Sunday, October 5, 2014

iOS 8 Safari Cannot Access Windows Authentication IIS websites

So our flagship product, ZOOMS - search engine for OSIsoft PI - is a web-application... meaning that like Google, you get to the app by using a web-browser.

ZOOMS itself is browser-agnostic - we don't care what browser you use, just that you use a modern browser.  It's HTML5 meaning that all modern browsers ought to be able to view it.  And all modern browsers include Safari on your mobility devices.

ZOOMS is also built on the Microsoft stack, meaning that the operating system is Windows Server.  The web-server is Internet Information Services (IIS).  The database is OSIsoft PI.  And the application programming language is ASP.NET.

For customers using Windows Active Directory, being able to authenticate users against the AD is useful and so that just means that before you get to use the website, you have to type in your active directory username and password.

windows authentication safari

Imagine my surprise when I heard from a customer that "ZOOMS isn't working."

After a lot of troubleshooting, it turns out that iOS Safari doesn't play well with Windows Authentication.
When trying to access intranet sites in our company that use Windows (IIS) Authentication, it challenges for the login and password 2 or 3 times, then nothing - just hangs. These sites work fine on iOS 7 devices - and worked on the same devices that were upgraded. Windows Authentication was broken in iOS 7.0 also and not fixed until a later update. Why does this keep getting broken?
This was exactly what happened to my customer.  Gets challenged for their password twice and then the page hangs at ~20%.

For now, ZOOMS users should understand that iOS 8 is unsupported - not because of ZOOMS, but because of iOS 8 - and that if your situation is feasible: disable Windows Authentication until Apple comes up with a fix.

1 comment:

Michael Saucier said...

Oliver, the workaround we are telling customers is to use Chrome on iOS 8 and Yoesemite. It appears to have no issues with Windows Security.