Friday, July 8, 2011

Browser Issues

As computer users, we depend on our machines on a daily basis (whether for work or recreation) so naturally one of the things we dread (with regards to software) is an update. On face value, updates bring with them several improvements—usually addressing feature upgrades and bug fixes. But the flip-side to the coin is that an update can also bring unwanted bugs or even totally omitted features... take the recent Final Cut Pro X release for example, and you'll get the picture.

We may not realize it but the browser is the single most critical piece of software, both from a user and developer standpoint. And in Property Line's case, our core business front-end utilizes the browser as the window to our services. With painstaking effort, we try to cover our bases when developing our website, making sure that every facet works flawlessly on most, if not all, modern browsers released at the moment (and trust us, a new one is spawned practically every minute!).

And so here comes the update issue: Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), a very feature-rich update to be sure, but one that brings several browsing bugs that affect both our users and our business. After thoroughly investigating and testing the bug complaints we received from our Member Services folks following the last IE update, our Tech department has determined that the issues people experience on our web site are attributed to the IE9 browser, rolling back to IE8 or switching to Firefox, Safari or Opera browsers are options to get around this problem, but we have discovered that there's a simpler solution: IE's own Compatibility Feature.

To quote the article from Microsoft's Support Page:
Some websites may not behave as expected in Windows Internet Explorer 8 or in Windows Internet Explorer 9. This problem does not occur in earlier versions of Internet Explorer, and the affected websites continue to be displayed correctly and to work correctly in Windows Internet Explorer 7. For example, you may experience any of the following symptoms in Internet Explorer 8 or in Internet Explorer 9:
  • Menus, images, or text are in the wrong positions on some websites.
  • Some website features do not work.
  • You receive script error messages on some websites.
  • Internet Explorer stops working on some websites.
And the solution was right under our nose:
Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9 include a Compatibility View feature that displays websites that were created for older browsers as they were designed to appear with Internet Explorer 7. You can enable Compatibility View in Internet Explorer or on the Web server.
You can follow this link to continue reading more about the Compatibility View.

And there we have it folks, if you are experiencing issues with your browsing experience or work flow on while using Redmond's latest and greatest, just switch on to 'Compatibility View' and things should revert back to the way it was: working.

Our Member Services people are always eager to help, so please do not hesitate to drop us a line if you have questions or if you have suggestions on how we can improve your CRE business. After all, the customers are the reason we're all here.

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