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20: An older CSE isn't routing from Chrome or Edge to other browsers, because the older CSE isn't downloading the latest Chrome extension. What can I do?

This is a quick Q & A about this concern.

Q: What’s the (business) problem exactly ?

A: PolicyPak was contacted by Google about the PolicyPak Browser Router Chrome Extension. NOTE: This is NOT a security concern. They have a policy which basically says … that we’re not allowed to have more than one extension which does (essentially) the same thing.

Q: So what’s the (technical) problem exactly ?

A: When you install the PolicyPak CSE and use the PolicyPak Browser Router Chrome Extension, we tie a specific CSE version to download a specific Chrome Extension browser. For YEARS it’s been OK to just keep publishing NEW versions of the Chrome Extension, when we had MAJOR updates to the CSE. One Major Update = One Chrome Extension. Chrome is changing the rules and saying, basically, we cannot do that since the Extension ostensibly does the same thing. Our position is that we are only doing this because we technically have to. But, Google being Google, rules are rules.

Q: What does this mean for me?

A: In the short term, nothing. PolicyPak Browser Router will continue to operate within user profiles where Chrome or Edge has ALREADY DOWNLOADED the OLDER version of the Chrome Extension. Again: because the older extension is ALREADY DOWNLOADED, those users are unaffected.

Q: When would I notice a problem and have unhappy users?

A: There are a few scenarios where you could notice that routing from Chrome or Edge to other browsers is not working any longer. The typical ways you could encounter this are:

  • If you manually delete the older Chrome extension, then the older PolicyPak Browser Router CSE will not be able to re-download the old Chrome Extension.
  • If you delete a user’s profile and then re-log on, then the older PolicyPak Browser Router CSE will not be able to re-download the old Chrome Extension.
  • If you bring up a brand new machine and then users log on, then the older PolicyPak Browser Router CSE will not be able to re-download the old Chrome Extension.

Q: How would I know if I’m affected by PolicyPak being forced to take down some older PolicyPak Browser Router Chrome Extensions?

A: We have the list of extensions which ARE VALID (now, it is exactly ONE extension) and which WERE valid (100% of the older ones are now turned off) which are on this list https://kb.policypak.com/kb/article/437-what-is-the-chrome-extension-id-for-all-the-published-versions-of-policypak-browser-router-client-side-extension/

Q: What should I now?

A: You have two choices: Upgrade to the latest CSE (recommended) or perform the "workaround" which enables OLDER CSEs to keep using the NEW (only published) extension.

Q: How should I update to the latest extension?

A: Our general guidance is, and has always been… please try to stick closely to us in our release schedule as possible. We know this is not always possible, but have generalized guidance here of how you should update the CSE and exactly what “supported” means. https://www.policypak.com/resources/pp-blog/using-rings-to-test-and-update-the-policypak-client-side-extension-and-how-to-stay-supported/

Q: I cannot update to the latest extension, but I am using builds CSE 18.7.1779.937 - 19.12.2283.849. What is this workaround of which you speak?

A: We have a KB article about it here: "How can I use the only PolicyPak published Chrome Extension with my older CSE? (CSE 18.7.1779.937 - 19.12.2283.849)" https://kb.policypak.com/kb/article/1075-20-how-can-i-use-the-only-remaining-policypak-published-chrome-extension-with-my-older-cse-cse-18-7-1779-937-19-12-2283-849/

Q: I'm using a CSE before 18.7.1779.937. What is the workaround?

A: You must upgrade affected machines to the latest CSE to fix this problem.

Q: Will we have this problem in the future?

A: We have figured out how to have ONE Chrome Extension for all versions going forward. The latest Chrome Extension … with the easy to remember name “fmbfiodledfjldlhiemaadmgppoeklbn” … is going to be the “going forward one” that we can just always use. If you upgrade to the latest CSE then stick reasonably close to our release schedule and guidance we think you won’t likely have a problem.

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  • 17-Feb-2021
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