Sawtooth Software: The Survey Software of Choice

Connecting to Hosting with Windows XP and Internet Explorer

I'm running Windows XP with Internet Explorer and am unable to connect Sawtooth Software's hosting services or even the User's Forum. What am I doing wrong?

Web Page Encryption and Security

The Sawtooth Software Web Hosting portal (and User's Forum) are on secure web pages. The information presented there is encrypted as it is sent to your browser to prevent third parties from obtaining your log in information for your Sawtoooth Software Hosting projects. In order to protect your login information, we make sure to follow industry best practices for ensuring that this information is served to you in the most secure way possible.

Unfortunately, that means some older operating systems and programs may be kept from connecting to Sawtooth Software Hosting if they no longer support the most secure web page encryption standards. As you have discovered, Internet Explorer on Windows XP is unable to connect to https://Hosting.SawtoothSoftware.com/ or https://www.sawtoothsoftware.com/forum/.

To solve this problem, here is what you can do:

  • Install and use Firefox to if you are a Windows XP user and need access to your project information in https://Hosting.SawtoothSoftware.com/ or https://www.sawtoothsoftware.com/forum/
  • Internet Explorer on Windows XP is NOT compatible with these sites. Versions of Internet Explorer compatible with Windows XP have not been updated by Microsoft to support the latest Web Page encryption standards. Microsoft has ceased support of Windows XP and these older versions of Internet Explorer.

Sawtooth Software Hosting Auto-Upload

If you are using Windows XP, Sawtooth Software Auto Upload won't work, but the workaround is only a little more trouble. Below are the steps for setting up the "self hosting" tab to upload to Sawtooth Software Hosting projects with SSI Web v8:

  1. In Firefox, log in to http://hosting.sawtoothsoftware.com (Internet Explorer won't be able to connect).
  2. Go to the project Settings for the project. We'll be using these in SSI Web.
  3. In SSI Web 8, go to Field--> Web Server Management--> Self Hosting
  4. Make a new self-hosting profile by clicking "Add" in the lower left, and give it a name you'll recognize if you need to use it later.
  5. Use the information from the Project Settings on http://hosting.sawtoothsoftware.com to fill in the fields in the Self Hosting tab. "Database Host" settings will go in the "Advanced" settings dialog under your self hosting profile.
  6. Upload your survey by clicking "Upload Survey to Server" in the lower right hand corner of the Self Hosting tab.

Encryption and Security Technical Details

SSLv3 is a webpage encryption standard that was recently shown to be vulnerable to third party snooping. Due to this vulnerability, we have disabled this type of encryption for the Sawtooth Software Forum and logging into the Sawtooth Software Hosting interface. This was done at the recommendation of web security experts and web security organizations.

Because we have disabled this version of web page encryption, Windows users on XP won't be able to connect to these websites when using Internet Explorer, as it doesn't support the newer, more secure web page encryption standards.

We have not made the change to SSL secured hosting projects, so survey respondents using Windows XP will still be able to take surveys, and Windows XP machines used to collect data from the projects will also not experience any problems connecting.

If it's possible to use a recent version of Firefox on the XP machine, then you can probably use the Sawtooth Software Forum as well as the Sawtooth Software Hosting web page. You could then log in to the Sawtooth Software Hosting web page, and use the information on the Survey Settings page to populate the settings necessary in the "Self hosting" tab in the upload settings. I would expect you'd then be able to do everything you needed, albeit with the inconvenience of copying the settings and using Firefox.

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