July 6, 2021
By Vince McGowan, Senior Principal Software Engineer
Displaying web content in Smart Office has always relied on a .NET control which uses the Internet Explorer rendering engine. But with support ending for IE 11, Microsoft has provided an alternative control based on the Edge Chromium browser, their preferred browser going forward. In Smart Office we will support this new control with 2 new profile settings starting with Hot Fix 56 (version 10.2.1.0.465).
To enable the Edge browser control, launch the Profile Editor under ISO Administration Tools and select the Smart Client component in the desired profile. In Basic mode check the associated check box (or enter True in Advanced mode). Later should you wish to disable the control, simply uncheck the checkbox (or enter False in Advanced mode).
If the Edge browser control is enabled, you have the option to only use a new Edge Browser Widget (see below) by checking the second new setting, Use Edge Browser Widget Only. If the Edge control is not enabled, this setting is ignored.
Even with the control enabled, those client machines without the required runtime (see below), will see no difference in behavior or features in Smart Office. The MangoClient.log will contain entries showing the state of the control.
|INFO Mango.UI.Utils.WebView2Util..cctor – Edge browser control is enabled in Test Profile|
INFO Mango.UI.Utils.WebView2Util.GetInstallInfo – Edge runtime is installed, version…
INFO Mango.UI.Utils.WebView2Util..cctor – Both IE and Edge browsers widgets are available
If enabled and the runtime is installed all web content rendered within Smart Office (except the existing Web Browser widget) will use the Edge render engine. For Lawson/S3 clients, this includes content launched with the “net://auth” protocol. No option is provided to override that behavior on a case by case basis.
Also, if the Edge control is being used, the Smart Office setting for Browser emulation will only apply to the existing Web Browser widget. As before, there are still various options to launch web content in the system (external) browser.
If the Edge control is enabled in the profile and the runtime installed on the client, in addition to rendering a shortcut to web content in a window hosting Edge, a new widget is available in the widget library: Web Browser – Edge. The existing Web Browser widget will still be available to render content using the IE render engine unless the new profile setting, Use Edge Browser Widget Only is set to True. If this is set to True, any IE widgets previously saved to a canvas will be rendered with the Edge browser widget.
There is a separate installation requirement for the control, referred to as Microsoft Edge WebView 2. However, recent Windows or Office updates may already have installed it on some client machines. Microsoft announced starting on April 1, 2021, the WebView2 Runtime will be installed on devices running Windows and that have Version 2101 or later of Microsoft 365 Apps installed. Other reports suggest that it may be auto installed by other updates. (The runtime is required for certain new Office apps features.)
You can determine if the runtime is installed by opening the Windows Settings, searching for Apps & Features, and entering WebView2 in the search box. If you discover that that runtime is not installed, a download is available from Microsoft here*. If the runtime is displayed, you can click it to see the version as shown below.
- WebView2 Runtime doesn’t install Microsoft Edge (full browser) on the device and doesn’t require Microsoft Edge to be installed on the device.
- When WebView2 Runtime is installed on the device, no change is made to the user’s default browser selection.