Choosing Software Versions (SMBITJournal)


  • Service Provider

    Choosing Software Versions on SMB IT Journal

    Some of you may have already seen this one when it was first published on Datamation. SMBITJ just got it yesterday.



  • Very interesting reading. I do wish programs of non-OS software would take the time and effort to make sure their software works with the new releases of Windows.



  • I wish SaaS vendors would keep up better with the release pace of new browsers.

    I can't speak for other markets, but the Healthcare market with regards to EHRs definitely seems to constantly be lagging behind. Windows 8.1 with IE 11 was released Oct 2013, our vendor (athenaHealth) didn't support IE 11 until late Feb 2014, and even now it's not fully supported - they have 3 features that still don't work (luckily we don't use those features).

    MS releases beta's of the new browsers normally months before making them gold - I guess the companies just don't consider that platform they are running on to be important enough to ensure they are staying current with.

    I'm also guessing it will take considerable effort and finances to convert from their ActiveX ways to a generic HTML 5 way of doing things so they become platform independent.


  • Service Provider

    Using modern standards, or really even old standards, is all that is needed. Browser compatibility issues died long ago. You haven't needed to keep pace for a long time. JQuery and XHTML solved those issues. Any issues remaining today are either intentional or incompetence.



  • All I can say is that they are still deploying an ActiveX module that digitally signed (and now expired) in 2010. Presumably that means the module hasn't been updated since then.
    Frankly it's embarrassing for them to have to require client to disable security to allow these expired packages to be installed.

    If that's the case, does that give them a tiny bit of leeway in the browser compatibility arena?


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    All I can say is that they are still deploying an ActiveX module that digitally signed (and now expired) in 2010. Presumably that means the module hasn't been updated since then.
    Frankly it's embarrassing for them to have to require client to disable security to allow these expired packages to be installed.

    If that's the case, does that give them a tiny bit of leeway in the browser compatibility arena?

    Even lessso. (yes that's a word). ActiveX has been a no no for more than a decade.



  • Our payroll system (ADP) is SAAS and it's a poor setup. They only support Internet Explorer due to all these special plugins they require for simple things like a data entry grid and printing reports (not sure if they're ActiveX but I'm pretty sure they are.) And they are often 4-5 months behind supporting new versions of Internet Explorer. Plus every time you move a user to a new computer you have to call in and talk to someone and get a one-time password before you can download the new certificate.



  • tech support: Hi this is the most awesome online product you pay big bucks for, how can I help you?
    end user: Our new Windows PC can't get to your website.
    tech support: What operating system are you using? I is it XP Vista 7 or 8?
    end user: Windows 8.1
    tech support: Oh I see. Well a couple of things have to be done. First you CAN NOT use any browser but Internet Explorer. Also you might have to turn off the UAC. Let me remote in and do that. And while we at it we will set up IE to pretend that it is IE7 instead of that IE11 you have. However if it doesn't work, you will have to get a different Operating system as we don't support WIndows 8.
    end user: sobbing openly....Okay...


  • Service Provider

    @technobabble said:

    tech support: Hi this is the most awesome online product you pay big bucks for, how can I help you?
    end user: Our new Windows PC can't get to your website.
    tech support: What operating system are you using? I is it XP Vista 7 or 8?
    end user: Windows 8.1
    tech support: Oh I see. Well a couple of things have to be done. First you CAN NOT use any browser but Internet Explorer. Also you might have to turn off the UAC. Let me remote in and do that. And while we at it we will set up IE to pretend that it is IE7 instead of that IE11 you have. However if it doesn't work, you will have to get a different Operating system as we don't support WIndows 8.
    end user: sobbing openly....Okay...

    You can have the same problem that lots of software only supports new versions. The difference is good, healthy software is up to date. I've never seen quality software that didn't support the last two revisions of their own chosen platform. That implies they are already effectively out if business and continuing to charge you while keeping the lights on but lack a dev team able to keep their product going.

    Best to find out the risk that you are under early.



  • Perhaps it's not that they 'aren't' going to support it.. it's just that they are DAMNED slow at doing so. My EHR vendor took 6 months before they mostly supported IE 11. This is the thing that just kills me. Vendors who make WEB based products, especially one that demand a specific browser, should be able to support the new browser on day one of it's release, and if not that, within a few weeks (and that's only because the browser vendor made last minute changes not included in the betas before it's gold release).


  • Service Provider

    Exactly. If they had even rudimentary skill they would have used standards that did not require an update. And even screwing that up, updating for a new browser is trivial if they have any staff at all.

    The issue is, they probably have no developers and are waiting for the offshore guy they found on odesk to respond.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Exactly. If they had even rudimentary skill they would have used standards that did not require an update. And even screwing that up, updating for a new browser is trivial if they have any staff at all.

    The issue is, they probably have no developers and are waiting for the offshore guy they found on odesk to respond.

    Sadly, that I could excuse.. but alas I know that is not the case. They have a huge team (OK I actually have no clue how many devs they have, but it's several at least). They spend most of their time fixing app issues or adding new features to the product.


  • Service Provider

    Where have we heard that before, lmao.



  • @Dashrender said:

    All I can say is that they are still deploying an ActiveX module that digitally signed (and now expired) in 2010. Presumably that means the module hasn't been updated since then.
    Frankly it's embarrassing for them to have to require client to disable security to allow these expired packages to be installed.

    If that's the case, does that give them a tiny bit of leeway in the browser compatibility arena?

    My last company's billing software used these same ActiveX controls that required your security on IE to be disabled to be installed, flaky install still at best after you jumped through all the hoops.

    God was that a nightmare..


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