Ancestry Logout Problem

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techgy
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Ancestry Logout Problem

Postby techgy » Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:05 pm

I have discovered a puzzling problem with http://www.ancestry.com
The problem is occuring in two family history rooms in two different buildings in our stake. The issue is that we have problems in logging out !

The FH rooms are all using the required ASA5505 firewall (extended access) and we have no problems in accessing Ancestry, NewFamily Search and a host of other web sites related to genealogy. However, after logging into Ancestry, it very difficult to logout. We click the "logout" link at the top and then wait. A new URL is seen in the address field, but the URL never completes and the logout page remains blank.

I've tried this with both FireFox v3 and IE v6 both do the same thing.
I do not see this problem when using Ancestry at home, so I suspect that it may have something to do with the ASA5505 blocking a specific address that's being used for the logout.

No error messages are seen. The browser just hangs up on the logout. The computer isn't frozen as I can click on another web site and wander away from Ancestry with no problem.

Has anyone else seen this? I realize that Ancestry isn't an LDS program, but the issue may be related to the ASA, so I thought I'd inquire.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:12 pm

If I remember right, these are what I call "FamilyHistory Workrooms" (not official FHC).

Ancestry does offer a subset of it's offerings free to FHCs. I think those units use a special login. However, the Church may be working on changing that over to a portal, so that Ancestry knows who's a FHC based on how it connects to them. But then the expansion of local units to using the same network could have some interesting side-effects there.

Bottom line - there's a lot of possibilities other then simple firewall blocking going on.
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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:44 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Ancestry does offer a subset of it's offerings free to FHCs.

I don't think so anymore. New management nearly 2 years ago decided to start charging the Church, and at that time the Church wasn't willing to pay. Unless something has changed, I doubt FHC's still get the offerings. I'm glad I don't work for them anymore as there was more than just this one piece of drama going on from the inside.

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:47 pm

Techgy wrote:...We click the "logout" link at the top and then wait. A new URL is seen in the address field, but the URL never completes and the logout page remains blank.

I've tried this with both FireFox v3 and IE v6 both do the same thing.
I do not see this problem when using Ancestry at home, so I suspect that it may have something to do with the ASA5505 blocking a specific address that's being used for the logout.

Actually, I think your guess may be a good one. I wouldn't be surprised if there is some call to a web anaylitics partner or something. As Russell says, it could be one of many things, but I think there is merit in your suggestion.

techgy
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Postby techgy » Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:24 pm

RussellHltn wrote:If I remember right, these are what I call "FamilyHistory Workrooms" (not official FHC).

Ancestry does offer a subset of it's offerings free to FHCs. I think those units use a special login. However, the Church may be working on changing that over to a portal, so that Ancestry knows who's a FHC based on how it connects to them. But then the expansion of local units to using the same network could have some interesting side-effects there.

Bottom line - there's a lot of possibilities other then simple firewall blocking going on.


Yes, these are FH workrooms. However, the members who are using Ancestry have their own personal accounts.

techgy
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Postby techgy » Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:29 pm

mkmurray wrote:Actually, I think your guess may be a good one. I wouldn't be surprised if there is some call to a web anaylitics partner or something. As Russell says, it could be one of many things, but I think there is merit in your suggestion.


I would have to believe that if the ASA was blocking a portion of the site because it was hosing information out for statistical analysis, that we'd be seeing the familiar error message about the site being blocked. We see nothing - nada - zip. The URL that's doing the logout just sits there. We've waited several minutes and nothing happened.

I'm going to check this out in another building in the next day or so and see if it's common in all the facilities. There may be a way of tracing the path of the logout to see if there's any other sites that are being used. I could also temporarily remove the ASA for a few minutes and repeat the logout.

This would at least isolate the problem.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:42 pm

Techgy wrote:I would have to believe that if the ASA was blocking a portion of the site because it was hosing information out for statistical analysis, that we'd be seeing the familiar error message about the site being blocked. We see nothing - nada - zip. The URL that's doing the logout just sits there. We've waited several minutes and nothing happened.

I'm going to check this out in another building in the next day or so and see if it's common in all the facilities. There may be a way of tracing the path of the logout to see if there's any other sites that are being used. I could also temporarily remove the ASA for a few minutes and repeat the logout.

This would at least isolate the problem.


By no means can you depend on the ASA providing a blocking message when it blocks a site. I have seen many situations where a site is blocked and the browser simply seems to be trying to load the page for several minutes, and never succeeds. This was the symptom when multiple people had a problem logging in to ldscatalog.com.

So you certainly should try other troubleshooting steps.

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:17 am

Alan_Brown wrote:So you certainly should try other troubleshooting steps.

Techgy, have you ever played around with the Firefox Extenstion Firebug? You would be able to trace every request to every site the browser is making (even for every single image request). I bet it would tell you what resources the site is trying to hit that are not coming back.

techgy
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Postby techgy » Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:50 am

mkmurray wrote:Techgy, have you ever played around with the Firefox Extenstion Firebug? You would be able to trace every request to every site the browser is making (even for every single image request). I bet it would tell you what resources the site is trying to hit that are not coming back.


Thanks for the suggestion. I use FireFox all the time, but haven't tried the Firebug yet. I'll give it a try this afternoon and report back on the results.

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Postby garysturn » Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:14 am

We have no problems logging out of personal accounts at the Draper Utah Family History Center. The biggest problem we have is that patrons don't remember to click on log out, then their personal account is left logged in.

I will be in the Draper FHC again tonight and will test it again to see if anything has changed, but in the past we have not had any problems.
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