11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 17, 2012 3:59 PM by wade.neff

    Web Viewer Browser Version


      Hi Folks:


      Thanks for being here and bearing with a new user to the forums. I have searched all over the place online, but I can't seem to find anyone else having the same problem as me. I find that a little hard to believe though. Here is the gist.


      First the details - Filemaker server 11, Filemaker clients are all 11 for Windows. OS on all clients is WIndows 7 that are running IE 8 as the browser.


      I use FMP to interact with a Production Management system for a printing company. That system is web-based, sql. I do not use FMP to interact directly with the SQL system, but I pull data out of the SQL system and use FMP to process reports and organize the data. I have a few layouts where I actually have a web viewer in place on the layout so I can refer to info directly in the databse in real time.


      Recently the SQL system underwent an upgrade and ever since then I get errors from the SQL system in all of my web viewers saying I need to upgrade my browser to Internet Explorer 8.x, Firefox 3.x, Safari 4.x or Google Chrome 4.x. The pages are still viewable but where everything previously was right in the web viewer formatted nicely, now I have this warning that takes up several inches of screen real estate and several elements (mostly floating elements) are all our of whack.


      So the questions are as follows:

      • FMP 11 uses it's own internal browser based on Internet Explorer, correct?
      • What version of IE, is it?
      • Is it possible to upgrade this in some way so I can have better rendering of my pages and lose the warning?
      • Is there a way to tell it to use a different browser as the basis for the web viewer?


      Any help or clarification would be greatly appreciated. Thanks all!

        • 1. Re: Web Viewer Browser Version

          Hi Wade,


          This extract from the training series answers some of your questions:


          Web viewers use the operating system’s web browser technology (Internet Explorer on Windows, Safari on Mac OS), you can perform most of the same tasks with web viewers that you can with web browsers. If Java, JavaScript, or other plug-ins are disabled in the web browser, then these technologies are also disabled in web viewers.

          Be sure when defining custom web addresses that your URL begins with the correct scheme, such as http://, https://, or ftp://. If you omit the scheme, the operating system’s web browser might use one that you did not intend.

          FileMaker Pro automatically encodes URLs before loading the web viewer, but the encoding rules fix only the most common problems. You will need to manually address any encoding issues not handled by FileMaker Pro. For example, FileMaker Pro encodes spaces with their hexadecimal equivalent (%20), but it does not encode characters such as forward slashes, dollar signs, or tildes.


          Good luck


          Julyan Wright

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Web Viewer Browser Version

            Hi wade.neff,


            Further to Julyan's comments, FileMaker simply uses the installed web capabilities (eg 'WebKit') available on the system where it is running - in the same way that most browsers do, in fact. If you upgrade the OS version or install a newer browser, FileMaker will make use of the updated web resources without you having to do anything further.


            In the scenario you've described, either the web resources at the OS level need to be updated to match the requirements of the SQL system, or else (possibly) the SQL system is performing an invalid test for the UserAgent string from the connected client, and rejecting a valid version of client web technology.


            If the first is the case, you should be able to solve the problem by installing a later OS version and/or a newer browser. Otherwise, I suspect it is a bug in the upgraded SQL system, and will need to be fixed there.





            R J Cologon, Ph.D.

            FileMaker Certified Developer

            Author, FileMaker Pro 10 Bible

            NightWing Enterprises, Melbourne, Australia



            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Web Viewer Browser Version



              Attached is a file I have used in the past. Ray and Julyan are correct that FM should be using whatever browser is installed on your OS. Wierdly though, I have run into issues where there were remnants of an older version of IE, or firefox floating around that got in the way. The file contains a single layout with a web viewer that looks at tells exactly what browser version is being used, along with some other info, like the platform, and some basic headers.


              Also, check to see whether javascript is enabled in the browser settings. It may be that you have the correct browser on the machine. If Javascript is disabled, it may not be able to properly determine browser version, and the default response is to display that warning.


              Hope it helps track down your issue.



              • 4. Re: Web Viewer Browser Version

                Thanks everyone for your assistance.  I love this community, even though I am new here.  Your help is much appreciated.  I have now upgraded both Firefox, my default browser, to version 8 and my IE to version 9.  Javascript is enabled in both browsers.  And yet I am still having the same issue.    According to the handy-dandy tool that mcyrulik posted, my system appears to think I am still running IE 7 (see screen cap attached).  So it must be as mcyrulik stated that there are some artifacts left in my system of the older IE browser.  I think I am going to try to make sure I have all the most recent Java updates available for my system and see if that has any affect.  Any other ideas would be most appreciated. 


                Thanks again to all!


                • 5. Re: Web Viewer Browser Version

                  Hi Wade,


                  I have run the tool supplied by mcyrulik on all my machines (just out of interest).  One is Windows XP with IE8 and the other two are Windows 7 with IE9, and java is up to date on all three machines.  They all return the result MSIE 7.0.  None of these PCs have ever had IE7 installed due to the pain caused by the "enhanced security".  I feel that there may be an issue with this tool when used in a web viewer - using the same javascript code (edited to remove the backslash escape characters and saved as an html file) directly in a browser gives the correct result.  Even changing the webviewer to point to this html file gives the same spurious result of MSIE 7.0!!


                  My knowledge of javascript is pretty limited, so I can't add much more to this, but it might save you tearing some hair out.


                  Good luck,



                  • 6. Re: Web Viewer Browser Version

                    Hi Wade


                    You might want to try using an online browser-detection tool in your Web Viewer, like:







                    Joel Shapiro

                    FileMaker Pro

                    : database design

                    : web development




                    • 7. Re: Web Viewer Browser Version

                      Thanks again to all who have contributed.  I have a little update of my own.  I have updated the Java on the machine to the latest version - this had no effect.  I tried the online browser detection tool that Joel mentioned above and got the same results when done through the web viewer.  I also checked it through my browsers directly.  When done that way, I got an accurate read, both browsers (IE and Firefox) registered as the version that they actually are.


                      Now I did a little digging and the interesting thing is that regarding that string of info that comes up in the Browser Detection methods (both of them):


                      Browser Version: 4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.1; Trident/5.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; Media Center PC 6.0; MDDS; .NET4.0C; Tablet PC 2.0; InfoPath.2; BRI/2; MS-RTC LM 8)


                      The Trident/5.0 part refers to IE9.  So in all instances the system knows that it is IE 9 being used, but it is treating it like IE7 for some reason.  I have gone through all the IE settings and Internet Options control panel to make sure that any backwards compatibility options are off.


                      The bad news is, after all that, you guessed it - the problem still persists.    Which leads me to believe there is something in Filemaker that is causing the issue.  I am wondering if anyone can tell me if they get a result other than IE7 using either of the browser detection methods when done through a web viewer.  I am thinking that no one will, which means there is something in FMP that is "restricting" browser content to rendering under the IE7 "standards."


                      Again, many thanks to all.  I appreciate any insight that anyone can offer.

                      • 8. Re: Web Viewer Browser Version

                        I wonder if FileMaker is somehow thinking compatibility mode is turned on? That might make it think the browser is IE7. Just a thought.



                        • 9. Re: Web Viewer Browser Version

                          My thoughts exactly, Mike!

                          • 10. Re: Web Viewer Browser Version

                            Well, it might be worth checking to see if the "Display all websites in Compatibility View" checkbox is checked (it's under the Tools menu, Compatibility View Settings in IE). Might be enough to throw FM for a loop.

                            • 11. Re: Web Viewer Browser Version

                              Well that's the kicker - as I mentioned above - I double checked all that in IE and it is all off.  So I am thinking it is something in Filemaker that is overriding the default IE settings, but I can't confirm that and have no idea why it would do that.  Every piece of literature I can find says that FMP uses the operating systems default web browser to render web viewer content, but I am starting to doubt that somewhat.  If it is using the default browser then it is monkeying with the settings in some way behind the scenes to render pages in compatibility mode even if compatibility mode is off in the OS's default browser of IE.