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Important Information Regarding HeinOnline Security Upgrade

2 MIN READ

HeinOnline has supported both HTTP and HTTPS protocols for many years. Effective June 19th, 2018, HeinOnline is phasing out the HTTP protocol and is automatically redirecting all visitors to the secured (HTTPS) version of our site: https://heinonline.org/HOL/Welcome.

We have received positive feedback about this security upgrade. We would like to address a few questions that have been asked: 

  1. Users may start using the new (secured) version of our site right away: https://heinonline.org/HOL/Welcome. This secured version has been supported for several years.
  2. We will automatically redirect http to https for the foreseeable future, but we strongly encourage everyone to update catalog, web, and other links associated with HeinOnline.
  3. We offer general information about proxies in our Knowledge Base, but your proxy vendor will have the ability to ensure your server is properly configured.

It is imperative that organizations using proxy servers to access HeinOnline prepare for this change accordingly. Failing to do so could result in your users having access problems or receiving certificate errors.

Many of our customers use one of the following proxy products. If you use a different type of proxy, or if you have any questions about the configuration, we encourage you to open a ticket with your proxy vendor.

  • EZproxy users should make sure that they are using the recommended proxy stanza, which can be found here.
  • Innovative WAM users will need to account for the secure links in their SSL certificates. 

This security upgrade is for the benefit of all HeinOnline users, so we appreciate your understanding and patience during this transition.

HeinOnline Recommended Configurations

HeinOnline operates using numerous hardware and internet connection redundancies. Therefore, we have developed the following recommended configurations in order to ensure that customers are not affected by changes in HeinOnline operations. Please pass this information to your library’s technical services department to ensure your library has uninterrupted access.

In order to provide the best possible HeinOnline research experience, the information technology staff at William S. Hein & Co., Inc. has dedicated considerable time and resources to develop a system that is both fault tolerant and robust. To prevent system failures and to ensure seamless database access during periods of server downtime, HeinOnline uses a multitude of technologies which include hardware and internet connection redundancies, DoS protection, load balancing, and automatic failovers among multiple servers. In order to ensure that HeinOnline access is not interrupted due to routine server maintenance or unexpected failovers, it is vital that all customers configure their systems with the proper HeinOnline domain name and standard DNS practices. Proper configuration will ensure that these performance enhancements and redundancies are not circumvented.

At this time, we recommend and officially support access to HeinOnline via domain name (heinonline.org).  Locking a proxy server or web portal onto a specific IP address circumvents many of the systems we have put in place and could potentially cause interruptions in HeinOnline access.  Caching should also be disabled on any proxy server utilized to access HeinOnline.  We publish a short TTL on our DNS A-Records, and it is important not to hold onto these records for longer than the published 15 seconds.

For any questions or concerns regarding this information update or our recommended configurations, contact our support team at holsupport@wshein.com or 800-828-7571.

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