Add a custom link to a Hosted Login screen

In a separate article, we show how you can direct a Hosted Login link to a specific URL. For example, by default the Visit our help center link on the sign-in screen simply opens up a another copy of the sign-in screen in a second tab or second window:

That’s … interesting …. but probably not all that helpful to your users. Because, we explained how you can point that same Visit our help center link to something a little more useful:

That’s more like it. Now you can take your existing Hosted Login links (for your help center, privacy policy, and terms of service) and point them in a better direction.

Of course, that might lead you to think, “OK, it’s great that I can redirect my existing links, but is there any way that I can create my own links and then put those links on a Hosted Login screen?” And the answer to that is: yes. There are a few limitations, and the process is a tiny bit convoluted but, yes, you can add custom links to your Hosted Login screens. All you have to do is:

  1. Create a translation to serve as the text for the link (e.g., Visit our help center). You can change this text later on, but you can’t create a link without including a translation key.
  2. Create the new link.
  3. Add the new link to one or more Hosted Login forms. (And, by extension to any screen that the form or set of forms appears on.)

In the next few sections of this documentation, we’ll walk you through each of these steps.

Step 1: Create a translation

Links are of a little use unless you have some text to click. That’s why step 1 in this process involves creating a translation that contains the link text. That’s something you do by using the /config/{app}/flows/{flow}/translations endpoint and the POST method:

curl -X POST \
  'https://v1.api.us.janrain.com/config/79y4mqf2rt3bxs378kw5479xdu/flows/testFlow/translations' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -H 'Authorization: Basic eTR4Zmc2ZjQ0bXNhYzN2ZXBqanZ4Z2d6dnQzZTNzazk6OTVjY3hrN2N6YnZ1eng2ZHB0ZTVrOXA2ZGo1Ynpla3U=' \
--data-raw '[
    {
    "values": {
      "en-US": "This is a test link."
    }
}
]'

By the way, that's a good question: instead of creating a new translation, couldn’t you just use an existing translation? Well, in theory, yes. But there are at least two problems with that approach. First, you might have difficulty finding an existing translation that fits your needs. After all, the default Identity Cloud translations tend to fill very specific purposes.

Second, what happens if, sometime down the road, someone changes the text of that translation? Well, here’s one thing that will happen: the text of your link will also change. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is hard to say, but we wouldn't bet against it being a bad thing. So, with the theme of "better safe that sorry," we opted to create a new translation.

We should also point out that, in the preceding API call, we only created a US English translation (en-US):

"values": {
      "en-US": "This is a test link."
    }

That’s because en-US is the only locale we have in our Hosted Login flow. But there’s nothing to stop you from including multiple languages in your API call:

"values": {
      "en-US": "This is a test link.",
      "it-IT": "Questo è un link di prova.",
      "fr-FR": "Ceci est un lien de test."
    }

Assuming your API call succeeds, you’ll get back a response similar to this:

{
    "translations": [
        {
            "key": "85ae9bc6-6645-4aae-bb67-3fb028bf2f7c",
            "path": "",
            "values": {
                "en-US": "This is a test link."
            },
            "_self": "/config/79y4mqf2rt3bxs378kw5479xdu/flows/testFlow/translations/85ae9bc6-6645-4aae-bb67-3fb028bf2f7c"
        }
    ],
    "_self": "/config/79y4mqf2rt3bxs378kw5479xdu/flows/testFlow/translations"
}

For the moment, at least, the only part we care about is the value assigned to our new translation (i.e., the translation key).

Step 2: Create a link

As soon as we have the translation key we can create a new link by using the POST method and the /config/{app}/flows/{flow}/links operation:

curl -X POST \
  'https://v1.api.us.janrain.com/config/79y4mqf2rt3bxs378kw5479xdu/flows/testFlow/links' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -H 'Authorization: Basic eTR4Zmc2ZjQ0bXNhYzN2ZXBqanZ4Z2d6dnQzZTNzazk6OTVjY3hrN2N6YnZ1eng2ZHB0ZTVrOXA2ZGo1Ynpla3U=' \
  -d '{
    "name": "testLink",
    "elementHref": "https://techdocs.akamai.com/identity-cloud/docs",
    "target": "_blank",
    "elementText": {
        "key": "85ae9bc6-6645-4aae-bb67-3fb028bf2f7c"
    }
}'

The four properties included in the body parameter are summarized in the following table:

Member

Value

Description

name

testLink

Name of the new link. Note that link names must be unique within a flow.

elementHreF

https://techdocs.akamai.com/identity-cloud/docs

URL of the page to be opened when the link is clicked.

target

_blank

HTML target value that specifies how the referenced page should be opened. It’s recommended that target always be set to _blank. That causes the referenced page to open in either a new window or a new browser tab depending on how the user’s browser has been configured.

If this parameter isn’t included then the target defaults to _blank.

elementText

{"key": "85ae9bc6-6645-4aae-bb67-3fb028bf2f7c"}

JSON-formatted name/value pair that points to the translation key created in step 1. Note that the key-value pair must be enclosed in curly braces:

{"key": "85ae9bc6-6645-4aae-bb67-3fb028bf2f7c"}

If your API call succeeds you’ll get back a response similar to this:

{
    "elementHref": "https://techdocs.akamai.com/identity-cloud/docs",
    "elementText": {
        "key": "85ae9bc6-6645-4aae-bb67-3fb028bf2f7c",
        "path": "fields.testLink.elementText",
        "values": {
            "en-US": "This is a test link.",
            "fr-CA": "",
            "he": "",
            "it-IT": ""
        },
        "_self": "/config/79y4mqf2rt3bxs378kw5479xdu/flows/testFlow/translations/85ae9bc6-6645-4aae-bb67-3fb028bf2f7c"
    },
    "name": "testLink",
    "_self": "/config/79y4mqf2rt3bxs378kw5479xdu/flows/testFlow/links/testLink"
}

As you can see, we now have a new link named testLink.

Step 3: Add the new link to a form

Links are actually a type of field; if you look in the fields section of the flow, you’ll see information about your links:

For our purposes, that’s a good thing. After all, fields can easily be added to your forms, and forms can be added to screens. That’s how we display our link on a Hosted Login screen: we simply add the link to a form that's displayed on a Hosted Login screen.

For this exercise, we’re going to add our link to the bottom of the signInForm form, a form displayed on the Hosted Login sign-in screen. Here’s a Curl command that does just that:

curl -X PUT \
  'https://v1.api.us.janrain.com/config/79y4mqf2rt3bxs378kw5479xdu/flows/testFlow/forms/signInForm' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -H'Authorization: Basic eTR4Zmc2ZjQ0bXNhYzN2ZXBqanZ4Z2d6dnQzZTNzazk6OTVjY3hrN2N6YnZ1eng2ZHB0ZTVrOXA2ZGo1Ynpla3U=' \
  -d '{
    "action": "traditionalSignin",
    "fields": [
        {
            "name": "signInEmailAddress",
            "required": true
        },
        {
            "name": "currentPassword",
            "required": true
        },
        {
            "name": "testLink",
            "required": true
        }
    ],
    "next": null,
    "validation": [
        {
            "rule": "requireAuthFields",
            "message": "afeba216c561f421e6e19e6cfed3acd8"
        },
        {
            "rule": "invalidPassword",
            "message": "6f5f053294e79a8f303990b3c51e0163"
        },
        {
            "rule": "rateLimitExceeded",
            "message": "8d4293234c693c2a24ca5e2e7b5013c6"
        }
    ]
}'

Admittedly, that looks like a pretty lengthy command, especially when you consider the fact that it only takes a few lines to add the link. So then what’s all that other stuff for? Well, like most Identity Cloud Configuration APIs, the /config/{app}/flows/{flow}/forms/{form} endpoint requires you to include all the properties and the property values of a form any time you call the PUT method. That’s because the PUT method replaces all the form’s existing properties and property values with the properties and property value’s specified in the request body. To give you a simplistic example of what that means, suppose a form has these four properties:

  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D

You now use the PUT method to add property E, but you don’t include the current four properties in that API call. So what properties will our hypothetical form end up with? That’s right, it ends up with the only property that was actually in the API call:

  • E

The best way to handle this? Start by using the GET method to return all the properties and property values for the form, then paste that data into the request body of your PUT call. After you’ve done that, add your new field, make any other changes you need to make, and then call the operation.

Alternatively, you can add a field to a form by using the Console’s Registration Builder. To do that:

  1. In Console, click Registration Builder, click the Actions icon next to the appropriate flow name, and then click Edit:

  2. Click Forms, and then click the Edit Form icon for the signInForm form:

  3. In the Fields section, click Add Field:

  4. In the Add a field to this form dialog, select the name of your field and then click Add Field:

  5. Click Save to save your changes.

So now what happens? Well, now that we’ve added the link to the signInForm form, let’s bring up the sign-in screen and take a look:

Success!

Style your links

As we just saw, it's possible to create your own links. It’s even possible to add those links to a Hosted Login screen. But while this works remarkably well, the aesthetics leave something to be desired. For example, the link we just added (This is a test link.) works great, but it also sits partly on top of the Sign in button, and can be a little difficult to see, and a little difficult to use. After all, it’s easy to click Sign in instead of clicking the link:

So is there a way to work around this issue? As a matter of fact, there is. You don’t necessarily have a ton of options here, but there are a few things you can do to improve the look and feel of your new link.

To begin with, you can use standard HTML tags when defining translation text. By default, your translation is just a piece of normal text. But suppose we style our translation as an HTML heading; for example, suppose we use the following syntax when defining the key value:

"en-US": "<h2>This is a test link. </h2"

Here's what that does to our link:

That’s an improvement: the text is bigger and easier to read, and there’s now a little bit of space between the link and the Sign in button.

And we can get even fancier if we want to. For example, this syntax not only configures the link as an h2 heading, but it also puts the link text into italics (em) and centers that text:

"en-US": "<center><h2><em>This is a test link.</em></h2></center>"

That’s going to result in a link that looks like this:

But wait: there’s more. If you’re familiar with CSS, well, then you can really have some fun. For example, this syntax takes our previous link and colors the text red:

"en-US": "<center><h2 style='color:red'><em>This is a test link.</em></h2></center>"

Now our link looks like this:

There’s probably even more we could do with this, but this seems like the sort of thing that might be more fun to try on your own.


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