February 2016 M T W T F S S « Jan 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
On 20 January 2016, Browsium hosted a webinar: Introduction to Browsium Proton. The webinar was a huge success for the live audience and generated a number of great questions from the audience. We have compiled the complete set with answers to share with all attendees, and anyone else who is interested in web application inventory and analytics. If you missed the live event, you can watch the video archive on YouTube today. You can also grab the slide deck.
Read on to see the questions (and our responses) from the webinar.
Is there a dependency view for components other than Java? I’m wondering if Proton can provide a map of all components used by a web application (e.g., ActiveX).
Proton has the ability to report on all web application components and associated activity, including external script libraries and binary objects like ActiveX. At this time the reporting views are optimized for Java. More reporting views will be added in a future release to accommodate these areas.
What is the Proton client adding beyond what Microsoft Enterprise Site Discovery could do?
From a technical perspective, the Proton client supports multiple browsers. Many customers have deployed Chrome and/or Firefox in addition to Internet Explorer. Proton also gathers several types of system configuration and inventory data from each client machine, not just reporting on those items which were used by applications. This approach shows a more comprehensive report that provides information on installed components which may not longer be required and therefore removed to increase system security and reduce support overhead..
Doesn’t Enterprise Site Discovery cover all the use cases covered by Proton?
Site Discovery takes an approach that is more geared towards point-in-time data collection, and is designed to be used in a browser migration effort. Proton is supports the migration use cases, but offers much more to IT operations as a modern desktop management tool.
Can Proton show time spent on each app, not just number of accesses?
Proton is designed such that it can monitor nearly any aspect of the browsing experience, including data around web application performance. In the future, we plan to instrument Proton to include details of object load times to get both a summary and granular view of web application performance. In addition, Proton will be able to show end to end activity timing to determine time spent actively in a given web application.
Happy New Year everyone. Here’s to hoping you are all ready to tackle the challenges 2016 has in store. This is the time of year many people publish their forecasts and prognostications, so there are plenty of opinions out there as to what you might expect. One thing we know for sure is that existing Browsium customers are in great shape to address whatever browser issues might be lurking in their future.
At Browsium we prefer not to guess about the future and instead build solutions like Proton, Ion, and Catalyst that provide a wide range of browser management capabilities. This allows your organization to understand your web application environment needs and address whatever comes along, without needing to ‘forklift upgrade’ or deploy ‘one off’ solutions to avoid business disruptions.
One thing we also know for sure is that January 12th is coming fast, and with it means the end of support for older versions Internet Explorer. Those not running IE11 need to act fast or be at risk. While there isn’t much time left to beat the date, the sooner you start, the sooner you reduce your security exposure. Contact Browsium to get started now and avoid unnecessary exposure from running unsupported software.
Another thing we know is that to better manage your IT systems, you need better information. Traditional desktop management tools and solutions are focused on installed, executable, “native” applications. But business-critical workloads have moved to browser-based applications, and desktop management tools haven’t migrated with them. Proton was purpose-built for this challenge. It’s critical to know what resources your web applications are consuming, which web applications your users need to do their jobs, how your staff uses web applications, and what Internet security threats are exposed to accommodate your business requirements. Proton provides that data and enables your organization to know before you act, giving you critical details and insights to ramifications of environment changes so you don’t need to hope or guess.
One prediction we’re comfortable making for 2016 is that with Proton, Ion and Catalyst at the core of your browser management platform, you’ll be prepared for whatever comes your way this year. Go into 2016 with your own ‘crystal ball’ and download the Proton eval kit now to see for yourself how it can unlock the mysteries of your browser-based application infrastructure.
Today’s a big day. We are pleased to announce our latest product, Browsium Proton, a comprehensive web application inventory and analytics solution for the enterprise. It’s the first of its kind – designed specifically to deliver insights into your increasingly complex web application environment.
Proton offers IT teams an in depth understanding of browser-based enterprise environments. It provides comprehensive, granular, real-time data via a graphical dashboard, detailing the critical correlations between web applications, browsers, and add-ons. This gives IT teams the actionable insights they need to quickly make informed decisions and head off issues before they become serious problems.
Before going any further: If you missed the on Proton webinar on December 16th, you can
watch it on-demand today.
Organizations today use a combination of native and web-based applications to deliver business tools for employees. IT is tasked with managing these various tools, but traditional desktop management solutions lack the ability to view, track, and understand browser-based applications.
Unlike traditional native applications, browser-based applications use an assortment of run-time components, assembled via data delivered from a combination of remote endpoints. This ‘just in time’ nature makes web-based applications hard enough to define, but nearly impossible to identify with existing application management solutions that are designed to work with the standalone, installed executable software model. There is more on this topic in our recent blog post.
While talking with our customers over the years, we’ve heard so many say: “We don’t have a baseline understanding of what web applications and browsers are being used across our organization.” Combine this with business unit management’s ability to easily provision SaaS applications directly, and IT is more vulnerable than ever before of being ‘out of the loop’ – all while being tasked with supporting their end users with the business applications they need.
Clearly, IT needs a way to gain a deep understanding of enterprise browser environments. In addition, they need to understand the dependencies between applications, browsers, and add-ons. Without this insight, they’re open to security risks, blocked or stalled migrations, compatibility issues, and under/over-utilizing web application software licenses.
That’s why we’ve developed Proton. It provides deep insights into the complexities of browser-based application environments so IT teams can make better informed decisions.
You may be familiar with Microsoft Site Discovery Toolkit – it’s designed around single, one-off end points as a data sampling tool for pre-migration efforts It is not an enterprise-ready management and reporting tool. Finding a way to make the information from Site Discovery Toolkit meaningful and usable can take weeks, if not months, of programming to manipulate the data into a usable, digestible format – and by then the data is most likely out of date.
Proton presents up-to-date data in a convenient, easy-to-consume dashboard format, along with the ability to dive into details using customized reports, which help IT teams make faster, better decisions.
Proton goes beyond simply providing raw usage data, delivering comprehensive inventory and analytics presented in easy-to-understand tables and charts. This allows IT teams to discover the critical correlations in their browser-based application environment.
With Proton, you’ll discover:
Read more about Proton features here.
The great thing about Proton is that it delivers real, tangible business value across many scenarios, including:
Proton pricing is based on the number of employees in an organization; for a quote or to schedule an online product orientation, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like a closer look, download a free Proton Evaluation Kit. You can also give the Proton TestDrive a run. It’s a live site that you can log into to experience Proton’s reporting and analytics. If you prefer to read more about this topic, we have check out our whitepaper that further explains why having an inventory and analytics solution for browser-based applications is critical for your organization.
I welcome your thoughts and feedback.
Matt Heller, Browsium Founder
We are really proud to announce our new partnership with HP! Our browser management solution is now a core component of HP’s WebApp Accelerator Service for Internet Explorer 11, part of their Enterprise Services for Windows 10.
This new offering from HP is an implementation and migration service designed to ensure that an organization’s critical web applications, built for legacy versions of Internet Explorer, will continue to function effectively in the latest browsers and operating system. Specifically, HP is using Browsium software to provide web application inventory, application rationalization, and remediation of incompatible applications. And, as you know, with the Windows 10 upgrade cycle beginning this year and added pressure to migrate to IE11 on Windows 7 by January 2016, enterprise IT departments are in urgent need of this type of service.
“Each new operating system and browser release can result in complex and costly web application compatibility challenges for our enterprise customers,” said Simon Hughes, Vice President, Network and Mobility, HP Technology Services Consulting. “The combination of Browsium’s browser management software and the HP WebApp Accelerator Service for Internet Explorer 11 give customers a cost-effective, comprehensive solution designed specifically to address their web application compatibility needs.”
Additional information about our partnership with HP is in our press release. As always, if you have any questions about Browsium products, or management and security of web browsers and web applications, we’re here to help. And if you need assistance getting connected with an HP rep, drop us a line and we’ll make it happen.
We recently released Ion 3.5, which delivers a huge leap forward in Ion’s ability to manage Java. In this post, we’ll drill deeper into the value Ion 3.5 delivers for any organization using Java in business-critical web applications.
There are many Java management improvements in Ion 3.5. The most obvious is the rewrite Ion’s Java Version Manager to make it much easier to use, eliminating many of the edge cases that required special settings to complete the remediation. It also now very clearly displays the Java version selected on the profile properties page – no more deciphering the Java setting from the obscure Custom Files entries. Additionally, Ion 3.5 is designed to handle Java 8’s unique installation path for each version, ensuring updates to the default Java version won’t impact any of the legacy version management settings in Ion. Learn more about keeping Java up to date with Ion in this demo video.
But the changes aren’t limited to the management interface. Ion 3.5 delivers the ability to manage the ever-increasing Java warnings that end users routinely face. In recent months, Oracle has made a push to encourage all users to update Java and run the latest version. While this approach may be well suited for consumer environments, our enterprise customers have been challenged by support calls from end users who try to heed these warnings and attempt to update Java on their business PCs. At best, the user updates fail due to a lack of adequate permissions, and at worst the user succeeds in updating Java and subsequently breaks critical business applications in the process. Ion 3.5 will now suppress these warnings by default for Ion-managed web applications, avoiding end user confusion and eliminating support issues.
Along with these ‘under the hood’ Java handling improvements, our development team has continued to tweak Ion’s code and discovered new ways to improve performance. Web application load times are still constrained to JVM load times themselves, but Ion 3.5 has increased performance where possible in our code and processes.
Ion 3.5 continues to make the Java management process easier for customers, thus delivering on one of Browsium’s core browser management platform scenarios — enabling side-by-side, secure, and isolated Java versioning. To learn more about how Ion improves Java security, read our whitepaper: Managing Java Security in the Enterprise.
Overall, Ion 3.5 delivers unparalleled Java management. With the addition of robust Java 8 support and warning message suppression, along with the ability to manage versions as far back as the Java platform can go, Ion continues to deliver the ‘future proof’ browser management platform required by enterprise organizations. If you’re an existing customer, you will find the Ion 3.5 download on your software license key webpage. If you’re new to Ion, and are interested in trying the new Java management features, please visit our web form to download an Ion evaluation kit.
Today, Java is part of nearly every organization’s ‘standard’ desktop image, often used for mission-critical business applications. And Java usage is prevalent beyond with the enterprise as well. Oracle claims more than 3 billion devices are running Java globally. That large target population is very attractive to hackers and can leave your IT environment exposed.
Java has a long history of security vulnerabilities and in 2014 alone there were 133 reported vulnerabilities, resulting in roughly 25 updates each for Java 7 and Java 8. Most of those updates were delivered in quarterly update packages, but several critical vulnerabilities required updating every few weeks to remain fully secure. This represents a major drag on your IT resources to keep pace.
What it took in the early days to keep pace with Java updates when they ran as standalone Java applets running directly on client operating systems, is very different today. Developers have shifted their focus to web-based applications built on the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and run in a browser. These web-based Java applications share many similarities with standalone Java applets, but they must be packaged and delivered differently for the web. This results in a variety of compatibility and security issues caused by JRE incompatibilities from version to version and by unlimited threat vectors on the web. Despite these challenges, Java application development remains incredibly common within medium and large organizations.
In response, most information security organizations have pressed for regular internal updates to Java versions on end user PCs. This creates challenges for most organizations with change management processes and application compatibility. While these to challenges are often linked, they are distinct issues. Our new whitepaper Managing Java Security in the Enterprise will overview each challenge individually. In addition it will provide you with detailed guidance for managing Java security in your enterprise using a combination of sound security practices and Browsium’s browser management platform.
Learn more about this vital topic by downloading Managing Java Security in the Enterprise. We hope it helps you understand how to effectively deal with Java without compromising compatibility, security, or your change management process.
As readers of this blog are well aware, the timeline to migrate to IE11 has been moved up. January 2016 will be here in no time. The pressure is on to make the move or risk losing technical support and essential security updates.
Because most line-of-business applications now run in the browser, incompatibilities caused by a browser migration can be catastrophic to your business. Today’s rapid pace of innovation in browser technology, combined with compression of the support lifecycle, forces you to confront browser migrations far more frequently. Yet the traditional tools to remediate critical web applications and manage browsers have not kept pace.
Ensuring compatibility with IE11 for all line-of-business web applications before the migration deadline is very frequently an obstacle in the migration process for enterprises. Our new eBook “Clearing the Path to IE11 Migration” is now available to help you find the best option to smoothly and cost-effectively achieve web application compatibility and manage web browsers throughout the migration process and beyond.
This free eBook will provide you with an overview of the tools which have been historically used to solve web application compatibility issues – modifying applications and virtualization. In addition, it discusses two new browser management solutions introduced specifically to address application remediation.
Download the eBook and start planning your migration to IE11 today.
Browsium founder Matt Heller dropped in on Brian Madden and Gabe Knuth over at brianmadden.com today for a deep-dive on enterprise browser management. The discussion covered a range of topics, from the impact of Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer support policy on IE11 migrations to the increasing adoption of Chrome and Firefox in the enterprise. Matt, Brian, and Gabe even spent some time musing about the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary and a few other old-time television shows. So click on over to Brian and Gabe’s site, pop in your ear buds, and enjoy the show.
With the release of IE11, Microsoft introduced its newest tool for web application compatibility, Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer (EMIE). Since its inception, there has been a lot of excitement and also confusion about what EMIE can do and what it can’t do. Many of our customers have been asking, “When is EMIE sufficient and when should I choose Browsium Ion?” This blog post compares the two, highlighting the key differences that matter to your browser migration projects. In the end you’ll find it’s clear that EMIE is useful and important, but Ion is essential for mission-critical web applications in complex enterprise IT environments.
Microsoft designed EMIE to address web applications that were developed for IE8, but do not work properly in IE11. Developing this tool was critical for Microsoft and its customers, as IE8 is now the single most popular version of any web browser, particularly in enterprise where it’s dominant. With Microsoft ending support for IE8 (and IE9 and IE10) in January 2016, every enterprise now must evaluate the tools that can assist in their IE11 migration strategy.
EMIE offers more features than Microsoft’s previous tool, Compatibility View, which was optimized for IE7 compatibility. It’s great to see Microsoft adopt approaches and provide tools to help with web application compatibility as they continue to evolve Internet Explorer.
Customers who have limited complexity in their IE8-dependent web applications will be pleased with EMIE. It is designed to address user agent string and CSS expression issues. It also has a Site List Manager to enforce which sites will use Enterprise Mode through Group Policy and end users can select Enterprise Mode for public websites as well. In our experience, customers with these basic needs will benefit from this improved and easy to use tool for simple IE8-based web applications.
However, many of our customers have discovered that, while EMIE addresses some of their basic compatibility issues, it falls short in addressing defects with their more complex business critical web applications. Many of their IE8-dependent applications will not work properly with IE11 and EMIE. In addition, EMIE does not provide a solution for migrations to IE11 from IE9 or IE10. For all of these applications, a more comprehensive solution is required.
Web based applications with compatibility challenges often hold companies back from a required browser or OS migration. These troublesome and frequently mission critical applications are typically very complex and highly customized. They exist at a foundational level of the business process or provide parts of the core IT engine that drives the overall business. These applications aren’t broken simply because of a user agent string or a CSS expression button, which EMIE is designed to address. They are made up of many little applications and reporting tools, and each may be broken by a range of issues that require a different set of changes to fix them. This is where we see the majority of defects in these complex applications. And this is where Ion goes above and beyond what EMIE can provide.
Browsium Ion delivers a complete solution for remediating both basic and complex legacy applications running in modern versions of Internet Explorer and also delivers granular management of browser environments for true side-by-side compatibility and enhanced security. (Screen shots of Ion and EMIE found at the end of this post clarify how different these two products are in the granularity of their settings.) Ion uses the same Internet Explorer and Windows APIs as EMIE, but is much more powerful to effectively remediate complex enterprise web applications.
Another major area of concern for our customers is safely managing the multiple versions of Java required by various applications. EMIE does not to address Java management. Browsium Ion enables you to maintain a defense-in-depth Java strategy by allowing specific applications to run only the Java version it requires, when needed, independent of your overall Java security strategy. Ion provides granular control of Java so you can run multiple versions side-by-side, maximize your security stance, and accommodate legacy applications that require older versions of Java.
The following table will give you an idea of how Ion can work in your environment when compared with EMIE.
|Target web apps for remediation by domain or URL||✔||✔|
|Provides IE8, IE9, IE10 rendering modes to fix basic layout issues||✔||✔|
|Provides IE8, IE9, IE10 user agent strings to server||✔||✔|
|Provides option of using any IE rendering mode, from Quirks through IE11||✔|
|Manage multiple versions of Java and run them side-by-side in IE||✔|
|Enables phased rollout to heterogeneous IE environments, across XP, Win7 and Win8||✔|
|Custom Registry Settings per web application to control specific IE features and security settings||✔|
|Override ActiveX controls for each web application, with zero-footprint installs||✔|
|Deploy configurations via Group Policy||✔||✔|
|Deploy configurations via any enterprise mgmt tool||✔|
Clearly, EMIE is rarely enough for most large enterprise environments. Complex enterprise organizations with many legacy and in-house developed applications need much more — they need Browsium Ion for web applications compatibility and the added browser management capabilities today’s most dynamic IT environments demand. Try Ion in your organization by downloading the free evaluation kit.
The following screen shots provide a very clear picture of the power and comprehensiveness of Browsium Ion when compared with EMIE. Ion has many rich features and granular control for web application remediation and browser management, while EMIE takes a more simplistic approach with only a single site list in its management tool.
By now you’ve read the news about Microsoft’s changes to the Internet Explorer support policy. Supporting only the most recent version of Internet Explorer on each Windows release is a bold and necessary step for Microsoft. Internet Explorer fragmentation has made life miserable for web developers and created an unsustainable support matrix for Microsoft. The increasing pace of change in operating systems and browsers has made an already nasty problem even worse.
Microsoft’s new approach is clearly good for the web and for consumers (and it’s great for Microsoft). But what does this mean to enterprises – organizations like yours that just struggled through a Windows XP to Windows 7 migration and have now standardized on IE8 (or IE9 or IE10)? Now you must all migrate to IE11 by January 2016 or lose support. How will you upgrade all of your line-of-business applications by then … and how will you keep pace moving forward?
Inquiries arrive daily at Browsium from organizations asking these very questions. Our answer is the same answer we’ve been giving for more than four years – your application upgrade schedules don’t need to be dictated by browser vendors. There is a better option.
Browsium’s browser management platform gives you control over the timing of application upgrades. It does this by allowing legacy IE-dependent applications to run in modern versions of Internet Explorer, side by side with your most current applications. This enables you to easily migrate to the most current release of Internet Explorer on each Windows platform with confidence, knowing your critical business applications will continue to run. You’ll save time with our easy-to-use tools, and you’ll save money by avoiding unnecessary application rewrites and upgrades.
To be fair, there are other options. Microsoft offers guidance on best practices to re-write or replace existing applications. However, we continue to hear from enterprises that application rewrites or replacements are not in the budget (and certainly not within the time-frame available), so they must look into compatibility tools. Microsoft has an option for compatibility – Enterprise Mode (aka, EMIE). IT organizations have told us that it’s an improvement over the older Compatibility View. They find it useful for some business applications and public websites, but it’s often not sufficient for large scale, complex enterprise applications. A specialized tool with much more granular control is needed to handle these applications.
Browsium’s powerful browser management platform has been designed with the world largest and most complex enterprise IT environments in mind. It delivers granular control of your browser environment, resulting in optimized compatibility and security.
As a CIO, CTO or business unit owner, you should be making application upgrade decisions based upon your business needs. For years we’ve been helping customers do just this with our worry-free browser migration approach. We’ll help you put in place a robust browser management platform to support your business-critical applications well into the future. And as we’ve all seen, rapid technology change is the new normal in the IT industry. Browser management will help you keep pace.
You can manage the complexities of your enterprise browser environment, take the worry out of browser migrations, and extend the ROI of your existing business applications. Learn how Browsium’s browser management platform can make this happen.
Start by downloading the evaluation version of Browsium Ion. Next, contact our team of experts, or one of our partners, to help you plan, implement, and deploy our browser management solution across your enterprise. The next time you’re faced with an Internet Explorer upgrade, you’ll be so prepared, you’ll have the confidence to say “Bring it on!”