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NorthStar UI Overview

 

NorthStar has two user interfaces (UIs):

  • NorthStar Controller—web UI for working with a live network

  • NorthStar Planner—for simulating the effect of various scenarios on the network, without affecting the live network. The NorthStar Planner is currently in transition from a desktop application to a web UI. Until the transition is complete, both the full-featured desktop application and the in-development web UI are available and documented separately.

Browser Compatibility

Table 1 shows the Internet browsers that have been tested and confirmed compatible with the NorthStar Controller web UI.

Table 1: Internet Browsers Compatible with the NorthStar Controller Web UI

OS

Browser

Windows 10

  • Google Chrome versions 55, 56

  • Mozilla Firefox version 53

Windows 7

  • Google Chrome versions 58

  • Mozilla Firefox version 53

CentOS 6.8/6.9

  • Google Chrome versions 56

  • Mozilla Firefox version 53

Mac OS

  • Google Chrome versions 58

  • Apple Safari version 10.1.1

The NorthStar Login Window

You connect to NorthStar using a modern web browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Your external IP address is provided to you when you install the NorthStar application. In the address bar of your browser window, type that secure host external IP address, followed by a colon and port number 8443 (for example, https://10.0.1.29:8443). The NorthStar login window is displayed, as shown in Figure 1. This same login window grants access to the NorthStar Controller and both versions of the NorthStar Planner. Make your selection from the drop-down menu in the Access Portal field. Enter your username and password, and click Sign In.

For the NorthStar Planner desktop application, depending on the browser you are using when you launch it, a dialog box might be displayed, asking if you want to open or save the .jnlp file, accept downloading of the application, and agree to run the application. Once you respond to all browser requests, a dialog box is displayed in which you enter your user ID and password. Click Login.

Note

If you attempt to reach the login window, but instead, are routed to a message window that says, “Please enter your confirmation code to complete setup,” you must go to your license file and obtain the confirmation code as directed. Enter the confirmation code along with your administrator password to be routed to the web UI login window. The requirement to enter the confirmation code only occurs when the installation process was not completed correctly and the NorthStar application needs to confirm that you have the authorization to continue.

Warning

To avoid a Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS (BEAST) attack, whenever you log in to NorthStar through a browser tab or window, make sure that the tab or window was not previously used to surf a non-HTTPS website. A best practice is to close your browser and relaunch it before logging in to NorthStar.

Figure 1: NorthStar Login Window
NorthStar Login Window

You can also launch the NorthStar Planner desktop application from within the NorthStar Controller by navigating to Planner Desktop from the NorthStar Controller More Options menu as shown in Figure 2:

Figure 2: NorthStar Controller More Options Menu
NorthStar Controller More
Options Menu

NorthStar Controller features are available through the web UI. NorthStar Planner features are available through the desktop NorthStar Planner application. A subset of Planner features are also available through the NorthStar Planner web UI.

A configurable User Inactivity Timer is available to the System Administrator (only). If set, any user who is idle and has not performed any actions (keystrokes or mouse clicks) is automatically logged out of NorthStar after the specified number of minutes. By default, the timer is disabled. To set the timer, navigate to Administration > System Settings in the NorthStar Controller web UI.