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How to add a Custom Notifications Bar to your Storefront Servers using NetScaler in 10 Easy Steps.

By: Juan Pablo Otalvaro

Do you ever experience downtime or other usage issues with your Storefront Servers? When you’re in the middle of an outage your customers may be left in the dark about what is going on. This information black-hole leads to countless tech support calls that drain resources and add needless stress for you and your clients. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to notify your customers in an efficient, instant and unobtrusive way? An effective solution to this problem is to add a scrolling news ticker/notifications bar at the top of the page that all your customers can see immediately and that you can change instantly—all without actually touching the storefront servers. Let’s take a look at how to implement one.

Here is an example of how the notifications bar will look after the user logs in to the Storefront Servers:

Solution

The best approach to a functional notifications bar is to create a rewrite policy that intercepts the Storefront Response and injects a HTML code that calls the file with a custom message that later will be invoked with a Responder Policy. Finally, these policies are bound globally so they will detect the custom Header on any HTTP Response and modify it on every request.

Alternatively, if you want to save CPU cycles on NetScaler you can bind the policies only to the Storefront Load Balancing Virtual Server instead of globally.

Configuration

Pre-Requisites

  • Storefront 3.5+
  • Citrix ADC Version 10+
  • Storefront Servers must be load balanced through the Citrix ADC

Instructions:

  1. Download the following 2 Files (Please right click the links and open in a new tab)
    1. html – This file contains the customized message that you want to show to the users in the storefront Servers
    2. ns – This file contains the commands to modify the storefront server content prior arrive to the user browser.
  2. Login to Citrix ADC using your credentials 
  3. Go the Configuration Tab
  4. Open the Menu AppExpert -> Responder -> HTML Page Imports
  5. Click on Add
  6. On the Name field type nscustommessage , then, In the “Import From” menu, select file, and in Local file, select the nscustommessage.html file that you previously downloaded
  7. Click Continue
  8. Then go to System -> Diagnostics -> Utilities -> Batch Configuration
  9. On file Path, click in “Choose File” and select the custommessage_script.ns file that you previously download, Then click on Run.
  10. Finally, test and Save the configuration. You’re ready to go!

Hopefully you’ve found this tutorial useful and can implement the notifications bar with ease. Doing so will reduce the time and money wasted on needless support calls and will ultimately result in happier customers. Happy updating!

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