A very common scenario for a DHQ install is to allow external access to the application. This allows officers to access DHQ from the mobiles (in lieu of a state network) or from home. The method of connecting is very secure, similar to accessing your bank online.
To understand what goes into configuring your DHQ for external access, please review the following:
- Ideally, DHQ likes to run on a FQDN (fully qualified domain name) instead of just an IP. This also makes it easier for your officers to remember. Your agency may have an external IP of 184.108.40.206, which would be difficult for officers to remember, instead you can map DHQ to something like dhq.policedept.gov. To set this up, you'll need access to your public domain, normally accessible through your website hosting provider.
- The traffic will be secure (note on SSL below) and will require a secure port to be opened in the firewall. Normally, this would be port 443 (standard SSL port), however if the IP address you're wanting to use is already using 443 for another application (most cases Outlook Web Access), it can be configured for another port like 444. This does complicate user access a little. If you have to use another port, the address to access DHQ would be https://dhq.policedept.gov:444.
- We will need to encrypt your traffic into DHQ. This is best done using an SSL certificate, the same protocols banks and the rest of the world uses, very safe. We can self-issue a certificate for your DHQ, however when a user browses to the secure address they will receive a certifcate error, but they can press continue and access DHQ to its fullest (and securely). There are two ways around this, you can install the cert on all of your mobile computers, OR purchase a certificate which will validate across browsers. This cert may run about $150+- a year. We resell certs and can assist you with this setup.
- When all is said and done, your officers can access dhq by accessing the FQDN and secure port setup. For example, if we can use port 443, they would access DHQ like https://dhq.policedept.gov, or if you're going to use port 444, it would be more like https://dhq.policedept.gov:444.
For more details, questions or assistance with configuration, please contact our support team.