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ChangeBASE launches IE8 web browser compatibility and rendering tool, AOK Browse-It

Organisations can ensure a smooth and cost-efficient migration to Internet Explorer 8 with first and only solution to address full spectrum of compatibility issues

London, 12th October 2010 – [url=http://www.changebase.com/]ChangeBASE Limited[/url], the global leader in automated application compatibility testing and remediation, today announces the launch of AOK Browse-It, a tool to enhance website rendering functionality for Internet Explorer 8 (IE8). The AOK Browse-It module adds to ChangeBASE’s existing portfolio of compatibility testing and remediation products, enabling organisations to speed up their migrations to IE8 and enjoy the benefits the new browser brings, by overcoming this last compatibility hurdle.

With the launch of Windows 7 and IE8 as the embedded browser, compatibility for web-based applications and websites is crucial to ensure a smooth and cost-efficient migration, as well as long-term staff productivity. The compatibility challenges facing organisations migrating to IE8 fall into two categories. Firstly and critically, rendering or presentation issues; where a web-based page may not render or display correctly or certain buttons or links may not work. The second being compatibility of web-based applications that need to integrate with the browser to enable functionality – for example where services have been deprecated or restricted within IE that are required by the application, such as DEP/NX. AOK Browse-It addresses both of these issues.

AOK Browse-It covers all the pertinent issues of web application compatibility and is the first and only solution on the market able to address the entire spectrum of IE8 compatibility challenges. The module addresses web-based application compatibility testing in the same way as it does for native application testing. Bulk loading of web-based applications is enabled and these are then rapidly assessed for compatibility, with an in-depth report being produced.

Uniquely, it is AOK Browse-It’s compatibility testing and reporting for websites, intranets, extranets and portals that differentiates it from any other solution on the market. The tool’s capability is based upon collecting extensive data from three sources – URLs, source code files and client-based user browsing reporting on actual desktop usage. AOK Browse-It then carries out in-depth testing for compatibility for IE8, providing granular reporting back to the administrator including precise detail on any compatibility issues found and how to fix them. This compatibility report enables organisations to develop budget, resource and time plans for each cost centre, meaning the entire migration process can be carried out as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

The five biggest challenges of IE8 migration

From extensive testing via the Beta programme, ChangeBASE has identified five key challenges facing organisations as they plan and execute migrations to Internet Explorer 8. ChangeBASE’s AOK Browse-It tool is the only solution that can address each of these challenges, enabling organisations to speed-up and reduce the cost of their migration projects:

1. Inaccurate browser detection scripts
The most common issue is poorly constructed browser detection scripts. Historically, engineers and developers write scripts to indicate which browser they are using – in the majority of cases, these were written long before IE7 or IE8 were available. For older websites written in JAVA or other languages, they have often not been coded to the industry standards required today. This is an age issue and organisations will increasingly find non-compatibility issues with IE8 and beyond. Ultimately, scripts do not test for IE8 and therefore will not highlight an issue, whereas AOK Browse-It will identify where these script issues occur through its testing capabilities.
2. Poorly constructed conditional comments
Conditional comments are a way of hiding script and are linked to version checking processes. Poorly constructed conditional comments will not recognise IE8 and as a result, IE8 checking errors will not be indicated. AOK Browse-It will identify these issues enabling organisations to take the appropriate action.
3. Combining secure and non-secure items
A mixture of secure and non-secure items on a single web page can generate significant issues – arising from the fact that all links on a secure web page need to be entitled as https. These challenges highlight quality and consistency issues, as a result of human involvement in the initial site build. AOK Browse-It’s checking functionality identifies these inconsistencies.
4. Case sensitivity in XML code
XML is primarily used as the navigation code for web pages and here, case sensitivity is key – things that worked under IE6 may not work under IE8. This issue is again down to human error and consistency at the build stage. These errors are easy to fix but can be extremely difficult to identify. AOK Browse-It will provide the necessary XML identification and compatibility status in its granular reports.
5. ActiveX security restrictions
Finally, ActiveX security restrictions may affect some web-based applications. ActiveX applets are downloaded onto the user’s desktop to help view web pages correctly and provide enhanced functionality. These ActiveX applets can result in serious open security vulnerabilities which AOK Browse-It will detect and enable precise action to be taken.