Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Web Client Wednesday - Browser Support

Last week MVP Mark Polino started a series called Web Client Wednesdays, which is actually a Microsoft Dynamics GP community outreach to start building up the body of knowledge around Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 web client. If you are a blogger, consultant, customer, or partner who has had some experience with the web client, Mark would like to hear from you.

As part of my contribution to this series, last week I started talking about the UI differences between the desktop client and the web client. Of course, after publishing the article I realized a probably left out a few things, but then again, I can use this as additional material for a future blog.


Today I want to provide some answers to a question I know a lot of you go to bed thinking about at nights: can the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 web client run in other browsers other than Internet Explorer?

Of course, if we are going to talk browsers, it's probably good to mention that this article will focus on the 4 major commercially available ones: Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Apple's Safari, and Mozilla's Firefox.

From a technical standpoint and in general terms, browser supportability comes down to a couple things from what I gathered in my conversations with folks over at Microsoft and my own curiosity on the subject:

1. The browser's ability to load the Silverlight plugin required for trust between the application and your local machine resources, and

2. The ability of such browser to respect the generally accepted standards imposed by the WWW consortium as it relates to the standard HTML-based protocols.

Internet Explorer

In general, Microsoft Internet Explorer is considered the primary (tested) supported browser for the web client for obvious reasons. However, as far as compatibility goes, Internet Explorer 8 can present some challenges with the Trusted App. Internet Explorer 9 is supported and so is Internet Explorer 10 in desktop mode only. The Windows 8 immersion browser (HTML5) is not supported.

Web Client running on Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer had no issues displaying the Web Management Console application either. The Silverlight snap-in applications worked just fine and displayed all the information about the session and users in each session.

Google Chrome

I have worked with the web client on Chrome and have not really experienced any issues beyond the Connect Gadget not displaying on the Home page - the error you will see in the gadget frame when you hover over it is:

Connect Gadget error in Chrome 

Chrome is capable of loading the Silverlight plug-in which allows it to gain trust access to the local machine resources, so things like Word Templates, SmartList exports to Excel or Word, in general, any file saving to the local machine or printing are all available in this environment. I have also noticed that the fonts render much sharper in Chrome than they do under Internet Explorer. Other aspects like Business Analyzer, the visual cue reminders all work fine.

Web Client running on Chrome

Google Chrome had no issues displaying the Web Management Console application either. The Silverlight snap-in applications worked just fine and displayed all the information about the session and users in each session.

The version of Chrome tested was 30.0.1599.101.

Apple's Safari

Technically speaking, Safari should be capable of loading the web client. In preliminary tests performed by Microsoft, the browser was able to load the web client, but could not load the Connect gadget. In addition, Safari did not allow the trust application relationship required by Silverlight to access the local machine resources.

My test with the latest version of Safari allowed to get past the credentials validation, but went blank on the way to loading the GP web app. This of course, could be due to issues with Silverlight, but I can't be certain.

Web Client on Safari
Safari could not load the Web Management Console application either.

The version of Safari tested was 3.2.2 (525.28.1) -

Mozilla's Firefox


Like Safari, Firefox was able to authenticate the credentials, but threw as Silverlight exception on the way to loading the GP app login window. In the tests performed by Microsoft, Firefox loaded the web client, but was unable to display the Connect gadget.


Firefox with Silverlight exception
Firefox had no issues displaying the Web Management Console application however. The Silverlight snap-in applications loaded, but I could not test whether session information would display accordingly (since I could not get passed the above).

The version of Firefox tested for this article is 25.0.


It would be interesting to see if different versions of the latter two browsers behave differently. However, I leave it up to you the reader to comment back with your findings as this kind of testing is beyond the scope of this article.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

1 comment:

Kerry Draper said...

Thanks for the information. We do not use the Web Client today but with this being the replacement for the Business Portal I am looking forward to the transition. I have hundreds of users in the Business Portal today for things like project time entry and pay stubs etc. Many users coming in from Mac and Linux machines today must use Terminal Services or Citrix to do their tasks. I am hopeful this will be eliminated in the future.

I would love to see further testing around this topic.