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How can i use different instances of Internet explorer with different Java versions/settings?

Posted on 2009-07-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
We have financial exchanges that we deal with whereby we log onto their websites to do transactions.  We work on several different exchanges, none of which are affiliated or related in any way.  Upgrades to one of the websites has created a situation where one site needs one version of Java with certain specific settings.  One of the others sites needs a different version of Java with certain specific settings.  We therefore cannot get both of these exchanges working on the same computer.  Thought maybe we could use firefox or some other browser for one of them, but it appears that both may need IE.....although i haven't totally verified that.  This is a major problem that just came up that is having a big impact on our productivity.  Any help in finding a workaround would be great.
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Question by:GTC-KTX
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16 Comments
 
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mrjoltcola earned 2000 total points
ID: 24824635
This may not be the easiest way, but I also have a similar problem, and I solved it using VMware.

I a couple of dedicated VMs for a particular client, one with IE6 / Java 1.4.
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LVL 32

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by:nappy_d
ID: 24825034
This sounds like a job for Citrix. Citrix XenApp is the product your in need of. With XenApp you can host multiple versions of Internet Explorer, Microsoft office and many other applications. It is also platform independant. So if you have Macs and Windows, it will still run.
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Expert Comment

by:objects
ID: 24828346
If the apps need specific versions then they should be specifying that in the html. Not aware of any way to have IE use different versions on different instances
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 24828775
Take a listen to XenApp..you may just enjoy what it can do http://www.citrix.com/English/ps2/products/feature.asp?contentID=1684340
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Author Comment

by:GTC-KTX
ID: 24839087
Been trying to read a little bit about XenApp.  My background is Electrical Engineering (not an IT professional like most of you guys here), so i may need a little more explanation than you would typically give to an IT guy.  I guess my first impression is that this seems taylored for a very large corporate type implementation.  I have a small office environment (about 15 employees) with a small business server.  So obviously, cost is an issue.  If i need all of this for 4 guys, is this the best solution?  The most cost effective solution?  Also, can you guys give me a little more dumbed down explanation of what this does?  I read the citrix website, but still need to hear a little more.

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by:nappy_d
ID: 24839228
Well, for a typical installation of 10 users, you are looking about $7000-$8000 dollars all because of licensing.

Basically, XenApp is Terminal Services on steroids.  Citrix was the original creator of Terminal Services which was sold to Microsoft back in the late80's/early 90's.

Citrix runs on top of Terminal server.   The big difference is that Citrix allows a user to run MULTIPLE versions of the same application on the SAME computer at the SAME time.  

In your case, you need to be able to run 2 differing versions of Explorer and JAVA all at the same time, possibly on the same computer.  XenApp can do this for you.  I suggest that you contact your local Citrix rep for a demo.  IT is best seen and all the lights with go on in your head.
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Author Comment

by:GTC-KTX
ID: 24842044
well unfortunately $7K - $8K is not in my budget.  Is there SOME other alternate way to tackle this problem other than XenApp, which appears to be out of my price range?
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by:mrjoltcola
ID: 24842105
At my office I keep a separate test station with older hardware for things like IE6, Firefox 2.

The VMware solution is free if you use Vmware server, but you need an additional windows license per VM. XP licenses are cheap now on eBay.
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Author Comment

by:GTC-KTX
ID: 24843021
Mrjoltcola,
So i have a small business server with about 15 employees.  There are 3 particular individuals that have this issue because of the particular combination of exchanges that they trade on.  For your solution, can you give me more details as far as what would reside where (as far as server/workstation)?

As far as the specifics of why both cant seem to operate with a single version of Internet explorer, Here is what i have heard from the IT folks that work for the companies that maintain these platforms.  From what i understand, one online platform requires Sun Java jre.......the other requires Microsofts jvm.  As a result, A single user (which normally has both exchanges open on his workstation with multiple screens) cannot get both platforms working.  This hasn't always been an issue.  The one platform just introduced new software which required/forced an update to the Java jre.  That is when the problem started.

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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:mrjoltcola
ID: 24843065
Possibly you can skip the browser altogether. I know, at least eTrade's platform can install a Java startup link on your PC and it runs the JVM directly, if I recall. You can have multiple JRE's installed fine, but I am not aware of anyway to have multiple registered with the same browser, and also have not been able to have multiple IEs on the same PC.

Is it a browser requirement or a Java requirement?
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Author Comment

by:GTC-KTX
ID: 24843178
well......these platforms must not have that capability as eTrades does.  have had several calls with their IT groups and neither seems to care or want to devote much time to the fact that the others doesn't work.  Everything stopped working whenever the one exchange released their newest version of the web based interface to their exchange.  This forced a java update that essentially killed access the the other exchange (which required an older version (of the microsoft jvm i believe)).  As far as your question about "Is it a browser requirement or a Java requirement?"  I'm not sure how to answer that....it seems to be that they have configured their website to force the update when you log onto their exchange.
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 24843279
Ok so you want to have multiple JRE's and multiple IEs running. $7k or $8k sounds like a lot but do the cost analysist.

If you run multiple Windows XP clients in a Virtual Desktop enviroment, only one user at a time can connect per workstation. Now you would have to have exponentially as many versions of XP with the varying versions of Java, times the number of users. Don't forget your licensing costs.

Running a single XenApp could net out lower and give you the ability to do more than just multiple versions of IE and Java.
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LVL 40

Assisted Solution

by:mrjoltcola
mrjoltcola earned 2000 total points
ID: 24843352
A couple more brainstorms.

1) Do any of the trading apps support Firefox? You can install Firefox separately and it wont conflict with IE, except that one of the browsers must be set as the "default" browser. I _think_ you could register one JRE with Firefox and another with IE.

2) Sounds like these users are professional traders. They should have the juice for a nice workstation. I'd install VMware workstation (the licensed commercial version) and create a separate environment for each specific Java / Browser combination. Sounds like 2 environments on 1 PC would solve it for these guys. Are you saying one trader needs more than 2 combinations? $300 per workstation (VMware workstation), plus $100 per environment (XP license).

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Author Comment

by:GTC-KTX
ID: 24843373
thanks nappy d,
I agree that the XenApp might be a solution tailored for this, but the cost is definitely prohibitive in my budget.  That is why i need a workaround.  For less than the $7 or $8K of XenApp i could buy each a new laptop and have them access the one exchange from their laptop and the other from their desktop.  Still not the best solution in my opinion.
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LVL 40

Assisted Solution

by:mrjoltcola
mrjoltcola earned 2000 total points
ID: 24843516
VMware workstation for windows 5-pack is $899

Google: vmware workstation

Each PC will have one VM

Their real OS (host) can host one browser / JRE combination. Then the VM can host the other. The VM will be a complete install of Windows.


VMware has full screen modes or windowing modes. If they run dual screens they can full-screen VMware on one and use the maindesktop on the other.
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