Internet browser is one of the most pervasive piece of software we use every day on our desktop, laptop and mobile devices. CAD and PLM vendors are moving to the cloud. But the decision about Internet browser is not as simple as you may think. New technologies and product are pushing the limits of new browsers. You can say it about new cloud based CAD technologies and PLM products. At the same time, the technologies developed even a decade ago might experience some challenges to move as fast as browser technologies want.
If you follow modern trajectories of internet browser technologies, you can see a dramatic change that happened for the last decade. Wikipedia article can give you an idea and detailed information. In a nutshell, a world in 2016 is dominated by Chrome browser.
However, devil is the details. The following link can give you a detailed information about each browser version. Chrome 50 is dominant with 22.65% of market share.
I wonder what happens with larger corporations – a stronghold of IE for many years. ITPro article references one of the surveys showing that almost two thirds of businesses still using IE 8, 9 and 10. Here is the passage:
A report has revealed that 61 per cent of small business owners are still using Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10, despite all three no longer being supported by Microsoft. The survey, by Manta, questioned 300,000 small business owners about their browser usage and revealed that a large number have no plans for migrating to Microsoft’s Edge browser. Manta discovered that although Chrome is the most used way of accessing the internet, with 37 per cent of companies using the browser, 34 per cent of businesses still use Microsoft.
Lifehacker article Why do enterprise still use IE can give you some perspective on the situations with enterprise IT.
“Back in the day, our in-house development team decided to make the intranet work on just one browser, and they picked Internet Explorer because it’s the default browser that comes with all Microsoft machines,” he told Lifehacker Australia. “Yes, we can change this but it’s about the cost and manpower involved in supporting multiple browsers…. Enterprise legacy systems are so interconnected it really would require a huge amount of time and money to make any changes. For some organisations it nigh on impossible to commit to this just so its workers can stop whinging about IE
I decided to check websites and materials released by CAD and PLM companies about browsers support. The decision to support multiple browsers and technologies is complicated these days. I found signs of these complexity browser few examples of vendors below.
Recent Onshape blog article Browser Wars gives you some perspective on Onshape strategy. Simple conclusion – all new browsers are supported. IE is not officially supported. Onshape is working with Microsoft on issues with Microsoft Edge.
Autodesk A360 is a fundamental part of new Autodesk Forge technology. The following article can show you browser requirements. Chrome, Safari, Firefox are supported, but IE is has limitations for design files.
Moving to Dassault Systemes 3DExperience you can see a bit different picture. The following document gives some idea about 3DExperience 2016x cloud platform requirements. IE 11 is validated platform. Firefox is validated on Win 7. Newer version of Firefox and Chrome are compatible platforms.
Jump to Siemens PLM. The following website gives you a long list of links to detailed requirement for each Siemens PLM product. I’ve been trying to find internet browser requirements for Active Workspace – one of Teamcenter’s flagship product, but wasn’t able to find it.
My final check was with Aras Innovator. The following link leads you to Aras Innovator 11 release notes. Internet Explorer is still a main supported browser for Aras. Firefox 38 ESR is supported, but Chrome even not mentioned.
Update (June 27th). Thanks on of my readers mentioning that Aras 11 SP6 is supporting Chrome. The release note link is here.
What is my conclusion? New CAD and PLM cloud development is following trajectories of new browsers and newer technologies. There is no much surprise here. Even newer PLM platforms are lagging behind heavily depending on Internet Explorer as a main browser. As IE will continue to fall behind modern version of browsers, these enterprise environment will start experience challenges in security and compatibility. At the same time new cloud software might experience some challenges going under rigid policies of corporate IT and existing enterprise software. Just my thoughts…
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Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain.