Understanding Domains, URLs and Port Forwarding for ESS Servers

A Public URL for a Cyma ESS installation may look like this
https:// office.companydomain.com:9444/CymaUserPortal

Any web browser is going to look at this in 4 sections before it knows where to go to find the Employee Self Service Portal (ESS)

First section: HTTP: or HTTPS:
HTTP is by default on port 80 any server hosting a website opens up port 80 and accepts any request.  HTTPS by default uses port 443 and before asking the server to give a web page, it first asks for a security certificate from the server so all future communications are encrypted with the certificate so internet traffic cannot be watched by others on the internet. 

Second Section //office.companydomain.com
This is the actual DNS or Domain Name System the computer must lookup on a public Internet DNS server or ask the router of the local network.  If the router doesn’t know then usually Internet provider's DNS server will look for the IP address assigned to the domain name.  This domain name must be registered with the ICANN and is usually purchased for a set period of years and the end customer has manually registered the public IP address assigned to the router to this domain name.  Check the domain name by opening up a command window and type PING {office.companydomain.com} and you should get an IP address thats registered to it.   Also on the ESS server, go to the website http://whatsmyip.org and if both match, the Internet DNS servers are set correctly.

Third Section: :####
By default requesting a web page with HTTP uses port 80 and a web browser assumes :80 it does not have to be typed in the URL.  The same process happens with HTTPS but on port 443.   Any other port number following the : (colon) tells the router controlling the public IP address assigned to the office.companydomain.com domain UR, to reroute all external requests to an internal server on the network behind the firewall.  Some routers will only do straight port forwarding,   Public port 1234 must be forwarded to an internal server hosting a service on port 1234.  Other routers will do what's called port translation where public port 9444 from a public IP request will be transferred to an internal server hosting a service on 443.  This is all based on the capabilities of the router being used as firewall/Internet router.  There are a total of 65535 ports possible to port forward, although many are set as standard for the internet to work and should not be used for anything else.

Fourth section: /CymaEmployeePortal
This tells the web browser that onces it talks to the destination server through the router, it should ask for the particular application or page that is physically called CymaEmployeePortal