Browser-based Java management should be a core component of any company’s security management policy. Countless others have written about the need to control legacy Java versions and we’ve blogged a few items ourselves about how Browsium Ion helps companies take control of Java. We meet with companies every day that are facing the difficult challenge of trying to balance security against the needs of their various business applications which require older, insecure Java versions.
As we worked with customers over the past year to address many of their Java management challenges, we’ve dealt with numerous Java updates and the release of a new major version. Each time there was a release, we updated our KB guidance and helped customers navigate the complexities by using our configuration charts. While that process has worked well, we want to do better. We want to make the Java management configuration process as simple as possible. The result is the new Java Version Manager wizard included with Browsium Ion 3.
Using the new Java Version Manager, an administrator can easily select the required version of Java for their web application by automatically choosing which Java files to override based on what is currently installed on the PC. The wizard looks at the installed versions on the system running the tool, so you need to make sure both the ‘new’ and ‘old’ version of Java you need are installed locally on that system. In a future post we will delve into more advanced Java management strategies that don’t require all Java components to be installed. For now we’ll keep things simple. In either case though, once the configuration is built, the locations of the Java files must be installed in the same locations as the workstations that will later be using Ion.
Starting the Java Version Manager is easy – just click the link in the Actions pane.
After selecting the Java Version Manager, simply select the desired version for your web application from the drop down list. Remember, only Java versions installed on the PC running the Ion Configuration Manager will be available, so this screen shows the five versions of Java available on our test PC.
The Java Version Manager will always clearly indicate which version is marked as the system default. Here you can see the default version of Java for this system is version 7. Our legacy web application requires Java 6.0.7, so we select that from the list.
After clicking OK, the necessary entries are automatically created in the Custom Files Manager.
But how can we prove it’s working? How do we know which Java version is really being loaded?
To validate the correct version of Java is loading for this Profile we can use this quick test by configuring a Rule for Javatester to use this Profile.
Save the configuration to Local Settings and visit www.javatester.org in Internet Explorer.
Once the Profile is verified to load the desired version of Java, you can safely remove the test Rule and create your own Rule to test your specific web application.
Rather than post more screenshots of Internet Explorer loading different Java versions on this site, we’ve created a new video to demonstrate the Java Version Manager in action as well as showing multiple versions of Java all loaded simultaneously.
We invite you to download the new Browsium Ion 3 and take it for a spin. The new wizard is so easy to use, you should be up and running within an hour. Try it out and see how easy it can be to secure and manage Java in your organization.