Survey: Your Plans for Adopting New Firefox Releases?

Firefox logoMozilla is committing to releasing new Firefox versions every six weeks.  Mozilla released Firefox 5 this week.  With this release, Mozilla states that Firefox 4 is End-of-Life and will not receive any additional security updates.  In a comment thread posted to Mike Kaply's blog article discussing these new Firefox policies, Asa Dotzler from Mozilla stated:

... Enterprise has never been (and I’ll argue, shouldn’t be) a focus of ours. Until we run out of people who don’t have sysadmins and enterprise deployment teams looking out for them, I can’t imagine why we’d focus at all on the kinds of environments you care so much about.

 In a later comment, he added:

... A minute spent making a corporate user happy can better be spent making many regular users happy. I’d much rather Mozilla spending its limited resources looking out for the billions of users that don’t have enterprise support systems already taking care of them.

Asa then confirmed that every new Firefox release will put the previous one into End-of-Life:

As for John’s concern, “By the time I validate Firefox 5, what guarantee would I have that Firefox 5 won’t go EOL when Firefox 6 is released?”

He has the opposite of guarantees that won’t happen. He has my promise that it will happen. Firefox 6 will be the EOL of Firefox 5. And Firefox 7 will be the EOL for Firefox 6.

 He added:

“You’re basically saying you don’t care about corporations.”

Yes, I’m basically saying that I don’t care about making Firefox enterprise friendly.

Kev Needham, Channel Manager at Mozilla later stated to PC Mag:

The Web and Web browsers continue to evolve rapidly. Mozilla's focus is on providing users with the best Web experience possible, and Firefox needs to evolve at the pace the Web's users and developers expect. By releasing small, focused updates more often, we are able to deliver improved security and stability even as we introduce new features, which is better for our users, and for the Web.

We recognize that this shift may not be compatible with a large organization's IT Policy and understand that it is challenging to organizations that have effort-intensive certification polices. However, our development process is geared toward delivering products that support the Web as it is today, while innovating and building future Web capabilities. Tying Firefox product development to an organizational process we do not control would make it difficult for us to continue to innovate for our users and the betterment of the Web.

 Your feedback needed for E-Business Suite certifications 

Mozilla's new support policy has significant implications for enterprise users of Firefox with Oracle E-Business Suite.  We are reviewing the implications for our certification and support policies for Firefox now.  It would be very helpful if you could let me know about your organisation's plans for Firefox in light of this new information. 

Please feel free to drop me a private email, or post a comment here if that's appropriate. 


Comments:

Hi Steven,
Firefox is a non starter for our organization (350+ users). We're exclusive to Internet Explorer and plan on staying that way. The Mozilla decision would have no effect on our organization.

Thanks,
Mark

Posted by Mark Coleman on June 24, 2011 at 01:16 PM PDT #

Hi Steven,

We also support only IE with our ebs users. Firefox can be used by the support organization but it's a non standard for us.

br,
Simo

Posted by Simo on June 24, 2011 at 05:48 PM PDT #

Hi Steven,

We use a combination of browsers. We predominantly have a larger user base of IE. However, FF is also used. The users of FF for EBS swear that the application runs a bit faster. I can vouch for it too. Given the above, our plan was to push FF as a preferred browser while using EBS.

With the comments made by ASA, it will become much harder for us to push the users towards FF, and also maintain it by running updates regularly.

We will certainly have to rethink our plans and policy.

Ketan

Posted by guest on June 25, 2011 at 03:15 AM PDT #

To the point of upgrades , i would like to throw a case in point.Sometime ago the main website for Oracle Support (support.oracle.com) was moved to a flash enabled one.The site simply mentioned that it needs flash version "Adobe Flash Player 9.0.115 or above to work".Would this be right for Oracle to say that it needs 9.0.115 only as they certified the website only for this specific version of flash.I would doubt you would do that.You will instead say as long as the basic set of features we need to run this website are available we should be good to get past the version hell.

What i would instead want Oracle to do is to certify on the features( web standards) and than whatever browsers support the standards would automatically work with the application ( EBS in this case).

The other question is on security updates.This I consider is more important to get by than the version hell.It might appear that the security updates would stop if certain versions of the software are not provided.Please provide 3 examples to me why Oracle still support IE6 and IE7 when the company producing it has went to IE9 and soon to be IE X.

Again refer back to the previous paragraph.Its better we talk about specific browser features than about specific versions.
Since MS is dominant desktop platform today , we might think this is tied to the Operating System version and the upgrade cycle on the OS.Soon in the future with so many tablets and mobile phones (smartphones) around you will start building front ends for these diverse platforms(ipad,android,hp tablets etc).This would be prudent to say that this new set of Operating Systems would also vouch for part of the enterprise space.You will have to certify features on them as well.

Looking at this survey , we might be biased to say that upgrades need to planned and the browser is one thick block which is the gateway to the application.I would rather say the browser is the enabler.As long as it provides a certain set of features you should be okay to move.

Drop me a personal mail if you think we can discuss it in some other ways.I always see Oracle as one company which can do a significant change in the IT Marketplace.Well change the game.

Posted by Kanti Jadia on June 26, 2011 at 06:24 PM PDT #

I will post my comments soon.

Sankar.

Posted by guest on June 26, 2011 at 07:04 PM PDT #

Hi Steven

Officially our company only supports IE, but a significant proportion of our users run non-IE browsers (opera, Safari, and Firefox and its derivatives).

However, we also run iRecruitment as an external page open to the Internet. Here we have no control over who connects with what, and the end users (potential applicants) would expect the site to "work" with whatever browser they had. Asking them to install an "old" version of a browser or a specific browser to use the iRecruitment site would not reflect well on us trying to recruit the best engineers to our company.

Regards

Stuart

Posted by Stuart on June 27, 2011 at 07:30 PM PDT #

http://blog.mozilla.com/blog/2011/06/28/firefox-in-the-enterprise/

"We are exploring solutions that balance these needs, with active discussion in our community, including valuable input from IBM. Open Source software is well-suited to these challenges, as interested parties can come together to build what is needed."

Asa Dotzler does not speak for all of Mozilla.

Posted by guest on June 28, 2011 at 01:49 AM PDT #

Here is a nice article from eWeek on some of the background on this topic as well as challenges and reaction from other IT organizations. Click this link - http://goo.gl/Edz0t

Posted by Ketan Thanki on June 28, 2011 at 02:10 AM PDT #

Hi Steven,

Why Oracle doesn't certify any browser which pass in acid2 test?

Posted by guest on June 28, 2011 at 03:44 AM PDT #

Hi Steven,

I totally agree with Stuart’s post in that officially our company only supports IE, but a significant proportion of our users (and customers) run non-IE browsers (opera, Safari, and Firefox and its derivatives).

We currently run iReceivables, iPayments and will soon implement iSupplier as an external page open to the internet. As with Stuart and his organization, we have no control over who connects with what, and the end users (paying their invoices) would expect the site to "work" with whatever browser they had. It is not an option to tell them to install an "old" version of a browser or a specific browser to use any of these Oracle supplied modules.

John

Posted by guest on June 28, 2011 at 06:31 AM PDT #

Thanks, everyone, for your comments and private emails so far. They've been very helpful. I agree that it's preferable to be able to list certain web standards as minimum requirements (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) rather than specific browser levels. There are some challenges in getting to that point, but your points are well-taken.

As one anonymous reader pointed out above, the situation appears to be evolving rapidly through enterprise customers' discussions with Mozilla directly. We're trying to stay on top of those developments.

I'm still interested in hearing from other customers, too. Feel free to drop me a line or add your comments here.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on June 28, 2011 at 07:36 AM PDT #

Steven,

With all of the EBS clients that I provide services to, the vast majority (90%) or more use IE as the standard browser. That is consistent with the government customers that I assist.

While I use Chrome, Safari and Opera on my Mac, for my client, I use IE.

Unfortunately, I don't believe that Oracle can (or should) support a large number of browsers although I understand the concern of the customers who use iStore and iSupplier that the can't control the end user's browser.

At the end of the day, EBS customers have purchased very complex and integrated (!) ERP COTS and they should adapt to the COTS provider's recommendations. They may not like it but Oracle can't certify all of the various end user devices that are available.

I would like to see an EBS App on my iPhone - would be interesting..:-)

Good survey and very interesting comments especially from the Mozilla folks.

Keep up the great work.

Posted by John Stouffer on June 29, 2011 at 03:32 AM PDT #

We are deeply disappointed by Mozilla's stance. I have two recommendations to oracle:
1. get rolling on certifying chrome and ie9 for all web based oracle products. The Chrome crowd has avowed to be enterprise friendly so please work with them if you find issues. And this is very important for linux/unix. We don't want to tell them they have to use ie meaning they'd have to run a virtual machine just to access some web site.
2. write your own browser. Why have all your customers held hostage when this happens: ms updates their browser to a new version (like ie9) and a very popular browser vendor suddenly goes enterprise-rogue (firefox?) We could end up with a situation where critical applications can't be certified on any current shipping browser. We don't want that. We can't tolerate that. And that means one thing: you need to put out your own browser and certify it. But I think here you are not wanting to be browser for the world web sites. You want browser for oracle stuff period. And if you do that you can put in some really great and needed features: like the ability to call specific java versions for specific cases and the ability to limit calls to legacy java to only specified web sites. Java is a huge security risk. It is very hard on customers to have users who need to have java installed for oracle products to surf the web where they can be attacked by malicious java exploiting web sites. You could stop that problem by having your own browser that can call various java versions that will NOT work with non-intended web sites, only the web sites the customer intended the users to access.

Posted by guest on June 29, 2011 at 11:28 PM PDT #

A bit late to the party here, but my current organization is standardized on IE, and is likely to stay that way. Most of the places I've worked recently, the message has been, "We use IE here. We *especially* use IE for E-Business Suite. If you can get want you want on Firefox, great, but if it breaks, you're on your own."

Posted by jpiwowar on July 03, 2011 at 02:17 AM PDT #

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Enterprise/Firefox/ExtendedSupport:Proposal

Posted by guest on September 21, 2011 at 11:20 PM PDT #

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