Use PolicyPak to dynamically set Enterprise and Document modes
Hi. This is Jeremy Moskowitz, Group Policy MVP and Founder of PolicyPak Software. In this video, we’re going to understand PolicyPak Browser Router and Internet Explorer Enterprise Mode and Document Mode and how we can set those dynamically and on the fly.
To set the stage in case you’re not super familiar with PolicyPak Browser Router, it really couldn’t be easier to get started. You simply create a GPO and link it over to where you want to have some rules. Basically, you’re going to open up a specific browser when a specific URL is opened.
Let’s go ahead and create a “New Policy” here. We’ll do this one for “www.microsoft.com” and we’ll go to URL “www.microsoft.com.” Now starting in more recent versions of PolicyPak Browser Router, we now have his ability to specify a “PORT” number. We’re not going to do that here for this demonstration. Let’s say we want to route “www.microsoft.com” to “Internet Explorer.”
Now the first thing you should note is that this route will “Apply to all child URLs,” which is the “Default Mode.” In other words, if you go to microsoft.com/abc, then it will also automatically fire up correct Internet Explorer. But we also have this idea of setting the “Document Mode” or “Enterprise Mode.” Enterprise Mode and Document Mode are ways to teach Internet Explorer a way to render the page in a way that would be more desirable.
There’s a million pounds of documentation on Microsoft Internet Explorer Enterprise Mode and Document Mode, but what’s amazing about PolicyPak Browser Router is that we’re able to set these things on the fly so you can create these lists dynamically and use our “Item Level Targeting” to say when this thing should apply.
For instance, if you want “www.microsoft.com” to go to “IE8 Enterprise Mode,” you can say only when the person is on a sales team or when the person is on a laptop or a desktop or when the “Computer Name” is not Developer or any number of things. The whole point of the story is you’re saying go to “www.microsoft.com,” force open “Internet Explorer,” force the “Browser Mode” correctly, but only do it if some matching criteria occurs.
Let’s go ahead and see what happens if we set “IE8 Enterprise Mode” here. We’re going to do this on two different machines. I’m going to go over here to my first machine which is a Windows 7 machine and run GP Update. I’ll go to my Windows 10 machine and also run GP Update here. We’ll wait for this to finish.
Just to prove a point, if we were to go to “write” and try to go to “www.microsoft.com” here, if we were to try to open this up, because now you’ve made a route, any time you get an e-mail or an attachment or anything like that, we’re always going to fire open the correct browser now, which is going to be Internet Explorer.
When Internet Explorer launches, you’re going to see also this special icon. This icon is generated from Internet Explorer directly and demonstrates the rendering of this Web page, which is currently still happening, in Internet Explorer Enterprise Mode. In our case, Internet Explorer 8 Enterprise Mode. If you look closely, you can see that there are some areas that are rendered a little bit differently because of that, but that’s the whole point.
We can take a look at our Windows 10 machine, and we could be started off in “Mozilla Firefox.” Let me go ahead and launch “Mozilla Firefox” here. Then from Firefox, try to open up “www.microsoft.com.” What’s our expectation? Internet Explorer is going to be what opens because of PolicyPak Browser Router, and we’re going to dictate the right document mode, which is going to be Internet Explorer 8 Enterprise Mode, at the same time. There we can see that “Internet Explorer” has launched for the first time here, and we can see that the Enterprise site list is also correctly delivered there.
Now what may also be interesting is that you might want to set it not to one of the Enterprise Modes but to maybe one of the Document Modes. For instance, I’m going to go way down the food chain here and pick what’s called “IE5 Document Mode.”
Now IE5 Document Mode won’t show up here on the toolbar. I’ll go ahead and close this out. I’ll close this out. I’ll go ahead and run GP Update here. And I’ll go ahead and close this out, and I’ll run GP Update here. You’re not going to see it on the toolbar, but I do want to show you how you would know that PolicyPak did its job.
All we’re going to do is we’re going to run Internet Explorer here. We’ll go back to “www.microsoft.com” here. What we’re looking for is obviously there’s nothing on the little toolbar there. But if you hit F12 for what’s called the Developer Tools and you click on this little guy right there, it will show you that it’s “5,” which is the mode. There are a couple of other places I think you can get it, which is if you click “F12,” “Emulation” shows your “Document mode.”
If I go over here, we’ll go to our “Internet Explorer” here. We should be able to see the same basic thing here: “www.microsoft.com.” Now that we’re at Microsoft.com here, we can hit F12 for Developer Tools and “Document mode” is “5.”
So that’s the general gist for understanding how to set dynamically your Enterprise Mode and your Document Mode using PolicyPak Browser Router. I hope this helps you out and you’re going to take advantage of this right away.
Thanks and talk to you soon.