The Property Manager Introduction discusses a couple of new features called Rules and Rule Templates. These features make it easier for users to insert and customize commonly implemented blocks of functionality. There has been extremely positive feedback about those features from a cross-section of users. It has been accompanied by a very common request to make it possible for users to save and define their own templates that they can use across one or more properties (configuration files).

Property Manager has been enhanced to add the concept of User Templates, a list of custom templates defined by users. These exist in addition to the traditional Default Templates which are predefined by Akamai.

Fig 1: Rule creation dialog that appears upon clicking the button to add a rule
Fig 1: Rule creation dialog that appears upon clicking the button to add a rule

When would one create a user template?

Customers often create and maintain multiple configurations for the Akamai services they use. These could be for different web sites/applications, different environments for the same web site/application, and so on. While these are different web properties and, subsequently different configurations, they often contain blocks of functionality that in common. For example, there may be a common restriction to disable access to the web properties if the request contains a cookie carrying a particular value. Or, there may be a common geographic location-based rule to control access.

It can also happen that not everyone involved in managing the configuration has the same level of familiarity or knowledge with respect to how it is set up. For example, user A sets up a configuration and implements a complex rule that later needs to be configured by user B in another configuration.

In both these scenarios (and others), user templates make it easier and more efficient to implement specific changes across multiple configurations managed by one or more users. They can save the custom rule as a user template that would then make it accessible when editing another configuration.

Fig 2a: Saving a custom rule as a User Template
Fig 2a: Saving a custom rule as a User Template
Fig 2b: Inserting a User Template
Fig 2b: Inserting a User Template

User templates: the Partner use-case

Partners often have an extended use-case for custom templates, where they may want to create custom rules and save them as templates for reuse across more than one customer (and thereby more than one account in Akamai Luna Control Center).

At the time of saving a user template, it is possible for partners to save the template for reuse either at the single account level or across accounts using the Partner option. If the latter option is selected, the saved template will be accessible across all child accounts that are associated with the partner’s parent account.

It is worth noting that user templates, like default rule templates predefined by Akamai, adhere to contractual and/or product entitlement. So, if a saved template contains a feature that isn’t available for reuse in the target account and/or property, it will not be available for insertion in that property.

How does one create a user template?

The option to save a rule as a user template is available to all users with access to Property Manager through Luna Control Center. Creating a user template is a very simple process that can be done while creating the new rule or at a later time. The user interface provides an option to save a rule as a template (Fig 2a) and fill in information pertaining to the rule that would be useful for others when referencing the template.

Fig 3: User Template creation dialog
Fig 3: User Template creation dialog

User Rule Templates are a time and effort saver for implementation of simple or complex blocks of functionality by allowing users to create once and reuse many times with the flexibility to insert the blocks as-is or to make any necessary changes. All that is required to leverage them is to start using Property Manager.