There are different ways to deploy mashups and web apps depending on where they will be hosted. This topic focuses on the type of deployment where the mashup or web app leverages Qlik Sense visualizations and insights while being hosted in an external third-party domain. For information about building a mashup, see Build a simple web app.
Web apps and mashups
Cross-domain resource sharing
Browsers and web servers implement security policies to mitigate risks inherent with being connected to the internet. When a web server shares a resource such as an image on its own server, it is following the same-origin policy. In this case, the resource is accessed by the same protocol, domain, and port as the server. On the other hand, a secure request for a resource from a different origin (known as a cross-origin request) requires a cross-origin resource sharing (CORS) policy. CORS allows servers to specify who (the origin) can access the assets on the server. To enable cross-origin resource sharing, the site URL that is hosting the mashup or web app must be added to a whitelist on the Qlik Sense SaaSserver. This process of setting up the whitelist is known as web integration.
Qlik Sense allows you to configure CORS policies on a per web integration basis. For example, if you have two web integrations "A" and "B", and you want both to be accessible from foo.com, you need to add foo.com to the domain whitelist of both web integrations. Web integration entities are created by the tenant admin through the management console.
Authentication needs to be triggered before using the Qlik Sense APIs. This is done by triggering a login process on the Qlik Sense deployment, which in turn relies on the configured IdP. If successful, an HttpOnly cookie is set and the user is redirected back to the web app or mashup solution. The HttpOnly cookie cannot be accessed through client-side scripts, which helps to mitigate cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.
The following diagram illustrates the authentication flow for a user who is accessing a mashup or web app integrated with Qlik Sense SaaS.
- User accesses mashup or web app site.
- Mashup or web app redirects user to Qlik Sense SaaS backend, for example, /login?returnto=foo.com&qlik-web-integration-id=abc.
- Qlik Sense SaaS backend redirects user to the configured IdP.
- After the user is authenticated, the IdP redirects back to Qlik Sense SaaS backend, which sets HttpOnly cookie.
- Qlik Sense SaaS backend redirects the user back to the original returnto URL.
Here is an example of the authentication flow. The user logs into the mysolution.com site. The user is redirected to the tenant IdP that has been set up for their Qlik Sense cloud environment, for example, https://tenant.qcs.com/login?returnto=https://mysolution.com&qlik-web-integration-id=foobar. Once the single-sign on flow is successful (including verification that https://mysolution.com was whitelisted in the entity having web integration ID 'foobar'), the user will be redirected back to their mysolution.com site where they can start using the Qlik Sense APIs. This authentication flow applies to both web apps and mashups.
Deploying web apps and mashups
Follow these steps to deploy your web app or mashup in a domain that is external to the Qlik Sense cloud environment. Differences between web apps and mashups are highlighted, where applicable, in the procedure.
- Request the tenant admin to create a web integration entity using the Management Console. This is necessary to add the domain name of your hosting site to the whitelist. Take note of the web integration ID. Refer to Managing web integrations for details.
Add the web integration ID from step 1 to the API requests.
- For web apps, set the qlik-web-integration-id header manually for all API requests.
- For mashups, configure the web integration ID while doing the initial configuration of the capability APIs.
- Log into the site hosting your web app or mashup to trigger the login flow. When you are authenticated, you can start using the APIs.
To get started integrating your mashups and web apps with Qlik Sense SaaS, explore the examples at Web Integration Examples.