How to test a Telligent community on mobile devices over a local network

We recently commenced implementation of a mobile-oriented interface for a client and as a result, we had a need to be able to access the local development environment from various mobile devices for testing purposes. Achieving this required a few workarounds, which I’m documenting here for future reference.

The first time you attempt to connect to a networked Telligent installation from a networked device, you will likely encounter this screen:

no_license

This is because we don’t have a license set up for that IP address (or machine name, should I have used that instead). While local development is fine without a license, this scenario will require a development license to support access from an external client, so one must be installed at this point, if it hasn’t been already.

In order to work across multiple projects at 4 Roads, we typically create one IIS website per solution, accessed via a unique host header, which we then create a matching entry for in the local hosts file. This hosts entry typically points to the loopback address, but in this instance, we need to modify it to use the network address instead:

hosts

While in IIS:

host_header

With the local instance now set up, we still have one remaining obstacle; our mobile device won’t recognise the domain name we just set up. To fix this, we need to connect our device to a proxy running on the host machine, which will allow the hosts file entry to be resolved correctly by the client. For this, we’ll use the excellent Fiddler (which is already installed on all our developer machines). All that’s necessary is a single change in the options to allow remote computers to connect via the application:

fiddler

The final step is to then tell our device to connect via Fiddler, which we specify in the settings for our local wi-fi network, using the values we configured in our hosts file (IP address) and Fiddler (port):

IMG_0144

And we’re done! We can now access the Telligent site using our previously defined host name:

success