Let’s Get Technical: Using Ion’s New Content Override Feature

Posted by: Browsium Posted date:

Hi, it’s Christopher again. It’s been a while since my last “Let’s get technical” blog post, but now that Ion has been released there are several new features worth talking about.

The first cool new thing in Ion that I want to cover is the Content Override functionality that’s provided by Ion. This powerful feature allows you to instruct Ion clients to load a completely different web resource than a website normally would load. This is useful when the original resource in question is old, buggy, slow or otherwise antiquated and needs updating. The best part of this feature is that this is all done without touching the original web server, which is useful in cases where you don’t have permissions or the license to change the original code!

Take an example: your web application, as part of its normal operation, normally has clients load the page http://www.example.com/test.html. Let’s say, however, that this page is no longer necessary for some reason, or maybe it’s always been buggy and you’d just like to avoid having to load the content at all.

This is where you’d leverage this feature: you can optionally instruct the Ion client to take one of several steps when it attempts to load the page you don’t want or need loaded:

  1. You can have Ion load a different resource instead. Instead of loading that specific page, you can load a completely different page from off of the local hard drive, off of a network share, or from a completely different URI (“instead of loading http://www.example.com/test.html, load http://www.example.com/fixed_test.html”)
  2. You can have Ion load custom content that you’ve written directly into the profile. For instance, you could “stub out” the entire page by instructing Ion to load a blank page that has only a HEAD and an empty BODY section. This option does not require the file that’s loaded by Ion to physically exist anywhere except in the Ion configuration settings you push out to clients
  3. You could instruct Ion to simply block loading the resource completely. This is useful when the page being loaded provides no value, is already dead (and is generating obnoxious 404 errors) or otherwise obsolete

This is all done without touching the original web server itself. How it works is simple: the Ion software “fixes up” any web pages with your overrides prior to letting the legacy IE engine render the content to the screen. This means that any other client that touches the web server (any other browser, or any non-Ion IE browser) will still get the original unmodified content. Now when you want to make a change, you can do so without incurring those hefty testing costs as well! (You may still be tempted to check that other browsers aren’t affected, but all you have to check is that they’re still getting the original, unmodified code).

This feature is one of the many ways that we’ve made Ion a great tool for achieving compatibility with your old web applications with modern platforms like Windows 7, IE8 and IE9!

I’ve also created a Knowledge Base article that goes through the process step-by-step in case you want to try it out yourself. This and KB articles for Ion’s other great features are all up at our support site.

Until next time!

-Christopher

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