11 March 2009

Reconciling Adobe Contribute and a pissy web server

I've just been trying to set up Adobe Contribute to work with a website I created, and had huge amounts of trouble getting it to make the initial connection. After lots of web searching, I found this solution which worked a treat, so I'm re-posting it here lest I forget it in the future or in case the original blog gets taken down.

It's from a blog called My Adobe is broken! by Michael Ahgren, so all credit goes to him.

Solution…(Contribute and mod_security)

I earlier mentioned, at this blog, the problem when you configure Adobe Contribute with a site running on an Apache server with mod_security rules enabled. You get the error message "cannot verify your connection information", even if all your settings are correct.

The mod_security rules block access to any folder called "TMP" and that is what Contribute is creating for its tests.

Here is the solution (please note the security warning at the end of this posting!):

  1. In GoLive, Dreamweaver or a text editor create a .txt file with the following content:
    SecFilterEngine Off
    SecFilterScanPOST Off

  2. Save the file as htaccess.txt.

  3. Upload it to your site's root folder.

  4. Through the FTP interface change the name to .htaccess (note the dot before the name, the entire name is a file extension!)

  5. Now configure your site with Contribute.

  6. When the configuration is done delete the .htaccess file from the server.

This technique will open you up slightly to hackers for approximately 2-3 minutes. I think you must have really bad luck to get hit during exactly those 3 minutes…but the decision is yours!

As far as I know this is the only solution to the Contribute and mod_security problem.

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