - Define ticket rates and generate tickets.

Reports - Consult the various balance, connection, and transaction logs.

Settings - Change the appearance of the web interface, set up SmartConnect™, enable the API, and configure all the functionalities.

On the far right, the Main Menu link will always be there to go back to the initial Dashboard and menubar.

Accounts

This section of the Hotspot’s Administration Interface contains four sub-menu items, List, Import from CSV, Export as CSV, and Account Generator, that allow to create, delete, and manage the clients of the hotspot.

List

This page shows by default a list of the available user accounts with some information, namely Username/MAC Address, Name (The user’s full name, Enabled (the status of the account), Creation Date, and Valid until. A few options help customise the view:

Sort by
Users can be sorted by any of the fields mentioned above, except by their status.
Reverse order
Sort the list in ascending or descending order.
Hide disabled accounts
Hide from the list the disabled users, i.e., users that exists but that can not access the hotspot.
Search
Searching for accounts is also possible, with pagination available for huge result sets.

Note

Users mentioned in this section are intended as user of the hotspot as clients who can access and browse the Internet. There are, however, two other types of users, namely Administrators and Account Editors, whose abilities and duties are described in section Hotspot User.

Several Actions are available on each account and are shown along each account on the right-hand side of the table:

Edit / Add ticket
An account can be edited or deleted, while tickets can be assigned to it
Balance
Show the balance of the account
Connections
Show detailed information about the account.
Delete
Delete the user account from the hotspot.
Print

Print an informative message with the credentials for that account.

Hint

Messages for MAC-based accounts can not be print as they do not foresee username and password defined.

The actions of showing the balance and connection, along with options for their management, are described under the Reports section, while the accounts’ administration (i.e., user and ticket management) composes the remainder of this section.

A new account can be created in two alternative manners: Either by specifying a username and a password, or by providing a MAC address. Both actions can be carried out by clicking on the appropriate link above the accounts’ table. The data associated with each account is divided in three types: Login information, Account information, and Tickets. Login information slightly differ in the two types of account, depending on the type of account, while account information are exactly the same. Finally, tickets can be associated to an account, depending on the types of tickets already defined and available in the hotspot. See the Tickets section for a description of tickets types and settings.

Add Account
The creation of a new account requires that a username and a password be specified that will identify the user connecting to the hotspot. Additional settings can be modified from their default values, defined in Settings, which are: Expiry date (‘valid until’), whether the account is active, the language, and the bandwidth limit in kb/s. The Language can be chosen among those activated in Hotspot ‣ Admin interface ‣ Settings ‣ language
Add MAC-based Account
The only difference is that for this type of accounts the username and password are not needed. Instead, the MAC-Address of a computer’s network interface should be provided, that will be used to identify the account. The remaining settings are the same as before, but MAC-based addresses can also be given a static IP address.

To each account, the following data can be associated:

Login information

This box contains the information related to the newly created account and necessary to access and use the hotspot.

Username
The username associated to the account. If the field is left blank, then a random username is generated.
Password
The password for the new account, that can conveniently be autogenerated by the system by leaving the field blank. The password will only appear when printing the message that will be handed to the user with her credentials to access the hotspot.
MAC Address
The MAC address that shall be used to identify the account. Available for MAC-based accounts only.
Valid until
The date when the account expires. The default value of one year, or 365 days, can be changed under Settings. To change the value for the current account, either provide the new date in the form DD.MM.YYYY or click on the ... button and select the new date from the calendar pop-up.
Active?
This checkbox specifies if the account is enabled or not. If ticked, the account is active.
Language
The language in which the user will see all the hotspot’s messages, chosen among the available ones from a drop-down menu.
Bandwidth limiting
The upper bandwidth limits in both upload and download for the account in kb/s. An empty field means no limit, i.e., the user can use up to the whole bandwidth. Custom limits are activated by ticking the checkboxes.
Enable SmartLogin
With the checkbox ticked, the user can exploit the Hotspot’s SmartLogin functionality.
SmartLogin cookie lifetime

This option appears only if SmartLogin has been enabled. It is the time in days that the cookie used by smartlogin will reside on the client.

New in version 2.5-2013-May: SmartLogin

Static IP address
This option is only available for MAC-based accounts, which can be associated to a static IP address, specified here.

Warning

Bear in mind that changing some of the account’s existing login information like the username, will cause a new account to be created.

Account information

This box contains all the personal information related to the owner of the account.

Title
The person’s title (e.g. Mrs., Dr.)
Firstname
The user’s first name.
Lastname
The user’s last name.
Street
The street in which the user lives.
ZIP
The ZIP code of the user’s hometown.
City
The city or town the user comes from.
Country
The country the user comes from, that shall be chosen from the drop-down menu.
E-mail address
The E-mail address that will be associated with the account. E-mail addresses can be changed in the account editor with no limitation, except that an e-mail address that is already in use can not be used to register a SmartConnect™ account.
Phone number
The phone number associated with the account. The country code can be chosen from the drop-down menu on the left-hand side and the number shall be written in the textbox on the right-hand side..
Birthdate
The user’s birthday.
City of birth
The city or town in which the user was born.
Document Type
The type of document that has been used to identify the user. Four types of documents are available from the drop-down menu: Birth Certificate, Identity Card, Passport, and Drivers License
Document ID
The ID of the document that has been used to identify the user. Note that in some Countries, collecting Documents may be mandatory to access public hotspots.
Document issued by
The issuer of the document (e.g., the City of New York)
Description
An additional description for the account.

Tickets

This box allows to see and manage the tickets associated with the current account and shows the following options:

Add new ticket

The drop-down menu shows the available ticket rates and if they are time- of traffic based. It is not possible to mix time- and traffic based tickets, hence if a user has already one or more time based ticket, no traffic based ticket can be added, and vice-versa.

New in version 2.5-2013-May: A cyclic ticket can be chosen from this drop-down menu and assigend to the user and the next option in displayed. The Ticket box is also slightly modified, see below for more info.

Download
Custom value for the highest bandwidth available in download.
Upload
Custom value for the highest bandwidth available in upload.
Validity
Once chosen one available ticket rate, this option will appear and allows to customise the ticket validity. The available values are the same defined during the Ticket rates creation and will override the ticket’s default value (shown by the textbox and the drop down-menu underneath).
Add
Once the ticket has been chosen, it can be associated to the current account by clicking this button.

Note

When editing an existing account it is also possible to print a welcome message containing also the credentials by clicking on the Print button: This is the same action that can be carried out from the list of the accounts.

At the bottom of the box, a small table shows all the tickets associated with the account with a couple of information for each of them. If a ticket is still valid, it can be deleted, but if it has expired, it remains there as it is already stored in the accounting for the account (see Reports for more info about balance and accounting).

If the Endian UTM Appliance has already support for cyclic tickets (introduced with release 2.5-20130516, after choosing a cyclic ticket from the drop-down menu, a small form is displayed instead of the Validity drop-down menu, with the following options.

Start date
The day on which the first cycle of the ticket starts. If the ticket period is Monthly, it can only be chosen the first month of validity. For tickets with monthly cycle, indeed the start of the period is the first day of the month, while the end is the last day of the month.
End date
The day on which the first cycle of the ticket ends. If the ticket period is Monthly, it can only be chosen the last month of validity.

Below these otpions, a variable message shows the total number of cycles of the tickets, the price per cycle, and calculates the total price of the ticket. Like in the case of the normal tickets, a table maintains the list of the cyclic tickets associated with the account. For the sake of clarity, this table is kept separated from the other one.

Import from CSV

When importing the account names from a CSV file, the filename is not important (exported files have peculiar names, see next section), but it needs a fixed format of the fields. The follow options are available:

Choose a File
Click on this button to select the CSV file that shall be uploaded. The file shall be in plain text, i.e, ZIP archives, GPG encrypted files and the like are not accepted.
Delimiter

The character that shall be used as delimiter, which is usually a comma ‘,’ or a semicolon ‘;’. If not provided, the Endian UTM Appliance will try to guess which is the correct character.

Hint

The Endian UTM Appliance uses commas to separate the fields.

The first line of the CSV file holds the column titles
Tick the checkbox to let the Endian UTM Appliance know that the first line of the CSV file contains the header of the columns and ignore it when importing it.

Note

Files that the Endian UTM Appliance fails to recognise as CSV files will be rejected with the message The given file does not seem to be in CSV format.

Import accounts
Click on this button to import the CSV file.

After the account have been imported, the page will be replaced by a new one, containing some columns (depending on how many accounts have been found in the file). The first column contains all the available fields, while the second all the fields that have been recognised in the CSV file.

Hint

If in the first column all the labels have a red background, and those in the second column all have a green background, the data have been correctly imported.

The remaining columns show the content of the file and how will the data in the file be interpreted. All fields that have not been recognized are depicted in yellow: They can be associated with the available fields by dragging the red labels from the left-most column onto the yellow fields in the second columns.

Note

The data in these columns can not be modified, so if there’s something wrong with them, go back to the previous page to break the import process and modify the CSV file before trying again to import it.

Below the table appears the following options:

Do you want to see which accounts are imported?
By ticking the checkbox, before the new accounts are actually imported and stored, a summary of the accounts will be shown, divided into two parts: At the top of the page the new accounts are displayed, while on the bottom there are the accounts to be updated.

Store Accounts

A click on this button starts the storage of the accounts in the Endian UTM Appliance and concludes the import process.

Hint

If the checkbox above is ticked, click again on this button after the summary has been show to complete the import process.

Warning

Recall that modifying one of the user’s login information causes a new account to be created. This is true also when importing accounts that only slightly differ in some login information from existing ones. Make sure to examine them prior importing them, in order to avoid potential issues later.

Export from CSV

A list of existing accounts can be exported and saved in CSV format. When exporting the list, the fields that will appear in the exported file are fixed, so it is only possible to decide whether to open (view) the file or under which directory to save it. For convenience, the filename will be saved as accounts_YYYYMMDD_HHMM, where YYYYMMDD represents the year, month, and day, and HHMM represents the hour and minutes when the list has been exported. This choice allows the exported files to be listed in lexicographic order in the directory in which they are saved. The filenames can however be modified at will. The exported files can be used as backups and imported later.

Warning

Remember that the exported list contains also the passwords of the users in plain text, so remember to keep the list in a safe place.

Account Generator

The use of the account generator can prove particularly useful when there is a necessity to create a bulk of new accounts with a default ticket already assigned and can therefore be handed in to e.g., a group of users. As an example, consider the registration phase at the beginning of events like conferences or conventions, during which large groups of people need to access the hotspot and receive their credentials in a small interval of time. The account generator allows to create at once a specific number of accounts by providing only some common options, grouped in three parts: Username, Password, and Settings, described below. This page is divided in four boxes: the first three compose the Account Generator, while the fourth one is the list of generated bulks of accounts, shown on the bottom of the page after at least some bulk has already been created.

Username

There are 2 different types of username generators: Sequential and Random, both of which share two common option:

Prefix
The starting part of the username, shared by all accounts in the bulk. An empty prefix is also accepted.
Length
The total length of the username.

The length shall be longer that the prefix’s length, otherwise an error message will be shown.

The complete usernames will be filled up differently for the two generators, and for both generators there will be displayed a peculiar option. In the case of the sequential generator, increasing numbers are used, defined by the option:

Sequence Start

The digit or number from which the sequence starts.

Hint

If more characters are needed, besides the prefix length and the sequence, to reach the required length, 0s will be added. (see Example HS2).

In the case of the random generator, characters are used, defined by the different Character sets selected:

* Uppercase Letters (A-Z)
* Lowercase Letters (a-z)
* Numbers (0-9)
* Extra characters (._-+)

Password

The length of the password and which character sets should be used to generate the random passwords can be defined here. The strength of the password depends on its length and on how many character sets are used among the available four: Uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and extra characters. As a rule of thumb, chosing a 8 character long password and all charachter sets will generate 48-bit passwords, which should suffice for most uses.

Settings

Additional option about the generated accounts: The number of accounts to generate, whether they should immediately be enabled, if they have a default ticket associated, and finally how many days will the account last.

To generate users with the specified settings, click on the Generate accounts button: A sample of the first 5 username - password combinations will appear. The whole bulk will be generated only after clicking on Confirm, otherwise a click on Cancel will delete even the 5 samples shown.

After the first creation of a bulk of accounts, the page will reload with a confirmation message and, beneath the account generator, a new table will show up, that contains information about the accounts created. In particular, the following columns are shown in the table:

Date
The date on which the accounts have been generated.
Generated Users
The number of users that have been generated.
Actions
There are three available actions on each bulk:

Load settings, to load the setting used to create those accounts and reuse them to generate a new bulk.

Delete users, to remove all the users created in that generation. This action will only delete users who have not yet connected or who do not have credit left: In other words, users which have already connected to the hotspot or have credit left will not be deleted.

Export as CSV to export the username / password combination in CSV format. This proves useful to print the data on prepaid cards.

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