Silo Direct Launch allows specifically formatted URLs to be rendered automatically within Silo. This provides a level of convenience for users, freeing them from copying and pasting URLs into Silo, and it allows content owners to ensure that their content is only rendered within Silo.
Silo Direct Launch requires that a URL be formatted to launch the Authentic8 App instead of a local browser.
Users clicking the A8-formatted URL will need to have the Authentic8 App version 2.9.8 (or later) installed. If the Authentic8 App is not installed, the URL will not resolve.
Users will also need to have a Silo account with access privileges to view the target page.
How does Silo Direct Launch work?
Typically, the default browser registers itself with the user’s computer as the handler for HTTP:// and HTTPS:// requests. This registration allows users to click any web link in an application (email, document, browser), and have that link rendered in a browser window.
Note: If you are using SCCM or some other software distribution mechanism, the handlers may not get installed properly. In these cases, use the registry update in the Instructions for Enterprise Install to install the handlers.
Silo Direct Launch follows a similar process, where the Authentic8 App registers itself as the handler for A8:// and A8s:// formatted links.
Then, when a user clicks or types a link starting with A8:// or A8s:// Silo launches (if it is not running), prompts the user to authenticate (if the user hasn’t authenticated), and renders the page within Silo.
- If the URL is: https://www.<mysecureservice>.com then the default browser will render the page
- If the URL is: A8s://www.<mysecureservice>.com then Silo will render the page
Since the A8-format is external to the browser, Silo links can be accessed from a variety of starting points:
- Users can type directly into the browser navigation bar
- Browser bookmarks can be modified with the A8-formatting
- They can be embedded in email messages and documents
- Content providers can post A8-formatted links to their portals
NOTE: All these scenarios don’t work across all browsers. Refer to the compatibility table later in this document.
What is the difference between A8:// and A8s://
Similar to how HTTP and HTTPS coexist, A8 and A8s are used to specify whether the Silo browser should connect over a secure connection to access the website. This designation isn’t always required, however, since many secure sites will take the standard request - the one without the s - but return the page securely anyway. If you’re used to making the designation in your existing URLs, you can continue to do so.
NOTE: The “s” instructs the Silo browser to open a secure connection to the destination site. Regardless of the link format, the connection between the user’s device and Silo is always secure.
How do I change the URLs to start with a8s:// ?
If you’re encoding new links, simply type them in your editor as A8:// or A8s://
If you are rewriting existing URLs, you can do a search - replace. If you’re generating pages dynamically, the change will need to be made in your web code.
How do I make sure my users can open a8s:// links from their browser?
Users will need version 2.9.8 or later of the Authentic8 App. You can point them to https://www.authentic8.com/download-silo/ , or you can distribute the App through your software distribution process.
If you’re posting a link, but aren’t sure whether users have the App, it is prudent to publish instructions adjacent to the A8-formatted link you post. This will prompt users how to get the App if the link does not resolve properly.
How do I register the Authentic8 App to open A8-formatted links?
This first time a user clicks an A8-formatted link the system will prompt the user to select which program should be used to open it. When the user selects Authentic8 from the list of available programs the binding can be saved and Silo will launch.
When I manually update a link, it does not display the same way a conventional https:// link does. Am I doing something wrong?
Some applications, such as Chrome, Gmail, and Google Docs may not display the link text in blue because they do not (yet) recognize the A8-formatting prefix as part of the URL handling. This is likely to be addressed in a future release. But for now, users will need to manually input the link into the browser nav bar, into the Silo nav bar, or use another program that does recognize the A8-format.
What if I have the App installed, but it is not running?
Clicking the link will send a signal to launch the Authentic8 App, and ask the user to log in to Silo. Once validated, Silo will automatically proceed to open the appropriate page.
What happens if I don’t have the Authentic8 App installed yet?
If you click an A8-formatted link and don’t have the App installed, the system will prompt the user to select which program should be used to open it. Since there will be no appropriate program in the list of available programs to open the link, it cannot be opened. This failure scenario should be avoided by notifying users to install the client ahead of time, and/or embedding instruction text alongside the link you are posting.
Limitations and Compatibility
- The Authentic8 App (2.9.8 or later) must be installed on the device running the browser.
- The iPad App does not currently support direct launch.
- Browsers handle non-HTTP encoded URLs differently. Please refer to the table below for a compatibility overview.
Google products and services (Chrome, Gmail and other Google Apps) as well as Office365 do not recognize non-HTTP tags for encoding URLs. This means that users might experience a variety of success or failure modes.
Please contact Support if you have any additional questions and/or require further information.