Connect Your Sidebar to Acrolinx

The Sidebar is a web application that runs inside your favorite authoring tool. This means that a lot happens in the background and there may be different reasons why you can’t connect. We’ve made a list of some issues we’ve seen that can help you troubleshoot your connection.

You can solve some issues just by making sure that your Acrolinx URL is correct. Below we’ll show you which messages you might see in the Sidebar if you come across an issue with your Acrolinx URL.

For other issues, you need IT expertise to troubleshoot and solve. So, it’s a good idea to contact your Acrolinx administrator and they can take it from there.

The Acrolinx URL Is Incorrect

If the Acrolinx URL you entered is incorrect, you’ll see a message like this: It looks like the Acrolinx URL is incorrect. Check the URL and try again.

Or maybe you forgot to enter ‘https’ instead of ‘http’? You’ll see the message: You need to connect to Acrolinx using a secure Acrolinx URL. A secure Acrolinx URL starts with “https”.

What to Do?

Check with your Acrolinx administrator to make sure you're using the right URL. Try adding the port number and correct protocol (http or https).

This is the complete format of the Acrolinx URL: PROTOCOL://HOSTNAME:PORT

For example:

Important! Sometimes it’s not easy to tell the difference between an incorrect URL or other connection problems. Even if it's just a typo in the address, you might see the message: We couldn’t connect to Acrolinx… So, checking your URL is the first thing to do if you can’t connect.

I Still Can't Connect

You’ve checked that the Acrolinx URL is correct but you still get the message We couldn’t connect to Acrolinx… when trying to connect? It looks like there’s another connection issue.

What to Do?

Contact your Acrolinx administrator and ask them to go through the following possibilities:

 Acrolinx Core Platform Isn't Available

You can’t connect if your Acrolinx Core Platform isn’t running. To check whether the Core Platform is running, try opening the Acrolinx URL in a browser window to see if the Acrolinx Dashboard Sign-in page loads. If it doesn’t load, then look into why it isn’t available.

 Acrolinx Core Platform Running Behind a Reverse Proxy

Acrolinx Sidebar Integrations should work with Acrolinx running behind a reverse proxy. But there might be something special about your IT environment that blocks the communication between the Acrolinx Sidebar and Acrolinx Core Platform.

 Self-Signed TLS/SSL Certificate

Acrolinx doesn’t support self-signed certificates. If you configure your Acrolinx Core Platform for an SSL connection, the Sidebar will only work if you install an SSL certificate from an independent certificate authority. If you used a self-signed certificate to secure the Acrolinx Core Platform, you won't be able to connect from the Sidebar to your Core Platform.

 Invalid TLS/SSL Certificates

Have you heard about the security issues with SHA-1 and MD5? Oracle has deprecated these algorithms in Java version 1.8.0_141. Check out the Java release notes. If you’re using Java version 1.8.0_141 or newer but have "old and insecure" certificates, then a Java-based Acrolinx Integration (like Oxygen or AEM) might not work.

 Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS)

For some Acrolinx Integrations, you need to enable CORS on the Acrolinx Core Platform. If your Acrolinx administrator hasn’t enabled CORS, then that might be the reason why you can’t connect.

Here’s how you can Enable Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) on your Core Platform.

 Can’t Connect to a Hosted Acrolinx Core Platform From Behind a Proxy

If you’re behind a company proxy, trying to connect to a hosted Acrolinx Core Platform, you might see a message that says: It looks like this isn’t an Acrolinx URL or this Acrolinx Core Platform version doesn’t support the Sidebar.

And if you click Connect again, then the message might change, which can be confusing. This happens because your company proxy routes the page so that the Sidebar doesn’t get the page that it’s expecting. But all it really means is that the Acrolinx URL you’ve entered isn’t correct. So, check that your Acrolinx URL is correct.

 Can’t Connect With Oxygen Standalone From Behind a Proxy

If your Acrolinx Core Platform is behind a proxy, you might not be able to connect with Oxygen Standalone on Windows and Mac.

This is because the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) doesn’t support the cipher suites that are on the server. The JREs disable all 256-bit cryptography by default. See the Java 8 Documentation: Limits on Cryptographic Algorithms.

You can fix this issue by using other cipher suits on your Acrolinx Core Platform.

  1. Download the Java Cryptography Extension (JCE) Unlimited Strength Jurisdiction Policy Files.
  2. Replace the local_policy.jar and US_export_policy.jar jars files into your lib/security in the JRE directory.
 Other Network Issues

Your organization might have a firewall that blocks the communication between the Sidebar and your Acrolinx Core Platform.

If your network communication is slow, you may not be able to connect to Acrolinx. For example, if you connect to the Acrolinx Core Platform using VPN (virtual private network) to access your company's network. Also if you’re using a weak internet connection to connect to the Acrolinx Core Platform, you may have problems connecting, signing in, or loading the Sidebar.