ECMS - The Future of WebNow
The possibility for Java compatibility to be removed from the browsers that currently support it means that the way that many users interact with the Imaging system could drastically change. It is necessary to begin planning now should Java compatability be removed.
What we know
Currently, WebNow works with Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari. Mozilla has expressed their intent to end support for Java by the end of 2016, though the exact date is currently unknown. While Microsoft and Apple have not released similar statements, extenuating circumstances (e.g. the reveal of a major security vulnerability) could lead to the abrupt end of Java compatibility for all browsers. This would mean that WebNow would not be functional using the latest (and most secure) browser versions.
It is necessary that the departments that use ImageNow plan so that operations continue should Java compatibility for major browsers end. While there are a number of ways to access ImageNow, there is not currently a feature-equivalent alternative to WebNow.
What options are there?
Perceptive Experience is an HTML5 web client that can access and view documents in the Imaging System. It is not a full replacement for WebNow, but URLs can be generated to open documents. The constraints that are possible and the format of the URLs differ from the URLs currently used to open documents in WebNow. Departments would need to coordinate with their ERP developers to update the URLs.
WebNow (Not Recommended)
If Java compatibility ends for the latest versions of all browsers, WebNow will still continue to function on earlier browser versions. Departments will have the option to lock workstations at earlier versions of both browsers and Java to maintain access to WebNow. Lexmark intends to support WebNow until 2020.
This option is not recommended because locking workstations to out of date versions of browsers and Java is insecure.
Perceptive Content (Desktop Client)
The Perceptive Content desktop client will remain available. Windows users may install it, while Apple OSX users will need to take additional steps:
- Windows users:
- Mac OSX users:
Windows Access Facility (WAF): Once an account is requested and created, users can use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to the Windows Access Facility, a remote Windows terminal that can be used to run the Perceptive Content desktop client.
Virtual Machine: A virtual machine can be installed and configured on the workstation. The VM can then be used to access the Perceptive Content client. The tools and resources required to pursue this option must be provided by the user’s local desktop support.
What should my group do?
The Imaging Team believes there are primarily two "types" of users of WebNow and as of now there is a recommended choice for each:
Users that access WebNow via embedded links in other ERPs e.g. WISDM:
The embedded links in the ERP should be updated to use the Perceptive Experience HTML5 client.
Users that use WebNow as a full client:
- Because Perceptive Experience currently lacks the same featureset as WebNow, these users should install and use the Desktop Client to access the imaging system.
These options may change as new information becomes available and new updates introduce new features. This document will be updated accordingly.