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Altiris should support Internet Explorer 10 and 11

Created: 21 Feb 2014 | 28 comments
Pascal KOTTE's picture
46 Agree
0 Disagree
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not responding long-running script

If you are freezed the Altiris console, on a screen not answering. And because Altiris console has a good memory last position, you can't go out this freezed screen. (eg. locations in Asset)... 

Don't search a lot, and check your IE version: If IE 10 or 11, all the same in "compatible" mode, it is normal. All the same wih HF4 latest 7.5 version, Altiris only compatible IE 9 version, with activated "compatible" mode. In fact, only IE8 is the single supported browser for the Altiris console...

So if you are using a Mac, just have to install Windows emulation to launch an Altiris Web console...

Happily we are working on a "SOA" architecture, using a web "without heavy" client console... Except you'll have to install about :

  • 2 active X,
  • Silverlight,
  • Flashplayer,
  • Java RE and must care version or configuration of Java...

So fun when talking us about "thin" or "web console without heavy client": What about IE 8 with such required list extensions, a "thin" client ???

I was hearing from Symantec the "target" to support multiple browsers... We are far away from that.

My IDEA, is to get Symantec a real, modern, light, universal, standard, web client support: (like HTML 5). So able to work on using Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, by he way...

Comments 28 CommentsJump to latest comment

SK's picture

HTML5 is the obvious evolution to move from Silverlight.

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DrDavis's picture

They put a lot of investment into the new interface, and it took them quite a while to get it all consolidated.  That said, I am sure they have plans to move to HTML5, it's just that they have not had it as a priority.

I am totally in agreement that the lack of newer IE support is pretty ridiculous.  That said, it's just one of the many work-arounds needed to run Altiris in an enterprise.  To help address this we have implemented various support methods such as:

  • Dedicated Windows 2008R2 server VM running IE8, IE GPOs setup to 100% trust the Altiris server (less popups or issues), use known working Flash, use known working Java, Silverlight, etc.  Basically it's a perfectly setup VM we use just for console work.  Add in enough terminal services licenses as required.  Yes there is a cost to it, but perhaps it less than the hours that each person spends maintaining their own VM.  It's also good for the occasional staff connection for reporting and small admin tasks.
  • Hold the IE version at IE9 on our daily computers (not always plausible, but works for some).  With compatibility mode, this often works good enough.
  • Use a dedicated VM running on the daily machine just for console work.
  • We are very heavy Mac, so this poses the biggest challenge for us every Mac engineer must have a VM, remote desktop, or secondary machine.

I think what makes me the most annoyed about this is, work arounds like I just listed must be performed by EVERY ALTIRIS CUSTOMER.  That means many many thousands of dollar of both infrastructure and time is completely wasted over 1000s of customers to support the running of a web console.  That alone makes it a more significant user experience issue than it initially seems.

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Nicolas Horchower's picture

Hello,

you're right, I was exactly thinking the same, how fun it would be to don't have a windows machine to run internet explorer in order to use Altiris console :)

I love software editors who markets nice web interface with requirement like : only works with xxx browser version y.

In my opinion, instead of trying to support a so bad console (sorry but compiling so many technologies to do that is just insane), they should do like competitors : do a "thick client".

If you check others, they are using Java full application, and they are as-is cross platform (at least WIndows, Linux, lots of Unixes, and of course Mac).

Ok, it doesn' work on a ipad, but silverlight and all the curent active X are not too.

BTW, have you seen on another thread the Altiris thin client beta, it seems to be a thin program that encapsulate some Altiris features ?

 

--
NH

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SK's picture

If you want to unfreeze a hung console for a user, check out the steps outlined in this article:-  https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/articles/f...

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Pascal KOTTE's picture

thanks, nice to know :)

~Pascal @ Kotte.net~ Do you speak French? Et utilisez Altiris: venez nous rejoindre sur le GUASF

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Wallo's picture

I've been waiting for a decent console for 12 years now.  Even SCCM's console is faster nowadays.  It is such a hassle to provide Altiris console access across an enterprise - as DrDavis pointed out, many customers don't even bother any more, which leaves the product in the "techie realm".

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JeanWilson's picture

Altiris is a great product with a crappy console that is holding it back. 7.5 should have included on improving the console.

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BBC's picture

For a start I wonder by when Symantec will start commenting on this discussion or 'idea' and have the product managers jump in with some hopefully valid comments or roadmap informations? Product Managers, pelase comment here - at least I am very interested in your contribution.

The more I think of the product, the more it appears that the developpment of the product was a bit of a rush in several instances and could never keep the promises that were made during presentations on Vision conferences (Product deoms always appear great for a start, don't they?).

Small group meetings with product managers appeared to be helpful, but turn out not to deliver any success on product improvements. We - as obviously most out here - have invested money, manpower and a lot of time in a product that does not come close to deliver what it is supposed to, leave alone what we expect it to.

Besides, the comments and unresolved answers on the discussion forums speak for themselves and we decided to look for possible alternatives now as there appears no light on the horizon that could resolve at least a part of the issues we see with the product in the near future.

Maybe it's just me thinking a product designed for an Enterprise has to cater for basic things like browser independence or multi-platform OOB or at least globally and not by individual fixes?

-BBC

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Bret Brutlag's picture

I agree completely with the comments so far. This interface is so broken. The lack of support for current browsers is infuriating. Symantec, who makes the ultimate claims as a security company, forces the use of antiquated technologies, like old browsers and God forsaken Java, needs to reevaluate their course. The numerous bugs and deficiencies makes training new staff to use the product painful. There are a dozen caveats to getting the simplest tasks accomplished. At the pace they roll out product updates we will probably at IE version 12-13 before 10 is supported. If it were not for the huge investment in time, even more so than the not insignificant amount of money, I would find an alternative.  I have been evaluating Dell Kace. It holds a lot of potential but has some deficiencies but the issues with Altiris are almost enough to set aside any issues I have with Kace.  

 

Where are the product managers? There seems to be a total disconnect between what they are offering and what the customer needs. The lack of true R&D in the product, Lack of training and product knowledge of front end support makes me think that the rumors of Symantec wanting to divest this asset hold some merit. I just don’t see the commitment to the product. It’s sad that the best avenue for support and product knowledge comes from the Connect community  and not from Symantec directly.

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Damon_Covey's picture

Thank you for the responses. As you can imagine we are somewhat limited in the type of roadmap information we can post on the forums for a variety of reasons. That said, we do appreciate the comments back, these are digested by the teams and we are definitely aware of the need to support IE 10 and IE11. In fact, we are currently working on Support for these browsers in the next release of the product. 

In addition to this browswer support we are also working on including some new UI options for this release which will include creating targets and easier overall operation of Policy Management. I would be more than happy to arrange for a product roadmap conversation to discuss this (and other feedback such as HTML5, etc.) in greater detail. Please feel free to PM me directly and we can set up a time to discuss further. 

Keep the ideas coming. 

Thanks and Best Regards,

Damon

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JoeVan's picture

Damon,

It has literally been years we've been hearing the same promises about browser independence. The complaint about browser limitations and dependencies has been clearly expressed in TAB sessions and focus groups at Vision and in the online forums. I am always told our concerns are understood but the problem continues to get worse, not better as browser technology marches forward.

In my view the priorities for the console are as follows:

1) Ensure the latest version of IE is supported. This should be a VERY high priority and cannot wait until the next major ITMS release. The IT staff which use Altiris are generally the same staff that will be the first ones running the latest browsers. It’s simply unacceptable to require them to run old browser versions.

2) Eliminate the Java dependencies. Java continues to be a thorn to administrators and one of the biggest security concerns on the desktops. Many organizations have active efforts to eliminate JRE based applications. With ITMS, we have no alternative.

3) True browser independence. I am not in the camp asking for a thick client. Most would agree the way to do this is a move to pure HTML5. I know a lot of effort has gone into Silverlight but it has taken too long and Silverlight technology has no future.

As you can tell from this thread, the frustration is boiling over. I'm not sure what it will take to make this a priority within Symantec but it is a huge concern to customers and I advise Symantec to start making progress quickly.

Joe

 

Joe VanHollebeke
Systems Engineer

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SK's picture

I couldn't agree more, especially as I have heard this from many other customers too.

In fact, the majority of the time they usually stated that 5.5 was the only fast Altiris web console.

If Symantec wants to stay ahead of the rest, they DO need to support the latest IE version AS SOON as it has been released, and they ALSO need to provide FireFox & Chrome support at the very least.

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Damon_Covey's picture

Hi Joe - good to hear from you.

I just want to clarify that my answer was not meant to necessarily broach the subject of browser independence but instead provide an answer for the overall subject of the thread. Becoming truly browser independent is a fairly major undertaking so rather than focus on that first (and to your point) we are currently focusing our efforts around providing more timely and predictable support for the newest browsers along with introducing new and high value UI functionality. Predictable support is something we have made strides on with Agent Supported OS platforms recently and we are working to give the same treatment to the browser components. We believe that this over time, coupled with the new UI concepts will ultimately lead to the most value.

That said, your feedback is duly noted and I agree with the priorities you have outlined. I will ensure your feedback is being taken into account as we move forward with this. 

Thank you,

Damon

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SK's picture

Making strides in supporting new OSes as managed clients is one thing (although it did still take Symantec a while for Win8 & 2012), when are Symantec going to provide rapid support for new SMP OSes?

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Damon_Covey's picture

SK - that is a little bigger ask as you can imagine since there are so many underlying dependencies, but is definitely something we are working on along with Site Servers. Thanks for the feedback!

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Geoff VB's picture

Actually, I don't think the Browser issue is the root of the problem. The root is the long development cycles. Everyone is moving away from this. Even MS. Evolve or Die.

I really like a lot of aspects of Altiris, but years between releases is not acceptable. What should be done is work on bug fixes and 1 or 2 major features at a time, then release. I think you know what feature everyone wants most...

Any software that does not adapt to the new cycle is not going to be sucessful in the long run.Customers are much happier with a constant stream of updates as the "see" things getting done. Jamming everything into one big release means missed targets, customer frustration and a product that is behind the competition. By the time the featurues are released they are already behind. Not suprising when the start of the development cycle was 2 years previous.

Of course this only works in a subscription model...

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SK's picture

Thats what used to happen, and then customers complained that sp's and major releases were getting released too quickly, which is why the release frequency was changed.

Large customers simply cannot upgrade their environment quickly, so will not be happy if Symantec starts releasing those items more frequently.  In fact, some customers class the current release periods as too fast.

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Geoff VB's picture

Which is fine, they can upgrade whenever they want. There are plenty of companies still running Windows NT 4 as well as Novell. Holding the whole class back because some don't like to update often is not a solution. The issue is that support won't support them unless they are on the latest. That is also an issue. 

What you could do, is have "minor" updates like I suggested above. And released to whoever wants them. Then you do a Major release every once in a while which the bigger companies can do. This also give them the knowledge of many smaller parts being tested by smaller companies as well. 

It's win-win.

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SK's picture

Currently ponly cummulative updates are being released frequently, normally once every month or so.

Adding new features and functionality has always been a service pack and major release medium and minor releases are usually in the form of RU's.

I agree that minor releases would be good; however, this would increase the altready streched development, testing and QA resource taskings.

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Ludovic Ferre's picture

I like the idea proposed by Geoff. In fact I have always liked the Deployement Server release cycles, with a 9 to 12 month interval to bring on incremental features (and new OS supports etc).

No big sha bang, nothing to get marketing overly exited, but nothing to disappoint customers after years of waiting either.

Also being a Linux user I very much liked the Ubuntu 6 month train releases, with long term support, so that slower pace enterprise can settle on a LTS version and be guaranteed to have support for 2 years at least.

And again, as a Linux user I would be very happy to cut off the ties with Microsoft Internet Explorer as this is becoming an incresingly difficult environment to work with - I write small web-apps, and I can tell you that dealing with IE8, 9 or 10 is not very fun, whilst I know I can write apps for Chrome that will work without glitches on Firefox!

I am currently off-net, on a retreat of some kind. I'll be back real soon, and you sure will hear from me then ;-).

Ludovic FERRÉ
Principal Remote Product Specialist
Symantec

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Geoff VB's picture

Ubuntu is a great example. They have releases in between for new features etc, BUT they have an enterprise level release. If you want stable and you want long term support, that is what you use. The development releases are tested, but not as much as an LTS version. Also LTS versions have been tested buy "non LTS" users in the previous devleoptment version.

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Wallo's picture

So does anyone have a definitive guide to getting the console working?

Why do I ask?  Because it usually works, but there's always a customer out there with GPO-locked down browser settings, customised Java and so on.  I've not been able to find a definitive guide from Symantec on how the browser, Java etc should be configured for the SMP 7.5 console to work properly.

Eg. Java certificate revocation.  IE trusted site settings etc.  Having to hack around with IE to get the console working is just not going to cut it any more, and customers need to know exactly what's required to get the console going, not just wild stabs in the dark.

Hopefully I'm wrong and there is something out there already...

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Pascal KOTTE's picture

And you must add also the addon to make the IT analytics reporting working correctly... Yes you are right, in nowadays Web 2.0 html5, it is a shame !

~Pascal @ Kotte.net~ Do you speak French? Et utilisez Altiris: venez nous rejoindre sur le GUASF

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anthonypascucci's picture

Just a question now, May 2014, during Vision LV...

What about using Internet Explorer 11 with Enterprise Mode ON?

What is the position of SYMC on this ?

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JaredSeth's picture

At Vision, it was mentioned that the forthcoming SP1 (due in the next month or two) will support both IE10 and 11.

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AndyN's picture

IT Management Suite 7.5 SP1 was released a couple of weeks ago and includes support for Internet Explorer 10 and 11 as well as many other new features and enhancements:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/itms-75-sp1-available-now

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Pascal KOTTE's picture

Great ;)

~Pascal @ Kotte.net~ Do you speak French? Et utilisez Altiris: venez nous rejoindre sur le GUASF

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