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Browser Migrations

Do you want a solution that enables your web applications to be ready for Windows 10, Microsoft Spartan and the future release of IE that Microsoft plans? We have delivered every possible solution, from legacy app remediation through countless virtualisation solutions and on to browser management software.

What is Browser Management Software (BMS)?

BMS is a web application remediation and browser management solution for the enterprise, designed to simplify browser migration and enable IT to maintain control over browser compatibility and security.

 

BMS enables legacy IE-dependent line of business applications to run in modern versions of Internet Explorer, without rewriting applications or installing expensive and complex virtualization solutions. It also provides granular control for maximum compatibility and security, while allowing multiple versions of Java to run side-by-side on a single system. And BMS works with your existing IT infrastructure, requiring no new servers or changes to your desktop management strategy.

 

With BMS there is no longer a need for organizations to spend millions to rewrite web applications or to install expensive and complex virtualization solutions before upgrading OS and browser platforms. With BMS, organizations can upgrade their OS and browser platforms immediately and then rewrite or replace legacy applications on an independent schedule.

How does Browser Management Software work?

When IT administrators deploy the BMS add-on a set of opt-in profiles and rules are created that control which sites (usually intranet sites) need to be rendered using legacy rendering modes and specific browser settings for backward compatibility. The profiles and rules are deployed and enforced via Group Policy or an XML file. Sites that are not explicitly configured in the BMS configuration run in a native, unmanaged IE window. End users have no control over, or knowledge of, the BMS configuration. They simply access Internet and intranet sites as they normally would (links, favorites, searches, typed addresses) and BMS ensures that the page loads with the appropriate rendering mode and settings to ensure the application functions properly.

Don't IE Compatibility View and Quirks Mode enable legacy web apps to run in the latest IE version without Browser Management Software?

Compatibility View and Quirks Mode can address some web page layout rendering issues, but can't fix complex legacy IE dependency issues. Additionally, they don't enable multiple versions of Java to run side-by-side (allowing your to keep up to date with Java security whilst also meeting the version specific needs of your web apps), and they fail to handle other issues that break web apps in modern versions of Internet Explorer.

Can I run multiple versions of Java side by side in IE11?

By Default Windows and Internet Explorer will run the highest version of Java installed on the system, irrespective of the number of other java versions installed or required. Browser Management Software allows you to keep your baseline distributed java version up to date and within your security teams tolerances, whilst supplying the correct java version required by specified web apps in an isolated and controlled manner. No more issues with a Java upgrade "breaking" users web apps or users inadvertently installing differing versions from other vendor sites as prerequisites for other systems.

My legacy web apps code is not forwards compatible without reworking the original code, how does Browser Management Software help?

In addition to rendering the specific IE mode that your web app is expecting to see in a safe and managed environment, BMS tools also give you a stack of other powerful remediation methods allowing detailed control of code. These include controlling the injection or replacement of CSS, HTML or Javascript in real time with no need for server side code changes.

 

Java Management and Isolation

 

Like most enterprises, you have critical web applications that rely on Java. The premise of 'Write Once, Run Anywhere' made Java seem like a great solution when originally introduced. However Java has turned out to be a lightning rod for security exploits and a constantly moving target for application compatibility. This is a huge problem in search of a solution, how can you run the latest Java release or isolate Java from the web to secure your environment, and safely use the legacy versions of Java required for your critical business applications? The solution is simple... you just need better browser management tools, and that's exactly what Browser Management Software provides.

Can I implement Browser management Software myself or should I hire a professional?

Typically the IT professionals involved in a large-scale Windows migration are experts in the mainstream technologies such as PC hardware, Windows image configuration and deployment, user state migration, application packaging, and software distribution systems. Typically remediating web applications is not a core job of the project team, and issue resolution is generally left to the original web app developers and their BAU workloads. Remediating web apps with a Browser Management Tool is yet another challenge as BMS is a very powerful tool.

 

In short, some customers have inhouse skills or project capacity to use BMS as part of their migration delivery, and some customers have had great success using it with existing skillsets. For most customers, hiring a professional who understands both the science and the art of using a BMS tool to remediate large scale web applications is a far better choice. This will save you both time and money, while accelerating your browser and operating system migration project. The JumpStart Program is a turnkey solution, delivered by BMS consultants or our Certified Partners, enabling a single IE6- or IE7-dependent application (of your choosing) to run on IE8, IE9, IE10 or IE11, from initial discovery of application defects through complete remediation and production deployment of the solution to the end users of that application. Please talk to us about what the JumpStart Program can do for you.

Can't I just use virtualization to achieve application compatibility?

Virtualization can be a tactical solution for web application compatibility issues. As a point solution this can occasionally be a quick fix, but gives no thought to a long-term browser management strategy which is essential in today's enterprise web browser environments.

 

Virtualization requires the expensive and complex simulation of underlying hardware and software infrastructure. The Largest Browser vendors do not allow the support of virtualized browsers, and virtualization requires organizations to purchase additional software licenses; secure, patch and configure each operating system and browser; and install additional servers and network capacity. This not only creates on-going excessive IT management overhead and recurring hardware and software costs, but it also creates confusing functional environments at the user's desktop. The rate of upgrade among some browsers also makes virtualization activity redundant on a security level, where your release cycle is likely to be behind the vendor release cycle.

 

Web application compatibility can be accomplished more effectively and strategically with a browser management software toolset. BMS enables your organization to run legacy applications on modern browsers and pair all web applications with the most compatible browser without adding infrastructure and the associated management costs. The result is forward compatibility for web applications, backward compatibility for browsers, and a more secure browser environment.

 

Browser management Software solutions are less expensive, with less recurring cost and management overhead, and provide a better user experience when compared with virtualization.

Can't I achieve application compatibility by rewriting our custom applications?

Rewriting applications is an expensive and often unproductive strategy - both in financial terms and in terms of opportunity cost, typically money is invested in maintaining new browser compatibility with no feature or benefits delivery against the spend. Browser management Software removes the need for featureless compatibility spend.

 

Re-writing just one legacy application to function properly in a modern browser can cost millions of dollars, and that's if the original developers or IP is still within the organization. Furthermore the software supplier may be out of business (if a 3rd party was used); or the application may rely on technology which is no longer supported.

 

Business units are generally unwilling to dedicate remediation time to web app remediation, as this stalls ongoing development programs as well as potentially creating dead end versions based on IE compatibility compared to other feature development routes. Finally IT migration projects or global IT groups often don't have managerial control over development teams, so IT has limited ability to manage priorities and schedules.

 

Web application compatibility can be accomplished more effectively with a browser management platform which enables your organization to run legacy applications on modern browsers and pair all web applications with the most compatible browser.

Can't we achieve application compatibility by upgrading our commercial applications?

Upgrading commercial applications is often far more difficult and expensive than envisaged, and projects generally don't have the budgets available to uplift applications where the business units have historically saved money on support and maintenance. For legacy apps don't be surprised to find that your vendor has discontinued the product, stopped supporting it, or that your business units have added bespoke systems or interactions that preclude any upgrade activity. Renewing maintenance can therefore be cost prohibitive, and with an upgrade, the cost of installing the software, testing your business processes, and training users can be prohibitive. Reintegration of data and customization of the upgraded application for bespoke actions can be as hard as rewriting the entire application or deploying something new, so an upgrade can often be more complex than anticipated, with costs far exceeding the value realized.

 

By managing your organization's browsers instead of constantly upgrading legacy applications, you can continue using your business-critical web applications until you're ready to upgrade or replace them, thus avoiding the endless cycle of upgrading, installing, reintegrating data, customizing, testing, and training users. Browser Management Software will enable your organization to run legacy applications on modern browsers and continue to pair all web applications with the most compatible browser.

What can Browser Management Software do for my company in the long-term?

BMS tools are dedicated to "future proofing" your enterprise browser environment for optimum compatibility and security. Continues change in enterprise web browsers is inevitable. Browsers are constantly evolving with new features and security, while older versions are quickly unsupported by the vendors. New applications, with modern browser requirements, are constantly required by the business, but legacy application replacement projects take far longer than planned. Together, these changes burden you with the task of supporting modern and legacy applications, browsers and plugins side-by-side.

 

With Browser Management Software tools you can upgrade your applications and your infrastructure when it makes sense for you – not on a timeline dictated by your OS and application vendors. You just need a browser management tool to shield your organization from the pain of compromised compatibility and security, while allowing you to use the systems and solutions your business requires today and in the future.

 

Browser Management Software brings your organization comprehensive browser compatibility today and for the future. Specifically, BMS tools enable you to run legacy applications on modern browsers and pair all web applications with the most compatible browser, be it Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox. The result is forward compatibility for web applications, backward compatibility for browsers, and a more secure browser environment.

How does Browser Management Software enable my enterprise to use legacy applications?

Browser Management Software enables legacy IE-dependent line-of-business web applications to run in modern browsers with no server-side code changes. These web application remediation tools also allow you to manage and secure Java. BMS is simply a granular management tool for Internet Explorer that provides the control to enable legacy applications to run properly in a modern browser, without security or compatibility tradeoffs.

 

When IT administrators deploy BMS to all PCs in need of legacy application compatibility, end users have no knowledge of, or control over, the configuration. They simply access Internet and intranet sites as they normally would (links, favorites, searches, typed addresses) and your Browser Management Software ensures the pages load with the appropriate mode and settings to ensure the applications function properly.

Will my Browser Management Software support Windows 10 and Microsoft's new Spartan browser?

Your BMS tools will support Windows 10 once it is released, with a focus on Internet Explorer 11 (IE11). We expect to deliver the same functionality for IE11 in Windows 10 as we do for IE11 on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 today.

 

Your Browser Management Software support of Spartan is still undetermined as Microsoft has not finished the development of the browser and has not communicated how browser extensions will be handled. We anticipate that we will be able to provide multi-browser management of Spartan and IE11 with once Windows 10 and Spartan are released.

Can Browser Management Software be used to upgrade to IE11 on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1?

Yes, BMS tools add support for IE10 and IE11 on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Now that many SaaS sites are dropping support for IE8, it's time to migrate to modern Internet Explorer. Browser Management Software ensures your IE8-dependent apps will function well in IE10 or IE11.

Are multi-browser environments the trend in IT organizations?

Yes, Gartner Research* has advised against enterprises standardizing on a single browser. This recommendation was first delivered in 1997 and continues today as web-based business applications become more pervasive, whether hosted internally or delivered via global SaaS providers. In addition, Gartner has outlined the tradeoffs between manageability and agility, along with the serious security implications of a single browser strategy in the enterprise.

 

* Source: Gartner Report "Organizations Should Still Say No to Standardizing on One Browser" Published 26 February 2010.

Does Microsoft support Browser Management Software?

BMS tools are 3rd party products and Microsoft is not responsible for supporting any 3rd party products. However Microsoft is responsible for supporting Windows and IE (per Microsoft's support lifecycle policy) and will continue to do so after any 3rd party product is installed, including BMS. As Browser Management Software does not modify the core Windows system or configurations and like other 3rd party add-ons for IE, can be easily disabled if directed by Microsoft support in order to investigate issues with the natively installed IE version.

Microsoft says that running multiple instances or versions of Internet Explorer is unsupported. Is Browser Management Software affected by this?

No, our Browser Management Software tools comply fully with this Microsoft policy. BMS tools do not install or run a separate instance or version of Internet Explorer, and don't repackage executable components of Internet Explorer. Instead, they provides granular management of the rendering engines and settings built into IE8, IE9 and IE10, thus enabling configurations that allow legacy applications to run unmodified in modern versions of Internet Explorer. Running BMS tools inside of IE8, IE9, or IE10 is very similar to Internet Explorer's own Compatibility View which invokes a legacy rendering engine inside of the Internet Explorer application. However the BS tools do this with even more granular control so that each browser tab can use the built-in rendering engine and settings required for a specific web application. Tabs not managed by your Browser management Software use the modern and secure default engines and settings provided by Internet Explorer.

Can multiple teams independently manage their own set of Ion rules and profiles?

Absolutely, departmental or geographical requirements can be managed separately, allowing differing divisions to have their own configurations of your Browser Management Software.

Does Browser Management Software work with Enhanced Protected Mode?

Starting with the release of IE10, Microsoft added an additional layer of security called Enhanced Protected Mode. Enhanced Protected Mode is designed to (in Microsoft's words) "keep your data safe even if an attacker has exploited a vulnerability in the browser or one of its add-ons." Enhanced Protected Mode was turned off by default in IE10 but turned on by default in IE11... for a few weeks. In the November 2013 patch Tuesday, the Internet Explorer cumulative security update turned off Enhanced Protected Mode by default for all versions of Internet Explorer because of compatibility issues with a variety of 3rd party browser extensions - including the extensions used by Browser Management Software. Therefore Enhanced Protected Mode must remain off on all systems that run the Browser Management client software.

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