How do I encrypt the connection between MWS and Viewpoint?

Tested on Centos 7.6 using Tomcat 7.0, MWS 9.1.3, Viewpoint 9.1.3, Java 1.8.0

Generate a self signed certificate and private key

First generate a certificate and private key using openssl.

Note: Although it is also possible to generate a certificate using java keytool it is recommended that you use openssl. Exporting a certificate and key from keytool in the PEM format that is required for Viewpoint is much more difficult than it needs to be. The advantage of openssl is that it outputs a PEM formatted certificate and key that is usable in Viewpoint.

First generate a private key

    [root]# openssl genrsa -out server.key 2048


Create a certificate request and sign it with the private key to create a self signed certificate.

    [root]# openssl req -new -key server.key -days 365 -out server.csr
    [root]# openssl x509 -req -in server.csr -signkey server.key -out server.crt


You should have both a private key (server.key) and a certificate (server.crt).

Import the certificate into keytool

You will need to import the certificate into keytool, a utility that comes bundled with Java. This is because MWS runs inside Tomcat and Tomcat applications use keytool to manage certificates and keys for https. By default, keytool saves certificates and keys to a key store that in inside the home directory of the user running it. If you are running Tomcat as the tomcat user (which is the default) you need to switch to the tomcat user so that it gets saved in the .keystore in tomcat's home directory. You may need to adjust /etc/passwd so you can login as the tomcat user (which is disabled by default). You can do this by changing the shell of the tomcat user from /sbin/nologin to /bin/bash. For example:


    [root]# vi /etc/passwd

    tomcat:x:53:53:Apache Tomcat:/usr/share/tomcat:/bin/bash

    [root]# su - tomcat


Next use openssl to export the certificate and private key in a pkcs12 encoded file so it can be imported in keytool. Use the name "tomcat" so that Tomcat will find the certificate in keytool.

    [tomcat]$ openssl pkcs12 -export -in server.crt -inkey server.key -name tomcat -out server.pkcs12
    Enter Export Password: changeit
    Verifying - Enter Export Password: changeit


Import the certificate and private key into keytool.
Note: Although keytool can import an externally generated PEM encoded certificate it has difficulty importing a PEM encoded private key and attaching it to the certificate. This why it is recommended to convert the certificate and key to PKCS12.
    [tomcat]$ keytool -importkeystore -deststorepass changeit -destkeystore ~/.keystore -srckeystore server.pkcs12 -srcstoretype PKCS12
    Enter source keystore password: changeit
    Entry for alias successfully imported.
Verify the certificate and key were imported correctly and with an alias of "tomcat"

    [tomcat]$ keytool -list
    Your keystore contains 1 entry
    tomcat, Dec 14, 2018, PrivateKeyEntry,
    Certificate fingerprint (SHA1): 54:30:C0:57:33:17:A9:09:20:5C:0A:E8:56:9C:68:B2:D3:DC:14:90


Configure Tomcat to use SSL

Edit the tomcat server.xml file.

  [tomcat]$ exit
  [root]# vi /usr/share/tomcat/conf/server.xml


Create a Connector element that enables SSL. Note that you use the commented out example of a Connector in server.xml you may need to change the port. In the commented out example the default SSL port for Tomcat is 8443 and that causes a port conflict with Viewpoint File Manager. So in this example the SSL port is changed to 9443. Also the example below assumes Tomcat is running as the tomcat user and that is why the path to the keystore file references the .keystore file in the tomcat user's home directory.

  <Connector port="9443" protocol="org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11Protocol"
               maxThreads="150" SSLEnabled="true" scheme="https" secure="true"
               clientAuth="false" sslProtocol="TLS"
               keystoreFile="${user.home}/.keystore" keystorePass="changeit"

It is also advisable to comment out the default unencrypted Connector that runs on port 8080 so that all traffic is forced to use a secure https connection

    <Connector port="8080" protocol="HTTP/1.1"
               redirectPort="8443" />

Start (or restart) tomcat

  [root]# systemctl restart tomcat


Open MWS in a web browser and make sure the changes worked (e.g. https://localhost:9443/mws )

Import the self signed certificate into Viewpoint

Do the following:

  [root]# cd /opt/viewpoint/lib/requests
  [root]# cp cacert.pem cacert.pem.original
  [root]# cat /tmp/server.crt  >> cacert.pem


Restart Viewpoint

  [root]# systemctl restart httpd


Log into Viewpoint as viewpoint-admin. Got to Basic Configuration and for MWS Configuration > Server put in something like


Test the configuration.

Last update:
2020-02-12 18:34
Nate Seeley
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