Is it possible to access the Tridion web interface from a remote machine without the need to use VPN? If so, how?


This is a somewhat common request, and one that I (as a techie) keep being baffled by. The usual story goes like this:

  • Customer acquired Tridion back in the day when IT ruled the show.
  • Tridion gets implemented behind 25 layers of security, because IT ruled the show
  • Customer hires freelance content creators, struggles for 2 months to give access to platform, due to above mentioned 25 layers of security
  • IT stops ruling the show and struggles to articulate "Corporate security guidelines" as the main reason for this
  • Freelance content author mentions how he's been using Wordpress/SquareSpace/Drupal/Whatever SaaS system before in another assignment, and how simple the whole thing was
  • Internal business concludes that the problem is Tridion

There are many people running Tridion today on accessible cloud platforms - both Amazon and Azure - and also others that have removed 24 of the 25 security layers to allow external access to their system. In many cases, it is probably easier to move to a new platform than to convince IT to modernize.

You could always run a POC with Tridion on AWS and show how it has nothing to do with the platform, and all to do with the plumbing.

EDIT Great point by Mr Saunders, I forgot to conclude that YES, this can be done, by exposing the Content Manager Explorer website to the wider world. There are many security controls you can put in place for authentication and authorization that do not require the use of VPN.

  • 1
    Well put Nuno - however, you should conclude .... YES, the CME is accessed of HTTP or HTTPS - it's just a browser. If you have problems then it's in the configuration and/or back-end setup. May 18 '15 at 11:48

Tridion's user interface is just a web site. You can expose it privately or publicly, via http or https, with or without a VPN, however you wish.

It's more a question of how you want to configure you're environment.

  • Yes that's what I thought as well. Our customer says otherwise and that's why they are looking for a new CMS. Yet, they give no further information about the details of the problem. Is it possible that there are specific components that would not be available without access to the internal network?
    – whiteboy
    May 8 '15 at 9:40
  • Not really... I think many customers have their CM systems publicly available and/or in DMZs etc. Some custom extensions, such as ECL connectors or GUI extensions may require internal access in some way, but that's an implementation choice May 8 '15 at 9:43
  • In terms of the end-user there may be one or two configuration settings in the browser to cater for - again - this is all in the documentation. I have a client that only uses external access to the CME and another that have an IT department that would make efforts to shut-down the whole internet if this was to happen to their CME. May 18 '15 at 11:50

As David says, the Tridion Content Management Explorer (CME) interface is just a web application, so the editorial team can access this externally, as long as the infrastructure (firewall, DNS, etc.) allows it.

One problem that you may encounter is that the Staging sites (where the editors review their changes before making them live) are often restricted to only be available to users on the corporate network. You could get around this by password protecting the Staging site, but this may bring its own issues.

Also, as David suggests, you would probably want your CME access to be over HTTPS if you're making it available outside of the network/VPN.

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