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The silver bullet for your legacy Internet Explorer browser issues

Posted by Denzil Morrison on 27 April 2014 in: custom web

Like many others, you may be hesitant to upgrade your company's browser. You might think it's an unnecessary expense… besides, it feels like you upgraded quite recently, and spent good money doing that. Ironically, the reality is that it's expensive not to upgrade, especially with the new functionality of Internet Explorer known as Enterprise Mode.

The silver bullet for your legacy Internet Explorer browser issues

Take a few moments to consider the facts and extra costs associated with supporting your applications on legacy browsers:

  • Time is money, as the old adage goes. A lot of development time is spent on the difficult process of keeping applications compatible between the various legacy versions of browsers.
  • One step forward, two steps back. A developer may build a new app for a company today, but because they're using Internet Explorer 8, the developer needs to ensure that it's backwards-compatible. This will not only take extra time, but also potentially limit the use of new functionality.
  • The sooner you switch, the better. Developers typically need to test in multiple browser versions, which is time consuming, let alone testing between browser brands. An issue may even be promulgated when software is specifically built for a legacy version of a browser, which will then need to be reworked when a decision is eventually made to upgrade.

Like many other companies, you may have been an early adopter of web-based Line of Business applications when web standards were poor and the most reliable and flexible browser was Internet Explorer. Over time, browsers have moved on. As a result, applications written for older versions of Internet Explorer do not work well in the newer versions of Internet Explorer let alone the likes of Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.

In an attempt to ensure that older applications are still useable, it's not surprising that many corporates have restrictive policies in place for upgrading their version of Internet Explorer. This has also meant that they've needed to introduce requirements for new applications to be compliant with old browsers. Unfortunately, this approach will never work if a company is striving to be future-fit.

As of Internet Explorer 11, new functionality called Enterprise Mode has been introduced to make everyone's lives simpler. In a nutshell, it allows IT departments to configure their users' browsers to render applications in the mode that they were written to support. This means that you can set one application to render in Internet Explorer 6 compliant mode and another in Internet Explorer 8 compliant mode. Internet Explorer 11 essentially handles the backwards compatibility – one less thing for you to worry about!

Why not consider upgrading to Internet Explorer 11 with Enterprise Mode to handle your legacy application rendering. Your future self will thank you… and so will your vendors.​

Contributed by Denzil Morrison and Catherine Rode​

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